Oral history interview with Milford Zornes, 1999 July 18-September 5
Zornes, James Milford, 1908-2008
Anderson, Susan M. (Susan Mary)
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 152 pages
Originally recorded on 12 sound cassettes. Reformated in 2010 as 22 digital wav files. Duration is 11 hrs., 2 min.
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Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Milford Zornes conducted 1999 July 18-September 5, by Susan M. Anderson, for the Archives of American Art, in Zornes' studio/home, Claremont, California.
Beginning with his childhood in Oklahoma, this interview recounts the formative influences on Mr. Zornes' development as an artist, including his close relationship with Millard Sheets at Pomona College. He discussed the impact of the Mexican muralist Jose Clemente Orozco on his work and on other artists of the California School as well as the importance of nature. He recalled his prolific work on federally-funded art projects such as the PWAP and his mural commission for the Claremont Post Office. Mr. Zornes discussed the impact that WWII had on the California School in general and his particular experience on the China-Burma-India front as one of forty-two official US army artists. He described his long career as a teacher in various educational institutions as well as in outdoor painting workshops conducted around the world. Finally, Mr. Zornes discussed his struggle with macular degeneration and the subsequent change in his working methods due to his recent blindness.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Milford Zornes, 1999 July 18-September 5. 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.
James Milford Zornes (1908-2008) was a painter from Claremont, California. Zornes is one of the leading artists of the California School, a West Coast watercolor movement that arose during the Depression era.
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. Funding for this interview provided by Orange County Museum of Art Historical Collections Council
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001