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Can the general public view Johnson's collages that are in the Estate?

Scholars may make an appointment to view specific collages. If Ray Johnson collages are not on public display, the general public can ask to see them. The estate is usually able to accommodate such requests.

How big is the Ray Johnson Estate and Archive?

The Ray Johnson Estate is extensive, consisting of almost the entire contents of Johnson's house at the time of his death, which includes collages and objects, thousands of pieces of mail art, source materials, etc., as well as his personal possessions, photographs, albums, scrapbooks, and library.

What kind of works are in the Ray Johnson Archive?

There is a broad range of material in the Ray Johnson Archive. Mail art and ephemera, objects, performance tapes, photographs, fragments, and collages are part of the Ray Johnson Archive.

How can I get permission to reproduce Ray Johnson's work as illustrations in a book or article?

The Ray Johnson Estate owns the copyright to all Ray Johnson artworks and material, no matter who owns the specific work, including a self-taken photograph of a Ray Johnson work. Ray Johnson's work is represented by Artists Rights Society. All reproduction requests must be directed to and/or ARS, regardless of where the work is being reproduced (scholarly paper, article, essay, catalogue, online, magazine, newspaper, textbook, etc., or for commercial purposes). If the Estate is not contacted and copyright permission has not been granted, the user has committed a copyright infringement.

Does the Ray Johnson Estate loan work to museums for exhibitions?

Yes, museums and institutions may contact Maria Ilario, Director of Collection & Archives, or

What is the difference between a Ray Johnson mail art piece and collage?

Mail art and ephemera encompasses a broad range of Ray Johnson's work. It includes objects, smaller collages, fragments, ephemera, illustrated envelopes, flyers, mailers, letters and postcards which Ray Johnson sent out to friends and correspondents. The Estate does not buy or sell mail art. If you are unsure what kind of Ray Johnson work you have, please consult the Art section of the website to view the different categories or contact us directly at the Ray Johnson Estate.

How do I know what kind of Ray Johnson work I own?

One aspect of Ray Johnson's work was his founding of the New York Correspondance [sic] School, the mail art network that linked people in a wide circle of exchange. He sent objects, smaller collages, fragments, ephemera, illustrated envelopes, flyers, mailers, letters and postcards to friends and correspondants. The Estate does not buy or sell any of this material, but preserves it in the archive for study purposes. If you are unsure whether you have a Ray Johnson mail art/ephemera piece or completed collage, please consult the Art section of the website to view the different categories or contact the Ray Johnson Estate directly.

Does the Ray Johnson Estate purchase work by Ray Johnson and/or other artists?

The Estate can acquire collages by Ray Johnson, but does not buy or sell mail art or ephemera. The Estate does not buy work by any other artist.

How can I get a Ray Johnson work authenticated?

Please contact the Estate via email with jpegs of the work and as much information as possible regarding provenance.

The Estate does not authenticate, buy, or sell mail art.

Can I buy Ray Johnson books, catalogues, the film and other related materials from the Estate?

No. Ray Johnson museum catalogues, RLF & Co. catalogues, the How to Draw a Bunny film, and other materials may be purchased via online marketplaces.

Does the Estate make its archives available to scholars for research?

The Estate allows scholars to visit the archive on an individual basis. Scholars may email the estate with a research request and the estate will review the request and respond. Please direct research requests to The Estate is open to the public 11-5 pm Monday through Friday but does not take research requests without prior arrangement.

Is the Ray Johnson archive published online?

Not in its entirety, but scholars and art historians may visit the archive by appointment. A selection of material is available on this website

Should scholars make research requests in advance?

Yes, the Ray Johnson Estate requires scholars to make appointments for research in advance. To do so, please contact Currently, research requests are closed until February 2023.

How does one obtain a press packet?

In order to easily accommodate scholars and interested parties, and to also be environmentally conscious, Ray Johnson press packets are now available on the website. Please visit the Press section for general press, and the How to Draw a Bunny section for film press.

*If credits are not given to an image on our website, please contact us for more details:



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