The Greer Lankton Archive is an assemblage of materials collected from the work of one of the most significant artists to have taken part in the revolutionary art scene of New York City’s East Village during the 1980s. Greer Lankton’s exhibitions and performances included those at PS1, Club 57, Pyramid Club, Franklyn Furnace, Civilian Warfare Gallery, Hal Bromm and the Whitney Biennale NYC. She also exhibited across the US and Europe, including the UK, Austria and the Venice Biennale, Italy.
The Lankton archive dates from the artist's birth in 1958 to untimely death in 1996, shortly after her installation ‘It’s All about Me Not You’ opened at the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh. This artwork was donated to the Mattress Factory in 2006 and the Lankton archive in 2014, thanks to the generosity of the Lankton family.
The archive offers an unfiltered view into Lankton’s life from childhood, studies at Pratt Institute, gender reassignment surgery, battles with abuse, anorexia, drug addiction and the AIDS crisis which surrounded her. It documents Lanktons artistic development, artwork and exhibitions, along with her relationships to her friends and contemporaries, including Nan Goldin, David Wojnarowicz and Peter Hujar. But beyond even this, Lankton’s artwork and archive eloquently explores and questions the norms of gender and sexuality, as well as iconography, popular culture and consumerism.
The Lankton archive is currently being digitized in a project which has been funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources and in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh. The mission of the Greer Lankton Archive Digitization Project is to preserve, contextualize, share and make accessible this incredible collection in an inclusive way, and to actively reach out to the communities which Lankton was a central figure of. This is bolstered by the Mattress Factory’s ongoing public programming and enthusiasm for developing community engaged outcomes online and in person.