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Oral history interview with Jeanne L. Wasserman, 1993-1994

view Oral history interview with Jeanne L. Wasserman, 1993-1994 digital asset number 1
Interviewee:
Wasserman, Jeanne L., 1915-2006
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.
Subject:
Agam, Yaacov
Beale, Arthur
Cook, Christopher Capen
Coolidge, John
Hyde, Andrew C. (Andrew Cornwall),
Indiana, Robert
Mangravite, Peppino Gino
Messer, Thomas M.
Oldenburg, Claes
Plaut, James S. (James Sachs)
Prokopoff, Stephen S.
Rickey, George
Ross, David A.
Saint-Phalle, Niki de
Stieglitz, Alfred
Thurman, Sue M.
Tinguely, Jean
Wasserman, Max
Fogg Art Museum
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Place of publication, production, or execution:
United States
Physical Description:
5 sound cassettes (7 hrs., 30 min.) : analog.
General Note:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformated in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hrs., 12 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Use requires an appointment.
Summary:
An interview of Jeanne L. Wasserman conducted 1993-1994 by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art.
Wasserman recalls her childhood in New York City and New Rochelle, N.Y., and the progressive education she received at the Feldston School, especially art instruction by Peppino Mangravite, and later at Radcliffe College. She remembers visiting New York City art galleries and conversations with Alfred Stieglitz. In 1938, she eloped with Max Wasserman, and she comments on their early art collecting activities together in the 1950s, particularly as it contrasted with the avant-garde collection they assembled in later years.
Wasserman speaks about artists she became acquainted with through her collecting activities, including Niki De Saint-Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Robert Indiana, Claes Oldenburg, Yaacov Agam, and George Rickey; her involvement with the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston from the late 1950s onward as a trustee and member of the exhibitions committee; ICA directors James Plaut, Thomas Messer, Sue Thurman, Andrew Hyde, Christopher Cook, Stephen Prokopoff, and David Ross; the evolution of her participation at the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge from volunteer to curator; shows that she organized, the controversy that some of them aroused; working with conservator Arthur Beale and director John Coolidge; and of her and her husband's involvement with the art collection at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including her husband's bequest to the collection.
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Jeanne L. Wasserman, 1993-1994. 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:
Jeanne L. Wasserman, (1915-2006) was a museum curator and art collector from Boston, Massachusetts.
Provenance:
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.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Topic:
Art
Art museum curators
Art museums
Interviews
Sound recordings
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11984
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216506
AAA_collcode_wasser93
Data Source:
Archives of American Art

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  • Agam, Yaacov
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  • Mangravite, Peppino Gino
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  • Brown, Robert F.
  • Cook, Christopher Capen
  • Coolidge, John
  • Fogg Art Museum
  • Hyde, Andrew C. (Andrew Cornwall),
  • Indiana, Robert
  • Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)
  • Mangravite, Peppino Gino
  • Archives of American Art