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Bonnie Ora Sherk Archives

The nonprofit Life Frames Inc. is the current steward of the archives of its founder Bonnie Ora Sherk (1945–2021), an acclaimed New York and San Francisco-based artist, landscape architect and planner, and the founding nonprofit director of Crossroads Community (the farm) (1974–1980) and A Living Library (A.L.L., since 1981). 

For inquiries regarding research, image reproductions, loans, and available artworks, please contact A.L.L. Executive Director China Bushell. Please note that access to physical material is limited at this time. 

Bonnie extensively discussed her ideas for A.L.L. through public speaking engagements, interviews, articles, artist publications, architectural plans, collages, diagrammatic drawings, and photography. She developed narrated videos and installation concepts to represent A.L.L. as a social artwork through numerous exhibitions and biennials.    

We continue to maintain access to past news items and material Bonnie published on this website and its former version here as an online resource. Our team would be happy to share more information and speak publicly in programs about the history and plans for A.L.L. and our current community-based initiatives today.

Archives History

Upon the passing of Bonnie Ora Sherk on August 8, 2021, Robert Croonquist, longtime friend and board member of Life Frames, Inc., took it upon himself to rescue her writings and artwork from her Cornelia Street pied à terre in New York City. Life Frames, Inc. has since convened a volunteer group of staff and board members, arts professionals, and interns to assist with various phases of consolidating and inventorying the archives in San Francisco. These efforts have been further and generously supported by the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in preparation for the posthumous survey Bonnie Ora Sherk: Life Frames since 1970(2024) and the accompanying catalog. 

Bonnie’s sisters, Abby Kellner-Rode and Rachel Binah, generously donated all of Bonnie’s archives, including her artworks, to Life Frames, Inc. who is presently searching for an institution or institutions to house them.

Please contact Ingrid Dinter with any questions or suggestions you may have.

Archives Contents

In general, the archives consist of:

  • Papers – correspondence, press, writings, exhibition flyers, Crossroads Community (the farm) 1974–1980, park designs, A Living Library (1981-present) and Life Frames, Inc. (founded 1992) documents from Living Libraries on Roosevelt Island and in San Francisco, the Islais Creek watershed, grant proposals, student work, exhibitions, notebooks, address books, and datebooks.
  • Publications – relevant to Bonnie’s work, information about Bonnie, related to Conceptual art, performance art, eco-art and feminism, artist-run spaces, relevant to the time period, local and regional information (see also this Bibliography).
  • Audio and video recordings
  • Hard Drives
  • Exhibition pieces – landscape designs, posters, exhibition pieces, city maps and site plans
  • Landscape designs, posters and large photographs
  • City maps and site plans

Bonnie Ora Sherk’s artworks span the artist’s documentation of performances in film, video, photography, ephemera, installations, works on paper, artist books, plans, proposals, and early paintings. 

Presentation: About Bonnie Ora Sherk