About Seymour Rosen


With these words Seymour Rosen, Founding Director of the nonprofit organization SPACES, helped to introduce the world to the aesthetic genre of art environments—a genre that now has become broadly recognized, respected, and the subject of numerous exhibitions, films, articles, and books. In many ways Rosen was a most unlikely candidate either for parenting the institutionalization of a genre or for amassing and archiving the tens of thousands of documents, photographs, and ephemera associated with it. Nevertheless, he pursued legitimizing, preserving, documenting, and protecting these arts for some fifty years, until his untimely death in September, 2006 at the age of 71.

They are generally intended to be viewed in their entirety rather than as a grouping of discrete works.

Studies of individual sites usually reveal the labors of a single, passionate worker (an artist in our eyes, but not always in those of the creator), typically—but not always—begun in the later years of their lives.

The Art of Seymour Rosen

Seymour Rosen, Self-Portrait, 1964Seymour Rosen with Salvation Mountain artist Leonard Knight

Seymour Rosen, Self-Portrait, 1964

Seymour Rosen with Salvation Mountain artist Leonard Knight

SPACES actively collects all kinds of materials pertaining to art environments and self-taught art in order to keep the archives updated.

If you have images, books, magazines, clippings, audio-visual materials, ephemera, or other materials that you would like to donate please visit our Share Your Stuff! page or email us!

The SPACES website allows you to save your favorite art environments and share them with your friends or colleagues. Create your own portfolio of your favorites from environments in the online collection.

Send them to your friends, post them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and tag #spacesarchives 

Look for this button on pages that can be saved:

Add Page to my spaces