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Oral history interview with Robert O. Preusser, 1991 January-October

Archives of American Art
Transcipt: 106 pages

An interview of Robert O. Preusser conducted 1991 January-October, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Preusser discusses the establishment of an art department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his involvement with it first as a visiting lecturer and then as a professor of visual design. He speaks often of Gyorgy Kepes, whom he had known at the Institute of Design, Chicago, in the early 1940s, and who recruited him to M.I.T; he also discusses other faculty members, like Minor White, professor of photography. He gives attention to his courses at M.I.T., 1954-1985; early computer design projects by students; his writings on the importance of visual arts to technology; and his supervision of educational programs at M.I.T.'s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, 1974-85. An extensive part of the interview is held in an exhibition of Preusser's work at the M.I.T. Museum (April 4, 1991), discussing in particular his incorporation of various plastic and metallic materials in his works from the 1960s and 1970s. He speaks as well of the importance of his inclusion in group exhibitions at the Downtown Gallery, New York, ("Newcomers," 1951, and "Recent Arrivals, 1952) and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston ("Collectors Exhibition," 1954), and of his exhibitions at the Boris Mirski Gallery and the Joan Peterson Gallery, Boston, during the 1950s and 1960s, and at various galleries in Houston during the 1980s. Other topics of discussion are his early art instruction in his native Houston, Texas, by the painter Ola McNeill Davidson, 1930-39; further training in painting and design at the Institute of Design, Chicago, 1930-39, 1941-42; Newcomb School of Art at Tulane University, 1940-41; service with a camouflage unit in the U.S. Army, 1942-45; classes at the Art Center School, Los Angeles, 1946-47; his teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1947-54, and at the University of Houston, 1951-54, and his role as co-director of the Houston Contemporary Arts Association, 1948-50.

Oral history interview with Joseph Pulitzer, 1978 Jan. 11

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 21 p.

An interview of Joseph Pulitzer conducted 1978 Jan. 11, by Dennis Barrie, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Wallace Putnam, 1982 Aug. 13-20

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 36 p.

An interview of Wallace Putnam conducted 1982 Aug. 13-20, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.

Putnam recalls his youth and art training in Boston, Mass., his move to Hartford, Conn., and friendship with Milton Avery, whom he met when they both worked filing policies at Traveler's Insurance Co. He talks about his and Avery's early careers in New York and his first acquaintance with Mark Rothko. He remembers Rothko's early concerns as an artist, his interest in music, and visits to his studio and home (including catsitting for the Rothko's for three weeks).

Oral history interview with Al Qöyawayma, 2010 March 30-31

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 153 pages.

An interview of Al Qöyawayma conducted 2010 March 30 and 31, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Qöyawayma's home and studio, in Prescott, Arizona.

Qoyawayma speaks of his heritage as a Hopi; the influences on his education in science and art; the growth and development of his pottery through his heritage; work through AISES and Smithsonian; concepts behind his artwork; trips that have influenced his work and the development of it; stories of his ancestors that have helped develop his artwork; the value of materials used in the creation of clay; and details about the craft of Native American pottery. Qoyawayma also recalls AISES, University of Arizona, Emery Sekaquaptewa, West Point, Maori, Lee Cohen, Colombus, Fewkes, Smithsonian, Coyote Clan, Tewa, Hopi-Tewa, Uto-Aztecan, Mesa Verde series, yellowware ceramics, American Journal of Archaeology, Ron Bishop, Disney, Lockheed, Old Oraibi, Sherman Institute, San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Navajo, Herant Engineering, Pete Solokian, Cannon Electric, Rocketdyne, CAD/CAM, San Luis Obispo, Robert Redford, Don Drysdale, Dodgers, Litton Industries, Guidance and Control Division, Apple, IBM, Fortran, Star Trek, Sandra Day O'Conner, Heard Museum, Institute of American Art, Ernest Hemmingway, Roosevelts, Sikyatki, Natural History Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Secretary Ickes, Mohawk, Norbert, University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, A.T. Anderson, Ely S. Parker, Ely S. Parker Award, Jody Folwell, Inca, Quechua, Valdivia, Ecuador, Betty Meggers, Laguna clay, Chaco Canyon, Toltec, Aztec, Mayan, Nahauatl, Birkland currents, Mixtec Sheild, Los Alamos, Dr. Tony Peratt, Nazca plain, Maxwell's Equations, Te Waka toi, Baye Riddell, Manos Nathan, Blue Corn, Salt River Indian Community, Teotihuacan, Uxmal, Chchen Itza, Coba, George Stuart, National Geographic, Copan, Bill Fash, Herb Kané, Union Carbide, Andy Anderson, Henry Moore, Allan Houser, Charles Loloma, Institute of American Art in Santa Fe, Lloyd Kiva New, Leonardo da Vinci, American Bureau of Ethnology, Peter Lee, Jerry Jacka, Arizona Highways, Chicago Institute of Art, and others.

Oral history interview with Alvin S. Romansky, 1979 September 17

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 234 pages.

An interview of Alvin S. Romansky conducted 1979 September 17, by Sandra Curtis Levy, for the Archives of American Art.

Romansky speaks of his history as a painter, ceramist, and collector; the art scene in Houston as he knew it; his political and law activities; artists and collectors who were his friends and associates; the Contemporary Arts Association; his European experiences; his personal philosophies; and the future of museums. He recalls the Blaffer family, Alexander Calder, Nina Cullinan, and John and Dominique de Menil; William Hayter and Buck Schiwetz.

Oral history interview with Chuck and Jan Rosenak, 1998 December 10

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 55 pages.

Oral history interview of Chuck and Jan Rosenak conducted 1998 December 10, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art.

Kirwin conducted the interview in preparation for an exhibit in AAA's New York Regional Center, "In Sight: Portraits of Folk Artists," by Chuck Rosenak, January 22- April 30, 1999. The interview was conducted in Tesuque, N.M. The Rosenaks speak about their involvement with the American folk art world; their collecting interests; their relationship with Robert Bishop, Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., Michael Hall, Jeffrey Camp, Lee Kogan, and others; and their books, including the Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of American Folk Art and Artists (1990), Contemporary American Folk Art: A Collector's Guide (1996), The People Speak: Navajo Folk Art (1994), and The Saint Makers: Contemporary Santeras Y Santeros (1998).

Chuck Rosenak also discusses his photographs of folk artists with emphasis on his images of Leroy Archuleta, Loy A. Boslin (The Rhinestone Cowboy), Raymond Coins, Rowell Darmafall ("Glassman"), Gerald "Creative") DePrie, Mamie Deschillie, Bertha Halozon, Bessie Harvey, Bruce Hathale, Nicholas Herrera, Rev. John "J.L." Hunter, Elizabeth Willeto Ignacio, Clyde Jones, Mark Casey Milestone, Louise Nez, Florence Riggs, Rodney Rosebrrok, Herbert Singleton, Q.J. Stevenson, David Strickland, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Horacio Valdez, and Rose Williams.

Oral history interview with Alvin Ross, 1964-1968

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 15 pages.

An interview of Alvin Ross conducted 1964-1968, by Dorothy Seckler, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Susan Rothenberg, 1987 May 22-June 2

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 126 pages.

An interview of Susan Rothenberg conducted 1987 May 22-1987 June 2, by Cynthia Nadelman, for the Archives of American Art.

Rothenberg speaks of her early life; her art training, starting out as a sculpture student in college; her arrival in New York, the art scene there in the 1960s and the 1970s; experimental painting techniques; the development of her "Horses" and "Mondrian" series. She recalls Joan Jonas, Alan Saret, George Trakas, Nancy Graves, and Miani Johnson.

Oral history interview with Jerry Rothman, 2010 August 30-31

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 109 pages.

An interview of Jerry Rothman conducted 2010 August 30 and 31, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Rothman's home and studio, in San Miguel del Allende, Mexico. Jerry Rothman and Mija Riedel discuss the artist's relocation to Mexico in 2004, the influence of Mexican folk art, his first design job as a teenager, his early marriage to Catherine Bosley the sculptor, her death caused by progressive MS, his experience creating public sculpture, designing dinnerware, the switch to working with clay sculpture, political commentary through artwork, the use of eroticism in his artwork, particularly Leda and the Swan, the form and color used for the Bay Views series as well as others, and his philosophy on form and perspective in artwork and renaissance artists.

Oral history interview with Lewis W. and Erica Beckh Rubenstein, 1993 February 23

Archives of American Art
2 sound cassettes (1 hr. 45 min.) : analog.

Transcript: 50 pages.

An interview with Lewis and Erica Rubenstein conducted 1993 February 23, by Stephen Polcari, for the Archives of American Art.

Lewis Rubenstein discusses his early career as a fresco painter, including his training in Italy and friendship with Rico Lebrun. He talks specifically about commissioned murals at the Fogg Art Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and assisting Jose Clemente Orozco on "portable murals" for the Museum of Modern Art. He talks of his move away from realism and the themes that interested him in the 1950s and 1960s. He remembers spending summers in Provincetown and taking classes with Hans Hofmann, his work teaching studio art at Vassar College, and briefly about the visiting artists program he ran there. Erica Rubenstein talks about the significance of 1930s mural paintings, the WPA movement, and government support of the arts in general.

Oral history interview with Andree Ruellan, 1990 January 27-1991 July 22

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 285 pages.

An interview of Andree Ruellan conducted 1990 Jan. 27-1991 July 22, by Lewis Kachur, for the Archives of American Art.

Ruellan discusses her studies in Europe; her life at Woodstock (artist colony, Woodstock, N.Y.); the 1930's; and the development of her work. She recalls Maurice Stern, William Hunt Diederich, Alexander Calder, Jules Pascin, Stuart Davis, John Taylor, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Carl Zigrosser, Elsie Driggs and others.

Oral history interview with Robert Ryman, 1972 October 13-November 7

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 31 pages.

An interview of Robert Ryman conducted 1972 October 13-November 7, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

Ryman speaks of his early career as a Jazz musician and transition to painting in the early 1950's, after moving to New York City. He recalls working as a guard for the Museum of Modern Art and as a page for the New York Public Library, where he encountered such artists and curators as Dan Flavin, Sol Lewitt, and Betsy Jones. Ryman elaborates on his development as a painter; experimentation with lithograph printmaking; his work methods; group shows at the Tenth Street Galleries; solo shows in Europe and New York, including The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; his marriage to art critic Lucy Lippard.

Oral history interview with John Saccaro and Terry St. John, 1974 April 30-November 18

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 113 pages.

An interview of John Saccaro and Terry St. John conducted 1974 April 30-1974 November 18, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in San Francisco, Calif. The April interview is with Saccaro and the November interview is with both Saccaro and St. John.

Saccaro speaks of his background as an abstract expressionist; the California School of Fine Arts, 1951-1953; his experience as a student; abstract expressionism; and his work. Saccaro and St. John speak of the San Francisco art scene from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Oral history interview of Charles Henry Sawyer, 1977 January 25

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 41 pages.

An interview of Charles Henry Sawyer conducted 1977 January 25, by Cynthia Newman (Helms), for the Archives of American Art. Sawyer speaks mainly about his involvement with the Michigan Arts Council.

Oral history interview with Merryll Saylan, 2006 May 20-June 5

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 7 compact discs (6 hr., 9 min.) : digital ; 2 5/8 in.

Transcript: 116 pages

An interview of Merryll Saylan conducted 2006 May 20-June 5, by Glenn Adamson, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in London, England.

Saylan speaks of her childhood in Los Angeles, California; her early musical education in piano and viola; memories of World War II; her family's political views during the Cold War; meeting her first husband at UCLA; dropping out of school to move to Virginia and Georgia in fulfillment of her husband's military service; experiencing anti-Semitism in Georgia; the challenges of her eldest son's speech problems; traveling to France, Japan, Guatemala, Hong Kong and the Philippines; her interest in Japanese culture; completing her B.A. in design at UCLA and her M.A. in studio art at California State University, Northridge; anti-Vietnam sentiment on campus; early interests in environmental design; her second husband and his friends; her interest in furniture and woodworking; differing approaches to woodworking on the east and west coasts; her views on feminism and working women; her use of color and texture in woodworking; teaching experiences; popular perception of her work; receiving a grant to go to England and her involvement with English and German woodturners; the lack of collector interest in her work; forced absences from working because of illnesses; serving on the boards of the American Association of Woodturners and The Woodturning Center; her involvement in the International Turned Objects Show, the Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Biannual Exposition, and the International Turning Exchange; her thoughts on future work. Saylan also recalls George Foy, Bob Stocksdale, Michael Cooper, Pamela Weir-Quiton, Joanne Rapp, J.B. Blunk, Marvin Lipofsky, Gail Fredell, Wendy Maruyama, Ralph Evans, Del Stubbs, Jerry Glaser, and others.

Oral history interview with Suzanne Scheuer, 1964 July 29

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 24 pages.

An interview of Suzanne Scheuer conducted 1964 July 29, by Mary Fuller McChesney, for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project.

Oral history interview with Cynthia Schira, 2001 July 25-26

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 52 pages.

An interview of Cynthia Schira conducted 2001 July 25-26, by Margo Mensing, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Schira's home and studio, in Westport, N.Y.

Oral history interview with David Von Schlegell, 1967 June 5

Archives of American Art
1 sound cassette analog

Transcript: 30 p.

Interview of David Von Schlegell, conducted by Dorothy Gees Seckler for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, in New York on June 5, 1967.

Von Schlegell speaks of growing up in St. Louis; his father, who was also a painter; training in Ogunquit, ME and with the Art Students League in New York; entering World War II as an Air Force pilot; the decision to take up sculpture; his artistic preferences and influences; his use of materials and methods of working; his impressions of Minimalism; and comparisons between sculpture and architecture. He also recalls David Smith, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Mark di Suvero, Robert Morris, and others.

Oral history interview with Kay Sekimachi [Stocksdale], 2001 July 26-August 6

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 59 pages.

An interview of Kay Sekimachi [Stocksdale] conducted 2001 July 26-August 6, by Suzanne Baizerman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Sekimachi's home in Berkeley, California.

Sekimachi speaks of her family and early childhood in Berkeley; a trip to Japan when she was four, during which her older brother died of dysentery; what it was like growing up in a Japanese community in Berkeley; the death of her father when she was ten years old; learning Japanese culture through her mother's cooking and traditions; the relocation of her family during WWII; learning to paint and draw at the relocation center in Tanforan; moving to Utah, then Cincinnati before finally returning to Berkeley; her trip to Japan in 1974 and how it felt like she really belonged there, and falling in love with the Japanese aesthetic; trips to London, and consequently meeting Ann Sutton and Peter Collingwood; studying and working with Trude Guermonprez; teaching for Mary Woodard Davis in Santa Fe, N.M.; her first trip to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine.; how the community groups and guilds provided support and many friendships, including Claire Weaver; some of the magazines she subscribes to, and the numerous books that influenced her during her career, by Anni Albers, Mary Atwater, and others; how her work started out as functional and gradually became non-functional; the many different types of her artwork, monofilament, paper bowls, and hornets nests; the limitations of the loom, and learning to experiment with fiber; difficulty of selling her craft; the numerous places she has exhibited and sold her work, including but not limited to Local Color, Nanny's (both in San Francisco), the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, and Brown Grotta Gallery in Wilton, Connecticut; how she doesn't like to deal with agents, and dealers; her marriage to Bob Stocksdale; her studio and the studio of her husband; all of the artwork in her dining room and living room area; and how she is still weaving, but is not as frequent in her studio because she has been taking care of Bob. Sekimachi also recalls Kenneth Trapp, Marguerite Wildenhain, Lee Nordness, Loiuse Allrich, Jack Lenor Larsen, Dominic DiMare, and others.

Oral history interview with Peter Howard Selz, 1999 November 3

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 25 pages.

An interview of Peter Selz conducted 1999 November 3, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in Selz's home, Berkeley, California.

This interview was conducted at Selz's request to provide a narrative conversation for a catalogue to accompany "Cross-Currents in Modern Art: A Tribute to Peter Selz," an exhibition at Achim Moeller Gallery in New York City, February 2 to March 3, 2000.

The interview focused on Selz's career as an art historian, and on the subject of modernism, with particular attention to Selz's writings and the many exhibitions in which less familiar artists (German Expressionists, Klimt, Schiele, Californians, Leon Golub, other figurative painters) and even movements (Art Nouveau, Futurism, Exhibition Momentum, Funk) were introduced. Selz discussed teaching at Moholy-Nagy's New Bauhaus in Chicago; his divergent ideas from more typical mainstream thinking about modernism primarily in formalist terms; his views on and understanding of modern art through his teaching and as a museum curator (Museum of Modern Art, NYC) and director (University Art Museum, Berkeley).

Oral history interview with Ben Shahn, 1964 April 14

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 29 pages.

An interview of Ben Shahn conducted 1964 April 14, by Richard K. Doud, for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project.

Shahn speaks of his travels and work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA); the American image as portrayed by FSA photographs; techniques and materials; exhibitions and publications of his work; and the effectiveness of the FSA project overall. He recalls Roy Stryker, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, Edwin Rosskam and Dorothea Lange.

Oral history interview with Millard Sheets, 1986 October-1988 July

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 167 pages.

An interview with Millard Sheets conducted 1986 October-1988 July, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.

Sheets speaks of his childhood and early education; attending Chouinard Art Institute and being influenced by instructor F. Tolles Chamberlin; teaching at Scripps College Foundation of Art from 1931 to 1955; the beginnings of the California Watercolor Society; his painting career; his thoughts on Southern California Modernism; the growth and development of California art; artists including Lorser Feitelson and Rico Lebrun; designing forty buildings for Howard Ahmanson from the 1950s through the 1970s; his relationships with art critics; his involvement with architecture and design; and his philosophy as an art teacher. He recalls Theodore Modra and Dalzell Hatfield.

Oral history interview with Kenneth L. Showell, 1972 August 17

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 96 pages.

An interview of Kenneth L. Showell conducted 1972 August 17, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

Showell speaks of his family background and education in the Midwest; attending Kansas City Art Institute, and his education there; graduate studies at Indiana University; changes in techniques; the influence of abstract expressionism; teaching at Indiana University; moving to New York; the development of his grid and folded canvas paintings; his drawings and prints; color; illusion in painting.

Oral history interview with Julius Shulman, 1990 January 12-February 3

Archives of American Art
Sound recordings: 4 sound cassettes (60 min.) : analog.

Transcript: 123 pages.

An interview of Julius Shulman conducted 1990 January 12-February 3, by Taina Rikala De Noriega, for the Archives of American Art.
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