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Oral history interview with Joyce Anderson

Interviewee:
Anderson, Joyce, 1925-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
New York University -- Students  Search this
Anderson, Edgar, approximately 1922-  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Maloof, Sam  Search this
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Stickley, Gustav, 1858-1942  Search this
Stocksdale, Bob, 1913-2003  Search this
Tibbs, Thomas S., 1917-2002  Search this
Wiley, Hugh, 1884-1968  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959  Search this
Extent:
50 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2002 September 18-19
Scope and Contents:
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.
General:
Originally recorded 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 16 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 50 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture design  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Woodwork  Search this
Woodworkers -- New Jersey -- Interviews.  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.andersj02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-andersj02

Oral history interview with Edgar Anderson

Topic:
2001, a space odyssey (Motion picture)
Craft Horizons
Interviewee:
Anderson, Edgar, approximately 1922-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
American Crafts Council. Museum of Contemporary Crafts  Search this
Fallingwater (Pa.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Philadelphia College of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Pratt Institute -- Students  Search this
Taliesin Fellowship  Search this
Woodstock School of Painting  Search this
Anderson, Joyce, 1925-  Search this
Eco, Umberto  Search this
Grotta, Lou  Search this
Grotta, Sandra  Search this
Hornbostel, Caleb  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Kelsey, John, 1946-  Search this
Meier, Richard, 1934-  Search this
Rand, Ayn  Search this
Roman, Paul  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Smith, Paul J., 1931-  Search this
Sperber, Robert  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959  Search this
Extent:
78 Pages (Transcript)
24 Items (Sound recording: 24 sound files (5 hr., 52 min.), digital wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Liberty State Park (Jersey City, N.J.)
Date:
2002 September 17-19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Edgar Anderson conducted 2002 September 17-19, 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 his philosophy of nature, and the genetic affinities between trees and humans. He discusses childhood in Jersey City, New Jersey; his parents; his grandfather, who was a bookbinder and leather craftsman; and other influences from his childhood, including his uncles and the Stickley family's Craftsman Farms. He recalls that his mother was an accomplished painter and amateur architect; his father was responsible for constructing the foundations for the Chrysler Building. He describes his early admiration for Frank Lloyd Wright, and a meeting with Wright to inquire about the Taliesin Fellowship. Anderson did not join the Fellowship. He briefly discusses Ayn Rand and The Fountainhead. He recalls his architectural studies at Pratt Institute, including a structural investigation of Wright's Fallingwater house, and studying architectural rendering with Caleb Hornbostel. He describes his service during World War II, serving in Italy as a platoon commander for the Army Engineers. He talks about meeting his wife, Joyce, and the genesis of their working partnership. After the war, he and Joyce studied at Pratt under Philip Johnson; he recalls his student projects and the continuing influence of Frank Lloyd Wright. He also studied at Chicago Technical College. He recalls his apprenticeship building boats with his uncle. He describes, in technical detail, the early years of the practice, including a discussion of his wood supplier, the Monteath Company. He comments at length on his personal creative process, which includes elliptical references to a wide variety of sources, including Umberto Eco and the film 2001. He describes several projects for Lou and Sandy Grotta, including an anthropomorphic grandfather clock in the shape of a hand and wristwatch, an illusionary headboard, and the Knight table. He also comments on the Grotta house, designed by Richard Meier. He briefly mentions the editorial strategy of American Craft, and later Craft Horizon, and his relationships with editors such as John Kelsey, Paul Roman, and Rose Slivka. He mentions having taught at Philadelphia College of Art. He recalls racing in a demolition derby. He discusses his attitude towards criticism, mentioning Paul Smith, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, at length. He briefly describes his design for a 9/11 memorial at Liberty State Park and the political character of his work. He also reflects on his work relative to the culture at large. He talks about new technologies and new tools, and the evolution of the partnership. He describes his involvement in the craft community at Peters Valley, New Jersey. He comments at length on his apprentice Rob Sperber, and their development of the chainsaw mill.
Biographical / Historical:
Edgar Anderson (1922- ) is a woodworker from Morristown, New Jersey. Donna Gold (1953- ) is an art writer from Stockton Springs, Maine.
General:
Originally recorded 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 24 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 52 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Art -- Political aspects  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001  Search this
Woodwork -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Woodwork -- Technique  Search this
Woodworkers -- New Jersey -- Interviews.  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Italy  Search this
Function:
Memorials
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.anders02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-anders02

Oral history interview with Edgar and Joyce Anderson

Interviewee:
Anderson, Edgar, approximately 1922-  Search this
Anderson, Joyce, 1925-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
American Craft Council  Search this
American Crafts Council. Museum of Contemporary Crafts  Search this
Chilton Professional Automotive (Firm)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
United States. Agency for International Development  Search this
Campbell, David Robert, 1907-1963  Search this
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Grotta, Lou  Search this
Grotta, Sandra  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor, 1927-2020  Search this
Malarcher, Patricia  Search this
Maloof, Sam  Search this
McPhee, John, 1931-  Search this
Meier, Richard, 1934-  Search this
Milan, Emil, 1922-1985  Search this
Smith, Paul J., 1931-  Search this
Stocksdale, Bob, 1913-2003  Search this
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Tibbs, Thomas S., 1917-2002  Search this
Webb, Aileen O.  Search this
Wegner, Hans J., 1914-  Search this
Wirkkala, Tapio, 1915-1985  Search this
Wyman, William, 1922-1980  Search this
Extent:
143 Pages (Transcript)
34 Items (Sound recording: 34 sound files (5 hr., 56 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
World Trade Center Site (New York, N.Y.)
Honduras -- Description and Travel
Date:
2002 September 17-19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Edgar and Joyce Anderson conducted 2002 September 17-19, by Donna Gold, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Morristown, New Jersey.
The interview begins in the home of their frequent patrons, Sandra and Lou Grotta, in Harding Township, New Jersey. The Grottas are not present. They discuss several of their pieces in situ, including tables, beds, a piano bench, the grandfather clock (carved in the shape of Edgar's arm wearing a wristwatch), and the Knight table. Many of these pieces are discussed in detail in terms of their design and construction. They also allude briefly to other pieces in the Grotta's collection by Toshiko Takaezu, Hans Wegner, Bill Wyman, Sam Maloof, and Bob Stocksdale. The Grotta's house, designed by architect Richard Meier, is also discussed. Edgar recalls that Meier designed the house to accommodate the collection. They also talk about the Grotta's participation in the American Craft Council, and the relationship among collectors. The interview continues at the artists' home Harding Township, New Jersey. They discuss several projects for other clients, and they reflect on the relationships that developed. These include: a gaming table for Doug Dayton of Monteath Lumber Company, a jewelry chest for Thelma Newman, collaboration with Newman on a book for Chilton Publishing Company (not published), and a figural chest for Mako Stewart, which is still in the artists' private collection. They reflect on their private and professional partnership and the balance of skills they shared. They recall that their early success was bolstered by a New York Times article by Betty Pepis. This publicity led to new clients, such as Reverend John Mason of the Episcopal Chapel at the University of Maine, who is discussed in detail along with his wife Elizabeth Mason. They explain their expertise in humidity and wood shrinkage, including their work as consultants for the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, before it became the American Craft Museum. There is lengthy discussion of the Andersons' own house, which they designed and built themselves over a period of years. Frank Lloyd Wright was an influence. They discuss other church commissions in general, speaking of the influence of their spirituality. St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Haworth, New Jersey, is discussed in some detail. Edgar briefly talks about a local World Trade Center memorial which he has been working on. They recall the importance of the support of the American Craft Museum, Aileen Osborne (Vanderbilt) Webb, and David Campbell. They discuss in depth their time in Honduras, under the sponsorship of the USAID program, teaching craft techniques to local inhabitants. Joyce describes this as a Kennedy era demonstration program. Other participants in the Honduras program included Dave Chapman, Roy Ginstrom, Bill Wyman, and Emil Milan. They also recall participating in a similar program in Antigua. They also recall Herb and Marje Noyes, Ruth Martin, Patricia Malarcher, John Geraci, Mike Langan, Bob and Rowena MacPhail, Sterling North, Zelda Strecker, Paul Smith, Tom Tibbs, Walker Weed, Lois Moran, Toshiko Takaezu, Tapio Wirkkala, Jack Lenor Larsen, Edward Cooke, Michael Stone, John McPhee, and Dot Blanchard.
Biographical / Historical:
Edgar Anderson (1922- ) and Joyce Anderson (1923- ) are woodworkers from Morristown, New Jersey.
General:
Originally recorded 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 34 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 56 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Woodworkers -- New Jersey -- Interviews.  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.anders02a
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-anders02a

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