Oral history interview with Lee Mullican, 1992 May 22-1993 Mar. 4
Mullican, Lee, 1919-1998
Karlstrom, Paul J., 1941-
Stauffacher, Jack Werner
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 160 p.
Originally recorded on 8 sound cassettes. Reformated in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hrs., 4 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Lee Mullican conducted 1992 May 22-1993 Mar. 4, by Paul Karlstrom for the Archives of American Art, at the artist's home/studio in Santa Monica, Calif.
Mullican speaks of his family background, childhood, and his first introductions to art; the influence of abstraction and surrealism in his work; his studies at Abilene College, University of Oklahoma, and the Kansas City Art Institute; his service in WWII; his interest in French painting, theater, opera and ballet; meeting Jack Stauffacher; the influence of Wolfgang Paalen in Mexico; and the connection between modern and primitive, and tribal art, especially in the American Indians of Mexico. He discusses his arrival in San Francisco and the art world and lifestyle there; the Dynaton group; early years in Los Angeles; his trip and exhibition in Rome; UCLA politics; his relationship to modernism and place in American art; regionalism; and the mystical and transcendental expressed in his work. He recalls Gordon Onslow-Ford, Jack Stauffacher, Peggy Guggenheim, Rachel Rosenthal, Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, Ed Moses, Isamu Noguchi, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Lee Mullican, 1992 May 22-1993 Mar. 4. 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.
Lee Mullican (1919-1998) was a painter from San Francisco and Santa Monica, Calif.
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 administrators. Funding for this interview was provided by the Lannan Foundation.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001