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Oral history interview with Edgar Tafel, 1990 May 16-July 24

Archives of American Art
Transcript 128 pages.

An interview of Edgar Tafel conducted 1990 May 16-July 24, by Carol Rifkind, for the Archives of American Art.

Tafel discusses his apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright and his subsequent architectural career. He recalls William Van Alen, Tom Wolfe, and the construction of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Oral history interview with Akio Takamori, 2009 March 20-21

Archives of American Art
8 wav files (7 hr., 51 min.) : digital

Transcript: 184 pages

An interview of Akio Takamori conducted 2009 March 20-21, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Takamori's studio, in Seattle, Washington.

Interview of Akio Takamori, conducted by Mija Reidel for the Archives of American Art, in Seattle, Washington on March 20, 2009. Takamori speaks of growing up in Nobeoka, Japan where his father ran a medical clinic in a diverse part of town; the post war structure of society and the buildings themselves; his interest in art as a young childing drawing figural scenes; class and social situations he observed as a child; his father's interest in both Japanese and Western art; an interest in Peter Bruegel that turned into a lifelong inspiration; the role of politics in his family; moving to Miyazaki, Japan as a young teenager to live with his grandparents while going to school; joining the art club in high school and his fellow club mates who introduced him to more contemporary Japanese and European art; creating Happenings in high school; his interest in county folklore and superstitions and its eventual role in his art; the interaction between Western contemporaries and Japanese traditions in his work; his interest in art history; attending Musashino Art College in Tokyo, Japan where he majored in industrial ceramics; being dissatisfied with college; his political activism while in college; experimenting with paper mache to create three dimensional objects; the mingei movement; his apprenticeship in Koishiwara, Japan where he learned the fundamentals of functional potter; meeting lifelong friends such as Christ Holmquist and mentor Ken Ferguson while in Koishiwara; moving to the United States in 1974 and attending Kansas City Art Institute under the direction of Ferguson; various projects he undertook while finishing his degree at Kansas City; receiving his MFA from Alfred University, where he experimented with the idea of what contemporary art should be; his slab pieces; his first residency at the Archie Bray foundation in Helena, Montana and his continued relationship with the Foundation; traveling between Japan and the United States while acting as a substitute professor at various universities; his relationship with Garth Clark's gallery for over 20 years; teaching full time as a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, beginning in 1993; the importance of stressing both technique and creativity; his joy at watching the development of his students; transitions in his work brought on each decade and through constant travel; the role of globalization in his work; the narrative of the group pieces he has created in recent years; his memory as constant inspiration and more recent projects, including larger, figurative works. Takamori also recalls Victor Babu, Val Cushing, Wayne Higby, Tony Hepburn, Ted Randall, Robert Turner, William Perry, Peter Voulkos, Rudy Autio, David Shaner, Jun Kaneko, Jamie Walker, Doug Jeck, Amie McNeel, Mark Zirpel, Patti Warashina, Viola Frey, Betty Woodman, Elizabeth Brown, Josh DeWeese and others.

Oral history interview with James L. Tanner, 2011 October 7-8

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 5 sound files (2 hr., 46 min.)

Transcript: 34 pages

An interview of James L. Tannery conducted 2011 October 7 and 8, by Mary Savig, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Tanner's home, in Janesville, Minnesota.

Oral history interview with Dorothea Tanning, 1990 July 11-November 5

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 191 pages.

An interview of Dorothea Tanning conducted 1990 July 11-November 5, by Barbara Shikler, for the Archives of American Art. Tanning discusses life in Illinois, New York, Arizona, and France. She recalls artists Max Ernst, Andre Breton, Julien Levy, George Balanchine, Yves Tanguy, and Kay Sage.

Oral history interview with Lenore Tawney, 1971 June 23

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 32 pages.

An interview of Lenore Tawney conducted 1971 June 23, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Robert Taylor, 1980 March 13-1990 June 7

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 75 pages.

An interview of Robert Taylor conducted 1980 March 13-1990 June 7, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Oral history interview with Paul Thiry, 1983 September 15-16

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 97 pages.

An interview of Paul Thiry conducted 1983 September 15-16, by Meredith L. Clausen, for the Archives of American Art's Northwest Oral History Project at the artist's home.

Thiry speaks of his early years in Nome, San Francisco, Paris, and Seattle; the decision to become an architect; his early designs; the influence of Japanese architecture; his work in public housing architecture; current trends in architecture; regional influences; church design; shopping center design; the Beaux Arts style; and the importance of history and diversity in modern design.

Oral history interview with Edgar Tolson, 1981 July 30

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 1 sound cassette

Transcript: 14 p.

An interview of Edgar Tolson conducted 1981July 30, by Estill Curtis Pennington, with the assistance of Larry Hackley, for the Archives of American Art.

Tolson discusses his family; living in Campton, Kentucky.; wood-carving techniques and subject matter; and selling his work.

Oral history interview with Harold Tovish, 1997 November 13-1998 April 7

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

Transcript: 94 pages.

Interview of Harold Tovish, conducted by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution on November 13, 1997 at his home and studio in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tovish speaks of his kinetic sculpture of the 1960s; his return to kinetic work in the 1970s and early 1980s; his creative process; acceptance of death; his confidence in the role of art and his own work, despite the lack of a traditional broad base of support; his experience as a sculptor-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, 1966; slow working procedures; his disenchantment with most modern art that employs technology; admiration for the formal economy of Minimalist art and its influence on him; the absence in his work, for the most part, of overtly political themes, yet the presence of moral stances stemming from his Depression-era background and anti-Vietnam War protests; his left wing political views; the artificiality of exhibitions; the desirability of artists organizing for mutual benefit and discourse; the transitory nature of fame; avoidance of friendships with museum curators; comparisons of his teaching experience at Boston University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; his 1990 exhibition at Boston University and Terry Dintenfass Gallery, NYC; self-portraits and variations on them; prints and drawings curator at the Boston Public Library, regarding Boston artists; the neglect of Boston area artists by other Boston art institutions; his 1988 retrospective at the Addison Gallery of American Art; the importance of a balanced and frank working relationship with his late wife, the sculptor Marianna Pineda; the professional mores that infused their generation of artists; the major change in his sculpture in the early 1980s; a subsequent period of drawing in the late 1980s which was triggered by attacks of vertigo; interest in anatomical parts; the infrequency of sculpture exhibits; a consistent thread of "darkness" or apprehensiveness in his work; and his acceptance of his first commission, a monument to the painter John Singleton Copley for Boston's Copley Square. Tovish also recalls Hyman Bloom, William Zorach, Sinclair Hitchings, Philip Guston, Doris Lessing, and others.

Oral history interview with Robert Trotman, 2005 September 14

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 51 pages.

An interview of Robert Trotman conducted 2005 September 14, by Carla Hanzal, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's studio, in Casar, N.C.

Trotman discusses how he first became involved and attracted to woodworking while living in northern Virginia in the 1970s; his early involvement with the Penland School of Crafts, Penland, N.C., and its influence on his work; his first visits to galleries in New York, including the Paula Cooper Gallery, the Heller Gallery, and the Holly Solomon Gallery, in the early 1980s; the difference between art and craft, and where his work fits in that continuum; why he stopped making furniture in 1997, and what he hopes to accomplish as a sculptor; his major artistic influences, including Martin Puryear, Judith Shea, and James Surls; his academic background in philosophy, which was his major in college, and his attraction to existentialism, especially the writings of Franz Kafka; his upper-middle class childhood in Winston-Salem, N.C., where his father was a banker and his mother a homemaker, who was interested in early American furniture and antiques; his view of America as puritanical and of the American upper classes as "wooden," lacking feeling and soul; his uncle, Frank Trotman, a gallery/frame shop owner who lived a Bohemian lifestyle in Winston-Salem in the 1940s, and exposed him to the artist's lifestyle; his fascination with his grandmother's collection of wooden figures, which consisted of four- and five-inch-tall European peasant characters; his interest in human psychology, and his attraction to writers such as Slavoj Zizek and Jacques Lacan in particular; the pleasure he gets from working with wood and the strengths of its unique qualities; his commissions and how he feels they fit into his oeuvre overall; his teaching experiences; and the influence and support of his wife, Jane Trotman, on whom he relies for advice and feedback. Trotman also recalls John Brooks, Sam Maloof, Tom Spleth, Stuart Kestenbaum, Ron Mueck, Evan Penny, John Currin, Robert Lazzarini, Julie Heffernan, Stephan Balkenhol, George Adams, Robert Morris, and others.

Oral history interview with Joseph S. Trovato, 1979 July 29

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 53 pages.

An interview of Joseph S. Trovato conducted 1979 July 29, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Serge Trubach, 1964 December 5

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 29 pages.

An interview of Serge Trubach conducted 1964 December 5, by Mary Fuller McChesney, for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project.

Oral history interview with Marcia Tucker, 1978 August 11-September 8

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 218 pages.

An interview of Marcia Tucker conducted 1978 August 11-September 8, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

Ms. Tucker speaks of many aspects of her life. She starts with the incredible poverty she has experienced at times as a young girl and a married woman. She recalls her work with women's organizations and tells us she was in at the start of the women's movement in the USA. She talks about the people she has met, her time in France, her work as a curator at the Whitney and starting the New Museum.

Oral history interview with Rexford Tugwell, 1965 January 21

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 28 pages

An interview of Rexford Tugwell conducted 1965 January 21, by Richard Doud, for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project.

Oral history interview with Robert Chapman Turner, 2001 June 11

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 48 pages.

An interview of Robert Turner conducted 2001 June 11, by Margaret Carney, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Smithsonian Productions, in Washington, D.C.

Turner speaks of his childhood in Brooklyn, N.Y.; his father's business, Turner Concrete (now called Turner Construction); drawing classes; attending the George School for a post-graduate year before attending Swarthmore College, where his major was economics; the importance of Quakerism in his life and work; traveling throughout Europe and the Southwestern United States; his marriage to Sue, their trip to Europe during the outbreak of World War II and the difficulty of coming home to America; his involvement in war activities as a conscientious objector; the transition after the war ended into a "different reality"; visiting the different schools of craft, including Penland, Alfred, and Haystack; attending Alfred University, the teachers and students there during his years there; his relationships with other students, such as Ted Randall and Bill Schickel; teaching at Black Mountain College immediately after his graduation from Alfred; his admiration of Marguerite Wildenhain; his involvement in the first Super Mud phenomenon in 1966; how African culture fits into his work; the collaborative effort at Penland; the establishment of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and his experience as the third president of the group; his "retirement" since 1979; the types of materials he uses; the awards he has received; galleries and exhibitions in which he has exhibited; and recollections of Bill Brown, founder of the Penland School of Crafts. Turner also recalls Josie Adams, Charles Harder, Kurt Ekdahl, Marion Fosdick, Bill Pitney, Jessie Shefrin, and others.

Oral history interview with Jack Tworkov, 1981 May 22

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 15 pages

An interview of Jack Tworkov conducted 1981 May 22, by Gerald Silk, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.

Tworkov speaks of his acquaintance with Mark Rothko, which grew closer just before Rothko's death, and he recounts running into him in the street the day of Rothko's death. He discusses the merit of the work of Barnett Newman and Newman's role among that group of artists. Tworkov finishes with a discussion of his own work and current trends in art.

Oral history interview with Ruth Pershing Uhler, 1965 May 11

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 11 pages

An interview of Ruth Pershing Uhler conducted 1965 May 11, by Sylvia Loomis, for the Archives of American Art.

Uhler speaks of her background and education; becoming involved with the Public Works of Art Project working on a mural project for the public library in Houston; going to work for the Museum of Fine Arts; the history of the Museum; the growth of its collection; the Index of American Design; the importance of the Museum of Fine Arts to the community.

Oral history interview with William Underhill, 2002 June 8

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 41 pages.

An interview of William Underhill conducted 2002 June 8, by Margaret Carney, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Wellsville, N.Y.

Underhill speaks of being born in Berkeley, California, to parents who were art teachers; the differences between the West Coast Bay Area arts and crafts movement and that of the east coast; attending California College of Arts & Crafts for two years and then transferring to the University of California at Berkeley, in 1953, to enter the architecture program; building a dome out of aluminum for the city of Oakland's parks department with other students during the summer of 1956; being drafted into the Army in 1957; working for the U.S. Army headquarters in Germany as a draftsman; prominent and influential craft artists that he knew; marrying Linn Baldwin [Underhill], a fellow classmate, in 1957, and starting a family; re-entering UC Berkeley, finishing his B.A. degree in 1960 and completing his M.A. in 1961; his studies with Peter Voulkos; making bronze bowls, which led to his idea of casting wax, modeling wax fabrication, using sheet wax, and making textured sculpture and geometric shapes; having one of his bowl pieces in the Museum of Contemporary Crafts; the Oakland Museum buying a piece of his work; his teaching position at Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M.; being in the "Young Americans" exhibit and receiving the "Best of Show" award in 1962; most teachers trying to "emulate" the style of Peter Voulkos; moving to New York; showing at the Blumenfeld Gallery; sharing a studio next to the Clay Arts Center in Port Chester, N.Y.; building a foundry and a melting facility; teaching part-time at a community adult art center in White Plains, N.Y.; his financial difficulties; teaching part-time at Pratt Institute in 1965; J. Gordon Lippincott, of the industrial firm Lippincott and Margolies, commissioning him to do large scale steel sculptures for major corporations; working as a draftsman in an architect's office in New York City to pay for rent and groceries in 1966; teaching a summer session at Columbia's Teacher's College; teaching full-time as an instructor at New York University in 1967; teaching a workshop at Alfred University, in 1963; interviewing for a teaching position at Alfred at the College Art Association meeting, in Boston, in 1968; moving in the summer of 1969 to Alfred to teach; his counter-culture lifestyle and consequent decrease in his artistic production; showing at the Lee Nordness Gallery in the 1960s; exhibiting at the Perimeter Gallery, Helen Drutt Gallery, Twining Gallery, and Garth Clark Gallery in the 1980s; creating the bronzed statue of King Alfred for Alfred University and selling his copyright to them; his signature stamp; having pieces in the American Craft Museum and in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's collection; teaching at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, the Anderson Ranch, and the Mendocino Art Center; various craft magazines including Craft Horizons and Metalsmith; being a member of the American Craft Council [ACC]; his retirement in 1997; and working at the Berkeley Art Foundry in the summer of 2002. Underhill also recalls Robert Arneson, Josephine Blumenfeld, Diane Cox, Val Cushing, Peter Dodge, Jack Earl, Andrew Jevremovic, Manuel Neri, Bill Parry, Ted Randall, Dan Rhodes, Glenn Zweygardt, and others.

Oral history interview with Bror Utter, 1979 February 14

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 42 pages

An interview of Bror Utter conducted 1979 February 14, by Lisa Laughlin Ferguson, for the Archives of American Art.

Utter speaks of his family background; his early interest in art; early travels through the southwestern U.S.; influential art teachers; early exhibitions of his work; going into printmaking and collage; traveling to Rome; influences and inspirations; and future directions.

Oral history interview with John Vachon, 1964 April 28

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 18 pages.

An interview of John Vachon conducted 1964 April 28, by Richard Doud, for the Archives of American Art.

Vachon speaks of how he started on the Farm Security Administration project; getting started as an FSA photographer; helping to organize the photograph file; early assignments as a photographer; the influence of Walker Evans; making decisions about the subject matter of the photographs; the growth of the FSA project; the difference between being a photographer for LOOK magazine and for the FSA; his philosophy of photography; and his most memorable experiences with the FSA. He recalls Roy Stryker.

Oral history interview with Patssi Valdez, 1999 May 26-June 2

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 80 pages

An interview of Patssi Valdez conducted 1999 May 26-June 2, by Jeffrey Rangel, for the Archives of American Art.

The interviews were conducted at the artist's home/studio in Los Angeles, California. Valdez discusses her current show at the Laguna Art Museum, "A Precarious Comfort," and the intensely personal nature of the work being exhibited; the liberating aspects of painting and her journey from dealing with the problems and concerns of the Chicano community to a more internal focus in which she examines her personal emotional life through symbol and imagination; how, in her work, landscape has come to represent emotions and states of mind; health problems and her turning to alternative methods of healing; her relationship with Asco and her eventual break from the group to pursue her art studies at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (now Otis College of Art and Design) and in New York, and with a NEA grant to Europe and Mexico; difficulties she experienced with her decision to focus on art school and on her survival as an artist, while trying to keep in touch with friends and peers; friendships with Amalia Mesa Bains, Christina Fernandez, and Gronk, as well as with Sister Karen Boccalero whose Self-Help Graphics contributed so much to the growth of a younger generation of Chicano artists; fellow Asco artist Harry Gamboa, Jr., and their mutual goals in their art to subvert Chicano stereotypes; what constitutes Chicano art and how the Les Demon des Anges show changed her perspective; and her ability to create change through her art.

Oral history interview with Kathy Vargas, 1997 November 7-25

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 70 pages

An interview of Kathy Vargas conducted 1997 November 7-25, by Jacinto Quirarte, in San Antonio, Texas, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Dorothy Varian, 1980 December 6-7

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 66 pages.

An interview of Dorothy Varian conducted 1980 December 6-7, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Regina Vater, 2004 February 23-25

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 67 pages

An interview of Regina Vater conducted 2004 February 23-25, by Cary Cordova, for the Archives of American Art, in her home in Austin, Texas.

Vater speaks of her childhood in Copacabana, Ipanema, south of Rio de Janeiro; her father's career as a physician; her Basque, Portuguese, and Jewish heritage; her early education including early experiences with Greek philosophy; her parents' reaction to her desire to be an artist; her great-grandfather's translation of Virgil and Homer into Portuguese; her study abroad in France in 1972; her move to New York in the mid-1970s; her motivations for various works of art, including the series Gentle Solitude, Three Chinese Monkeys, Luxo Lixo, Electronic Nature, The Knots, Tina America, and "O Que e Arte?"; her Guggenheim fellowship in 1981; the 1976 Whitney Biennial; her marriage to video installation artist Bill Lundberg; her move to Austin, Tex.; her work with the Franklin Furnace Gallery and Flue magazine; her involvement with "cinema verité"; making films with Ruth Escobar; her travels in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lima, Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia; her perception of the emotional differences between Latinos and Americans; her love of Brazilian culture; her own classification of her work and potential reasons for the lack of scholarship on her work; her activities as a curator including the 1984 show "Latin American Visual Thinking," at the Art Awareness Gallery in New York, N.Y.; difficulties with the Brazilian government in attempting to bring her film Green into that country; her love of poetry, especially concrete poetry; and the spirituality of her work. Vater also recalls Helio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Frank Schaeffer, Antonio Diaz, Carlos Vergara, Rubens Gerschman, Mario Schemberg, Lucy Lippard, Augustos de Campos, John Cage, Joseph Beuys, Quentin Fiore, Tomasso Trinino, Bill Lundberg [the artist's husband], Leo Castelli, Dore Ashton, Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman, Sophie Calle, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Ruth Escobar, Antonio Pitanga, Bobby Wilson, Sylvia Orozco, Bill Viola, Ana Mendieta, Martha Wilson, Catalina Parra, Liliana Porter, and others.
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