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Behind the Scenes Curatorial

Out of the Vault–William Copley and the Instant Art Collection

Installing S. M. S. (Shit Must Stop) Number 4, 1968; note Roy Lichtenstein’s Folded Hat, vinyl hat construction, Purchase, with funds from Kit S. Basquin, George and Angela Jacobi with matching funds from Johnson Controls, and Jacques and Barbara Hussussian. M1995.290. Photo credit Nate Pyper.
Installing S. M. S. (Shit Must Stop) Number 4, 1968; note Roy Lichtenstein’s Folded Hat, vinyl hat construction, Purchase, with funds from Kit S. Basquin, George and Angela Jacobi with matching funds from Johnson Controls, and Jacques and Barbara Hussussian. M1995.290. Photo credit Nate Pyper.

William Copley (1919-1996) was an American art entrepreneur who was involved in every facet of the art world at one time or another during his career.

Copley worked as a painter, writer, gallery owner, collector, patron and publisher. He began painting in the early 1920s and identified with the Surrealists.

Surrealism was an art and culture movement that began in the early 1920s and persevered through the 1960s. It had a major influence on abstract expressionism, postmodernism and popular culture. It was founded in Paris by a small group of writers and artists who found that the conscious mind repressed the power of imagination, creating taboos in our culture and guilt in our actions.

S.M.S.1 was an experimental magazine created by Copley during the turbulent year of 1968.