Oral history interview with William J. Brown, 1991 January 19-March 2
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992
Gray, Robert Ward
Merritt, Francis Sumner
Cranbrook Academy of Art
Flint Institute of Arts
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
Penland School of Handicrafts
University of Delaware
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 47 pages
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 4 min. 2 of the cassettes are 60 min. and 2 are 90 min. Due to difficulty in transcribing this interview, the transcript will not be completed.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of William J. Brown and his wife Jane Brennan Brown conducted 1991 January 19-1991 March 2, by Jane Kessler, for the Archives of American Art.
Brown and his wife Jane discuss his childhood in Michigan, his early interest in sculpture and his attitude towards education; military service in WWII; studies at Cranbrook Academy; designing for Steuben Glass; working with Francis Merritt at the Flint Institute of Arts and at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; teaching design at the University of Delaware and working summers at Haystack; Robert Gray, director of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild; first impressions of The Penland School of Crafts and its founder Lucy Morgan; the development of the Penland School and its various programs; craftspeople who taught at Penland; and relations with the Penland board of trustees.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with William J. Brown, 1991 January 19-March 2. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available online.
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.
William J. Brown, art administrator and designer. Director of the Penland School of Crafts (formerly Penland School of Handicrafts) from 1962 to 1983.
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.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001