Oral history interview with Mildred Baker, 1963 September 21
Baker, Mildred, 1905-1998
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington),, 1920-
Federal Art Project
Index of American Design
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 56 pages
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformated in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 44 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Mildred Baker conducted 1963 September 21, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
This interview was conducted as part of New Deal and the Arts Project for the Archives of American Art. Baker speaks of her involvement with the Federal Art Project in its beginning, as assistant to Holger Cahill; getting the Project started nationwide; early goals of the Project; early political problems; camaraderie among the participants; the art centers that developed in the regions, and some of the people involved with them; the development of the Index of American Design in the regions; the issue of government control when government subsidizes the arts; the effect of the coming of World War II on the Project; the ending of the Project. She recalls Forbes Watson.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Mildred Baker, 1963 September 21. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Mildred Baker (1905-1998) was an art administrator in New York, New York. Baker was assistant to the director, Holger Cahill, on the Federal Art Project. Prior to that appointment, she worked for College Art Association and a gallery on 57th Street. Baker's early role in FAP was to scout directors for regional programs in Ohio, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa. She later was involved in exhibitions and Community Art Centers.
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001