Oral history interview with Eve Babitz, 2000 June 14
Babitz, Eve, 1943-
Karlstrom, Paul J., 1941-
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 44 pages
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformated in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 2 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Eve Babitz conducted 2000 June 14, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at Babitz's home, Hollywood, California.
Part of an ongoing series on the theme of artists and models, this interview focused on the subject's experience as the nude woman playing chess with Marcel Duchamp, at his Pasadena Art Museum retrospective, in 1963. Purportedly Duchamp's favorite photograph, staged and taken by Julian Wasser, it is among the key documentary images of American modern art. This interview offers inside information about Los Angeles and the cultural world of the late 1960s. Igor Stravinsky was Babitz's godfather and her own father was a Baroque musicologist who often traveled to Europe. She was introduced to the world of visual arts by the late Jim Elliott's girlfriend and soon became part of the Ferus Gallery circle including Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, and Walter Hopps. She also describes being a student at Hollywood High School and the enormous influence of the film industry and celebrity (her favorite, James Dean) on the student body.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Eve Babitz, 2000 June 14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available on line
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.
Eve Babitz (1948- ) was an artist's model from Los Angeles, California.
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 the transcription of this interview for the Artists and Model series is provided by Bente and Gerald E. Buck Collection.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001