Antedating of "Happening"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Jun 4 18:56:36 UTC 2006

The OED's first use for the Sixties art noun "happening" is dated 1959.
According to Wikipedia, "George Segal hosted annual picnics for his New
York art friends, which frequently involved happenings. It was at one of
the picnics that Kaprow first coined the term Happening in the Spring of
1957. Happening first appeared in print in the Winter 1958 issue of the
Rutgers undergraduate literary magazine, Anthologist. The form was
imitated and the term was adopted by artists across the United States,
Germany, and Japan."

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
   Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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