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Oral history interview with Gary Griffin, 2004 August 4

view Oral history interview with Gary Griffin, 2004 August 4 digital asset number 1
Interviewee:
Griffin, Gary, 1945-
Interviewer:
Adamson, Glenn, 1972-
Subject:
Cranbrook Academy of Art
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Rochester Institute of Technology
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Michigan
Physical Description:
Transcript: 73 pages
General Note:
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 52 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Summary:
An interview of Gary Griffin conducted 2004 August 4, by Glenn Adamson, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Griffin speaks of the opening of the new studio building at Cranbrook; growing up in Los Angeles, California; spending summers in Taos, N.M. with his grandmother; his mother's antique and decorating business; going to Catholic high school; working in a furniture repair shop as a teenager; taking college courses in welding and art; transferring to California State University, Long Beach, and getting a dual degree in industrial and fine arts; deciding to focus on metalwork; getting his M.F.A. at Tyler School of Art; metalsmiths who influenced his early work; the role of functional and conceptual art; having Stanley Lechtzin as a teacher and mentor; the craft community in Philadelphia, attending metalsmith workshops and conferences; and being influenced by decorative arts. Griffin also speaks of becoming head of the jewelry program at Rochester Institute of Technology; working with Hans Christensen; participating in the Society of North American Goldsmiths; his interest in machine technology; deciding to turn from jewelry to blacksmithing; finding dealers for his work; the art community in Rochester; keeping variety in his work; teaching at Cranbrook and rebuilding the metals program; how material culture influences his teaching and artwork; how economics impacts his work; working on commission; making the entrance gates at Cranbrook; working on some of his other important pieces; his current project; the difference between craft and fine arts; and his plans for the future. Griffin also recalls Al Pine, Jack Prip, John Marshall, Philip Fike, Olaf Skoogfors, Elliot Pujol, Rudolf Staffel, Albert Paley, Mary Jane Leland, and others.
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Gary Griffin, 2004 August 4. 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:
Gary Griffin (1945- ) is a metalsmith and educator from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Glenn Adamson is a curator and art historian from Wisconsin.
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:
Decorative arts
Interviews
Metal-work
Metal-work
Metal-workers
Sound recordings
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12630
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)249180
AAA_collcode_griffi04
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
Additional Online Media:

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