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Catalog Data

Interviewee:
Mason, John, 1927-2019  Search this
Interviewer:
Smith, Paul J., 1931-  Search this
Subject:
Coplans, John Rivers  Search this
Marer, Fred  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd  Search this
Peterson, Susan Harnley  Search this
Sullivan, Louis H.  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Voulkos, Peter  Search this
Soldner, Paul Edmund  Search this
Sheets, Millard Owen  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster),  Search this
Melchert, Jim  Search this
Koshalek, Richard  Search this
Ballard, Richard  Search this
Kienholz, Edward  Search this
Price, Kenneth Martin  Search this
McClain, Mac  Search this
Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Otis Art Institute  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Physical Description:
Transcript: 47 pages.
General Note:
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 26 min.
Access Note / Rights:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire audio recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Summary:
An interview of John Mason conducted 2006 August 28, by Paul Smith, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Smith's office, in New York, N.Y.
Mason speaks of his childhood in rural Nevada; early interests in photography and jazz; moving to Los Angeles to attend the Los Angeles County Art Institute, now Otis College of Art and Design; attending Chouinard Art Institute; experiences working at Vernon Kilns and with the head designer Elliot House; opening Glendale Boulevard Studio with Peter Voulkos; his association with Ferus Gallery; and teaching experiences at Pomona College, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Irvine, and Hunter College. He also discusses the development of the Hudson River series exhibition; solo exhibitions at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA Louver Gallery, Pasadena Art Museum, now Norton Simon Museum of Art, and others; participation in group exhibitions such as, "Sculpture Off the Pedestal" at Grand Rapids Museum of Art; imagery found in his work including the orbit, the figure, the torque, the spear form, the vertical form, the cross or X form, symmetry and the monolith; an interest in Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan; the architectural qualities in his work; the foresight of Buckminster Fuller; and the accelerating change in technology that has taken place over the course of his career. Mason recalls Susan Peterson, Kenneth Price, Paul Soldner, Mac McClain, Fred Marer, Millard Sheets, Edward Kienholz, Walter Hopps, James Melchert, John Coplans, Richard Ballard, Richard Koshalek, and others.
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with John Mason, 2006 August 28. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms:
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Funding:
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. 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.
Biography Note:
John Mason (1927-2019 ) was a ceramicist of Los Angeles, California. Paul Smith (1931- ) is Director Emeritus, American Craft Museum of New York City, N.Y.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art 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 administrators.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Topic:
Sculptors  Search this
Ceramicists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13582
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)265527
AAA_collcode_mason06
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_265527