Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr., 9 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Fletcher Benton conducted 1989 May 2-4, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at the artist's studio, in San Francisco, California.
Benton speaks of his education in the Midwest and the decision to pursue an art career in California, and the problems of regionalism and provincialism in art. He describes the art scene in San Francisco in the 1950s, and talks about the effect of the San Francisco environment on him. He also speaks of art dealers and their methods, art criticism and museum politics. He discusses his methods and materials, his early ventures into sculpture, his involvement with kinetic sculpture, his work in watercolor. He recalls his acquaintance with John McLaughlin and discusses the influence of Joan Brown's work on his own.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Fletcher Benton, 1989 May 2-4. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available on line.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Fletcher Benton (1931- ) is a painter and sculptor from San Francisco, California.
These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001