Oral history interview with Ralph Bacerra, 2004 April 7-19
Bacerra, Ralph C., 1938-2008
Lloyd, Frank, 1951-
Andreson, Laura F.
Saxe, Adrian Anthony
Peterson, Susan Harnley
Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 45 pages.
Originally recorded 2 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 23 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Ralph Bacerra conducted 2004 April 7-19, by Frank Lloyd, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Los Angeles, California.
Bacerra speaks of his family background; his high school art teachers; attending Chouinard Art Institute and his friendship with his ceramics instructor Vivika Heino and her husband Otto; the interaction among ceramicists in Los Angeles around 1960; attending a workshop taught by Shoji Hamada; teaching at Chouinard Art Institute; building a studio; teaching a workshop at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts; traveling to Japan and Taiwan and the influence of Asian ceramics on his artwork. Bacerra also speaks of his daily work routine; the importance of glaze technology; changes in ceramic education and the market for ceramics in the last 50 years; exhibiting works at American Hand, Garth Clark Galleries, and Frank Lloyd Gallery; taking part in pivotal exhibitions including "Objects: USA"; attending National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts conferences and the current sense of community among early ceramic artists; the importance of craft publications and critical writing; commissions completed throughout his career; attending museums for ideas and inspiration; teaching and the careers of his former students; and how reviews impact his work. Bacerra recalls Susan Peterson, Peter Voulkos, Bernard Kester, Laura Andreson, Sam Maloof, Elsa Rady, Adrian Saxe, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Ralph Bacerra, 2004 April 7-19. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available on line
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.
Ralph Bacerra (1938-2008) was a ceramicist of Los Angeles, California. Frank Lloyd is a gallery owner from Santa Monica, 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.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001