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Oral history interview with Ed Weinstein, 1983 June 14

Archives of American Art
Transcript 17 pages

An interview of Ed Weinstein conducted 1983 June 14, by Barbara Shikler, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.

Weinstein, Mark Rothko's first cousin, discusses family history, in particular his memories of Mark as a child and as a student at Yale.

Oral history interview with Kurt Weiser, 2006 May 22

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 47 pages.

An interview of Kurt Weiser conducted 2006 May 22, by Peter Held, 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 Tempe, Arizona.

Weiser speaks of growing up in East Lansing, Michigan, near the Kresge Art Center at Michigan State University; his mother's encouragement of his interest in the arts; dropping out of high school in the ninth grade and working odd jobs until enrolling at Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan; teaching himself firing techniques with Hal Reigger's book, "Primitive Pottery"; his relationship with his first ceramics teacher, Jean Parsons; and going to Kansas City Art Institute and meeting Ken Ferguson.

He discusses teaching in Portland after undergraduate school, first in the city at Portland Museum Art School, then in Marlyhurst; his studio at Hillside Center; selling pottery at the Ann Arbor Street Fair; attending graduate school at the University of Michigan and earning his M.F.A.; meeting Akio Takamori on a visit back to Kansas City Art Institute; his first experience at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Mont.; and inviting international residents such as Suwanee Natewong to teach at the Bray.

He also covers his travels to Japan and Thailand; the drawings and sketches he did while abroad, and how these drawings inspired his black and white graffito-style pottery; his interests of natural and psychological subject matter; his use of color and inspirational artists such as Maxfield Parrish and Henri Rousseau; his methods for creating imagery; his teaching position at Arizona State University in Tempe; his opinions about the roles of the universities in art education, and of craft periodicals such as American Craft; his time at Guldagergard in Skaelskor, Denmark; and his involvement with National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.

Weiser also recalls Victor Babu, Rick Hensley, Tom Coleman, Jackie Rice, John Stevenson, Ed Labow, and others.

Oral history interview with Clifford West, 1975 February 26-28

Archives of American Art
Transcript: 69 pages

An interview of Clifford West conducted 1975 February 26-28, by Dennis Barrie, for the Archives of American Art.

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.

Oral history interview with Stanley H. Witmeyer, 1985 June 22

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

Transcript: 30 pages

An interview of Stanley H. Witmeyer conducted 1985 June 22, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Witmeyer speaks of his childhood in Palmyra, Pennsylvania and moving to Rochester, New York at the age of nine; attending Edison Tech High School; his devotion to painting and basketball in high school; receiving a basketball scholarship to Syracuse University but deciding instead to attend the Mechanics Institute in Rochester (now the Rochester Institute of Technology); taking his first job with the L.M. Berry Company (then part of the Rochester Telephone Company); getting an offer from Eastman Kodak Company to play basketball for their professional league; quitting the team to attend Buffalo State University to study arts education; taking a job in Cuba, New York as an arts administrator in the public school system; teaching art in grades K-12 in Cuba, New York; receiving a scholarship to attend the Charles Woodbury School in Maine; receiving a scholarship to attend graduate school at Syracuse University, but leaving after a semester after getting drafted into the army during World War II; serving with the 30th Battalion in the mapping division in Hawaii; returning to Syracause University after the war to finish his MFA in design; joining RIT as an instructor in 1946; becoming the director of RIT's school of art and design in 1952.

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.

Memory, Myth & Miniatures

Smithsonian Institution

David Levinthal is a New York-based artist whose photography depicts “the America that never was but always will be.” He uses toys to recreate iconic moments in American history and pop culture, encouraging his audience to question America’s collective memory. Sidedoor visits Levinthal in his studio, and an exhibition of his work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum titled “American Myth & Memory: David Levinthal Photographs” to explore the distinction between fact and fable.

Click here to see the images we discuss in the episode.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

National Air and Space Museum

Today on the show, we tackle the meaning of life. Well… not really. Be definitely matters of consequence. We are talking about the beloved children’s book that taught us the meaning of friendship and the value of a child-like perspective – The Little Prince. Odds are you’ve read the book – but do you know the story behind the parable? Nick sits down with biographer Stacey Schiff and journalist Martin Buckley to unravel the larger-than-life story of the book’s author (and famous flier) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Hear how this hero of early French aviation called on his life experience and personal philosophy to pen one of the most widely read stories of ALL time. PLUS crash landings, asteroids, and war stories!

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