Open for Research: John Ashbery Collection of Artwork and Objects

November 29, 2021

By Nancy Kuhl

The Beinecke Library is pleased to announce a new acquisition: the John Ashbery Collection of Artwork and Objects. The collection consists of artwork and objects collected by American poet John Ashbery, including paintings, glassware, ceramics, clothing, household objects, realia, printed material, collage materials, and other items of significance to Ashbery, some of which inspired his poetry or appeared in his published work.

In close consultation with John Ashbery’s husband David Kermani, curator Nancy Kuhl and Ashbery biographer Karin Roffman chose the objects in this collection from among many similar objects in John Ashbery’s homes in New York City and Hudson, New York, shortly after his death. More information and a detailed list of the collection’s contents can be found online here:  John Ashbery Collection of Artwork and Objects (YCAL MSS 1318).

The collection was donated to the Library by the Estate of John Ashbery and David Kermani.

Researchers will find important related resources online at John Ashbery’s NEST, a virtual tour of Asbhery’s home in Hudson, New York. John Ashbery’s NEST, “provides a unique opportunity not only to see the art, objects, books and furniture in this house–the only home Ashbery ever owned–but also to hear Ashbery read from related poems and talk about the provenance and resonance that these things, including the space itself, have played in his creative life.”

Related collections at Beinecke Library include:

John Ashbery Collages

Trevor Winkfield Papers

David Lehman Papers

Ron Padgett Papers

Barbara Guest Papers

Published works by John Ashbery in Beinecke Library collections

Pictured: Ashbery’s teacup, saucer, spoon, and tea box (box 24)

NOTE: some parts of the collection are closed to readers temporarily and will reopen when custom housings are completed.