Scope and Contents
The collection consists of writings by Lemaître and others, including Isidore Isou; editorial files for the numerous serials published by Lemaître; screenplays, production material, and publicity material for Lemaître’s avant-garde films; correspondence with other Lettrists, including Isou, Gabriele Pomerand, Roland Sabatier, and Alain Satié, as well as editors, intellectuals, and museum and gallery directors; audio recordings of Lettrist readings and interviews, and video recordings of Lemaître’s films; and posters, photographs, fliers, tracts, exhibition catalogs and other material relating to Lettrism. The collection provides comprehensive documentation of the development and evolution of Lettrism, and also sheds light on the post-war avant-garde and related cultural movements in Europe, particularly France, during the second half of the twentieth century.
Conditions Governing Access
Access to original audiovisual recordings in boxes 183-205, 234, 242, and 259-273 is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Beinecke Access Services for further information.
Access to original computer disks in box 221, 243, and 274 is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Beinecke Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
225.26 Linear Feet ((270 boxes) + 4 broadside folders)
Language of Materials
Maurice Lemaître (b.1926)
In addition to being a major theoretician and practicing artist, Lemaître became increasingly important as the movement’s publisher, not only editing but also financing the publication of the first Lettrist revues, including Front de la Jeunesse, Poésie nouvelle, and Ur, among others. He helped organize the first Lettrist exhibitions in the United States, and also provided support for the next generation of Lettrists, including Roland Sabatier and Alain Satié, at crucial points in their careers. The second series of Ur (1963-1967) was an important venue for Lettrist experimentation for such artists and became the launchpad for the Centre de Créativité.
Over the course of his career, Lemaître worked to preserve an historical record of the cultural and political activity of the Lettrism movement. He acquired manuscripts and tracts from Isou and Gabriele Pomerand documenting the first years of the movement from 1945 to 1950, and himself kept notes, letters, tracts, essays, artwork, and the related production materials documenting the movement's output from 1950 onwards.
This collection received a basic level of processing at the time of acquisition in 2010, including rehousing into acid-free boxes and minimal organization. Material was organized into broad series according to activity or format; however, no attempt was made to arrange files within each series. Identification of material for the purposes of organization was based on information supplied with the collection and existing file titles, not on an analysis of the file contents. Descriptive information in the inventory below is drawn largely from the dealer list. This information has not been verified against the contents of the files in all cases.
The title of the collection deviates from standard naming conventions in order to accommodate the wish of the creator to reflect both his birth name and assumed name.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Amarger, Michel
- Artists -- France -- Archives
- Audiovisual materials
- Authors, French -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Born digital
- Centre de créativité (Paris, France)
- Curtay, Jean-Paul
- Experimental films -- France
- Ferrua, Pietro, 1930-
- French literature -- 20th Century
- Fukui, Kana
- Guymer, Christiane, 1927-
- Isou, Isidore, 1925-2007
- Lemaître, Maurice, 1926-
- Lettrism in motion pictures
- Lettrist literature -- France -- Paris -- 20th Century
- Motion picture producers and directors -- France
- Motion pictures (visual works)
- Mouvement lettriste
- Photographic prints
- Pomerand, Gabriel, 1926-1972
- Richol, Hélène
- Richol-Müller, Marie-Thérèse, 1956-
- Sabatier, Roland, 1942-
- Satié, Alain, 1944-
- Sound recordings
- Video recordings
- Guide to the Bismuth-Lemaître Papers
- by Beinecke staff
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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