Ruscha, Edward. (b. 1937) & Williams, Mason. (b. 1938)

"Thanksgiving Day, 1965" - Original "Cultural Care Endeavor Package" Mail Art

Original multicolor holograph mail art broadside lettered and designed on both sides of a blank sheet of musical orchestral score manuscript paper. A bit of toning to sheet, some fading to lettering in various colors; overall in fine condition. 10.5 x 13.25 inches (26.5 x 33.8 cm.); set in a floating glass frame to an overall size of 12.5 x 16.5 inches (32 x 42.3 cm.). 

Written in the hands of Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams and signed by them as "Masie Bunny" and "Eddie P" (short for Eddie Poo, sometimes even Eddie Pooo). Call it mail art, call it as they do on the verso, a "cultural endeavour care package", call it what you will. This 1960's artifact was sent to Marilyn McCorkle, erstwhile model for Ed Ruscha at The Chouinard Institute of Art and friend to both Ruscha and Mason Williams. The artists note that it would be 4 a.m. in McCorkle's Iowa City, making it 2 a.m. in Los Angeles when this piece was accomplished, various messages written in different inks, sometimes with added faux musical notations (including with letters written in place of note-heads) in contour around and on the printed ledger lines, which in one place they identify as "these are telephones lines and we are talking to you." Other pieces itemized in the "cultural endeavour care package" listing on page 2 include some of Ruscha's and Williams's published books such as Bicyclists Dismount, Next to the Windows, Some Los Angeles Apartments, and Various Small Fires.

Most closely associated with the pop art movement, American artist Ed Ruscha has worked in the media of painting, printmaking, drawing, photography and film and is also noted for creating several artist's books. In 2023, the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art are staging a full-dress Ed Ruscha retrospective to include 250 works. 

The American classical guitarist, composer, singer, writer, comedian, and poet Mason Williams is best known for his triple-Grammy-winning 1968 instrumental "Classical Gas" and for his work as a comedy writer on The Smothers Brothers Comedy HourThe Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and Saturday Night Live.


Art & Design