Oral history interview with Manny Silverman, 2004 December 10-11
Silverman, Manny, 1941-
Ayres, Anne, 1936-
Ernest Raboff Gallery
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 47 pages.
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 37 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Manny Silverman conducted 2004 December 10-11, by Ann Ayres, for the Archives of American Art, in Los Angeles, California.
Silverman discusses his Russo-Jewish parents and his childhood as an only child in Los Angeles; working as a social worker before starting at the Ernest Raboff Gallery as a research assistant; starting Art Services with Jerry Solomon; opening his own gallery on La Cienega Boulevard; his LA dealer contemporaries; moving his gallery to Almont Drive; Maurice Tuchman's exhibitions at LACMA; the critic's denigration of younger Abstract Expressionists; and ideas on how artists are influenced by other artists. Silverman also mentions the political aspects of museums; his tastes in assemblage artworks; becoming involved in the Ray Johnson estate and how he handles the estates of the deceased artists he displays; his belief in the precedence of the artist's creation, not the ideas leading to the work; his anti-intellectual view of his profession; the positives and negatives of running a gallery with a narrow focus on Abstract Expressionism; the importance of classical art training, even for unconventional artists; the painting habits of certain Abstract Expressionists; Sam Francis's poster for George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign; his thoughts on various LA-based curators; the role of his wife in his gallery; his perceived overemphasis on the 1960s LA art scene; and society's values in regards to artwork. Silverman also recalls Paul Schimmel, Paul McCarthy, Rudi Gernreich, Philip Guston, Edward Dugmore, Klaus Kurtess, Paul Kantor, Joan Mitchell, Nicholas Wilder, Gerhard Richter, David Stuart, Shaun Regan, Al Ruppersberg, Russell Ferguson, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Manny Silverman, 2004 December 10-11. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available on line.
Funding for this interview provided by the Art Dealers Association. 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.
Interviewee Manny Silverman (1941- ) is an art dealer from Los Angeles, California. Anne Ayres (1936- ) is a curator from Los Angeles, 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