Skip to Content

Found 2,812 Resources

Oral history interview with Michael St. Clair, 1994 March 14 and April 28

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 44 pages. An interview of Michael St. Clair conducted 1994 March 14- 1994 April 28, by Gail Stavitsky and John Driscoll, for the Archives of American Art.
St. Clair briefly discusses his art training at the Kansas City Institute of Art and at the Art Students League and compares the teaching styles of Thomas Hart Benton and George Grosz. He talks about his work as the director of the Oklahoma (City) Art Center and designing window displays for Macy's and other department stores in New York City. Finally, he reviews his career at Babcock Galleries, focusing his discussion on his acquisition of the work of Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, John Kensett, and Thomas Eakins, among others.

Oral history interview with Toshiko Takaezu, 2003 June 16

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 33 pages. An interview of Toshiko Takaezu conducted 2003 June 16, by Gerry Williams, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Quakertown, N.J.
Takaezu describes growing up in Hawaii in a large family; her first work as a commercial potter; working with Claude Horan; how religion factors into her work; studying ceramics at Cranbrook Academy of Art with Maija Grotell; the role of universities and apprenticeships in the craft movement; teaching at Princeton and the Cleveland Institute of Art; visiting artists in Japan; setting up a studio in Clinton, N.J.; her teaching philosophy; the evolution of her work from functional to closed vessels; the inside of her large pots; the importance of color and glazes; her career highlights; the inspiration she finds in nature; her role in political and social activities; her relationship with galleries, including Perimeter and Charles Cowles Gallery; her exhibition history; and the changing face of the American craft movement. She also recalls Claude Horan, Maija Grotell, Otagaki Rengetsu, Kaneshige, Rosanjin, Jeff Schlanger, and others.

Oral history interview with Daniel Varney Thompson, 1974 September 25-1976 November 2

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 46 pages An interview of Daniel Varney Thompson conducted 1974 September 25-1976 November 2, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Thompson speaks of authenticating a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci; teaching at Harvard University with Edward Waldo Forbes; his 1923-1925 expedition to India and China with Langdon Warner and Fogg Art Museum personnel to study cave paintings; setting up the art history department at Yale with Everett Meeks and teaching tempera painting; his studies in Europe and work at the Courtauld Institute in London; and translating manuscripts dealing with medieval painting techniques and media. He recalls Bernard Berenson and William Mills Ivins.

Oral history interview with George Tsutakawa, 1983 September 8-19

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 119 pages An interview of George Tsutakawa conducted 1983 September 8-19, by Martha Kingsbury, for the Archives of American Art's Northwest Oral History Project, in Seattle, Washington.
Tsutakawa speaks of his youth in Japan and Seattle, and the importance of a bicultural family and education on his development; the influence of European art magazines and American movies in Japan; family members who were influential; his early sculpture; Alexander Archipenko; the Asian art community in Seattle; teaching at the University of Washington School of Architecture; Bauhaus philosophy; the Seattle Public Library fountain; his World War II experiences; art and World's Fairs; fountains he has sculpted and his feelings about them; and permanency in art.

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 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 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 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 Robert Vázquez-Pacheco, 2017 December 16-17

Archives of American Art
Audio: 8 sound files (6 hr., 59 min.) digital, wav Transcript: 131 pages An interview with Robert Vázquez-Pacheco conducted 2017 December 16 and 17, by Theodore Kerr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at The New School, in New York, New York.
Vazquez-Pacheco speaks of his childhood in South Bronx housing projects; members and dynamics of his family growing up; experiences and discourses of religion, race, gender, sexuality, reading, and the arts as a child and adolescent; attending SUNY Oswego for one year; an existentially pivotal year in Miami in 1975; returning to New York in 1976, immersing himself in Latino gay culture, and being exposed to white gay culture; living in Hempstead, New York for two years with a boyfriend, and beginning to paint again; working at Chase Manhattan Bank and volunteering for the Gay Switchboard in New York City in the late '70s; the beginning of the AIDS epidemic; caring for his boyfriend, Jeff, who died of AIDS in 1986; the particular experience and effect of HIV on communities of color and low-income communities; mounting societal homophobia during the epidemic; leading Gay Circles, a gay men's consciousness-raising group, in the late '80s; his involvement in ACT UP, and burgeoning political consciousness, after Jeff's death; activism as a creative outlet; working at different times with the People With AIDS health group, the Anti-Violence Project, the Minority AIDS Taskforce, Latino Gay Men of New York, Minority AIDS Coalition in Philadelphia, and LLEGO in Washington; AIDS activism's failure to think intersectionally and build coalitions; his involvement in Gran Fury; becoming a more prolific writer, and getting involved with Other Countries, in the early '90s; Gran Fury's 2011 retrospective; the need for racial diversity and representation in activism and the art world; white flight from AIDS activism following the arrival of protease inhibitors; personal frustrations with the current AIDS activism discourse and nonprofit organizational complex, and the general cultural conversation about HIV/AIDS; contrasting representations of AIDS activism in How to Survive a Plague and BPM; and the essential role of art in AIDS activism. Vazquez-Pacheco also recalls Mark Simpson, Craig Metroka, David Kirschenbaum, Maxine Wolfe, Avram Finkelstein, Deb Levine, Charles King, Robert Garcia, Ortez Alderson, Derek Hodel, Gregg Bordowitz, Michael Callen, Carl George, Joey Walsh, Matt Foreman, Vito Russo, Larry Kramer, Tom Kalin, Marlene McCarty, Charles Rice-González, George Ayala, Essex Hemphill, Manolo Guzmán, Donald Moffett, Cladd Stevens, Richard Elovich, Loring McAlpin, Michael Nesline, Peter Staley, David France, Andrew Miller, and others.

Oral history interview with Tony Vevers, 1998 July 9-August 25

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes (2 hr., 49 min.) : analog. Transcript: 58 pages Interview of Tony Vevers, conducted on August 25, 1998, by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Vevers speaks of being sent by his parents to the United States in 1940; secondary schooling in Madison, Connecticut and at the Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut (1944); serving in the U.S. Army infantry in Europe, 1944-1946; attending Yale University on the GI Bill and graduating with a BA in painting and drawing, 1950; further art training in Florence, Italy and at the Hans Hofmann School, NYC (1950-1953); his marriage to Elspeth Halvorsen, fellow artist, 1953; his studies in Italy; the unexciting nature of contemporary Italian art; contemporary art in Paris, where Picasso impressed him but work of Hans Hartung and (Marie Elena) Vieira da Silva did not; studying with Hans Hofmann; working at the non-profit City Center Gallery, which was designed to give younger artists exposure through juried exhibitions; and living in poverty in NYC and Provincetown until 1963. Vevers also recalls Tom Blagden, Alfred Stieglitz, Deane Keller, Rudolph Zallinger, Claes Oldenburg, Stephen Pace, Lawrence Calcagno, Hans Hofmann, Milton Avery, Adolph Gottlieb, Jack Levine, Franz Kline, Louise Nevelson, Max Weber, Richard Lippold, and others.

Oral history interview with Massimo Vignelli, 2011 June 6-7

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 9 sound files (6 hr., 52 min.) Transcript: 153 pages An interview of Massimo Vignelli conducted 2011 June 6-7, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Vignelli's home and office, in New York, New York.
Vignelli speaks of his youth and early start in art design and architecture; his early work at Catiglione architects at the age of 16; his father; his education; meeting his favorite architects; his influences; architecture and design magazines; organic and rationalist architecture in Italy; influence of Ignazio Gardella; Adolf Loos' idea of spoon to the city; European, American, and Italian architecture; education in Milan; his work with Venini Glass; Italian design; his early graphic work; design and vulgarity; marriage and working with Lella Vignelli; graphic design work at the Container Corporation; concept of design as a whole; his work on corporate identities; his establishment of Vignelli Associates; introduction and use of Helvetica in the United States; working with Knoll; choosing clients; design and culture; his work on St. Peter's Lutheran Church; design work for the United States National Parks newspaper design and layout; Unimark; timelessness and design; working with Poltrona Frau, Zero Labor design; major influences; his work for the United States Postal Service; connectivity and context in architecture; his clothing designs and historical perspectives on clothing; postmodernism; his work on the New York Subway; design work before and after computers; Japanese architecture and design; his work as a teacher; Oliviero Toscani and working for Benetton; America and international design; modernism and the office building; modern design and furniture; a timeline of his career; the Vignelli Center at RIT and archiving. Vignelli also recalls, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Giuseppe Terragni, Giuseppe Pagano, Domus, Gió Ponti, Metron, Bruno Zevi, Ignazio Gardella, Ray and Charles Eames, Giancarlo De Carlo, Venini Glass, Carlo Scarpa, Ralph Eckerstrom, Umberto Eco, Sansoni Publishing House, Vignelli Associates, Walter Kacik, Helvetica, Knoll, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, National Parks, New York Herald, Unimark, Lella Vignelli, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Poltrona Frau, Dieter Rams, Louis Kahn, Stendig Calendar, A to Z, Salon de Mobile, Michael Graves, Robert Venturi, Oliviero Toscani, Benetton, Herman Miller, Steelcase, and the Vignelli Center.

Oral History interview with Carlos Villa, 1995 June 20-July 10

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 134 pages An interview of Carlos Villa conducted 1995 June 20-July 10, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Villa discusses his "progress" from Filipino background to his art world identity; the phenomena and individuals who contributed to the new awareness in the mid-1970s: "El Movimiento," Chicano "Rasquache," Rupert Garcia, Amalia Mesa-Baines; the idea of "recuperation," and the sense of Asian-American identity and community as a basis for his art. Villa recalls growing up in San Francisco; his early life; living in the Tenderloin district and his exposure to racism; the influence of his cousin, artist Leo Valledor; growing up Filipino in California and the difficulties that accompanied it. Villa discusses popular (black) culture, jazz "guapo," zoot-suit style as role models and basis for aesthetic/art; his admiration for black self-esteem; his aesthetics; viewing art as a way out of the ghetto and an escape from racism.
Villa discusses his introduction to the California School of Fine Arts (soon thereafter the San Francisco Art Institute); his need to be part of the artist community; CSFA and other students and teachers; and his self-conception as a modernist. He discusses the technical aspects of his art; the influence of various Bay Area artists on his work; his investigation of Filipino art history and his role models; the role of the women at the CSFA and women as role models. Villa recalls his first show at Pointdexter in New York; his associations with minimalists and the Park Place Gallery group; his New York minimalist phase and his need to escape the New York environment after six years. He discusses his return to the Bay Area and his use of identity/politics as subjects for his art.
Villa recalls or mentions Rupert Garcia, Leo Valledor, Manuel Neri, Joan Brown, Bill Morehouse, David Stone Martin, Wallace Berman, William Wiley, Bob and Dona Hudson, Bill Allen, Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, Ralph DuCass, Walter Kuhlman, Wally Hedrick, Bruce Conner, Alvin Light, Claire Falkenstein, Bob McFarlane, Hayter, Tapies, Fred Martin, Nathan Oliveira, Jennifer Bartlett, Dick Maclean, Elizabeth Murray, Alfred Neumeyer, Mark Rothko, Kenneth Noland, Sol Lewitt, Mark di Suvero, Robert Grovesnor, Tom Seligman, Kurt Schwitters, Robert Rauschenberg, Angela Davis, and Moira Roth.

Oral history interview with Nina von Eckardt, 2012 July 31-August 13

Archives of American Art
Trasncript: 109 pages

An interview of Nina von Eckardt conducted 2012 July 31 and August 13, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art, at von Eckardt's home, in West New York, N.J.

Oral history interview with Berthe von Moschzisker, 1990 November 26

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes Transcript: 108 p. An interview of Berthe von Moschzisker conducted 1990 November 26, by Anne Schuster Hunter, for the Archives of American Art Philadelphia Project.
Von Moschzisker speaks about her background and education; cataloging the John S. Phillips print collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; her tenure as director of the Print Club of Philadelphia, including editions published for the club by Leonard Baskin and others; print workshops including Prints in Progress run by Stanley William Hayter; the Print Club Permanent Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; supporters of the club; and the status of prints within the Philadelphia art community.

Oral history interview with William Walker, 1991 June 12-14

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 111 pages An interview of William Walker conducted 1991 June 12-14, by Victor Sorell, for the Archives of American Art.
Walker discusses his childhood in Birmingham, Alabama and Chicago, Illinois; painting murals in Memphis; the Chicago Mural Group, the Wall of Respect in Chicago, the Wall of Dignity in Detroit and other murals; subject matter and use of black historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Elijah Muhammad; use of narrative; public response to the murals; and artists he worked with including Eugene Edaw, Mark Rogovin, John Weber and Mitchell Caton.

Oral history interview with Kay WalkingStick, 2011 December 14-15

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 7 sound files (5 hr., 21 min.) Transcript: 105 pages An oral history interview of Kay WalkingStick conducted 2011 December 14-15, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at WalkingStick's studio, in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York.
WalkingStick speaks of her childhood experiences and her parents; her grandfather Simon Ridge Walkingstick and jurisprudence; Dartmouth and Indian scholarships; how her parents met; her mother as a big influence; drawing and art in the family; her siblings; Syracuse; outdoors; Onondaga Valley; painting; winning a Scholastic Art Award; moving to Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania; attending Beaver; the 1950s; Pratt; review in Artnews; Danforth Foundation; Christianity; the women's movement; Cannabis Gallery; Native American heritage; Teepee Form and Chief Joseph; using wax; Dawes Commission; influences and artists; Catholicism; Italy; Bowling Green; sketchbooks; eroticism; Edward Albee's summer camp; Wenger Gallery; The Cardinal Points; being biracial; spirituality; Rome; abstraction and patterns; Il Cortile; Cairo; traveling; teaching; Cornell; Stony Brook; photography; technology; social and political commentary in art; changes to artwork over time; landscapes; mountains and the Rockies; Colorado; dialogues with God; symbols; art world; dealers; the WalkingSticks; Late Afternoon on the Rio Grande; art theory; drawing; diptych format; Venere Alpina; Sex, Fear and Aging; prints and books; and curiosity and humor. WalkingStick also recalls Simon Ralph WalkingStick, Margaret Emma McKaig, Charles WalkingStick, Murray Peterson McKaig, Benton Spruance, Michael Echols, Bear Paw, Bertha Urdang, Ramona Sakiestewa, Jody Folwell, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Emmi Whitehorse, George Longfish, David Penny, Dirk Bach, Bryn Mawr, and Marsden Hartley.

Oral history interview with Patti Warashina, 2005 September 8

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 42 pages. An interview of Patti Warashina conducted 2005 September 8, by Doug Jeck, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home and studio, in Seattle, Washington.
Warashina discusses her childhood in Spokane, Washington, as the youngest of three children of Japanese immigrants; her first experience with art, which was working on murals in elementary school; getting through school by doing visual art projects, including one on fashion design for a French class; her great-grandmother who sold pottery and rice off a cart in her native Japan; her working processes and moving from high-fire to low-fire glazes, as well as dealing with color and decoration in her work; making increasingly larger pieces and thus discovering more surfaces on which to paint; learning how to make hand-built pieces, and in general learning how to control her material; spending her early years working in a vacuum because she was busy raising a family during the day and working in the studio all night; the influence of Surrealism, the Funk movement, and the Chicago Hairy Who on her work; her love of clay as a medium because it presents challenges and technical variables that keep the work interesting; the status of clay as a valid artistic material, and how that has changed over the course of art history; her own personal definition of art as something that "raises your blood pressure," and what makes a "a good pot into a work of art instead of just a pot"; the difference between her early and later work, which she calls cumulative process; her move to the figure, which came naturally out of her earlier work and was in keeping with the Surrealist images to which she was so attracted; recent series of her work, including Mile Post Queens, and Sake Sets: The Drunken Power Series; the role of the figure in her work and the unique challenges they present; being a self-proclaimed "news junkie" and listening to jazz while she works; spending 30 years teaching and the influence it had on her career; her mother as a strong influence and role model in her life, as well as her mother's interest in crafts and gardening; and the influence of artists such as Hieronymous Bosch, René Magritte and Joan Miró on her work. Warashina recalls Robert Sperry, Fred Bauer, Peter Voulkos, Robert Arneson, Toshiko Takaezu, Henry Takemoto, Garth Clark, Howard Cotler, Matthew Kangas, Warren McKenzie, Nan McKinnell, Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, Soetsu Yanagi, and others.

Oral history interview with Todd Webb, 1990 September 4-1992 May 22

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 57 pages

An interview of Todd Webb conducted 1990 September 4-1992 May 22, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art. Webb speaks of his childhood in Detroit and Ontario, Canada; friendship with photographer Harry Callahan and the influence of a course by Ansel Adams on them both; service as a Navy photographer in World War II; development of a close friendship with Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe during the late 1940s; photographic assignments with FORTUNE magazine for Standard Oil Company under Roy Stryker, and in England and France under Rene Leonhardt, a photo agency; writing and photographic essays on the American West; assignments in 1960s for the United Nations; sale, in the 1970s, of negatives and work to date to the collector George Rinhart; residence in Maine; and his frequent travels.

Oral history interview with Neil Welliver, 1996 November 14

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound cassettes (2 hr., 8 min.) : analog. Transcript: 45 pages An interview of Neil Welliver conducted 1996 November 14, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Welliver's home in Lincolnville, Maine.
Welliver talks about his childhood in Pennsylvania; his self-education; his marriage to a fashion illustrator; attending the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (now University of the Arts), receiving a BFA in 1953; teaching art in a public school; attending the Yale School of Art (MFA 1955) and teachers there; going to Maine; teaching at Yale (1955-1965); teaching at the University of Pennsylvania (1966-1989) at the graduate level. He recalls architect Louis Kahn at Yale and then at Pennsylvania; his various New York dealers from the 1960s, including Eleanor Ward at Stable Gallery, Aladar Marburger at Fischbach Gallery, and Pierre Lefraie at Marlborough Gallery; various art world friends, including Hilton Kramer, Clement Greenberg, and Fairfield Porter; and receiving an honorary doctorate of fine arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1996.

Oral history interview with Angela Westwater, 2006 July 18-August 1

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 27 pages An interview of Angela Westwater conducted 2006 July 18 and August 1, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at the Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York, N.Y.
Westwater speaks of traveling with family as a child; the art environment in Columbus, Ohio; studying art history at Smith College while majoring in government; her first job in the art field at John Weber Gallery in New York; working as an editor at Artforum with John Coplans; differing artistic philosophies of the early staff of Artforum; establishing Sperone Westwater Fischer Gallery with Gian Enzo Sperone in New York in collaboration with Konrad Fischer Gallery in Düsseldorf, Germany; the gallery's aspiration to raise the profile of European artists in the United States; the importance of documenting the work of the gallery's artists for future archival reference and posterity; publishing catalogues and monographs; the process of moving the gallery from Greene Street 142 to its current location at 415 West 13th Street; competition between art dealers and auction houses; her involvement in the Art Dealers Association of America; her personal collecting preferences; the evolving role of the art critic in the contemporary art scene; and current and future levels of collaboration between art dealers and galleries. Westwater also recalls Phyllis Lehmann, Oliver Larkin, Mahonri Young, Carl Andre, Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt, Leo Castelli, Robert Rosenblum, Max Kazloff, Bruce Nauman, Susan Rothenberg, Richard Tuttle, Richard Long, and others.

Oral history interview with Nicholas Wilder, 1988 July 18

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 104 pages An interview of Nicholas Wilder conducted 1988 July 18, by Ruth Bowman, for the Archives of American Art.
Wilder discusses his education; working for the Lanyon Art Gallery near San Francisco; opening the Nicholas Wilder Gallery in Los Angeles in 1965 and operating it until it closed in 1979; the Los Angeles art scene in the 60s and how it has changed; Charlie Cowles and the founding of ARTFORUM magazine; and artists his gallery handled including Bruce Nauman, Joe Goode and Tom Holland.

Oral history interview with Ann Wilson, 2009 April 19-2010 July 12

Archives of American Art
Audio: 12 wav files (7 hr., 1 min.): digital

Transcript: 152 pages.

An interview of Ann Wilson conducted 2009 April 19- 2010 July 12, by Jonathan Katz, for the Archives of American Art, at Wilson's home, in Valatie, N.Y.

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 Robert Winokur, 2011 July 23-24

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 7 sound files (5 hr., 35 min.) Transcript: 159 pages An interview of Robert Winokur conducted 2011 July 23 and 24, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Winokur's home and studio, in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Robert speaks of his mother earning an award for her artwork; his father and other family members being Communists and having to distance himself in being identified with them; his mother making ceramic jewelry while his father was working as a welder at Cramps Shipyard in Philadelphia during World War II; feeling like he had an attention deficit disorder of some kind, which prevented him from doing well in school, so he took ceramics classes in high school to bring his grades up; starting in painting at the Tyler School of Art, finishing in sculpture, clay, and ceramics; appreciating the Abstract Expressionist work of Franz Kline; of the opinion that one learns art by doing and that the teachers are there to direct you only; feeling that he did not have the freedom to experiment with clay as he wished at Alfred University, School of Art and Design for fear of being compared to Peter Voulkos; his first job teaching at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas; teaching in Peoria, Illinois for a year; beginning Cape Street Pottery in Ashfield, Massachusetts; when he began salt firing and working more in sculptural forms; his work influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Paul Klee, Willem de Kooning, Ignazio Giacometti, Zen master calligraphers, Peter Voulkos, and others; feeling that the computer cannot, as of yet, produce the quality of art that humans can through repetition; that the process of creating is more important than the subject; starting his 30-year teaching career at Tyler School of Art in 1966; that students today are approaching ceramics conceptually and academically rather than through a relationship with the material; the beginning of NCECA [National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts]; and how he enjoys making what he wants to, now that he is retired. Robert also recalls Rudolf Staffel, John Wood, Ted Randall, Daniel Rhodes, Shoji Hamada, Marguerite Wildenhain, Ken Ferguson, Norm Schulman, Victor Babu, Myrna Minter, Don Reitz, Helen Drutt English, Richard Notkin, Dick Hay, Marge Levy, and Ken Vavrek.
2713-2736 of 2,812 Resources