Oral history interview with William P. Daley, 2004 August 7-December 2
Daley, William, 1925-
Drutt, Helen Williams, 1930-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 81 pages
Originally recorded 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 55 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of William P. Daley conducted 2004 August 7-December 2, by Helen W. Drutt English, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
Daley speaks of his family and being raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York; his father teaching him to paint houses; his father's interest in art and literature; working with clay for the first time at the Massachusetts College of Art; attending college with other war veterans; living in a prison camp during World War II; learning ceramics from his mentor, Charles Abbott; marrying Catherine, also an art student at Mass Art; teaching workshops at summer schools such as the Penland School of Crafts; traveling to Ireland and Korea; the influence of Ireland on his artwork; the ceramic movement in America; creating functional pots; defining religion and the influence of his spirituality on his work; how the market for craft has changed during his career; his relationship with art dealers; having a studio in his home; teaching at the Philadelphia College of Art; being part of a community of artists as teachers; learning from colleagues and students; the importance of university art programs; how his work has been received; being inspired by books and periodicals; using clay as a medium of expression; working on commissioned projects; exhibiting his first pieces; social commentary in art; being involved in organizations such as the American Craft Council and NCECA; and plans for the future. Daley also recalls Frans and Marguerite Wildenhain, Dan Dailey, William Parry, Richard Rinehart, Wayne Higby, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with William P. Daley, 2004 August 7-December 2. 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.
William P. Daley (1925- ) is a ceramist and educator of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Helen W. Drutt English is a gallery owner from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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