Oral history interview with Eugene Pijanowski, 2003 May 13-14
Pijanowski, Eugene, 1938-
Fisch, Arline M., 1931-
Pijanowski, Hiroko Sato
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 92 pages.
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 55 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Eugene Pijanowski conducted 2003 May 13-14, by Arline M. Fisch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Pijanowski speaks of his childhood in suburban Detroit; his experience as a projectionist at the Marine Corp's Camp Pendleton; studying at Wayne State University in Detroit, Oxbow Summer School in Saugatuck, and Cranbrook Academy of Art, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he met his wife Hiroko Sato; he discusses moving to Japan, where he studied at Geidai and Sophia University in Tokyo, and worked at Renown Clothing; moving back to the U.S.; his teaching positions at San Diego State University, Purdue University, and University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; he comments on his administrative role at University of Michigan; his experience teaching workshops; his research on Japanese metal work, specifically mokume gane and its influence on western metalsmithing; he recalls his Fulbright in Vienna; the exchange between University of Michigan and Seika Art School in Kyoto, Japan; he discusses his studio production; how he is not interested in exhibiting; how objective critiques are missing in the field; nature as a source of inspiration; the east/west theme of his work; he speaks specifically of his series "Gentle Solitude," "Amaryllis," "Maple Seed," and "I am Precious;" the limited value of publications, exhibitions, and organizations; he discuss his relationship with galleries; the importance of teaching; grants, honors, and other accomplishments; and his current projects in Honolulu. In addition to his long professional and personal relationship with Hiroko Sato Pijanowski, Eugene Pijanowski recalls Philip Fike, Richard Thomas, Mr. Hiramatsu, Arline M. Fisch, Bruce Metcalf, Onno Boekhoudt, Inge Asenbaum, Helen Drutt, Hermann Junger, Ian Ferguson, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Eugene Pijanowski, 2003 May 13-14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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.
Eugene Pijanowski (1938- ) is a metalsmith from Honolulu, Hawaii. Arline M. Fisch is a jeweler.
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