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Oral history interview with Paul J. Smith, 2010 April 19-20

view Oral history interview with Paul J. Smith, 2010 April 19-20 digital asset number 1
Interviewee:
Smith, Paul J., 1931-
Interviewer:
Herman, Lloyd E., 1936-
Subject:
American Crafts Council.Museum of Contemporary Crafts
American Craftsmen's Council
Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.)
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Physical Description:
Transcript: 61 pages
General Note:
Originally recorded on 6 secure digital memory cards. Reformated in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 17 min.
Summary:
An interview of Paul J. Smith conducted 2010 April 19 and 20, by Lloyd E. Herman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Smith's home, in New York, N.Y.
Smith recalls his childhood; attending the Art Institute of Buffalo; working in display at the Flint & Kent department store in Buffalo; his interest in "hobby crafts" and greater exploration of jewelry and wood; exhibiting; joining the staff of the American Craftsmen's Council; becoming director of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts; developing the museum's program and international focus; organizing the "Objects: USA" exhibition in 1969; developing the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (in 1979 renamed the American Craft Museum); the 30th anniversary exhibition, "Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical," in 1986; becoming director emeritus; the "Craft Today USA" tour, 1989-1993; developing a consulting service; serving as guest curator; special projects; interest in photography; the current DIY movement as a continuum of the past.
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Paul J. Smith, 2010 April 19-20. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Biography Note:
Paul J. Smith (1931- ) is Director Emeritus of the American Craft Museum (now the Museum of Arts and Design) in New York, N.Y.
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:
Arts administrators
Interviews
Sound recordings
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15795
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)288890
AAA_collcode_smith10
Data Source:
Archives of American Art

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  • Arts administrators
  • Interviews
  • Sound recordings
  • American Crafts Council.Museum of Contemporary Crafts
  • American Craftsmen's Council
  • Herman, Lloyd E.
  • Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.)
  • Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
  • Smith, Paul J.
  • American Crafts Council.Museum of Contemporary Crafts
  • American Craftsmen's Council
  • Herman, Lloyd E.
  • Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.)
  • Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
  • Smith, Paul J.
  • Archives of American Art