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Volta Laboratory Experimental Recording

National Museum of American History
This is an experimental sound recording made in the Volta Laboratory, Washington, D.C., on 11 March 1885. The recording process involved focusing a beam of light, projecting it through a liquid, and causing sound waves to interrupt both the light and the liquid to expose a prepared photographic plate. The recording, which starts at the center and spirals outward, is of variable density, that is the areas of exposure vary in density according to volume and pitch of the sound recorded. Process is described in U.S. Patent 341,213 awarded Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester A. Bell, and Charles Sumner Tainter on 4 May 1886. Sound was recovered from this recording in 2011. Content summary: “Mary had a little lamb” Content transcript (37 seconds): “ [?]…Sumner Tainter and H. G. Rogers. This eleventh day of March, eighteen hundred and eighty-five. [trilled r sound] [indistinct phrase] Mary had a little lamb, and its fleece was white as snow [alternatively, black as soot?] . And wherever Mary went…Oh [indistinct word]. Mary had a little lamb, and its fleece was white as snow [alternatively, black as soot?]. And wherever Mary went, the little lamb was sure to go. How is this for high? [trill]” References: Patrick Feaster, “A Discography of Volta Laboratory Recordings at the National Museum of American History” Leslie J. Newville, “Development of the Phonograph at Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory,” in Contributions from the Museum of History and Technology, United States National Museum Bulletin 218, Paper 5 (1959): 69-79. Steven E. Schoenherr, “Charles Sumner Tainter and the Graphophone,” Wile, Raymond R. "The Development of Sound Recording at the Volta Laboratory," Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal 21, No. 2, 1990, pp. 208-225.

Oral history interview with Joey Kirkpatrick, 2005 August 17-18

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound files (2 hr., 2 min.) : digital, wav ; 2 5/8 in.

Transcript: 51 pages

An interview of Joey Kirkpatrick conducted 2005 August 17-18, by Lloyd E. Herman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home and studio, which she shares with Flora Mace, in Seattle, Washington.

Ms. Kirkpatrick discusses her childhood in Des Moines, Iowa, as the third daughter among four; her early interest in art and, beginning in fifth grade, working at the Des Moines Art Center; her mother's creativity and love for art and design; visiting her aunt Elaine in Chicago and attending adult classes at the Art Institute of Chicago; seeing an Egon Schiele show at the Des Moines Art Center and its influence on her; her sense, even at an early age, that she was going to be an artist; going to college at the University of Iowa and getting a BFA in drawing; working in ceramics at the University of Iowa and studying under her mentor, Howard Ragovin; beginning to make sculptures out of chicken wire and papier-mâché and becoming interested in three-dimensional forms and planes; her most profound artistic influences, including Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keeffe, Alexander Calder, and Alberto Giacometti; meeting Steven Dale Edwards during her last year in college and learning how to blow glass from him; blowing glass at a facility geared towards ceramic engineers at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, after college; working at the Art Center throughout and continuing to paint while living with her grandmother; working at a daycare center where she functioned as an art therapist; seeing an advertisement in Craft Horizons magazine for Pilchuck Glass School; working as a tree topper in Des Moines to get the money to go to Pilchuck; showing up at Pilchuck with an armful of her drawings; meeting Flora Mace, her collaborator and life partner, at Pilchuck; how the two eventually came to collaborate and cosign their work; and how they work together. A more in-depth discussion of the pair's lifelong collaboration is discussed in a joint interview of Kirkpatrick and Mace. Kirkpatrick also recalls Byron Burford, Peggy Patrick, Reba Cohen, Mark Doty, Jim Demetrion, Dale Chihuly, Chuck Hinds, Italo Scanga, Bill Morris, Ben Moore, Sylvia Vigeletti, Audrey Handler, and Lino Tagliapetra, and others.

Oral history interview with Paul H. Nitze, 1996 Apr. 30

Archives of American Art
1 sound cassette (60 min.) : analog.

Transcript: 62 pages.

An interview with Paul H. Nitze conducted 1996 Apr. 30, by Liza Kirwin and Richard Wattenmaker, for the Archives of American Art's Oral History Program, at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University, in Washington, D.C.

Nitze mainly recalls his acquaintance with Alexander Calder and Isamu Noguchi. He discusses meeting Calder in Berlin, Germany at the opening of a Calder exhibition in 1929; how Calder moved to Nitze's Berlin pension and they "became pals" that first day; their plans to bicycle to Russia with other friends; sharing an apartment with Calder in New York City; a performance of the Circus there and how "everybody loved him"; and Calder's courtship and marriage to Louisa James. Nitze talks about meeting Noguchi through Sidney Spivak and how Noguchi made a bronze head of Nitze as re-payment for his support; and Noguchi's "instinct for making things acceptable to the modern art world." He also discusses his early desire to be an art dealer and pursuing that career in Paris until he realized that "the whole profession was a bunch of crooks"; his own art collection and how, at age 15, he bought two paintings by Austrian Hans Grüss, and later acquired works by Degas, Van Gogh, and Monet.

Oral history interview with Holly Barnet-Sanchez, 2019 August 5-6

Archives of American Art
Audio: 20 sound files (8 hrs., 16 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 109 pages.

An interview with Holly Barnet-Sanchez conducted 2019 August 5 and 6, by Josh T. Franco, for the Archives of American Art, at Barnet-Sanchez's home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Oral history interview with Dennis Adrian, 2015 October 8-9

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 4 sound files (4 hr., 18 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 173 pages

An interview with Dennis Adrian conducted 2015 October 8-9, by Lanny Silverman, for the Archives of American Art's Chicago Art and Artists: Oral History Project, at Adrian's home in Seaside, Oregon.

Adrian speaks of growing up in Astoria; traveling to Chicago and New York; Cannon Beach; aging and getting older; his origins; curators and curating; visual sensibilities; the Portland Public Library; opera; his parents, grandparents, and family; Finnish sensibility and humor; Portland Art Museum and classes for children; curator as voyeur; credit and accomplishments; hands on experiences; Artforum; art history; attending University of Chicago; homosexuality and coming out; looted European masterworks; Botticelli; exposure to real art; connoisseurship; collectors and collecting; a Robert Louis Stevenson letter; violin making; growing into yourself; Chicago; war; New York University; Frumkin Gallery; New York; the art world; Madison Art Center; Akron Art Museum; friendship and role models; Art Institute of Chicago; meeting Mies van der Rohe; meeting idols; education; Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Monster Roster; traveling; Chicago art politics; writing and critics; Eurocentric curators; Chicago as an undervalued city; Dog Day Afternoon; discovering art; New York sightings; and experiences running into artists. Adrian also recalls Roger Brown, Ruth Horwich, Gilda Buchbinder, Don Baum, Sherman Lee, Victor Carlson, Peter Voulkos, Lawrence Alloway, Rhona Hoffman, Allan Frumkin, June Leaf, Leon Golub, Jeremy Anderson, Robert Barnes, Tom Garver, Bruce Conner, Natasha Nicholson, H. C. Westermann, Franz Schulze, Bertha Harris Wiles, Muriel Newman, Aaron James Spire, Lillian Florsheim, John Maxon, Greg Knight, P.B. Maryan, Philip Pearlstein, Sylvia Sleigh, Nancy Spero, Irving Petlin, John Coplans, Alan Artner, Alice Shaddle, Phyllis Kind, Andy Warhol, Joseph Cornell, Tilda Swinton, Leo Castelli, Philip Guston, Dubuffet, Pussy Pepke, Bumpy Rogers, Barbara Rossi, Christina Ramberg, Philip Hanson, Miyoko Ito, Mark Jackson, Rolf Achilles, and Vito Acconci.

Oral history interview with Don Baum, 1986 January 31-May 13

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes analog

Transcript: 108 pages

An interview of Don Baum conducted 1986 January 31 and May 13, by Sue Ann Kendall, for the Archives of American Art, in Chicago, Illinois.

Baum speaks about his childhood in Michigan; interests during his college years at Michigan State; classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; friendship with artists such as Miyoko Ito and Ethel Spears; the Institute of Design and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy; faculty and classes at the University of Chicago; jam sessions at Gertrude Abercrombie's home; teaching at Roosevelt University; the influence of travel; June Leaf; Leon Golub; psychoanalysis and its influence on his work; collage; The Hyde Park Art Center; objects with a magical aura; writing and writers; dolls; the relationship of self to art; outsider art; transformation; Joseph Cornell; the Hairy Who artists; collectors; the Museum of Contemporary Art; the Illinois Arts Council; Chicago art and artists; and travel in Indonesia.

Oral history interview with William Bostick, 1981 August 11-19

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 74 pages

An interview of William Bostick conducted 1981 August 11-19, by Mary Chris Rospond, for the Archives of American Art.

Bostick speaks of his childhood; his early interest in art; his education at the Carnegie Institute and the Detroit Academy of Art; studying at Cranbrook Academy with Zoltan Sepeshy and Maija Grotell; the beginning of his career in commercial art; his early museum career; becoming administrator of the Detroit Institute of Arts; the ART QUARTERLY; the growth of the Detroit Institute's collection and its administrative history; some of the Institute's more important exhibitions; his own artistic style and methods; the Scarab Club and the Founders Society. He recalls E.P. Richardson and William R. Valentiner.

Oral history interview with Rudy Burckhardt, 1993 January 14

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 25 pages

An interview of Rudy Burckhardt conducted 1993 January 14, by Martica Sawin, for the Archives of American Art.

Burckhardt speaks about life in the New York art world of the 1930s and 1940s, especially of his friendship with Willem De Kooning and Edwin Denby. He talks briefly about his own films, including collaborations with Joseph Cornell and Red Grooms. He also remembers the artists Larry Rivers, Arshile Gorky, and Franz Kline.

Oral history interview with Scott Burton, 1987 May 22-September 25

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 154 pages

An interview of Scott Burton conducted 1987 May 22-September 25, by Lewis Kachur, for the Archives of American Art.

Burton speaks of his upbringing in Alabama and Washington, D.C.; working for "Art News"; and his early work, including performance pieces. He discusses furniture, public projects, Brancusi, Joseph Epstein, and Eric Gill. He recalls Morris Louis and Leon Berkowitz.

Oral history interview with Jeffrey Deitch, 2006 May 15

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 33 pages

An interview of Jeffrey Deitch conducted 2006 May 15, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Deitch Projects on Grand Street, in the SoHo neighborhood of New York, New York. Deitch discusses his childhood in Hartford, Connecticut; growing up in a family business; his experience as an exchange student in France and Japan during his teenage years; his education in economics and art history at Wesleyan University; the opening of his own local art gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts; his move to New York and his first job at the John Weber gallery as a secretary; curating an exhibition called "Lives" which described how artists use their lives as an art medium; attending Harvard Business School; moving back to New York and starting an art advisory program for Citibank in 1979; his travels to Asia; his first New York gallery opening with artists Peter Halley and Charles Ray; opening Deitch Projects in 1996; the administration of the gallery, including investing in an archivist, a financial manager, and a press liaison; incorporating popular musical acts into shows, attesting to his belief in diversity in the arts; his view of gallery publicity and criticism; art fairs versus traditional art galleries; discussion of works of art such as Tu M' (1918) by Marcel Duchamp and Edouard Manet's Bar at the Folies-Bergere (1881-82); and art education evolving into a more professional field. Deitch also recalls John Weber, Carl Andre, John Cage, Vito Acconci, Jeff Koons, Julian Pretto, Vanessa Beecroft, Virginia Dwan, Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, Keith Haring, and others.

Oral history interview with T. Lux Feininger, 1987 May 19-1988 Mar. 17

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 6 sound cassettes

Transcript: 142 p.

An interview of T. Lux Feininger conducted by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art.

Feininger speaks of his childhood in Germany as the son of the American expatriate painter Lyonel Feininger; his experiences as the youngest pupil at the Bauhaus; his early photography and painting; moving to New York; teaching at Sarah Lawrence College, Harvard, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and his paintings.

Oral history interview with Charles Fleetwood, 1979 Mar. 28

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 1 sound tape reel ; 5 in.

Transcript: 7 p.

An interview of Charles Fleetwood conducted 1979 Mar. 28, by Sandra Curtis Levy, for the Archives of American Art. Fleetwood speaks of Peter Hurd's mural, commissioned in 1952, for the Prudential Building in Houston, Tex.

Oral history interview with Rupert Garcia, 1995 Sept. 7-1996 June 24

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 9 sound cassettes (8 1/2 hrs.) : analog.

Transcript: 166 p.

An interview of Rupert Garcia conducted 1995 Sept. 7-1996 June 24, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at Rupert Garcia's home and studio, in Oakland, Calif.

SEPT. 7, 1995 SESSION: Session opens with a discussion of Garcia's exhibition, Aspects of Persistence (1993); the deaths in 1968 of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Marcel Duchamp; Garcia's self-conception and his two roles as political activist and artist; the influence on him of Sartre's "Being and Nothingness"; racism, power, control; his background and being a Mexican-American; need to establish ethnic identity; his realization in high school of wanting to become an artist; his lost opportunity for a scholarship at the San Francisco Art Institute; moving to San Francisco; enlisting in the Air Force and serving in Vietnam; ambivalence about war; experiences at San Francisco State University and his switch from painting to silkscreen; Artes Seis and Galerie de la Raza; artists in the Mission District.

NOV. 10, 1995 SESSION: Painting vs. graphic art; posters; Lucy Lippard; Chicano art; Los Four, Asco, and other artists groups and conferences; conflicts between San Francisco and Oakland groups; emergence of identity groups; Malaquias Montoya, Carlos Almaraz; making art from experience.

JUNE 24, 1996: Politics of culture; social progress; being optimistic but realistic; the Latino movement in the 1990s; Mexican attitudes toward Chicanos; the CARA exhibition at UCLA; Garcia's students at San José State; current work, interests and projects; interest in art history and other intellectual pursuits; and the art market, dealers, and galleries.

Oral history interview with Imogene "Tex" Gieling, 2008 November 21 and 2012 April 28

Archives of American Art
4 sound discs (3 hr., 49 min.) : digital ; 2 5/8 in.

3 sound files (1 hr., 43 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 79 pages.

An interview of Imogene "Tex" Gieling conducted 2008 November 21 and 2012 April 28, by Jo Lauria, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Gieling's home, in San Fransisco, California.

Oral history interview with Ted Hallman, 2006 May 23-2008 June 3

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 4 cassettes (3 hr., 42 min.) : analog

Transcript: 73 pages

An interview of Ted Hallman conducted 2006 May 23 and 2008 June 3, by Helen Drutt English, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Hallman's home, in Lederach, Pennsylvania.

Hallman speaks of working with transparent materials; teaching at Moore College and the Chicago Institute of Art; family influences in teaching and art; music and his art; interest in the body; traveling; shifts in modern textile art. Hallman also recalls Kenneth Mills, Ida Rolf, Alice Parrott, Michael Barnett, Claire Zeisler, Toshiko Takaezu, Maija Grotell, Aileen O. Webb, Nell Znamerowski, Karen Karnes, Lenore Tawney, and others.

Oral history interview with Helen Marjorie Windust Halper, 1994 Sept. 27

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 1 sound cassette (ca. 90 min.) : analog.

Transcript: 28 pages.

An interview with Helen Marjorie Windust Halper conducted 1994 Sept. 27, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Halper talks about her mother and father; childhood summers spent on the northwestern French coast where she got to know Max Bohm and his family; being in France during World War I; and time spent living in England. She discusses going to New York, in 1920, with her brother, and attending the Veltin School for Girls and the Dalton School; going to Provincetown, in 1925, with her mother; and Charles Hawthorne and his teaching methods.

She tells about studying color and abstraction with Vaclav Vytlacil at the Art Students League; drawing classes with Thomas Hart Benton; and extreme poverty of Edwin Dickinson and other Provincetown artists. She recounts meeting Nathan Halper in the 1930s and their marriage following World War II, his becoming an art dealer; and the success of his H.C. and H.C.E. Gallery during the 1950s and 1960s. Halper recalls several Provincetown artists, among them Frederick Waugh, Philip Malicoat, and Hans Hofmann.

Oral history interview with Harold Haydon, 1988 Oct. 10

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes

Transcript: 102 p.

An interview of Harold Haydon conducted 1988 Oct. 10, by Franz Schulze, for the Archives of American Art.

Haydon speaks of his education at the Art Institute of Chicago; the art scene and the gallery scene in Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s; some of the important art critics in Chicago during those years; the Artists Union; the WPA; artists he was acquainted with; art criticism; his own art work, especially murals; the post-World War II art scene; Artists Equity Association; Midway Studios, which he was director of; Haydon's exhibitions and writings; influences on him. He recalls Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.

Oral history interview with Larry Jordan, 1995 Dec. 19 - 1996 July 30

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 6 sound cassettes : analog.

Transcript: 100 p.

An interview of Larry Jordan conducted 1995 Dec. 19-1996 July 30, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at the artist's home, in Petaluma, Calif.

Jordan discusses his family background in Denver; his attraction to contemporary avant-garde; his brief time at Harvard, and his mental breakdown and return to Denver; his move to San Francisco in 1954 because of the artistic and literary atmosphere there; meeting Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan and other poets and his initial introduction to the creative community in San Francisco; his friendships with Jordan Belsen, Michael McClure, Wally Hedrick and Jay DeFeo; the San Francisco Renaissance, the beat era, and what it means to be "beat;" the distinction in intensity between bohemianism and the resurrection of the self during the beat era, the social impact of the anti-establishment movement; and the difference between artists and political activists.

Jordan discusses his influences and important moments in his experimental film career; the surrealist methods for social changes as seen in film; the west coast filmmakers focus on the interior and mystical; the rivalry in the film world; his association with Bruce Conner and their founding a film society together in 1956 and establishing an experimental theater; meeting Joseph Cornell and his invitation to assist him with films, their time spent together, Cornell as a filmmaker, preparing Cornell boxes, and the influence of Cornell on is own art. He discusses his own art; his role as an artist in society; the religious aspect in his art; his place in the avant-garde film world; the major influences in his art; and the concept of death and the celebration of the mind as a major theme in his film and artwork.

He recalls Wallace Berman, Stan Brackage, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Maya Deren, Robert Duncan, Max Ernst, Allen Ginsberg, Wally Hedrick, George Herms, Jess, Patricia Jordan, Michael McClure, Bruce Nauman, and Kenneth Rexroth.

Oral history interview with Louis Kaufman, 1985 Feb. 15

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 3 cassettes : analog.

Transcript: 20 p.

An interview of Louis Kaufman conducted 1985 Feb. 15, by Ruth Howard Cloudman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.

Kaufman, a great friend and patron of Milton Avery, recalls introducing Mark Rothko to Avery. He describes his memories of Rothko, including a discussion of Rothko's knowledge of art history and his interest in the French avant-garde. Much of the interview concerns Milton Avery, including Kaufman's interest in his work as a collector, the group of artists surrounding Avery, and Avery's influence upon Kaufman as a musician. He also recalls visits to Louis Eilshemius. Kaufman recalls Mary Kumpt, Aaron Berkman, Sally Avery, David Burliuk, John Graham, Zborowski, Adolf Gottlieb, Louis Elishemius, and others.

Oral history interview with Albert Landa, 1998 Feb. 26

Archives of American Art
2 sound files (1 hr., 13 min.): digital, wav

Transcript: 36 pages.

An interview with Albert Landa conducted 1998 Feb. 26, by Stephen Polcari, for the Archives of American Art.

This interview took place in AAA's New York Regional office. Interview concerns Thomas Hart Benton's murals at the New School Art Center.

Oral history interview with Abram Lerner, 1975 Dec. 9-1976 Jan. 27

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 179 p.

An interview of Abram Lerner conducted 1975 Dec. 9-1976 Jan. 27, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

Lerner speaks of his childhood and youth in New York City; his education; going to museums and developing an interest in art; his painting career; getting on the WPA mural project; artists' unions and their importance; the gallery scene in New York City in the 1930s; going to work at the A.C.A. Gallery; meeting Joseph Hirshhorn, becoming friends and going to work for him; Hirshhorn's style of collecting; vainly trying to keep track of Hirshhorn's acquisitions; early exhibitions of Hirshhorn's collection, and their effect on the art market; Hirshhorn's involvement with the Smithsonian Institution and the beginning of the Hirshhorn Museum; the development of the Museum and its interaction with the Smithsonian; early exhibitions there; problems of museum administration and security; public response to the Hirshhorn Museum.

Lerner recalls Philip Evergood, Burgoyne Diller, Max Weber, and Douglas MacAgy.

Oral history interview with Sol LeWitt, 1974 July 15

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 75 p.

An interview of Sol LeWitt conducted 1974 July 15, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

LeWitt speaks of his studies at Syracuse University, the Tiffany Foundation award for his lithograph, odd jobs, his work for magazines and the graphics department of I. M. Pei's firm, travel in Europe, his army service, graphic design work, typography, and abstract expressionism.

He discusses his job at the Museum of Modern Art, influences upon his work, his interest in film and the photographs of Eadward Muybridge, and exhibitions at the Dwan, Daniels, and Kaymar Galleries. LeWitt comments on his change from metal to wood sculpture; conceptual, minimal and post-minimal art; series and systems; his wall drawings; torn paper and folded paper "drawings"; prints and etchings; music and books; and the exploitation of art and artists. He recalls Anthony Candido, Dan Flavin, Earl Kerkam, and others.

Oral history interview with Molly Luce, 1981 Mar. 10-June 18

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 44 p.

An interview of Molly Luce conducted 1981 Mar.10-1981 June 18, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Luce speaks of her childhood; her early interested in drawing and botany; her two years of study at Wheaton College; her training at Art Students League; her acquaintances from the League including Anne Rector, Katherine Schmidt, Kenneth Hayes Miller; her travels in Europe with her first husband, Alan Burroughs; her residences in Minneapolis, Boston, and finally Little Compton; and observations on a range of her own paintings. She recalls Lloyd Goodrich, Dennis Miller, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Peggy Bacon, Isabel Bishop, Dorothy Varian, Alexander Brook, Edward Forbes, and many others.

Oral history interview with Ed Moses, 1980 July 10-12

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 142 p.

An interview of Ed Moses conducted 1980 July 10-12, by Sheldon Figoten, for the Archives of American Art.

Moses speaks of his family background and early education; his childhood and its impact on him and his work; his U.S. Navy service; his education at Long Beach City College and at the University of California, Los Angeles; studying under Rico Lebrun; his friendships with Billy Al Bengston and John Altoon; the Ferus Gallery; environmental projects; living in Spain; the impact of the old masters; and his exhibitions. He recalls Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Leo Castelli.
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