Michael Carr's background ranges from assisting artists to running a design business; from Archive Director at one of the world's largest and most recognizable art projects to Archivist at the estate of a major American artist. These varied experiences, along with expertise in current technologies, combine to make him uniquely qualified to assist you with the management of your collection.
After receiving a degree in studio art with a minor in art history, Michael Carr apprenticed with artist C.E. Coleman. He later assisted her with several large projects, including "Magic Carpet," a floating sculpture composed of layered grids of surplus magnetic tape from NASA and helium-filled weather balloons.
In 1977, he traveled to Artpark in Lewiston, NY as technical assistant to RISD-based video collective Electron Movers and worked on several installations with artists Alan Powell and Laurie McDonald. Other then-emerging artists at Artpark that season included Laurie Anderson, Alice Aycock, Agnes Denes, Sam Gilliam, and Martin Puryear.
Largely self-taught in graphic design and computer technology, Michael Carr started his career as a designer and production manager at Brown University and then formed his own studio. For 16 years Space Visual Design produced award-winning publications for arts and other non-profit organizations. Clients included the New England Foundation for the Arts, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Foster Parents Plan International, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Rhode Island HIstorical Society, the Children's Museum of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Audubon Society.
In 1996, after a national search, he was invited to become Art Director for the AIDS Memorial Quilt, a position that soon grew to Director of Art and Archive. It was there that he became immersed in collection management, working closely with Gallery Systems, Inc. customizing their EmbARK software to meet the unique needs of the Quilt. He devised and implemented a 15-year program to catalogue each of the more than 46,000 panels of the Quilt and wrote a proposal for, and was awarded, the largest grant of the cycle from the National Endowment for the Arts to fund the cataloguing effort.
Currently, in addition to consulting, he is Archivist for The Jay DeFeo Foundation, which has included reorganizing, redesigning, and managing the database; cataloguing paintings, works on paper, and photography; transcribing letters and diaries; and conducting research on the artist's life and work. The major retrospective of the art of Jay DeFeo (b. 1929d. 1989), organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, was on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney in 20122013. Other major recent exhibitions include Jay DeFeo: The Ripple Effect at Le Consortium in Dijon, France (2018), Jay DeFeo and Surrealism at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (2018), Other Mechanisms at Succession, Vienna, Austria (2018), and Jay DeFeo: The Texture of Color at Marc Selwin Fine Arts in Beverly Hills, CA (2018).
Current clients include Petah Coyne, Donna Dennis, William T. Wiley, Termite TV Collective, the Jay DeFeo Foundation, the Estate of Robert Arneson, the Estate of Ruth Asawa, and numerous private collectors.
Michael Carr is a member of the Visual Resources AssociationInternational Association of Image Media Professionals, the Catalogue Raisonné Scholar’s Association, and the Museum Computer Network.