Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 39 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of John Cage conducted 1974 May 2, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Cage speaks of his education; studying art and architecture in Europe; his paintings; his music teachers including Richard Buhlig, Henry Cowell, and Adolph Weiss; his lectures on modern art and music; his first wife, Xenia; teaching at the Cornish School, the Chicago Institute of Design, and Black Mountain College; taking chess lessons from Marcel Duchamp; Oriental philosophy; and "Silence," "Empty Words," and other compositions. He recalls Josef Albers, Bonnie Bird, Merce Cuningham, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Tobey, Alan Watts, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with John Cage, 1974 May 2. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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.
John Cage (1912-1992) was a composer and printmaker from New York, New York.
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 others.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001