Oral history interview with Donald Windham, 2007 March 12
Windham, Donald, 1920-2010
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Transcript: 37 pages
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 50 min.
An interview of Donald Windham conducted 2007 March 12, by Elizabeth Kornhauser, for the Archives of American Art, at Windham's home, in New York, N.Y.
Windham speaks of his long-time friendship with Joseph Cornell; first meeting Cornell in 1944 while working with him at Dance Index; Cornell's interest in dancers and actresses including Gwen Van Dam, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Lauren Bacall, Fanny Cerrito, and Tanaquil LeClercq; Cornell's film work with Rudy Burckhardt; Cornell's limited gallery representation by Charles Egan Gallery and Julien Levy Gallery; Cornell showing boxes in Ernst Beadle's photography studio; Cornell's friendship with Marcel Duchamp; Cornell's retiring personality; Cornell's disinterestedness in participating in the art business world and subsequently being labeled a recluse; Cornell's appreciation of Albrecht Dürer's self-portraits; Cornell's joy in giving and sharing his boxes and collages with people who truly enjoy them; the boxes Pink Palace and Keepsake Parakeet in his personal collection; Cornell's advice on caring for his boxes; and attending Cornell's funeral. Windham also recalls Lincoln Kirstein, Tennessee Williams, Peggy Guggenheim, Richard Ader, Sandy Campbell, Lois Smith, Robert Cornell, Elizabeth Cornell Benton, Helen Cornell Jagger, Fritz and Jeanne Bultman, Ed Hewitt, and Jeff Peabody.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Donald Windham, 2007 March 12. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
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.
Donald Windham is a novelist from New York, N.Y. Elizabeth Kornhauser is a curator at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut.
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