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Oral history interview with John Davis Hatch, 1979 Aug. 30-1980 Nov. 7

view Oral history interview with John Davis Hatch, 1979 Aug. 30-1980 Nov. 7 digital asset number 1
Interviewee:
Hatch, John Davis, 1907-1996
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.
Subject:
De Forest, Lockwood
Callahan, Kenneth L.
Morris, Carl A.
Montgomery, Charles Franklin
Bruce, Edward
De Creeft, José
Wharf, John
Du Pont, Henry Francis
Fairbanks, Avard T. (Avard Tennyson)
Price, C. S. (Clayton S.),
Durchanek, Ludvik
Woodbury, Charles H. (Charles Herbert)
Varley, Frederick Horsman
Tobey, Mark
Hills, Laura Coombs
Bluemner, Oscar
Carr, Emily
Pratt, Dudley
American Federation of Arts
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Albany Institute of History and Art
American Artists Depository
Berkshire Museum
Gallery of Fine Arts (Seattle, Wash.)
Museum Directors Association
Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences (Va.)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Place of publication, production, or execution:
United States
Physical Description:
Sound recording: 6 sound tape reels ; 5 in.
Transcript: 307 p.
Summary:
An interview of John Davis Hatch conducted 1979 Aug. 30- 1980 Nov. 7, by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art.
Hatch recalls his childhood in California and training as a landscape architect, including an apprenticeship with Lockwood de Forest. He discusses his appointment as director of the Gallery of Fine Arts in Seattle at age 21 and his efforts there to develop an Asian focus for the museum and cultivate artists of the region, including Mark Tobey, Dudley Pratt, Kenneth Callahan, Emily Carr, Jose de Creeft, Frederick Varley, and Avard Fairbanks. He describes his interest in studying museums across the country and abroad and the roles played in the museum scene by the American Federation of Arts and the Museum Directors Association.
Hatch recalls his work as assistant director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and as director of government art projects in New England in the 1930s, when he worked with Edward Bruce, Oscar Bluemner, Charles Woodbury, John Wharf, and Laura Coombs Hills, among others. He describes an attempt to form the American Artists Depository, a precursor to the Archives of American Art, and his activities collecting American drawings, organizing travelling exhibitions, and promoting American art history as a discipline.
Hatch speaks of his tenure as director of the Albany Institute of History and Art and his efforts to advance an appreciation of local Dutch history and the work of Thomas Cole. He remembers encounters with Henry Francis Du Pont and Charles Franklin Montgomery. Hatch describes the start of his teaching career in Oregon and his involvement with local artists C.S. Price, Carl Morris, and Ludvik Durchanek. He talks about a stint as director of the Norfolk (Va.) Museum of Arts and Sciences and his work as a consultant to museums, especially as it pertained to the development of arts programs at black colleges in the South.
Hatch concludes with a discussion of museums near his home in Lenox, including the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the Berkshire Museum.
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with John Davis Hatch, 1979 Aug. 30-1980 Nov. 7. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding:
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 Hatch (1907-1996) was an art historian, collector, art consultant, and museum director.
Provenance:
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.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Topic:
Interviews
Art
Museums
Art, American
Art historians
Sound recordings
Museum directors
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12048
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212722
AAA_collcode_hatch79
Data Source:
Archives of American Art

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