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Oral history interview with William Harper, 2004 January 12-13

view Oral history interview with William Harper, 2004 January 12-13 digital asset number 1
Interviewee:
Harper, William Claude, 1944-
Interviewer:
Nelson, Harold B.
Subject:
Schwarcz, June Therese
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Physical Description:
Transcript 50 pages
General Note:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 29 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Summary:
An interview of William Harper conducted 2004 January 12-13, by Harold B. Nelson, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in New York City, N.Y.
Harper speaks of growing up in the small town of Bucyrus, Ohio; taking art lessons as a child; attending Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art and completing an M.S. in Art Education; exhibiting at the May Show at Cleveland Museum of Art; choosing to work in enamels, especially cloisonné, and its relationship to painting; visiting New York for the first time and seeing an exhibit of June Schwarcz's work; participating in both national juried exhibitions and solo exhibitions, including a one-man exhibition at the Renwick Gallery; and receiving the National Endowment for the Arts Craft Research Fellowship. Harper also speaks of teaching experiences at several schools; being hired at Florida State University; teaching workshops at the Penland School of Crafts; publishing his book, "Step by Step Enameling;" his affiliation with various craft and fine art galleries; moving to New York City; using precious and commonplace materials; his technique in creating pieces and the tendency to work in series, such as Pagan Babies and Pentimenti; exploring jewelry forms; and the influence of African sculpture, art history, religion, mythology, and artist Jasper Johns on his artwork. Harper also recalls Kenneth Bates, John Paul Miller, Margaret Craver, Robert Ebendorf, and others.
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with William Harper, 2004 January 12-13. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms:
Transcript available on line
Funding:
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.
Biography Note:
William Claude Harper (1944- ) is a jeweler and enamelist from New York, N.Y.
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 galleries, Commercial
Cloisonné
Decorative arts
Enamel and enameling
Interviews
Jewelers
Sound recordings
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12112
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)247142
AAA_collcode_harper04
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
Additional Online Media:

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