I have written about Marvin Minsky several times before in this series and today I again look at a letter I wrote to him in the last couple of years. It is my practice in my letters to quote from the works of Adrian Rogers or Francis Schaeffer or both in my letters to these scholars.
Marvin Minsky, who combined a scientist’s thirst for knowledge with a philosopher’s quest for truth as a pioneering explorer of artificial intelligence, work that helped inspire the creation of the personal computer and the Internet, died on Sunday night in Boston. He was 88.
His family said the cause was a cerebral hemorrhage.
Well before the advent of the microprocessor and the supercomputer, Professor Minsky, a revered computer science educator at M.I.T., laid the foundation for the field of artificial intelligence by demonstrating the possibilities of imparting common-sense reasoning to computers.
“Marvin was one of the very few people in computing whose visions and perspectives liberated the computer from being a glorified adding machine to start to realize its destiny as one of the most powerful amplifiers for human endeavors in history,” said Alan Kay, a computer scientist and a friend and colleague of Professor Minsky’s.
Fascinated since his undergraduate days at Harvard by the mysteries of human intelligence and thinking, Professor Minsky saw no difference between the thinking processes of humans and those of machines. Beginning in the early 1950s, he worked on computational ideas to characterize human psychological processes and produced theories on how to endow machines with intelligence.
Professor Minsky, in 1959, co-founded the M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence Project (later the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) with his colleague John McCarthy, who is credited with coining the term “artificial intelligence.”
Beyond its artificial intelligence charter, however, the lab would have a profound impact on the modern computing industry, helping to impassion a culture of computer and software design. It planted the seed for the idea that digital information should be shared freely, a notion that would shape the so-called open-source software movement, and it was a part of the original ARPAnet, the forerunner to the Internet.
Professor Minsky’s scientific accomplishments spanned a variety of disciplines. He designed and built some of the first visual scanners and mechanical hands with tactile sensors, advances that influenced modern robotics. In 1951 he built the first randomly wired neural network learning machine, which he called Snarc. And in 1956, while at Harvard, he invented and built the first confocal scanning microscope, an optical instrument with superior resolution and image quality still in wide use in the biological sciences.
His own intellect was wide-ranging and his interests were eclectic. While earning a degree in mathematics at Harvard he also studied music, and as an accomplished pianist, he would later delight in sitting down at one and improvising complex baroque fugues.
Professor Minsky was lavished with many honors, notably, in 1969, the Turing Award, computer science’s highest prize.
He went on to collaborate, in the early ’70s, with Seymour Papert, the renowned educator and computer scientist, on a theory they called “The Society of Mind,” which combined insights from developmental child psychology and artificial intelligence research.
Professor Minsky’s book “The Society of Mind,” a seminal work published in the mid-1980s, proposed “that intelligence is not the product of any singular mechanism but comes from the managed interaction of a diverse variety of resourceful agents,” as he wrote on his website.
Underlying that hypothesis was his and Professor Papert’s belief that there is no real difference between humans and machines. Humans, they maintained, are actually machines of a kind whose brains are made up of many semiautonomous but unintelligent “agents.” And different tasks, they said, “require fundamentally different mechanisms.”
Their theory revolutionized thinking about how the brain works and how people learn.
“Marvin was one of the people who defined what computing and computing research is all about,” Dr. Kay said. “There were four or five supremely talented characters from back then who were early and comprehensive and put their personality and stamp on the field, and Marvin was among them.”
Marvin Lee Minsky was born on Aug. 9, 1927, in New York City. The precocious son of Dr. Henry Minsky, an eye surgeon who was chief of ophthalmology at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Fannie Reiser, a social activist and Zionist.
Fascinated by electronics and science, the young Mr. Minsky attended the Ethical Culture School in Manhattan, a progressive private school from which J. Robert Oppenheimer, who oversaw the creation of the first atomic bomb, had graduated. (Mr. Minsky later attended the affiliated Fieldston School in Riverdale.) He went on to attend the Bronx High School of Science and later Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.
After a stint in the Navy during World War II, he studied mathematics at Harvard and received a Ph.D. in math from Princeton, where he met John McCarthy, a fellow graduate student.
Intellectually restless throughout his life, Professor Minsky sought to move on from mathematics once he had earned his doctorate. After ruling out genetics as interesting but not profound, and physics as mildly enticing, he chose to focus on intelligence itself.
“The problem of intelligence seemed hopelessly profound,” he told The New Yorker magazine when it profiled him in 1981. “I can’t remember considering anything else worth doing.”
To further those studies he reunited with Professor McCarthy, who had been awarded a fellowship to M.I.T. in 1956. Professor Minsky, who had been at Harvard by then, arrived at M.I.T. in 1958, joining the staff at its Lincoln Laboratory. A year later, he and Professor McCarthy founded M.I.T.’s AI Project, later to be known as the AI Lab. (Professor McCarthy left for Stanford in 1962.)
Professor Minsky’s courses at M.I.T. — he insisted on holding them in the evenings — became a magnet for several generations of graduate students, many of whom went on to become computer science superstars themselves.
Among them were Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist; Gerald Sussman, a prominent A.I. researcher and professor of electrical engineering at M.I.T.; and Patrick Winston, who went on to run the AI Lab after Professor Minsky stepped aside.
Another of his students, Danny Hillis, an inventor and entrepreneur, co-founded Thinking Machines, a supercomputer maker in the early 1990s.
Mr. Hillis said he had so been taken by Professor Minsky’s intellect and charisma that he found a way to insinuate himself into the AI Lab and get a job there. He ended up living in the Minsky family basement in Brookline, Mass.
“Marvin taught me how to think,” Mr. Hillis said in an interview. “He had a style and a playful curiosity that was a huge influence on me. He always challenged you to question the status quo. He loved it when you argued with him.”
Professor Minsky’s prominence extended well beyond M.I.T. While preparing to make the 1968 science-fiction epic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the director Stanley Kubrick visited him seeking to learn about the state of computer graphics and whether Professor Minsky believed it would be plausible for computers to be able to speak articulately by 2001.
Professor Minsky is survived by his wife, Gloria Rudisch, a physician; two daughters, Margaret and Juliana Minsky; a son, Henry; a sister, Ruth Amster; and four grandchildren.
“In some ways, he treated his children like his students,” Mr. Hillis recalled. “They called him Marvin, and he challenged them and engaged them just as he did with his students.”
In 1989, Professor Minsky joined M.I.T.’s fledgling Media Lab. “He was an icon who attracted the best people,” said Nicholas Negroponte, the Media Lab’s founder and former director.
For Dr. Kay, Professor Minsky’s legacy was his insatiable curiosity. “He used to say, ‘You don’t really understand something if you only understand it one way,’” Dr. Kay said. “He never thought he had anything completely done.”
An obituary on Tuesday about Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, misstated the year he received the Turing Award, computer science’s highest prize. It was 1969, not 1970.
Fourth, letter without CD on 6-26-14 short letter on Ecclesiastes
To Marvin Minsky c/o MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA From firstname.lastname@example.org, 6-26-14 Since you are a member of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) I was really hoping to hear from you. Just the other day I sent you the CD called “Dust in the Wind, Darwin and Disbelief.” I know you may not have time to listen to the CD but on the first 2 1/2 minutes of that CD is the hit song “Dust in the Wind” by the rock group KANSAS and was written by Kerry Ligren in 1978. Would you be kind enough to read these words of that song given below and refute the idea that accepting naturalistic evolution with the exclusion of God must lead to the nihilistic message of the song! Or maybe you agree with Richard Dawkins and other scholars below?
DUST IN THE WIND:
I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy
Humans have always wondered about the meaning of life…life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA…life has no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. —Richard Dawkins
The vast majority of people believe there is a design or force in the universe; that it works outside the ordinary mechanics of cause and effect; that it is somehow responsible for both the visible and the moral order of the world. Modern biology has undermined this assumption…But beginning with Darwin, biology has undermined that tradition. Darwin in effect asserted that all living organisms had been created by a combination of chance and necessity–natural selection… First, God has no role in the physical world…Second, except for the laws of probability and cause and effect, there is no organizing principle in the world, and no purpose. (William B. Provine, “The End of Ethics?” in HARD CHOICES ( a magazine companion to the television series HARD CHOICES, Seattle: KCTS-TV, channel 9, University of Washington, 1980, pp. 2-3).
That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; …that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Bertrand Russell
The British humanist H. J. Blackham (1903-2009) put it very plainly: “On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967). (This quote was also used in the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop.)
I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning; that there are points. The fact that one doesn’t believe in God does not deaden the appetite or the lust for living. On the contrary; great artists and scientists and poets and writers have affirmed the opposite.
I read the book FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Paul Kurtz and I had the opportunity to correspond with him but I still reject his view that optimistic humanism withstand the view of nihilism if one accepts there is no God. Christian philosopher R.C. Sproul put it best:
Nihilism has two traditional enemies–Theism and Naive Humanism. The theist contradicts the nihilist because the existence of God guarantees that ultimate meaning and significance of personal life and history. Naive Humanism is considered naive by the nihilist because it rhapsodizes–with no rational foundation–the dignity and significance of human life. The humanist declares that man is a cosmic accident whose origin was fortuitous and entrenched in meaningless insignificance. Yet in between the humanist mindlessly crusades for, defends, and celebrates the chimera of human dignity…Herein is the dilemma: Nihilism declares that nothing really matters ultimately…In my judgment, no philosophical treatise has ever surpassed or equaled the penetrating analysis of the ultimate question of meaning versus vanity that is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes.
Kerry Livgren is the writer of the song “Dust in the Wind” and he said concerning that song in 1981 and then in 2006:
1981: “When I wrote “Dust in the Wind” I was writing about a yearning emptiness that I felt which millions of people identified with because the song was very popular.” 2006:“Dust In the Wind” was certainly the most well-known song, and the message was out of Ecclesiastes. I never ceased to be amazed at how the message resonates with people, from the time it came out through now. The message is true and we have to deal with it, plus the melody is memorable and very powerful. It disturbs me that there’s only part of the [Christian] story told in that song. It’s about someone yearning for some solution, but if you look at the entire body of my work, there’s a solution to the dilemma.”
Ecclesiastes reasons that chance and time have determined the past and will determine the future (9:11-13), and power reigns in this life and the scales are not balanced(4:1). Is that how you see the world? Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment.”
Artist featured today is Jo Baer
Jo Baer (photo 2015)
|Born||Josephine Gail Kleinberg
August 7, 1929
Josephine Gail “Jo” Baer (born August 7, 1929) is an American painter, whose works are associated with minimalist art. She began exhibiting her work at the Fischbach Gallery, New York, and other venues for contemporary art in the mid-1960s. In the mid-1970s, she turned away from non-objective painting. Since then, Baer has fused images, symbols, words, and phrases in a non-narrative manner, a mode of expression she once termed “radical figuration.”
Early life and work, 1929-1960
She was born Josephine Gail Kleinberg into an upper-middle-class family. Her mother, Hortense Kalisher Kleinberg, a commercial artist, was a fierce proponent of women’s rights and imbued her daughter with a sense of independence. Her father, Lester Kleinberg, was a successful commodities broker in hay and grain. Josephine studied art as a child at the Cornish College of the Arts, but because her mother wanted her to become a medical illustrator, she majored in biology at the University of Washington, Seattle, which she attended from 1946-1949. She dropped out of school in her junior year to marry a fellow-student at the University, Gerard L. Hanauer.
The marriage was over quickly, and in 1950, Baer went to Israel to explore the realities of rural socialism on various kibbutzim for a few months. Returning to New York City, from 1950–53 she did the course work for a master’s degree in psychology at the New School for Social Research. Baer went to school at night, while during the day she was employed by an interior design studio as a draftsman and secretary.
Baer moved to Los Angeles in 1953 and shortly afterwards married Richard Baer, a television writer. Their son, Joshua Baer, who became an art dealer, writer, and consultant, was born in 1955; the couple was divorced in the late 1950s. During this time Baer began to paint and draw for the first time since adolescence, becoming friends with Edward Kienholz and other local artists in the orbit of the Ferus Gallery. She met the painter John Wesley, to whom she was married from 1960-1970. She, Wesley, and Joshua moved to New York in 1960, where Baer lived until 1975. After separating from Wesley, she was in a long-term relationship with the sculptor Robert Lawrance Lobe.
Baer’s work of the late 1950s emulated paintings by members of the New York School, particularly Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko. Rothko, she observed, “gave me permission to work with a format.” Jasper Johns‘s paintings and sculpture also made an immediate impression, because they suggested “how a work should be the thing itself.”
Life and career, 1960-1975
Paintings and exhibitions
In 1960 Baer rejected Abstract Expressionism for spare, hard-edge non-objective painting. Two early important paintings in this style were Untitled (Black Star) (1960-1961; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo) and Untitled (White Star) (1960-1961; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo). She then introduced an even more pared-down format: the image was excised and the central area of the canvas became completely white. In 1962 Baer began the Korean series, a group of sixteen canvases. The Koreans were given their name by the art dealer Richard Bellamy, who said that Baer’s paintings were just as unknown as Korean art was to most Westerners. The Koreans were composed of a dominant field of densely painted white enclosed by bands of sky blue and black that seem to shimmer and move: this optical illusion underscored Baer’s focus on “the notion of light.” Baer ascribed her inspiration for the Koreans to Samuel Beckett’s novel The Unnamble, which she was reading at the time. His observations about osmosis and diffusion through membranes influenced her to examine the properties of boundaries between spaces. In many works that Baer created between 1964 and 1966, the peripheries and edges of the canvas continued to be marked by two square or rectangular bands of color. The outer, thicker border was black; inside it, a thinner band was painted in another color, such as red, green, lavender, or blue. Baer summed up the artistic concerns of her own work in 1971, writing, “Non-objective painting’s language is rooted, nowadays, in edges and boundaries, contours and gradients, brightness, darkness and color reflections. Its syntax is motion and change.” Baer was accepted as a peer in the burgeoning Minimalist movement by such artists as Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, and Dan Flavin. In 1964 Flavin organized “Eleven Artists,” an exhibition that was an important step in defining the key figures of Minimalism. He included Baer, along with Judd, Flavin, LeWitt, Ward Jackson, Frank Stella, Irwin Fleminger, Larry Poons, Walter Darby Bannard, Robert Ryman, Leo Valledor, and himself. In 1966 Baer’s first one-person show took place at the Fischbach Gallery, then a center for avant-garde art. That year she was also represented in both “Systemic Painting,” a survey exhibition of contemporary geometric abstraction at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and “10,” a group exhibition at the Virginia Dwan Gallery co-curated by Ad Reinhardt and Robert Smithson that further enshrined its participants as canonical for Minimalism. Besides Baer, Reinhardt, and Smithson, the other artists selected were Carl Andre, Judd, LeWitt, Flavin, Robert Morris, Michael Steiner, and Agnes Martin. Baer’s works shown in these exhibitions, which included vertical and horizontal single, diptych, and triptych paintings, established her avant-garde reputation in the New York art world.
In the late 1960s, Baer was experimenting with color and shifting the visual focus of her work. While working on the series The Stations of the Spectrum (1967-1969), Baer painted over their white surfaces to make them gray. She then turned them into triptychs because she saw that these paintings had more wall power when they were hung together. Next, as she said, “I wanted to know what happens around a corner – that interested me as an optical thing.” The result was the Wraparound paintings, where-in which Baer painted thick black bands edged by blues, greens, oranges, and lavenders that went around the sides of the canvas – areas that artists customarily ignore, overlook, or cover with a frame. More than ever, the action was at the edges: “Sensation,” Baer wrote, “is the edge of things. Where there are no edges, there are no places—a uniform visual field quickly disappears.” Further challenging the notion of where a painting begins or ends, Baer added sweeping diagonal and curved paths of color that streaked across her once-inviolate white fields and down the sides of the canvas. These canvases bore titles like H. Arcuata (1971; coll. Daimler Corporation, Zurich) and V. Lurida (1971, Levi-Strauss Collection, San Francisco). The titles were orotund flights of fancy – they identified fictitious specious of plants that she extrapolated from a book of botanical Latin she owned. (Baer was cultivating prize-winning orchids in the late 1960s, and became an expert on growing them inside an urban loft.) When translated into English, Baer’s Latinate letters and words have nothing to do with flowers; instead, they are visual descriptions masquerading as scientific diction. “H.” stands for “horizontal” and “V.” for “vertical.” “Arcuata” means curved, and “lurida” means “pale” or “shining.”
Baer was an active writer during her years in New York. In letters to editors, articles, and statements in art magazines, she defended the integrity and continuing importance of painting from attacks on it by Minimalist sculptors, who insisted that it had become an irrelevant art form that should be renounced in favor of the production of three-dimensional objects. Because she publicly questioned the tenets of a powerful pantheon of artists that included Judd and Morris, Baer was ostracized by a number of her former colleagues.
Among Baer’s most ambitious essays, for she which was able to employ her scientific training, was “Art & Vision: Mach Bands,” published in 1970. She tackled the physics and psychology of visual perception in her discussion of Mach bands, an optical illusion named after Ernest Mach, a nineteenth-century physicist who discovered that light-dark contrasts will intensify when opposing colors are placed next to each other: light areas will appear lighter and dark areas will seem darker. She linked this investigation into subjective sensations of the beholder to how edges, boundaries, and contours are experienced in modern art.
Life and career, 1975-present
In 1975 Baer was the subject of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, showcasing her Minimalist work. However, Baer reached an impasse with non-objective painting. Sensing that her format had become a formula, she could go no further with it. Two transitional canvases –- M. Refractarius (1974–75; private collection, Paris) and The Old Year (1974–75; private collection, United States) – record her desire to break away from Minimalism.
Baer needed a distance from New York’s art world, and in June 1975 she moved to Smarmore Castle, a manor and working farm with a Norman keep, in County Louth, Ireland.
In this new environment, the reality of horses, birds and other animals as well as the ways of country people informed her paintings. She began to paint quasi-figuratively, layering fragments of images of animal, human bodies and objects in muted, translucent colors. Baer also drew on erotic images found in early cave paintings, Paleolithic sculptures and fertility objects to create compositions that suggested palimpsests.
In 1977 Baer had a one-person exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, and during the course of it she met the British artist Bruce Robbins. The two lived and worked together from 1978-1984, first in Ireland and then from 1982-1984 in London, creating paintings, drawings, and texts. Their collaborations were shown in eight two-person exhibitions. While in London, Baer wrote one of her best-known articles, “I am no longer an abstract artist,” a manifesto published in Art in America in October 1983. Baer chronicled “abstraction’s demise,” and in characterizing its meaninglessness in a vastly changed world, claimed openness, ambiguity, “metaphor, symbolism, and hierarchical relationships” as necessary building blocks of modern works. Baer announced that she and Robbins were working toward a “radical figuration” based on those constructs.
In 1984, Baer moved by herself to Amsterdam, where she has lived ever since. In the 1990s Baer’s paintings became, in her words, “more declarative,” with richer colors, sharper light-dark contrasts, and more ambitious cultural and social criticism. Disparate images and symbols from American, European, Asian, and classical civilizations are fused with quotations from literature and densely layered allusions to the themes of war, sexuality, the destruction of the natural world, greed, injustice, repression, transience, and death. Two paintings in this style are Shrine of the Piggies (The Pigs Hog it All and Defacate and Piss on Where From They Get It and With Whom They Will Not Share. That s It) (2000) and Testament of the Powers That Be (Where Trees Turn to Sand, Residual Colours Stain the Lands) (2001).
Baer has also painted several autobiographical meditations on the twists and turns of her own life, most notably Altar of the Egos (Through a Glass Darkly), (2004; collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo), Memorial for an Art World Body (Nevermore) (2009; collection of the artist), and a series of 6 works slated for exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 2013, provisionally titled In the Land of the Giants (2011; collection of the artist). Baer’s writings over the years were brought together in Broadsides & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010, which provide a general commentary on art as well as her own attitudes to her work.
Subsequent surveys of her work have been organized by The Paley Levy Gallery at Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia (1993); Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (1993); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1999); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (2002-2003); Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, (1986 and 2009); Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (2010); and Gagosian Gallery, Geneva (2012). In 2013 two one-person shows were running parallel: “In the Land of the Giants” at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and “Jo Baer. Gemälde und Zeichnungen seit 1960 (Drawings and Paintings)” at Ludwig Museum, Cologne.
Texts by Jo Baer
- “Statements.” Systemic Painting. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 1966.
- “Letters,” Artforum, NY, Sept 1967. p. 5-6.
- “Edward Kienholz: A Sentimental Journeyman,” Art International, Lugano. Apr 1968, p. 45-49.
- “Letters.” Artforum, New York. Apr 1969, p. 4-5.
- “The Artist and Politics: A Symposium.” Artforum, Sept 1970. p. 35-36.
- “Mach Bands: Art and Vision” and “Xerography & Mach Bands: Instrumental Model”, Aspen Magazine. Fall-Winter 1970.
- Fluorescent Light Culture,” American Orchid Society Bulletin, NY, Sept-Oct 1971.
- “Art and Politics” and “On Painting”. Flash Art, Nov 1972. p. 6-7 .
- “To and Fro and Back and Forth: A Dialogue With Seamus Coleman,” Art Monthly, London. Mar 1977, p. 6-10.
- “Radical Attitudes to the Gallery: Statement,” Art-Net, 1977 London. Reprinted in “Galerie,” Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam,’89, p. 39.
- “On Painting.” Jo Baer Paintings 1962-1975″, Museum of Modern Art Oxford 1977 (catalogue).
- “Radical Attitudes to the Gallery: Statement #2,” Studio International, London, 1980.
- “Beyond the Pale,” (with Bruce Robbins), REALLIFE Magazine, NY, Summer 1983, p. 16-17.
- “Jo Baer: I am no longer an abstract artist.” Art in America, NY. Oct 1983, p. 136-137.
- “Jo Baer: Red, White and Blue Gelding Falling to its Right (Double-cross Britannicus/Tri-color Hibernicus); `Tis Ill Pudling in the Cockatrice Den (La-Bas); The Rod Reversed (Mixing Memory and Desire),” Catalogue, 1990 Amsterdam.
- “Jo Baer: Four Drawings,” (with Bruce Robbins), Catalogue, Amsterdam, 1993.
- “Radical Attitudes to the Gallery,” Art Gallery Exhibiting, De Balie, Amsterdam,1996 p. 42-43.
- “The Diptych,” The Pursuit of Painting, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 1997, catalogue, p. 52.
- “The Diptych,” Catalogue, Jo Baer, Paintings, 1960–1998, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 1999, p26-27. “I am no longer an Abstract Artist,” Catalogue, 1999, reprint from ’85. pp. 15–19.
- Revisioning the Parthenon, 1996. A work in progress that first appeared as an appendix in Broadsides & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010; a fuller version is in preparation.
Baer wrote a number of texts over the years, these are brought together in Broadsides & Belles Lettres Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010, which provide a general commentary on art as well as her own attitude to her work.
Baer is represented in the following public collections
- Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA
- Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, ill.
- Arts Council of Great Britain, London, England
- National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
- Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD, USA
- Chase Manhattan Bank, New York City, NY, USA
- DaimlerChrysler AG, Berlin, Germany
- Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX, USA
- Gemeentemuseum Arnhem, Arnhem, Netherlands
- Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, Netherlands
- Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, Germany
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA
- Kunstmusem Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland
- Ludwig Coll., Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln, West Germany
- Ludwig Coll., Suermondt Museum, Aachen, West Germany
- Levi-Strauss Collection, San Francisco, CA, USA
- Michener Collection, University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago), IL, USA
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA
- Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA, USA
- Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY, USA
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA
- Neuberger Museum, State University of New York at Purchase, NY, USA
- Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA, USA
- Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands
- Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, USA
- Saatchi Collection, London, UK
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, USA
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY, USA
- Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands
- Tate Gallery, London, UK]
- University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC, USA
- Weatherspoon Museum, U of NC, Greensboro, North Carolina
- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY, USA
- Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, USA
- Dia Foundation Retrieved October 3, 2009
-  The Tate, London Retrieved October 3, 2009
- Jo Baer, “I am no longer an abstract artist,” Art in America 71 (October 1983), pp. 136–137, reprinted in Broadsiders & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965-2010 (Amsterdam: Roma Publications, 2010), pp. 111–112.
- Jo Baer, oral history interview with Avis Berman, 2010 Oct. 5-7, Smithsonian Archives of American Art.
- Judith Stein, “The Adventures of Jo Baer,” Art in America, May 2003, 104-111, 157; reprinted in ‘Broadsides & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010, pp. 13–26.
- “Biography,” in ‘Broadsides & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010, p. 9.
- Online bio retrieved October 3, 2009
- Jo Baer, “On Painting,” Flash Art 37 (November 1972), pp. 6–7, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 70.
- Lucy R. Lippard, “Out of the Past: Lucy R. Lippard talks about Eva Hesse with Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson,” Artforum, February 2008, findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_6_46/ai_n31297522/?tag=content;col1 Accessed July 10, 2012; “Jo Baer interviewed by Mark Godfrey,” 2004, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 26.
- Jo Baer, “On Seeing,” unpublished text, late 1960s-1970s, printed in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 51.
- Jo Baer, “Fluorescent Light Orchid Culture: A New Approach,” American Orchid Society Bulletin 40 (September 1971), pp. 786–790, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, pp. 70–71.
- Haskell, Barbara. Jo Baer. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1975, unpaged.
- See, for example, “Letter to the editor,” Artforum, 6 (September 1967), pp. 5–6, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, pp. 42–44.
- Jo Baer, “Art & Vision: Mach Bands,” Aspen Magazine, 8 (Fall-Winer 1970), section 9, reprinted in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, pp. 54–63.
- Smarmorecastle.com, Accessed July 26, 2012
- Jobaer.net Accessed July 10, 2012
- Jo Baer, “I am no longer an abstract artist,” Art in America 71 (October 1983), pp. 136–137, reprinted in Broadsiders & Belles Lettres, pp. 111–112.
- “Biography,” in Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 10.
- Galerie Paul Andriesse, “Jo Baer: Flush”; G A L E R I E S.N L Accessed June 1, 2014
- Jo Baer, Broadsides & Belles Lettres Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010, Roma Publications, 2010 ISBN 978-90-77459-49-2
- Broadsides & Belles Lettres, p. 175; jobaer.net Accessed July 10, 2012
- ‘Broadsides & Belles Lettres Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010’ Roma Publications, 2010 ISBN 978-90-77459-49-2
- Jo Baer. Paintings 1962-1975. Oxford, Museum of Modern Art, 1977.
- Marja Bloem and Marianne Brouwer, Jo Baer: Paintings 1960-1998. Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 1999.
- Lynne Cooke, Jo Baer: The Minimalist Years, 1960-1975. New York: Dia Center for the Arts, 2003.
- Jo Baer, Museum of Modern Art Page
- Lisson Gallery
- contemporary art daily
- Galerie Barbara Thumm
- Oral history interview with Jo Baer, 2010 Oct. 5-7 from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art
- Official website