Oral history interview with Sheila Hicks, 2004 February 3-March 11
Hicks, Sheila, 1934-
Lévi-Strauss, Monique, 1926-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 75 pages
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 28 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 19 min.
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Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Sheila Hicks conducted 2004 February 3-March 11, by Monique Levi-Strauss, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Paris, France.
Hicks speaks of her family and growing up in various cities; taking classes at the Detroit Institute of Arts; studying art at Syracuse University; spending a summer painting in Taxco, Mexico; transferring to Yale University to study painting; receiving a Fulbright grant to study in Chile; traveling through South America; painting and becoming part of the Chilean artist circle; returning to Yale for a Masters of Fine Arts; moving to Mexico to pursue photography; marrying Henrik Tati Schlubach; being awarded a grant to study in France; discovering a love for Paris and making textiles; meeting other artists in Mexico; taking her early textile pieces to the Museum of Modern Art; getting a contract with Knoll Associates; moving to Paris; meeting and marrying fellow artist Enrique Zañartu; making connections with European artists; creating large scale textiles for architects and designing for spaces; exhibiting at the Lausanne Biennale of Tapestry; opening a studio and hiring employees; the challenges of commissions; creating three-dimensional pieces; visiting other artists' studios; choosing materials and techniques; managing the magazine, "American Fabrics;" her tenure as art director for the King Saud University in Saudi Arabia; the process of making a project in her studio; working in carpet workshops in Morocco; using hospital linen in her sculpture; working on commissions in Japan; teaching; and having her work recognized as art. Hicks also recalls Josef and Anni Albers, Rico Lebrun, Luis Barragan, Claire Zeisler, Lenore Tawney, Mildred Constantine, Mathias Goeritz, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Sheila Hicks, 2004 February 3-March 11. 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.
Sheila Hicks (1934- ) is a fiber artist living in Paris, France. Monique Levi-Strauss is a writer also living in Paris, France.
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