Oral history interview with William Conger, 2015 May 18-20
Conger, William, 1937-
Silverman, Lanny, 1947-
Chicago Art and Artists: Oral History Project
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
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2 sound files (3 hr., 44 min.) digital, wav
Originally recorded as 2 sound files. Duration is 3 hr., 44 min.
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An interview with William Conger, conducted 2015 May 18-20, by Lanny Silverman, for the Archives of American Art's Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource, at Conger's home and studio in Chicago, Illinois.
Interview of William Conger, conducted by Lanny Silverman for the Archives of American Art, at Conger's home and studio on May 18th and 20th 2015. Conger speaks of Dixon, IL; his family history; moving around as a kid; his parents; Chicago; going to the Art Institute as a child; his mother and her painting; deciding to be an artist; Encyclopedia Britannica; realism and technique; regionalism; highs school; Lane Tech; drafting and architecture; getting into college; excellence and doing your best; University of New Mexico; Art Institute of Chicago; Grand Jatte; abstraction, New York; color and regionalism; philosophy; Montgomery Ward; Hyde Park Art Center; monster roster; pop and high art; Lion Act; To the East Were Flowing Waters; Chicago architecture; open works; Flossy's Night ; pictorial space; music; poetry; synesthesia; Abstract Expressionism; literature; Proust; Battle of Hastings; history; color; circus; improvisation; changes in the art world; education; technology; painting; gatekeepers; Chicago vs. New York; traveling; the Grand Canyon; studio practice; and impulse and final works. Conger also recalls William Boynton, William Nichols, Walter Yust, Briggs Dyer, Robert Lewis, Raymond Jonson, Elaine de Kooning, Bob Lewis, Archie Bahm, Robert Mallory, Virginio Ferrari, Ruth Duckworth, Seymour Rosofsky, Don Baum, Karl Wirsum, Ivan Albright, Larry Poon, Emil Bisttram, and Kathy Onderak.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with William Conger, 2015 May 18-20. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Interviewee William Conger (1937- ) is a painter in Chicago, Illinois. Interviewer Lanny Silverman (1947- ) is a curator at the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, Illinois.
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