3 Items sound cassettes 2 hr., 43 min.) 54 Pages Transcript
An interview with Mischa Richter conducted 1994 September 27-28, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Richter tells of his life as the only child of a prosperous Jewish family in Kharkov, Ukraine, where he showed early precocity in drawing. He remembers the Russian Revolution, being taken to Poland in 1921, and then in 1922 to New York and Boston. He discusses his education in Boston, including drawing lessons with Harold Zimmerman at which he got to know Hyman Bloom and Jack Levine; and classes at the Museum School in Boston from 1929 to 1930.
He speaks of his long-time friendship with Will Barnet, attending Yale School of Fine Arts, 1930-1934, and painting a WPA mural for the Boston Boys Club in 1935. He remembers meeting Will Steig, deciding to become a cartoonist, and selling enough drawings to leave the WPA to work as art editor for "The New Masses," where he became close friends with Ad Reinhardt. He discusses becoming a contract cartoonist in 1940 for "The New Yorker;" his avoidance of art dealers, because they demand steady production yet have no known goals, unlike a magazine; his abhorrence of taking himself, or others, too seriously; the perils of early success and the pettiness of many matters in the art community of Provincetown, Mass.; and the nature of his paintings.
Archives of American Art