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Bischoff, Elmer, 1916-1991  Search this
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Brown, Joan, 1938-1990  Search this
Brown, William Theo, 1919-2012  Search this
Geis, Bill  Search this
Hudson, Robert, 1938-  Search this
MacAgy, Douglas, 1913-  Search this
Neri, Manuel, 1930-  Search this
Park, David, 1911-1960  Search this
Smith, Hassel, 1915-2007  Search this
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Wiley, William T., 1937-2021  Search this
82 Pages (Transcript)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
1977 August 10-September 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Elmer Bischoff conducted 1977 August 10-September 1, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Bischoff speaks of his family background; the influence of art teachers and attitudes at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1930s; his years of teaching at the California School of Fine Arts (San Francisco Art Institute), first under the directorship of Douglas MacAgy and then under Ernst Mundt and Gurdon Woods; his fellow faculty members Clyfford Still, David Park, Clay Spohn and Hassel Smith, and their work in abstract expressionism. He recalls some of his most successful students, including Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, and William T. Wiley.
Bischoff explains his turning away from abstract expressionism toward figurative painting, and cites the influence of David Park. He credits George Staempfli as the first New York art dealer to be interested in Bay Area figurative painting. He discusses the origins of the Bay Area funk movement. He speaks of teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, and reflects on the differences between teaching in a university environment and an art school. He discusses his move away from the figure to large scale abstraction.
Biographical / Historical:
Elmer Bischoff (1916-1991) was a painter and educator from San Francisco, California.
Originally recorded 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 24 min.
These interviews are part of the Archives' 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 others.
Art, American  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Figurative art  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Sound recordings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art