Oral history interview with Peggie L. Hartwell, 2002 June 3 and July 10
Hartwell, Peggie L., 1939-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Transcript: 80 pages.
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformated in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 50 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Peggie Hartwell conducted 2002 June 3-July 10, by Patricia Malarcher, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in the artist's apartment, on Central Park West, New York, N.Y.
Hartwell speaks of growing up on a farm with her extended family in Springfield, S.C.; female quiltmakers and male storytellers in her family; drawing in sand as a child; her mother's move to Brooklyn; joining her mother and father in New York; growing up in Brooklyn; her awareness of the many cultures in New York and being surrounded by art, including her mother's crocheting and her father's a cappella group; taking tap dancing lessons; experimenting with art in public school; working at various factory jobs after high school until "reconnecting" with art; studying with dancer Syvilla Fort at the Katherine Dunham School of Dance in New York; Fort encouraging her to draw on the studio walls and sew costumes; touring internationally with the theater group Harlem Rhythm USA from 1965 to 1972; her return to the U.S. and receiving a theater degree at Queens College; working at an insurance company to support her art; exhibiting her black and white, pen-and-ink drawings; the narratives and "oral histories" in her quilts; the meaning of various fabrics and colors; participating in "quilting communities" such as the Women of Color Quilters Network, Empire Quilters, and the American Quilter's Society; her lectures, workshops, and residencies; working with children;narratives inspired by childhood memories; her move back to South Carolina; themes in her quilts and "quilting styles" (improvisational, traditional, contemporary, and African American); serving on the board of the New York Chapter of the Women of Color Quilters Network; and planning the exhibition "Threads of Faith" for the New York Bible Association. She also comments on John Cage, Cuesta Benberry, Asadata Dafora, Francelise Dawkins, Carolyn Mazloomi, Edjohnetta Miller, Arthur Mitchell, Harriet Powers, Faith Ringgold, Marie Wilson, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Peggie L. Hartwell, 2002 June 3 and July 10. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available online.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. 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.
Peggie L. Hartwell (1939- ) is a quiltmaker of Summerville, S.C. Patricia Malarcher is a fiber artist.
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