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Oral history interview with Charis Wilson, 1982 March 24

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 30 pages

An interview of Charis Wilson conducted by Mimi Luebermann for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with John Wilson, 1993 March 11-1994 August 16

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 497 pages

An interview of John Woodrow Wilson conducted 1993 March-1994 August, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Wilson discusses his childhood as a member of a family of middle class blacks from British Guiana (now Guyana); his father's grave disappointments in the face of racial discrimination; his parents' push for their children to succeed; early urge to read and draw; encouragement by School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston students who taught at the Roxbury Boys Club; his secondary education; and friends.

He talks about his education at the MFA School, Boston, and comments on such teachers as Ture Bengtz and Karl Zerbe and compares their exacting methods with those of Fernand Leger, his teacher in Paris.

His work of the 1940s prior to going to Paris; the importance of early awards and sales received while still a student at the MFA School; the excitement of sharing a studio with fellow students, Francesco Carbone and Leo Prince; and encouragement to stay in school during WW II with the promise of a European study fellowship after the war.

The great impact of his years in Paris (1948-49); the lack of racial prejudice; the liberating effect of Leger's teaching; his awe of the work of Masaccio and Piero della Francesca during a trip to Italy; and the deep impression made on him by seeing tribal art in the Musee de l'Homme, Paris.

Continued discussion of Leger; his teaching methods; and influences on his work.

His first teaching position at the MFA School; his involvement in civil rights in Boston; his gregariousness and the use of his studio as a meeting place for artists and political activists; his involvement with socialism in Boston and New York; and working in a socialist children's camp. He remembers meeting Paul Robeson, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, and Bob Blackburn, who was then setting up his printmaking atelier in New York; marriage to a fellow socialist (June 1950); move to Mexico on a fellowship to study with Jose Orozco on the advice of Leger, only to find that Orozco had died; terrors of travel as an interracial couple through the U.S.; and different racial attitudes in Mexico and the U.S.

Living in Mexico (1950-56) and anecdotes of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera; his wife's meeting with Frieda Kahlo and seeing her collection of folk art; their free and cosmopolitan, if impoverished, life in Mexico; his work in a printmaking atelier and on the production of frescoes, and a lengthy aside about his brilliant brother, Freddie, who because he was black was not allowed to pursue his first love, geology, for many years.

Continued discussion of his experiences in Mexico; the dreary year (1957) he spent doing commercial art for a meatpackers' union in Chicago, a city he disliked; his move to New York in 1958, taking on commercial work to support his family, and teaching anatomy at the Pratt Institute.

Teaching art at a junior high school in the Bronx, and his gaining respect of students through special projects; teaching drawing at Boston University (1965-86), his approach to teaching including his demanding standards, the seriousness of the students, his opposing rigid attendance and grading rules, and colleagues, such as David Aronson who had created the School, Reed Kay, Jack Kramer, Sidney Hurwitz, and the University president, John Silber.

Working with the black arts entrepreneur, Elma Lewis, in setting up a visual arts program for the Boston black community (late 1960s-1970s), including the selection of a curator, Edmund Barry Gaither, a young art historian, who eventually established a museum of African-American art; his participation in various black art exhibitions, despite his belief that art should be seen regardless of the ethnic origins of artists; his move toward sculpture, beginning in the early 1960s, as a medium most expressive of black persons, culminating in the 1980s in a series of colossal heads and a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. for the U.S. Capitol (1985-86); and why he makes art and will so long as he is able.

Oral history interview with Alice Winchester, 1993 September 17-1995 June 29

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 3 sound cassettes (3 hrs., 46 min.) : analog.

Transcript: 72 p.

Interview of Alice Winchester, conducted by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution at Winchester's home in Danbury, CT, September 17, 1993-June 29, 1995.

Winchester speaks of her childhood in the family of a Congregational minister in New England; attending Smith College (BA 1929) as had her mother and sisters; her junior year abroad in France; her clerical employment in New York City; her position as office secretary and then associate editor of "The Magazine Antiques"; working with Homer Eaton Keyes, its founding editor; learning about antiques; meeting many dealers, curators, and collectors (1930-38); her early years as editor of "The Magazine Antiques"; expanding the scope of the magazine, particularly to include articles on folk art and regular features on outstanding public and private collections; her highly specialized, though small, staff, including Helen Comstock; her close associations with important New York dealers, such as Israel Sack and his sons, Harold and Albert, and members of the Ginsburg and Levy firm; her role in establishing the annual Antiques Forum at Colonial Williamsburg; the importance of steady travel to view collections and meet collectors and curators; her several books on antiques; and the wealthy collectors she met, including Electra Havemeyer Webb, of Shelburne, VT. Winchester also recalls Henry Francis Du Pont, Mr. and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Flynt, Marshall and "Petey" Davidson, and Joseph Downs.

Oral history interview with Jackie Winsor, 1990-1992

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 255 pages

An interview of Jackie Winsor conducted 1990-1992, by Lewis Kachur, for the Archives of American Art. Winsor describes her childhood in Newfoundland and New Brunswick, Canada; her art education at Massachusetts College of Art and Rutgers University; moving to New York City and the art scene there, especially SoHo; the development of her artwork; and a trip to India.

Oral history interview with Bob Winston, 2002 July 31-October 10

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 95 pages.

An interview of Bob Winston conducted 2002 July 31-2002 October 2002, by Suzanne Baizerman, for the Archives of American Art as part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home in Concord, California.

Winston speaks of his early childhood and running away from home at 19 months old, being found in a garage and building things ever since; the numerous operations he had as a child; his dyslexia and how he got through college; the death of his father and move to Berkeley, California; teaching at Berkeley High school; 17 years teaching at California College of Arts and Crafts (1942-1959) and the growth of the school throughout that time period; moving to Arizona and teaching lost wax casting in an abandoned supermarket; his inventions, Win-Ox, an oxidizer, and Bubble-Be-Gone, a cleaner; his latest sale of Win-Ox; his title as "San Francisco's Most Professional Eccentric;" and finding that a lot of the people he teaches do not find the "magic" that he does in jewelry work. Winston then discusses his current studio layout in an former hospital building; his machines and different work rooms; his chemistry table, where he makes his Win-Ox solution; his collection; how he's accomplished so much despite his dyslexia; the Hunt brothers and how they made the price of gold drop; living from Art Festival to Festival on the road in his Jeep; his mentors John Haley and Chiura Obata; and his bike, which he still rides. Winston also recalls Aileen Webb, Margaret DePatta, Gene Bielawski, Mark Hopkins, Karl Kasten, and others.

Oral history interview with Lydia Winston, 1976 April 14

Archives of American Art
1 sound tape reel

Transcript: 4 pages

An interview with Lydia Winston Malbin conducted 1976 April 14, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Terry Winters, 2018 November 13 -15

Archives of American Art
Audio: 4 sound files (2 hrs., 54 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 58 pages.

An interview with Terry Winters conducted 2018 November 13 and 15, by Christopher Lyon, for the Archives of American Art, at Winters' White Street Studio in New York, N.Y.

Winters speaks of his aversion to personal mythology in his artwork; his childhood in Brooklyn; early exposure to art exhibitions and classes in New York; his classical art education; formative encounters with avant-garde paintings in the 1960s; the development of his interest in architecture and industrial design; living in SoHo and refurbishing lofts for a living there in the 1970s; his early painting style in relation to Minimalism and Modernist abstraction; assisting in the construction of Walter De Maria's "Lightning Field;" his interest in incorporating natural structures and computational imaging in his paintings; the role of time in his painting practice; new directions in his painting practice beginning in the early 1980s; his decision to start exhibiting his artwork; the beginning of his printmaking practice; the interaction between his painting, printmaking, and drawing practices; his thoughts on the similarities between his artwork and that of Louise Bourgeois; the impetus for his midcareer retrospective at the Whitney Museum in the early 1990s; buying and constructing on a property in Columbia County, New York, where he now paints; the impetus and execution of his 2004 retrospective at the Addison Gallery of Art; developments and changes in his art-making practice between the Whitney and Addison retrospectives; his increasing creation of work in series; the role of scale in his painting practice; the development and implications of various individual works and series reproduced in the Addison retrospective catalog, including "Tenon's Capsule," "Computation of Chains," "Graphic Primitives," "Mesh Works," and "Turbulence Skins;" his collaboration with Trisha Brown; the development and execution of the books Perfection, Way, Origin with Jean Starobinski and "Turbulence Skins" with Ben Marcus; and the role of metaphor in readings of his work. Winters also recalls Ivan Karp, Herb Aach, Louis Kahn, Buckminster Fuller, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Brice Marden, Robert Fosdick, Carroll Dunham, Klaus Kertess, Ileana Sonnabend, Florence Barron, Bill Goldston, Aldo Crommelynck, Lisa Phillips, Hendel Teicher, Adam Wienberg, Dave Douglas, Jennifer Tipton, Merce Cunningham, Yvonne Rainer, and others.

Oral history interview with Denny Winters, 1980 February 7-October 28

Archives of American Art
3 sound files : digital, wav file

Transcript: 52 pages

An interview with Denny Winters conducted 1980 February 7-October 28, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Winters speaks of her training at the Art Institute of Chicago; WPA projects; the development of Maine Coast Artists, a cooperative gallery, during the 1950s-1970s; and her work.

Oral history interview with Norton Wisdom, 2000 April 27

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 19 pages

An interview of Norton Wisdom conducted 2000 April 27, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in a restaurant in Beverly Hills, California.

Wisdom discusses his art school experiences, including the life class he took as a teenager at Chouinard Art Institute from John Altoon.

Oral history interview with Margret Craver Withers, 1983-1985

Archives of American Art
5 sound cassettes

35 color slides.

Transcript (1983-1984): 115 pages.

Transcript (1985) 12 pages.

An interview with Margret Craver Withers conducted 1983-1985, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Withers discusses her childhood in Kansas; early education; and aptitude for drawing.Education in art and design, including studying crafts at the University of Kansas, 1925-29; her position as a grade school teacher in Kansas and as a crafts instructor at Wichita Art Association, 1930s; study with various master metalworkers, including Arthur Nevill Kirk, Arthur J. Stone, Leonard Heinrich and Wilson Weir in the USA, and Baron Erik Fleming in Sweden.Development of Hospital Service Program, with the support of Handy and Harman, precious metal refiners, during World War II, to train army therapists in metalworking for disabled soldiers; supervision in post-War period of Handy and Harman's Craft Service Department, producing films on hand-wrought silver, a traveling exhibition of outstanding contemporary silver, instructional brochures, and a series of workshops for American silversmiths, taught by European masters.Marriage in 1950 to Charles Withers, president of Towle Silver, and that company's policy of employing top designers; Towle's commissioning of works in silver from top modern sculptors; her making of silver holloware and jewelry for private clients; her re-invention of the en resille process for enameling (1959) and in the early 1980s her invention of a process for combining enamel, glass, and silver and gold leaf in jewelry; and her involvement in crafts organizations.She discusses her en resille enameling technique. [The 1985 session is transcribed, and is accompanied by slides of the work discussed].

Oral history interview with Otto Wittmann, 1981 October 25

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 42 pages

An interview of Otto Wittmann conducted 1981 October 25, by Thomas Carr Howe, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Emerson Woelffer, 1999 March 26

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 55 pages

An interview of Emerson Woelffer conducted 1999 March 26, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art's Art Schools in California Project, in Woelffer's studio/home, Los Angeles, California.

Woelffer briefly discusses his own student experience at the Art Institute of Chicago (1933-1937), and focuses more on his teaching at Moholy Nagy's Institute of Design in Chicago, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (1954-1960) where he was head of the fine arts department, and the many years in Los Angeles as an educator at Chouinard Art School (now California Art Institute) and Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design). Woelffer recalls Chouinard students who were the most "far out," among them Larry Bell, Joe Goode, and Ed Ruscha. He credited the free-wheeling stimulation of Los Angeles itself as the source for these experimental artists who were different from those in Chicago. In his final remarks, Woelffer emphasized the importance of drawing to the training of an artist.

Oral history interview with Sonia Wolfson, 1990 August 19

Archives of American Art
3 sound cassettes

Transcript: 38 pages

An interview of Sonia Wolfson conducted 1990 August 19, by Ilene Fort, for the Archives of American Art.

Wolfson speaks of her childhood in New York; moving to California in the 1980s; writing for California Graphic and Game and Gossip; traveling to view various art collections in San Francisco, Chicago, Cleveland, Toledo, Washington D.C., and Europe; working as a secretary for three days at Columbia Studio; working as a writer and art critic for Stendhal Art Galleries in Los Angeles; taking a job for 20th Century Fox as a unit publicist in 1933 during the Depression. Wolfson discusses several of the actors she worked with, including Jane Withers, Darryl Zanuck, George Arliss, and Winfield Sheehan; she reminisces about writing about the 1925-26 Pan-American Exhibition in Los Angeles.

Oral history interview with Virginia Wright, 2017 March 22- 23

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 88 pages.

4 sound files (3 hrs., 13 min.) digital, wav

An oral history interview with Virginia Wright conducted 2017 March 22-23, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art and the Center for the History of Collecting in America at the Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection, at Wright's home in Seattle, Washington.

Oral history interview with John Yeon, 1982 December 14-1983 January 10

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 70 pages

An interview of John Yeon conducted 1982 December 14-1983 January 10, by Marian W. Kolisch, for the Archives of American Art's Northwest Oral History Project.

Yeon speaks of his family background; his early interest in art; educational experiences; his early travels; his early interest in architecture and the influence of the Bauhaus architects; his involvement in landscape, city planning and conservation; and various architectural projects he has been involved in. He recalls the architect Pietro Belluschi.

Oral history interview with Claire Zeisler, 1981 June

Archives of American Art
Transcript 43 pages

An interview of Claire Zeisler conducted 1981 June, by Dennis Barrie, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Wendell Zoehler, 1978 April 14 and 27

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 40 pages

An interview of Wendell Zoehler conducted 1978 April 14 and 27, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Zoehler speaks of his long association with the Doll & Richards art gallery in Boston from 1929 to 1966.

Oral history interview with Elisabeth Ross Zogbaum, 1981 December 3

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 57 pages

An interview of Elisabeth Ross Zogbaum conducted 1981 December 3, by Garnett McCoy, for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with William Zorach, 1959 April 2

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 25 pages

An interview of William Zorach conducted by John Morse on 1959 April 2 for the Archives of American Art.

Oral history interview with Milford Zornes, 1999 July 18-September 5

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 152 pages

An interview of Milford Zornes conducted 1999 July 18-September 5, by Susan M. Anderson, for the Archives of American Art, in Zornes' studio/home, Claremont, California.

Beginning with his childhood in Oklahoma, this interview recounts the formative influences on Mr. Zornes' development as an artist, including his close relationship with Millard Sheets at Pomona College. He discussed the impact of the Mexican muralist Jose Clemente Orozco on his work and on other artists of the California School as well as the importance of nature. He recalled his prolific work on federally-funded art projects such as the PWAP and his mural commission for the Claremont Post Office. Mr. Zornes discussed the impact that WWII had on the California School in general and his particular experience on the China-Burma-India front as one of forty-two official US army artists. He described his long career as a teacher in various educational institutions as well as in outdoor painting workshops conducted around the world. Finally, Mr. Zornes discussed his struggle with macular degeneration and the subsequent change in his working methods due to his recent blindness.

Oral history interview with Jirayr Zorthian, 1997 January 28-July 9

Archives of American Art
Transcript 90 pages.

An interview of Jirayr Zorthian conducted 1997 January 28-July 9, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at Zorthian's home and studio, in Fair Oaks, California.

Zorthian describes his property, Art Ranch, and its meaning to him; his personal and educational background, including studying at Yale; early mural work and his inspiration to move west; settling in Altadena, California in 1945; his description of his property as "The Center for Research and Development of Industrial Discards with Emphasis on Aesthetics"; bohemianism and his desire to stay free of conventions of work; friendships with artists and socially prominent people.

He discusses a profile of him in L.A. Weekly, by Dave Gardetta; his antipathy towards galleries and his "outsider" relationship to the artworld; his recent nude drawings and paintings, the Jennifer Series, and his views the work illustrates social themes and celebration of the body; and his self-concept as an artist and perceptions of him and his work.
2713-2733 of 2,733 Resources