The Letters of Rosemary & Bernadette Mayer, 1976–1980

Edited by Gillian Sneed, Marie Warsh. Preface by Eva Birkenstock, Robert Leckie, Laura McLean-Ferris, Stephanie Weber. Text by Bernadette Mayer, Rosemary Mayer, Gillian Sneed

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Two sisters, an artist and a poet, describe the contours of their lives among New York’s artistic avant-garde through an intimate collection of letters

This collection of the correspondence between artist Rosemary Mayer (1943–2014) and poet Bernadette Mayer (born 1945) occurs between the years of 1976 and 1980, a period of rich creativity in New York’s artistic avant-garde, and one which includes the development of major bodies of work by the two women. Rosemary Mayer was creating sculptures, watercolors, books and “temporary monuments” from weather balloons and snow, while Bernadette Mayer was working on some of her best-known publications, including the book-length poem Midwinter Day and the poetry collection The Golden Book of Words. Spanning the worlds of Conceptual art, Postminimalism, feminism, the New York School, Language poetry and more, these letters elucidate the bonds of sisterhood through intimate exchanges about art, relationships and everyday life.

This publication is part of Lost & Found Elsewhere, a unique series of book-length projects emerging from the research of Lost & Found editors. Working in partnership with select publishers, these books bring to light unpublished or long unavailable materials that have emerged alongside or as part of Lost & Found initiatives in archives across the country.

Published by Lenbachhaus, Ludwig Forum, Spike Island and Swiss Institute.

5.5 x 8.25 in. / 373 pgs / 35 color / 21 bw. | 8/30/2022

View some of the archival photos and images below collected in The Letters of Rosemary & Bernadette Mayer, 1976–1980:

Rosemary Mayer, c. 1976

Benadette Mayer, Lenox, 1978

Rosemary Mayer, Spell, 1977

Bernadette Mayer, Family Portrait with RMs Watercolor, 1977

Rosemary Mayer Studio



Collected in: Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative