Oral history interview with Harold Rosenberg, 1970 December 17-1973 January 28
Rosenberg, Harold, 1906-1978
Cummings, Paul, 1933-
De Kooning, Willem
Motherwell, Robert Burns
Inverarity, Robert Bruce
Club (New York, N.Y.)
Office of War Information.
United States.Work Projects Administration
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Transcript: 244 pages.
Originally recorded on 5 sound tapes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 10 hr., 4 min. Interview transcript is not in chronological order; arrangement designated by the interviewer Paul Cummings.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Harold Rosenberg conducted 1970 December 17-1973 January 28, by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art over nine sessions.
Rosenberg speaks on a wide variety of topics including Marxism and Communism; art criticism; teaching and the philosopy of art; how his interest in art developed over the years; getting his writings published and starting a magazine; what intrigues him about the avant-garde; when and why he started painting; action painting; the inaccuracies in art history about Avant-gardism and Surrealism; working as a mural painter for the College Art Association; moving from the WPA's art project to the writer's project, and becoming an art editor; what happened to the works of art done under the WPA after it ended; and moving to the Hamptons.
He speaks in detail on the New York art scene during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s; The Club; writing about art; politics and art; Shakespeare and literature's influence on art and vice versa; the various economic aspects of art; how the Depression affected him and the people he knew; the projects he worked on in the WPA; and working for the OWI after the WPA disbanded.
He recalls Mark Rothko, Harold Baumbach, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Peter Blume, Helen Lundberg, André Breton, Arshile Gorky, Roberto Matta, Jackson Pollock, David Smith, Lee Krasner, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, Jim Leshay, Stuart Davis, Bruce Inverarity, Barney Newman, Mark Tobey, Gregorio Prestopino, and many others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Harold Rosenberg, 1970 December 17-1973 January 28. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Harold Rosenberg (1906-1978) was a writer and educator from New York, N.Y.
These interviews are 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