World’s Largest Collection of Word Art Closing Soon in Miami

Installation view of the Sackner Collection. Photo via

Calling all wordsmiths, logophiles, and book worms: if you haven’t yet had the chance to view Marvin and Ruth Sackner‘s extensive collection of word art on display at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, you have just a few weeks left to do so. Boasting a whopping 75,000-plus works, the Sackner collection is the world’s largest of its kind, and while selections from the archive have been shown before, this is the largest showcase to date of pieces from their holdings.

Marvin Sackner, a retired doctor and former chief of medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, told the Miami Herald that he and his wife began collecting word art because, “when you have words in the artwork you can communicate easily. It’s an extrospective kind of art rather than introspective.”

An art history degree may not be essential to enjoyment of the collection, there’s plenty there for art buffs, too. The exhibition features a variety of works from seminal 20th century movements including  Italian Futurism, Russian Constructivism, Bauhaus, De Stijl, and Dada, providing a unique lens through which to examine and understand them. The collection also contains rare manuscripts from Augusto and Haroldo de Campos, Oyvind Fahlström, and Eugen Gomringer, as well as an 1897 publication of “Un Coup de des” (“A Throw of the Dice”), by Stéphane Mallarmé, often thought to be one of the first examples of concrete poetry.

A Human Document: The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry” at the Pérez Art Museum Miami will close on August 3, 2014.


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