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Bern Porter (1911–2004) was an artist, writer, philosopher, and scientist who was involved in the development of the cathode ray tube, the Saturn V rocket, and the Manhattan Project, which he renounced upon learning of the bombing of Hiroshima. Also a pioneer in the arts, he is known for his landmark work as an author and publisher. He was an early practitioner of mail art and found and performance poetry and experimented with typography, sculpture, photography, artists’ books, and collage throughout his life. Porter lived and worked in New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, California, Guam, Alabama, and Tasmania. He finally settled in his native Maine, where he ran for governor and established the Institute for Advanced Thinking. In 1979, Porter was given a major retrospective at Franklin Furnace in New York City, and a show of Porter’s work in the The Museum of Modern Art Library was shown at MoMA in 2010. - Mark Melnicove, 2010

Unpublished materials (approx. 70 linear feet) include correspondence between Porter and his contemporaries, scrapbooks and other works “of, by or about” Porter, and manuscripts given to him. There is a small amount of material related to Porter's childhood in Houlton, Maine.


See also The Bern Porter Collection of Contemporary Letters for digital content.



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