Oral history interview with Vera Klement, 2015 June 12 and 14
Klement, Vera, 1929-
Silverman, Lanny, 1947-
Chicago Art and Artists: Oral History Project
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Place of publication, production, or execution:
3 sound files (3 hr., 24 min.) digital, wav
Transcript: 140 pages.
Originally recorded as 3 sound files. Duration is 3 hr., 24 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview with Vera Klement conducted 2015 June 12 and 14, by Lanny Silverman, for the Archives of American Art's Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource, at Klement's home and studio in Chicago, Illinois.
Klement speaks of her early childhood in Danzig (now, Gdansk, Poland) on the eve of World War II; her family's immigration to New York; her early experiences with music and art; her decision to become a painter; her interactions within New York's art community of the 1950s; the change in New York's art scene after the emergence of Pop art; her move to Chicago and subsequent difficulties in showing her work; her involvement within the Chicago art community; the founding of the women's artist cooperative, Artemisia; her involvement with the women's movement in the 1970s; teaching at the University of Chicago; her conception of her artwork as representational and apolitical; her literary influences; and her distaste for the contemporary art world. Klement also recalls Dennis Adrian, Dore Ashton, Marianne Deson, Angelo Ippolito, Miyoko Ito, Phyllis Kind, Harold Rosenberg, Ralph Shapey, Theodoros Stamos, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Vera Klement, 2015 June 12 and 14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available online.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Interviewee Vera Klement (1929- ) 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