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Oral history interview with Santa Barraza, 2003 November 21-22

Archives of American Art
Transcript 76 pages

An interview of Santa Barraza conducted 2003 November 21-22, by Cary Cordova, for the Archives of American Art, in Kingsville, Texas.

Barraza speaks of her childhood, family and early education; picking cotton in the summer; the University of Texas, Kingsville; meeting Carmen Lomas Garza and learning graphic design; her daughter Andrea; involvement with Mayo, a Mexican-American Youth Organization; Austin, Tex. and the differences between UT Kingsville and UT Austin; and Acuña Rodolfo's book, "Occupied America: the Chicano's Struggle Toward Liberation," 1972. Barraza also discusses Jacinto Quirarte and the first formal art history class on Mexican-American art; the formation of MAS, Mujeres Artistas del Suroeste; the Conferencia del Plástica Chicana, held September 13-16, 1979 in Austin, Texas; Con Safo; use of the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in her artwork; stories of witchcraft; La Llorona; MACLA, the Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, founded in 1989 in San Jose, California; teaching at Pennsylvania State University; her studio space in Kingsville, Texas; the distinction between Chicana and Latina; the visual artists Faith Ringgold and Leslie King Hammond whom Barraza admires; her travels to Oaxaca and other places; her book, "Santa Barraza, Artist of the Borderlands," 2001. Barraza also recalls Ben Bailey, Maurice Schmidt, José Rivera, Amado Peña, Israel Reyna, Sylvia Orozco, Barbina Modesta Treviño, Nora González Dodson, Rita Starpattern, Raquel Tibol, Jorge Bustamante, Liliana Wilson, Isabel Juárez, Viola Delgado, Kathy Vargas, and others.

Oral history interview with Hans Barschel, 1994 September 14

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes (2 hrs., 1 min.): analog.

Transcript: 50 pages.

An interview with Hans Joachim Barschel conducted 1994 September 14, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Barschel discusses his childhood during World War I and the 1920s in two Berlin suburbs, Charlottenburg and Pankow, as the son of a civil engineer and his wife, whose father was a factory foreman; the contrast of the ludicrous militarism of the late Wilhelmine Germany with the straightened but liberalized circumstances of life in the Weimar Republic which followed; and his first acquaintance with foreign cultures during a 1929 excursion with his free-spirited aunt and uncle.

He remembers the enlightened teaching and loose curricula he experienced during 1930-35 in advertising design study with George Salter at the Municipal Art School, Berlin, and then in graduate studies in design, painting, printmaking, and photography at the Academy of Fine and Applied Arts, Berlin-Charlottenburg. He talks about his disgust at the onset of Naziism; his brief career (1935-37) in Berlin as a free-lance graphic designer and as head graphic designer for the Reichsbahn; his getting his beloved teacher, George Salter, a Jew, out of Nazi Germany; his emigration in 1937 using forged documents and his rapid establishment as a designer in New York thanks to his friendship with Dr. Robert Leslie of The Composing Room.

He discusses advertisements, posters, and book jackets designed for American publications and companies and (1948) for the United Nations; his move to Rochester, New York, in 1952, as a designer for printing companies and beginning the teaching of design at the Rochester Institute of Technology at the invitation of Stanley Witmeyer, Director of its School of Art and Design; fellow teachers at RIT, including the ceramists, Hobart Cowles and Frans Wildenhain; and the importance of continually refreshing the creative powers by sketching in nature, a principle instilled in him as a student which he carried into his teaching at RIT.

Oral history interview with Lee Bontecou, 2009 January 10

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 118 pages

An interview of Lee Bontecou conducted 2009 January 10, by Dore Ashton, for the Archives of American Art, at Knoedler and Company, in New York, New York.

Bontecou speaks of her interest in art as a young child and her parents' encouragement and influences; her two years at community college before studying painting then sculpture under William Zorach at the Arts Students League in New York City; her time working, living and studying in Rome though the Fulbright Scholarship; her abstracted figural works in Rome influenced by ancient Greek and Roman sculpture; her exploration in Europe of non-American influences and her admiration of the strong design sense in Italy; returning to the United States and working in the New York City art scene and exhibiting her works at Leo Castelli's Gallery; different techniques including welding and vacuum forming; meeting her husband, Bill Giles, and raising her daughter, Vallie, in New York City; leaving New York City and the Castelli Gallery for Pennsylvania and the ability to experiment in her artwork; teaching at Brooklyn College where she worked with Morris Dorsky and enjoyed a wide range of students; her lack of affiliation with art movements, including Pop Art; her illness and her current work; and her strong belief that an M.F.A. is useless and that young artists have to make themselves. Bontecou also recalls Robert Brackman, Julio Gonzales, Alexander Calder, Richard Bellamy, Gabriel Kahn, Richard Stankewiczs, Tom Doyle, Eve Hesse, Sandra and Jack Beale, and others.

Oral history interview with Phillip A. Bruno, 2009 January 13-21

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 46 pages

An interview of Phillip A. Bruno conducted 2009 January 13-21, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at the Archives of American Art, in New York, New York.

Bruno speaks of some his earliest impressions of art while growing up in New York and Paris; attending Columbia University, where he majored in the history of painting and architecture and studied under Meyer Schapiro; his first job at the Weyhe Gallery as a gallery assistant; helping create the Grace Borgenicht Gallery, where he served as director for five years; traveling to Mexico, meeting Jose Cuevas and exhibiting his work at the Edward Loeb Gallery in Paris; traveling to Brazil and meeting a family of naturalist painters who emphasized the importance of painting outdoors, unlike many painters from the New York school; working with Henry Clews and the La Napoule Art Foundation; selling a piece of Salvador Dali jewelry made by Carlos Alamanni to Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Magazine; working as director of The World House Gallery and selling works by Fancis Bacon and Max Ernst to clients such as Joseph Hirshhorn and Roy Neuberger; organizing a exhibition of artists shown at the Brussels World Fair in 1958 at World House and meeting George Staempfli through the artist Joan Brown; moving from World House to the Staempfli Gallery in 1960 to work as co-director; the Staempfli Gallery's role in the international art world; an original drawing by Leonard Baskin inscribed to Phillip in 1954; selling the work of artists such as Harry Bertoia, Fritz Koening, and David Park; meeting Henri Matisse in Paris at the age of 21; visiting the studios of Alexander Calder and Mark Rothko; the difference between galleries that can spot new talent and galleries that sell certain artists well; the art market becoming less idealistic and more commercial; the rising importance of auction houses and the possibility of their taking the place of traditional art galleries; the move of the Staempfli Gallery to the SoHo neighborhood and soon after, leaving Staempfli for Marlborough, where he was one of the New York directors for 18 years; his appreciation for the creativity of others, retirement and current plans to write his memoirs. Bruno also recalls Milton Avery, Gabor Peterdi, Hans Muller, Ralston Crawford, Randall Morgan, Charlotte Willard, Dorthy Satterlee, Masayuki Nagare, Claude Bemardin, Kubach-Wilmsen, Louise Nevelson, Cladio Bravo, Lopez Garcia, Alberto Giacometti, The Barnes Foundation, Richard Estes, Alex Katz, and Neil Wlliver.

Oral history interview with Bernarda Bryson Shahn, 1995 July 3

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 39 pages

An interview of Bernarda Bryson Shahn conducted 1995 July 3, by Pamela J. Meecham, for the Archives of American Art.

Bryson Shahn talks about Ben Shahn's involvement in the Farm Security Administration's photographic project during the 1930s; her and her husband's involvement with socialism, unions, and the Communist Party during the 1930's; the removal of Diego Rivera's mural from Rockefeller Center; changes in Ben Shahn's critical status as a painter -- particularly during the Red Scare, and relative to the rise of Abstract Expressionism; her own career as an illustrator; the Jersey Homesteads and Ben Shahn's mural in Roosevelt, New Jersey; as well as her impressions of Italy and Japan.

Oral history interview with Barbara Carrasco, 1999 April 13-26

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 87 pages

An interview of Barbara Carrasco conducted 1999 April 13 and 26, by Jeffrey Rangel, in two sessions, for the Archives of American Art.

Carrasco speaks of the roles played by her parents in her career as an artist, her experiences as a light-skinned Chicana, and the marginalization of women artists within the Chicano art movement; her relationship and marriage to fellow artist, Harry Gamboa, Jr., who has supported women artists; and her perception of Asco ("nausea" in Spanish), a group of artists and performers who joined together during the Chicano civil rights movement. She also discusses the influence of the art professors at UCLA and the quality of the training she received there; working with Carlos Almaraz and John Valadez on the "Zoot Suit" mural in Hollywood; meeting César Chávez and how he in part shaped her identity as a cultural worker; attending California School of Fine Arts, Valencia, California, and receiving her MFA there; other Chicana artists such as Carmen Lomas Garza; and the changes in her most recent work.

Oral history interview with Mel Casas, 1996 August 14 and 16

Archives of American Art
Transcript 66 pages

An interview of Mel Casas conducted 1996 August 14-16, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.

Casas discusses his current work - dipped acrylic paintings in which technique and material become the subject; his involvement with Chicano art political issues and his own experience as a Mexican-American; a discussion of his family background; art education; early Abstract Expressionist painting; a shift to figuration; thirty years teaching at San Antonio College; the Chicano "movimiento"; and Chicano art and key figures, including Carlos Almaraz and Carmen Lomas Garza.

Oral history interview with Leo Castelli, 1969 May 14-1973 June 8

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 194 pages.

Interview of Leo Castelli conducted 1969 May 14-1973 June 8, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

Castelli speaks of his background; fleeing Europe, 1940-1941; his U.S. Army service; The Club; establishing his New York galleries; his first wife, Ileana Sonnabend, and her success as an art dealer; galleries in the 1940s and 1950s; his staff; prints; commissioned works; exhibitions and sales of works by Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, and others; collectors including Philip Cortelyou Johnson, Vera G. List, Peter Ludwig, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Scull, and Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine. Castelli recalls Alfred H. Barr, Richard Bellamy, John Cage, René Drouin, Ivan C. Karp, and Alan Robert Solomon.

Oral history interview with John Collier, 1965 January 18

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 33 pages

An interview of John Collier conducted 1965 January 18, by Richard K. Doud, for the Archives of American Art.

Collier describes the Farm Security Administration as an experiment in group dynamics; he speaks of the difference in viewpoint between officials and photographers; Collier's New England and New Mexico work; and he appraises the value of the group effort in the FSA. He recalls Paul Vanderbilt, Roy Stryker, and Ben Shahn.

Oral history interview with Betty Cooke, 2004 July 1-2

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 132 pages.

An interview of Betty Cooke conducted 2004 July 1-2, by Jan Yager, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Cooke speaks of her family and growing up in Baltimore, Maryland; taking art classes in high school; attending the Maryland Institute, College of Art; apprenticing in a jeweler's studio; teaching design at the Maryland Institute; buying a house and setting up a studio and shop in it; showing her work in the MoMA "Good Design" Exhibition; marrying fellow artist Bill Steinmetz; working as a design consultant; designing interiors for bowling alleys and restaurants; early jewelry designs; studying one summer at Cranbrook Academy of Art; selling works in various galleries; her interest in folk art; using wood and stones in her pieces; creating a wall mural for a school; working with the Rouse Company; opening The Store Ltd. at Cross Keys and designing the modern interior; her trademark designs; making jewelry on commission; and showing her work in exhibitions. Cooke also speaks of her current studio space and routine; sketching designs; documenting her work; traveling to Mexico, China, Morocco, and London; her current involvement with the Maryland Institute, College of Art; renovating a barn for a new studio; the function and wearability of her jewelry; having a retrospective show in 1995; designing for Geoffrey Beene; her interest in painting and sculpture; defining design versus craft; the market for jewelry; how her work has changed over time; sources of inspiration; collecting objects; deciding to go into retail; choosing metals and tools; masculine and feminine jewelry; and being a female artist. Cooke also recalls Margaret De Patta, Harry Bertoia, Philip Morton, George Nakashima, and others.

Oral history interview with Robert Cottingham, 1998 July 27

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes (2 hr.; 8 min.) : analog

Transcript: 61 pages

An interview of Robert Cottingham conducted 1998 July 27, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Cottingham's studio, Newtown, Connecticut.

Cottingham speaks of being raised in Brooklyn; drawing from an early age; the New York World's Fair, 1939-1940, and the tremendous impact it had on him, as did buildings, signs, and great bustle of Times Square; lasting impact of Edward Hopper's "Sunday Morning," which he saw at the Whitney Museum; his love of using a T-square and triangle in industrial design courses at Brooklyn Technical High School and the influence on his work; working in a Manhattan advertising agency for 2 1/2 years; army service in Orleans, France as a mapmaker; working as an art director at Young and Rubicam advertising agency in Manhattan (1959-1964) which exposed him to great variety of print and graphic media; work in Young and Rubicam's Los Angeles office; first painting in NYC in 1963; painting steadily in L.A. which led to first shows (1968-1970) at Molly Barnes Gallery; use of photographs and sketches to produce paintings; avoidance of narrative, just suggestions of places, and incorporation of advertising signs beginning in the mid-1960s; living entirely on his paintings by 1970; breakthrough in 1969 to greater use of color, bolder design, and 3-D illusion; adoption of square format and depiction of fragmentary glimpses of things which led to leap of quality; and sticking with this mode ever since. Cottingham also recalls John Rawlings, Emerson Woelffer, Robert Irwin, Chuck and Leslie Close, and others.

Oral history interview with Douglas Crimp, 2017 January 3-4

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 5 sound files (6 hr., 2 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 69 pages

An interview with Douglas Crimp, conducted 2017 January 3-4, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Crimp's home in New York, New York.

Crimp speaks of growing up in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; his athleticism in water skiing and ice skating; sibling rivalry as a child; seeing art for the first time at the Seattle World Fair; being closeted and conflicted as a young gay man in 1950s Idaho; attending Tulane University in New Orleans and the culture shock he experienced there; his first year in Tulane's rigorous architecture program and ultimately changing his major to art history; the pageantry of Mardi Gras parades and the gay society he explored; writing an undergraduate paper analyzing Marcel Duchamp's "The Large Glass"; deciding to go to New York City; finding his voice as an art critic while beginning his career at Art News and Art International; his extensive analysis of Joan Jonas; attending Firehouse dances sponsored by Gay Activist Alliance and coming into his sexuality; being a patient of esteemed doctor Dr. Dan William; first learning of the AIDS crisis and epidemic through a New York Times article in 1981 describing a gay cancer; receiving an NEA art critic grant and spending a year in Germany from 1985-86; returning to find friends and acquaintances sick with HIV/AIDS or having died from it; the Dia Conversations; his role as editor of October and bringing queerness and AIDS to the forefront; joining ACT UP; the genesis of October's AIDS double issue in 1987-1988 and its success; how the journal issue changed the course of his career and steered him to teach gay studies and further his work with AIDS activism; the inner workings of ACT UP meetings; the sense of community ACT UP provided and the empowerment everyone felt; noting a sense of personal and professional urgency during the crisis; the timeline of his AIDS writings; his reaction to seeing the AIDS quilt for the first time at the March on Washington; writing to a wide, non-academic audience; his 1988 course at Rutgers University on AIDS video; his complex relationships with Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson; the poor coverage of the AIDS epidemic in the media and how it informed his writing; the understanding of the need for safe sex practices and writing "How to Have Promiscuity in an Epidemic;" teaching courses on AIDS at the University of Rochester and how his teaching interest evolved into queer theory and studies; evaluating Warhol's work with a queer lens; writing about his experience with queer life in New York City in the 1970s to counter the condescending conservative narrative; his current writing projects and interests; experience in demonstrations held by ACT UP; and the tremendous communal support he felt during his seroconversion. Crimp also recalls Marilynne Summers (Robinson), Bernard Lemann, Marimar Benetiz, Ida Kohlmeyer, Lynn Emory, Diane Waldman, Betsy Baker, Lucinda Hawkins, Christian Belaygue, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Rosalind Krauss, Joan Copjec, Gregg Bordowitz, Terri Cafaro, Rene Santos, Craig Owens, Fernando Torm, Bill Olander, Richard Elovich, Daniel Wolfe, Hector Caicedo, Lynne Cooke, and Zoe Leonard.

Oral history interview with Herbert Ferber, 1981 June 2

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 1 cassette : analog.

Transcript: 12 p.

An interview of Herbert Ferber conducted 1981 June 2, by Phyllis Tuchman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.

Ferber talks about the development of his friendship with Rothko through the Betty Parsons Gallery and Rothko's personality and habits. He speaks of Rothko's work, particularly the Houston chapel, and his feelings for other artists. He briefly mentions his involvement in the lawsuit against the Marlborough Galleries. He recalls Adolph Gottlieb, Clyfford Still, Barney Newman, Robert Motherwell, William Baziotes, Arshile Gorky, Ad Reinhardt, and many others.

Oral history interview with Janet I. Fish, 1988 Jan. 30-Mar. 2

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 4 sound cassettes

Transcript: 173 p.

An interview of Janet Fish conducted 1988 Jan. 30-Mar. 2, by Barbara Shikler, for the Archives of American Art. Fish discusses her family background, her education at Yale Art School, her techniques, the evolution of her work, feminism, and discrimination in the art world. She recalls Richard Serra, Chuck Close, Jill Kornblee, Alex Katz, and Esteban Vicente.

Oral history interview with Kathryn Burch Greywacz, 1964 Mar. 24

Archives of American Art
Sound recordings: 1 sound tape reel (50 min.); 7 in.

Transcript: 14 p.

An interview of Kathryn Greywacz conducted 1964 Mar. 24, by Richard Doud, for the Archives of American Art.

Greywacz speaks of her position as curator of the New Jersey State Museum; her work with the New Jersey Public Works of Art Project; and the Index of American Design. She recalls Mildred Baker and Ben Shahn.

Oral history interview with Joseph A. Helman, 2010 January 4

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 4 wav files (2 hr.,19 min.) : digital

Transcript: 53 pages

An interview of Joseph A. Helman conducted 2010 January 4, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Helman's home in New York, New York.

Helman recalls three major events from his early life--the exhibition "Masterpieces from the Berlin Museum," the film "Lust for Life," and collecting--that led to his career as an art dealer; buying his first painting, which was a Jasper Johns work; meeting the renown art dealer, Leo Castelli; opening up his first gallery in St. Louis in 1969; selling his gallery to Ronald Greenberg and moving to Italy with his family; attending the legendary Sotheby's art sale of Robert Scull's collection in 1973; teaming up with Irving Blum to open the Blum Helman Gallery in New York City; organizing exhibitions of established and emerging artists; moreover, Helman speaks about his relationship with Emily Rauh Pulitzer and the St. Louis Art Museum; his Happening with Allan Kaprow; Claes Oldenburg's controversial drawing for the St. Louis Bicentennial Art Festival; Eero Saarinen's appropriation of the arch design from Italy; discovering the work of Ralston Crawford; introducing American art to Spain. In addition, Helman discusses the contemporary art market; collectors and the process of collecting; and the redefinition of Pop art and its current association with '80s English and American artists. Throughout the interview Helman mentions the various artists he has represented, exhibited or collected such as Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef Albers, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Ronald Davis, and Bryan Hunt.

Oral history interview with Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1976 Dec. 16

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound tape reels ; 5 in.

Transcript: 48 p.

An interview of Joseph H. Hirshhorn conducted 1976 Dec. 16, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

Hirshhorn discusses his childhood; working as a stockbroker; his first art acquisition of two Durer engravings; buying Barbizon paintings; his relationship with the A.C.A. Gallery, Milton Avery, David Burliuk, the Collectors Club, Willem de Kooning, Louis M. Eilshemius, Lloyd Goodrich, Edith Gregor Halpert, Abram Lerner, Louise Nevelson, and others. Hirshhorn also describes the alternative plans he considered before giving his collection to the Smithsonian Institution.

Oral history interview with Leo Holub, 1997 July 3

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes (90 min) : analog.

Transcript: 34 p.

An interview of Leo Holub conducted 1997 July 3, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in San Francisco, Calif.

Holub discusses his background, being born in Arkansas, moving to New Mexico, and then to Oakland, Calif. (1923); early educational experiences in Oakland, and later at the Art Institute of Chicago; seeing Edward Weston's photographic work at an exhibition in Chicago, and admiring Weston's nude studies of Charis Wilson; his return to the Bay Area; his studio on Montgomery St. (Monkey Block); meeting painter Matthew Barnes, who had assisted Diego Rivera with his murals at the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA), 1931-1932; his experiences as a student at CSFA- its program and instructors which included Maurice Sterne, Gottardo Piazzoni, Lee Randolph, Dick Hackett, Otis Oldfield, William Gaw, Spencer Mackey, and Victor Arnautoff; fellow students including Hassel Smith, Ed Corbett, and Florence Michelson (his future wife); and his beginning awareness of modernism.

Holub discusses his involvement with the Golden Gate International Exposition (1939); apprenticeship with industrial designer Joe Sinel and the advent of the product design era; his founding of Design Development Associates, and staying only a year before moving to Grass Valley, Calif. for his son's health; his return to the Bay Area, succeeding Emmy Lou Packard at the San Francisco Planning Office graphic arts dept.; working at the housing agency and redevelopment agency and as chief designer for the Bay Area Rapid Transit report.

He recalls his encounter with Ansel Adams at the 1955 Yosemite workshop where Holub produced a pictorial map of Yosemite; Adam's "zone system" of exposing for shadows and developing for highlights; going on to teach at CSFA (1955-1957), where Imogen Cunningham was a guest instructor; Minor White replacing him; his ten years at Stanford University's planning office (1960-1970); his campus views "Stanford Scene" that were used by the university to appeal for more space for the art dept., and his shows at Stanford's art gallery in 1964 and at the Washington, D.C. home of Vice President Walter Mondale in 1980.

Oral history interview with Inslee Hopper, 1981 July 28

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

Transcript: 44 p.

An interview of Inslee Hopper conducted 1981 July 28, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Hopper speaks of his education in art history at Princeton University; his work as editor of THE ARTS under Forbes Watson, 1933-1934; a survey of sculptors for Juliana Force of the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1934-1935; his involvement in the Painting and Sculpture section of the Treasury Department under Edward Bruce, 1935-1938; supervising the decoration for the Federal Building at the World's Fair, 1938-1939; his work with Ben Shahn on the documentation of a resettlement project in West Virginia; the Smithsonian Gallery of Art project, 1938-1940; and his work as Edward Bruce's aide.

Oral history interview with Benito Huerta, 2004 Feb. 29-Mar. 2

Archives of American Art
Sound recording, master: 5 sound discs (5 hrs., 52 min.) digitial 2 5/8 in.

Transcript: 84 p.

An interview of Benito Huerta conducted 2004 Feb. 29-Mar. 2, by Cary Cordova, for the Archives of American Art, in Arlington, Tex.

Huerta speaks of his early childhood; interest in art; attending graduate school at New Mexico State University; the exhibition "Hispanic Art in the United States: Thirty Contemporary Painters and Sculptors," 1987; interest in music and planning programs while attending undergraduate school at the University of Houston; his relationship with artist Mel Chin; his exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; the Lynn Goode Gallery and an exhibition entitled "Aneurism"; criticism of his artwork; living in San Francisco for two years; Galería de la Raza; painting on black velvet; the exhibition "Chulas Fronteras (Beautiful Borders)" 1986; his chalupas series; the value of curating versus making his own art; "Seen and Unseen" at Diverse Works 1983; "Cowboys, Cadillacs, and Computers" Lawndale Art and Performance Center, University of Houston, 1985; his installation pieces; maps and global images in his work; his co-founding of the art Magazine "Artlies"; public commissions; connections to North Carolina; the Serie project; and the artists he has worked with since arriving at University of Texas, Arlington. Huerta also recalls David Caton, Jane Livingston, John Beardsley, René Yañez, Carmen Lomas Garza, John Hernandez, Kathy Vargas, Victor Zamudio Taylor, Bonnie Pitman, and others.

Oral history interview with Katherine Schmidt, 1969 December 8-15

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 60 pages.

An interview of Katherine Schmidt conducted 1969 December 8 and December 15, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art, at the artist's home, in New York, N.Y.

Oral history interview with June Schwarcz, 2001 January 21

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 75 pages.

An interview of June Schwarcz conducted 2001 January 21, by Arline M. Fisch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Schwarcz's home and studio, Sausalito, California.

Schwarcz speaks of her family background; early interest in color and form; studies at Pratt Institute; working in as a package designer and free-lance designer for department stores such as Macy's in New York and Hochschild-Kohn in Baltimore; living in Chicago, Brazil, and Denver; learning about enamels from a group of "housewives" in Denver; reading Kenneth Bates's book [Enameling: Principles and Practice] "as if it were the Bible"; visiting America House and meeting Dominick Maillard; settling in Sausalito, California, in 1954; the comparison of natural erosion in streams and rocks to etched surfaces; sources of inspiration including fog, folk art, African art, ancient Chinese ceramics, the Japanese aesthetic, ethnic clothing and fabrics, pleats and folds, and works by Isamu Noguchi, Constantin Brancusi, Morris Louis, and Mark Rothko; the practice of working on several pieces at one time; the influence of two books, Santayana's "The Sense of Beauty" and Junichiro Tanizaki's "In Praise of Shadows;" her desire to "making things that are beautiful"; her husband's support and assistance with tools, materials, and techniques; the significance of various tools and equipment; developing forms through paper patterns; the body as vessel; color as "personality"; technical pitfalls of the enameling process; technical problems of electroplating; the 1974 World Craft Conference in which Stanley Letchzin presented his findings on electroforming; meeting Letchzin and comparing processes; the difficulties in selling work; the lack of an audience; teaching workshops at Arrowmont and Vail; aversion to teaching and commissions; relationships with Susan Cummins Gallery, Bellas Artes Gallery, Japonesque Gallery, De Vera Gallery, Sybaris Gallery, and Mobilia Gallery; travel to Europe and Japan; honors and awards; and interest in transparent enamels. Schwarcz also describes her use of basse taille, plique-à-jour, electroplating, electroforming, brush plating, raku, scotchbrite, and Mi-Tique (patina solutions). She also recalls development of each piece in her retrospective catalog, "June Schwarcz : forty years, forty pieces" (San Francisco Craft & Folk Art Museum, 1998) and concludes the interview by discussing five current pieces in progress.

Oral history interview with Frank Romero, 1997 January 17-March 2

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 99 pages.

An interview of Frank Romero conducted 1997 January 17-March 2, by Jeffrey Rangel, for the Archives of American Art, in Romero's studio, in Los Angeles, Calif.

Romero discusses his growing up in East Los Angeles and his large extended family; his earliest art studies in the public schools; attending the Otis Art Institute where he studied with Joe Mugnaini and had contact with Millard Sheets and Peter Voulkos; the "very polyglut culture" of East Los Angeles; the influences of television, western movies, rock-and-roll, and rhythm and blues on his early musical/artistic taste; time spent in New York; returning to Los Angeles in 1969; and his marriage and family.

He describes his move into Carlos Almaraz's house which became the informal meeting place of the artist group Los Four (Almaraz, Romero, Gilbert Sanchez Lujan, and Roberto "Beto" de la Rocha); the Los Four show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1974; and the stylistic aesthetics of Los Four.

Romero describes the "boys club" nature of Chicano art centers; his contributions to the Chicano art movement; his relationship to the Chicano/Mexican culture and mainstream U.S. culture; murals done by members of Los Four for the Inner City Mural Program; his work for the Metropolitan Transit Authority; the Murals of Aztlan exhibit in 1981 at the Craft and Folk Art Museum; and his shows at the ARCO Center for the Visual Arts. He concludes with his assessment of the Chicano arts movement, the relationship between economic and art cycles, and the role of the more established artists to those of a younger generation.

Oral history interview with Merry Renk, 2001 January 18-19

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 49 pages.

Audio excerpt: 1 sound file (4 min. 15 sec.) : digital

An interview of Merry Renk conducted 2001 January 18-19, by Arline M. Fisch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Renk's home and studio, San Francisco, California.

Renk speaks of her family background; growing up during the Depression; her father's creativity and encouragement; early inspiration from "the structure of nature"; attending the School of Industrial Arts in Trenton, N.J., and later the Institute of Design in Chicago; student life at the Institute of Design; establishing a studio and gallery, 750 Studio, at 750 North Dearborn, in Chicago, in 1947, with two other students, Mary Jo Slick [Godfrey] and Olive [Bunny] Oliver; managing 750 Studio and organizing exhibitions of Harry Callahan, Henry Miller, Lazlo Maholy-Nagy, Warren and Ethel MacKenzie, Doris Hall, and others; working with enamels; early "primitive" spirals; decision to be a jeweler; the importance of the "wearability" of jewelry; moving to San Francisco in 1948; living in Paris, 1950-1951; relationship with Shinkichi Tajiri; visiting Constantin Brancusi; traveling with Lenore Tawney through Spain and Morocco; settling in San Francisco; friendship with sculptor and neighbor Ruth Asawa; learning about Josef Albers from Asawa, resulting in experiments with folded metal; meeting her second husband, potter Earle Curtis on Halloween 1954; purchasing and remodeling their home; teaching part-time at the University of California, Berkeley and in workshops; her children, Baunnie and Sandra; managing motherhood and jewelry making in a two-artist household; drawing as a form of inventory; the influence of Lee Nordness; learning the plique-à-jour technique of enameling through trial and error; early influence of Doris Hall's work; working with wire; use of natural forms and interlocking forms; the process of making Wedding Crown (1968) for the exhibition Objects USA; making wedding crowns for her daughters; her shift from non-objective art to portraiture and symbolic imagery in the early 1970s; making large-scale sculpture in 1974, then "drifting back" to jewelry; importance of working independently; her "memory paintings" in the 1980s; evolution of her name from Mary Ruth Gibbs to Merry Renk Curtis (married Stanley Renk in 1941); her involvement with local guilds such as the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco and national organizations such as the American Craft Council (ACC); lack of critical writing about her work; the value of exhibitions; various pieces in museum collections; early ACC conferences; her long friendship with photographer Imogen Cunningham; posing for Cunningham; becoming an ACC fellow; her jewelry tools; the process of painting compared to jewelry making. She also mentions Kenneth Bates, Trude Guermonprez, Irena Brynner, the Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and her mentor Margaret de Patta.
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