Lucy R. Lippard proposed an open call to form an archives of political art on the announcement card for the exhibition "Some British Art from the Left", an exhibition she curated at Artists Space in 1979.

HISTORY SO FAR [from the first issue of PAD - February 1981]

June 1979: Announcement of exhibition "Art From the British Left" at Artists' Space includes a call for socially concerned artists interested in participating in other events and in an international political art archive. Political disagreements with the then-administration of Artists' Space prevented further cooperation, but material for the archive begins to filter in and the notice is reprinted in several small magazines around the U.S.

Summer 1979: Idea of an archive is expanded to include a space and organization: still on paper.

February 24, 1980: First meeting finally held at Printed Matter. Some 50 participants begin a mailing list and agree to meet one Sunday a month. Meetings continue with discussions of possibilities and slide shows of work by members and visiting political artists from other cities and countries.

Spring: members of Artists for Survival on the Lower East Side attend meetings and find us a free space under the auspices of Seven Loaves. We decide on the name: PAD

June: We paint our room at PS 64. PAD leaflet goes out. We are represented at social-change art conference sponsered by NEA in Cincinnati.

September: Structure tightens. Work groups are set up. Much decoration of space with banners, posters, etc. Cataloguing system for archive material collectively conceived.

November: Second Sunday meetings at Printed Matter begin to include brief presentations.

December: We plan public events and Coming Out party. Contacts are made with Cityarts and Gallery 345. First statement of intent written.

February 1: PAD sponsors Iranian art evening at member's home.

P.A.D.D. STATEMENT [from PAD/D Upfront number 5 - February 1983]

P.A.D.D. is a progressive artists' resource and networking organization coming out of and into New York City. Our goal is to provide artists with an organized relationship to society, to demonstrate the political effectivness of image making. One way we are trying to do this is by building a collection of documentation of international socially concerned art. The P.A.D.D. Archive defines social concern in the broadest sense: any work that deals with issues ranging from sexism and racism to ecological damage and other forms of human oppression. The P.A.D.D. Archive documents artwork from movement posters to the most individual of statements.

P.A.D.D. is also involved with the production, distribution and impact of progressive art in the culture at large. We sponsor public events, actions, and exhibitions. These are all means of facilitating relationships between (1) artists in or peripherally, or not at all in the art world, (2) the local communities in which we live and work, (3) Left culture, and (4) the broader political struggles.

We hope eventually to build an international grass-roots network of art activists who will support their talents and their political energies in the liberation and self-determination of all disenfranchased peoples.

Gregory Sholette's in depth commentary on the history of PAD/D

Editors: Lucy R. Lippard / Founded by Lippard, along with Gregory Sholette, Herb Perr, Irving Wexler, Elizabeth Kulas and Jerry Kearns.

Interview with Sholette regarding history of PAD/D

Additional PAD/D archives at Grerogy Sholette's webpage - complete issues.

PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] # 01 1981
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] # 02 1981
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #03 1981
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #04 1982
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #05 1983
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #06/07 1983
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #08 1983
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #09 1984
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #10 1985
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #11 1985
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #12/13 1986-7
PAD/D [Political Art Documentation / Distribution] / UPFRONT #14/15 1987-8
Alternative Art New York 1965-1985  
Art, Activism & Oppositionality: Essays from Afterimage, 1998  
Art After Modernism: Rethinking Representation, 1984   
Art Matters: How The Culture Wars Changed America, 1999   
Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam Era, 2009  
Collectivism After Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination After 1945  
East VIllage USA - mentioned in Dan Cameron's catalogue essay   
Get the Message? A Decade of Art for Social Change [Lucy Lippard], 1984  
Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America [by Lucy Lippard]  
On the Beaten Track: tourism, art, and culture, [by Lucy Lippard], 1999  
Reimagining America: The Arts of Social Change, 1990   
The Interventionists: Users Manual for the Creative Distruption of Everyday Life, 2004 [in Catalogues Cited]