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Ann Magnuson, Performance Artist, Papers

Collection Number: A&M.4387

Content Description

Publications and sound recordings documenting the career of Ann Magnuson, an actress, performance artist, and nightclub performer who grew up in Charleston, West Virginia. She worked at Club 57 in New York, a gathering place for artists such as Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf.


Series 1. Publications and Excerpts, boxes 1-5, 1983-2018
Series 2. Performance and Other Posters, box 6, 1991-2018
Series 3. Performance Programs and Related Material, box 7, 1981-2017
Series 4. Audiovisual Material, box 7, 1995-2016
Series 5. Ephemera and Other Material, box 7, ca. 1973-1987, 2018-2019


  • ca. 1973-2019


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Biographical / Historical

"Ann Magnuson is a writer/actress/singer/musician/performer whose eclectic resume traverses the entertainment landscape like few others. She has acted in Hollywood blockbusters, Off-Broadway plays, TV sitcoms and indie films; fronted various bands; made records; written for numerous publications and has presented her original performance art pieces at art institutions worldwide including the Whitney Museum (performing a 5-hour “Tribute to Muzak” in the museum elevator), The Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, BAM, LACMA, MOCA, The Hammer Museum, REDCAT, The Walker Art Center, The Andy Warhol Museum and in places as far flung as Tokyo’s Sogetsu Hall and The Ice Hotel inside Sweden’s Arctic Circle. Ann was inducted into the West Virginia Hall of Fame (along with Hasil Adkins, Fred “Sonic” Smith) in early 2018 and, in May 2020, West Virginia University will be present her with an honorary doctorate from their College of Arts.

Current projects include a recurring role in Season 3 (and Season 4 – now in production) of the Amazon Prime series “The Man In The High Castle” and a new music single, “The Sun Don’t Care (Who’s President)” with accompanying video that offers a cosmic ray of hope and whimsy amidst the hostility aggravated by our current political climate. Ann was guest curator of the recent Club 57 retrospective at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in NYC that ran from October 31, 2017-April 8, 2018 and will be curating a show along similar themes for the LA-based gallery Winslow Garage in Spring 2019. She performed “The Bongwater Songbook” at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) in November 2017, reuniting with her former bandmates who also accompanied her in the 2016 MOMA performance, “Dream Sequencing” (featuring video as well as music and spoken word from her 2016 CD, “Dream Girl.”) Her epic track “Open Letter to an Open Letter: Seriously WTF?!,” (a serio-comic rant about the insanity of the internet) was released in 2017. She is currently finishing a recording project with the LA-based DJ consortium Dub Lab.

MOMA recently acquired MADE FOR TV (the 1984 art video she made with artist Tom Rubnitz) as well as Ann’s student films from her time at Denison University (including “One God, One Singer”, a short film about Elvis Presley’s 1976 concert in her hometown of Charleston, West Virginia.)"

("Bio." Ann Magnuson Official Website. Accessed February 25, 2020.


1.9 Linear Feet (1 ft. 10 1/2 in. (1 document case, 5 in.); (1 flat storage box, 1 1/2 in.); (2 flat storage boxes, 3 1/2 in. each); (3 storage boxes, 3 in. each))

642 Megabytes (176 digital files)

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:


Ann Magnuson, Performance Artist, Papers
Grace Musgrave
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Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US