An interview of Joyce Anderson conducted 2002 September 18-19, by Donna Gold, in Morristown, New Jersey, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Anderson describes her training in economics at New York University, and her interrupted career in that field; her childhood, "a good bringing-up," and her family; dating Edgar Anderson in high school, and marrying him after World War II; and on the early years of their partnership and her own self-education as a woodworker; the design and construction of their home, the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, and living briefly in Wright's Robie House in Chicago; Scandanavian furniture as an important early influence on their work, as well as the enduring influence of the local environment; the general spirit of the early period, infused with a sense of "breaking tradition"; the New Jersey Designer Craftsmen, and friends such as George Nakashima and Wharton Esherick; on her status as a woman in the movement, which was "never" problematic; projects executed for institutional clients, including furniture designed for public libraries, churches, and synagogues; private clients, and their relationships with clients; her design approach, which differs greatly from her husband's, as well as shared attitudes towards applied decoration and problem solving; her inclusion in the exhibition "Women Designers in the USA 1900-2000: Diversity and Difference," at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies; the difficulties of the spousal partnership, on her own health which was compromised by sawdust, and on the future of the house which is being donated to a preservation trust; large parties they hosted at the house, which included children in elaborate performances. She also recalls Tom Tibbs, Lou and Sandy Grotta, Sam Maloof, Hugh Wiley, Zelda Strecker, Emil Milan, Gustav Stickley, Bob Stocksdale, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Joyce Anderson (1925- ) is a woodworker from Morristown, New Jersey.
Originally recorded 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 16 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 50 min.
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.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
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.