Originally recorded on 7 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr.. 20 min.
An interview of Raimonds Staprans conducted 1997 August 14-1997 September 15, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art. The sessions were held in Karlstrom's San Francisco office.
Staprans discusses his family background; earliest childhood memories of growing up in Latvia; his father's persecution by Germans and Russians which ultimately led to their departure from Austria in 1947; living in Salem, Or.; attending University of Washington at Seattle and his contact there with Morris Graves, Mark Tobey, George Tsutakawa, and Alexander Archipenko; graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley; and artists he admires, including Pierre Matisse, Thomas Eakins, and Edward Hopper.
Staprans discusses at length Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn; and comparisons made to his work. He discusses his sensuality as a basis for his life and art; early gallery experiences; his thoughts on criticism and reviews; his relationship with Fred Maxwell of the Maxwell Galleries in San Francisco and how his loyalty to the gallery held back his career; stresses in his marriage and of raising children; the breakup of his marriage and immersion in painting and sculpture; his decorative works under the nom de plume Carl Ulmanes; developing feelings of dejection and cynicism which nearly ended his art career and recovering from those feelings; his playwriting career; and his views on both careers.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Raimonds Staprans, 1997 August 14-September 15. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
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.
Raimonds Staprans (1926-) is a painter and playwright from San Francisco, California.
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. Funding for this interview provided by the Jewish Communal Fund.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
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