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Series II: Cadillac Ranch
Series III: Ant Farm papers
At a Glance
Scope and Content
The collection documents projects by Ant Farm, the radical architecture group founded in 1968 by Chip Lord and Doug Michels. The collection includes a small selection of drawings, sketches, correspondence, photographs, and ephemera related to work produced between 1968 and 1978, in particular Cadillac Ranch (1974) and, to a lesser extent, Media Burn (1975). Correspondence with various publications and institutions in the 1970s, with art patron Stanley Marsh 3, and with Ant Farm member Doug Michels are of note. In addition, the collection includes more than 1,300 slides that document the group and its work, from early inflatables to the Pier 40 fire that destroyed the group's studio in 1978. Also included are legal and financial records that document licensed and unlicensed use of Ant Farm work—most of which concern Cadillac Ranch and Media Burn—beginning in the 1970s up through the 2000s.
The collection provides an interesting account of the legacy—including products, anniversary celebrations, exhibitions, lectures, and publications, as well as a short-lived restoration—of the group's work in the decades after disbanding. Some materials, gathered under Series V, document projects by Doug Michels, shared with Chip Lord. Scholars interested in individual Ant Farm projects are invited to consult the group's main archival holdings at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA) and the FRAC Centre (Orléans, France).
[RESTRICTION: Please note, all time-based media in the collection is currently closed pending preservation work.]
Using the Collection
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restrictions on Use
Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.
In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.
Chip Lord papers on Ant Farm, 1965-2014, Avery Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
Archives and museums with related holdings on Ant Farm include:
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
This collection was processed by Elliott Sturtevant (Graduate Intern), under the supervision of Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, in 2017.
2017-03-20 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Ant Farm was founded by two architects, Doug Michels (1943-2003) and Chip Lord (1944-). The group was based in San Francisco and Houston and was active from 1968 to 1978. Inspired by the counterculture of the Bay Area, the group presented objects, events, and performances, often with an architectural component, recorded on video for dissemination. In keeping with the times, their work was intended as a criticism of American capitalism, mass media, and culture. The group disbanded after a fire destroyed their studio and most of their archive, in 1978.