Oral history interview with Tony Natsoulas, 2004 August 9-11
Natsoulas, Tony, 1959-
Kirwin, Liza, 1957-
Penland School of Crafts
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 54 pages.
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 59 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Tony Natsoulas conducted 2004 August 9-11, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Sacramento, California.
Natsoulas speaks of growing up in Davis, California.; visiting museums as a child; early memories of working with clay; school art projects; taking art classes at the University of California, Davis while in high school; going to college at Sacramento State College and UC Davis; studying at Maryland Institute College of Art; attending art summer schools such as the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture; making life-sized clay figures; exhibiting his work; making caricature heads of famous people; including humor and nostalgia in his work; how his work has changed during his career; teaching at Penland School of Crafts; being part of the Funk art movement; choosing themes for his figures; his home studio; his working process and materials; the influence of art periodicals; working on public and private commissions; his teaching philosophy; collaborating with artist Fred Babb; influential art exhibitions; his Greek heritage; his friendship with artist Clayton Bailey; his recent solo exhibition at the Crocker Museum; titling and pricing his work; his art collection; and making artist websites. Natsoulas also recalls Robert Arneson, David Gilhooly, Francesco Clemente, Peter Voulkos, Viola Frey, Roy De Forest, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Tony Natsoulas, 2004 August 9-11. 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.
Tony Natsoulas (1959- ) is a ceramicist from Sacramento, California. Liza Kirwin is the Curator of Manuscripts, Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C.
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