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Oral history interview with William J. Brown and Jane Brown, 1991 January 19-March 2

Interviewee:
Brown, Bill, 1923-1992  Search this
Interviewer:
Kessler, Jane  Search this
Subject:
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Morgan, Lucy  Search this
Merritt, Francis Sumner  Search this
Gray, Robert Ward  Search this
Penland School of Handicrafts  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Flint Institute of Arts  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
University of Delaware  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Designers -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Handicraft  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13122
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214579
AAA_collcode_brown91
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214579
Online Media:

William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014

Creator:
Brown, Bill, 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Subject:
Bailey, Dan  Search this
Berensohn, Paulus  Search this
Brennan, Harold James  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert  Search this
Ehle, John  Search this
Hallman, Ted  Search this
Lipofsky, Marvin  Search this
Morgan, Lucy  Search this
Perisho, Flossie  Search this
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Penland School of Crafts  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sketches
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Theme:
Ephemera, Miscellany, and General Art Related  Search this
Art Materials, Techniques, and Studio Art Education  Search this
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10700
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214301
AAA_collcode_browwill
Theme:
Ephemera, Miscellany, and General Art Related
Art Materials, Techniques, and Studio Art Education
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_214301
Online Media:

William J. and Jane Brown papers

Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Names:
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Penland School of Crafts  Search this
Bailey, Dan  Search this
Berensohn, Paulus  Search this
Brennan, Harold James, 1903-1989  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Ehle, John, 1925-  Search this
Hallman, Ted, 1933-  Search this
Lipofsky, Marvin, 1938-2016  Search this
Morgan, Lucy, 1889-1981  Search this
Perisho, Flossie  Search this
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Extent:
7.9 Linear feet
0.32 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Interviews
Sketches
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Date:
circa 1940-2014
Summary:
The papers of William J. and Jane Brown date from circa 1940-2014 and measure 7.9 linear feet and 0.32 gigabytes. The collection is comprised of biographical material, correspondence, interviews, writings and notes, printed material and documentaries, photographs and moving images, and administrative records from the Penland School of Crafts where William served as director from 1962 to 1983.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of William J. and Jane Brown date from circa 1940-2014 and measure 7.9 linear feet. The collection is comprised of biographical material, correspondence, interviews, writings and notes, printed material and documentaries, photographs and moving images, and administrative records from the Penland School of Crafts where William served as director from 1962 to 1983.

Biographical materials consists of awards, business cards, annotated calendars, consignment forms, material from Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, resumes, sketches, and student documents. Correspondence is with artists, former students, instructors, local residents, Paulus Berensohn, Robert Ebendorf, Theodore Hallman, Lucy Morgan, Toshiko Takaezu, and others.

Sound and video recordings are of interviews with Bill and Jane Brown, Lucy Morgan, and "Flossie" Perisho regarding personal and Penland history. One transcript of Marvin Lipofsky's conversation with Bill is also included. Bill's writings are on industrial design, directing Penland, and mankind. Two notebooks contain daily logs, sketches, and other notes. Notes by Bill and Jane are on inventions, John Ehle, metal history, poems, and other topics. Other writings are about Bill and a manuscript on craftsman education by Harold J. Brennan.

Penland's administrative records contain files documenting the board of trustees, residents program, a special 2-week session, artwork, Bill Brown's Glass Studio dedication ceremony schedule, a certificate of incorporation, financial material, grant proposals, and maps. Also found are records of Penland's 50th birthday celebration, including a video recording of "A Quest" by Dan Bailey.

Books, booklets, four documentary video recordings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, flyers, pamphlets, periodicals, postcards, posters, and stickers and patches designed by Bill are in printed materials. Photographs and slides are of Bill and Jane; family and friends; works of art; and of Penland's grounds, students, and faculty along with photographs and video recordings documenting Penland's history.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as seven series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1948-2011 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 1, 9)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1949-2014 (1.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-3, 9)

Series 3: Interviews, 1968-1991 (0.4 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1950-2005 (0.2 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 5: Penland School of Crafts Administrative Records, 1954-1995 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 3-4, 9)

Series 6: Printed Materials and Documentaries, 1942-2005 (1.8 linear feet, 0.32 GB; Boxes 4-6, 9; ER01)

Series 7: Photographic Materials and Moving Images, circa 1940-2011 (2.0 linear feet; Boxes 6-10, RD 11)
Biographical / Historical:
William "Bill" J. Brown (1923-1992) was a designer and educator who was married to Jane Brown (1932- ), an arts administrator. They lived in Bakersville, North Carolina.

Bill Brown was born in Flint, Michigan in 1923. He studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art receiving a bachelor of fine art in 1949, a master of fine art in 1950, and was chosen to work at Corning Glass Works for a summer. After his studies, he taught at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and at the University of Delaware. In 1962 Lucy Morgan, who founded the Penland School of Crafts in 1929 in North Carolina, retired and offered the position of director to Bill. At the time, the school focused on traditional mountain crafts. As director, Bill changed the emphasis of the school to the advancement of professional craftsmen and the expansion of media to include iron and glass. He began a resident artist program that allowed artists to develop their skills at a low cost. Together, Bill and Jane created a supportive community of craftsmen that attracted renowned artists to teach and work at Penland. Bill resigned as director in 1983 but remained a respected member of the arts community. He earned several awards including the North Carolina Award in the Fine Arts in 1991.

Jane Brown graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor of arts in education and a master's degree in special education. Jane studied the Alexander Technique, a technique that can be used to improve the performance of dancers and musicians.

Bill Brown died in 1992. After his death, Jane participated in the dedication of the Bill Brown Glass Studio at Penland during a Glass Arts Society conference in 1995. She continues to live in Bakersville, North Carolina.
Related Materials:
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with William J. Brown and his wife Jane Brown conducted on January 19, 1991 and March 2, 1991 by Jane Kessler.
Provenance:
The portions of the William J. and Jane Brown papers that were lent for microfilming in 1991 by Jane Brown were subsequently donated by Jane Brown 1995 and 2015 along with additional papers.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Occupation:
Arts administrators -- North Carolina  Search this
Educators -- North Carolina  Search this
Glass artists -- North Carolina  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sketches
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.browwill
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9907be991-414d-4c5f-b92d-b8729175c574
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-browwill

Biographical Materials

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Extent:
0.6 Linear feet (Boxes 1, 9)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1948-2011
Scope and Contents:
This series consists of awards for Bill and Jane Brown, including the prestigious North Carolina Award in the Fine Arts awarded to Bill in 1991, business cards, annotated calendars, consignment paperwork for Bill's artwork, material from Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, resumes, sketches, and a couple of student documents. Letters from friends and colleagues of Bill supporting his nomination for the North Carolina Award in the Fine Arts are also found in this series.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.browwill, Series 1
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d8aba709-07bf-4cd1-a604-1876acca0008
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref1

Award, North Carolina Award in the Fine Arts

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1991
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw91ef17414-6981-492b-b164-042741168fe4
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref10

Oversized Award, National Craft Council and State of North Carolina

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979
2011
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97225f445-f1fb-48af-ae55-58ced5a1356a
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref100

Oversized Sketches by Bill from Box 1, Folder 17

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1980
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw958f2a131-cbc3-43bf-ba2d-d1c3db9bff30
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref101

Artwork

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968
1994
Scope and Contents:
Includes artwork by Francis Merritt and an artist's proof of drawing of Penland grounds by W.P. Jennerjahn.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 5: Penland School of Crafts Administrative Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d14d1584-541d-4284-b312-607b4c4242f5
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref102

Oversized Clippings from Box 5

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 6: Printed Materials and Documentaries
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw92fbce8cd-82d3-46ba-a41b-1e2031327cc9
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref103

Oversized Periodicals from Box 6

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1983
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 6: Printed Materials and Documentaries
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a5f1f407-1a76-4cba-9732-d99bb6e785b3
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref104

Oversized Personal Correspondence from Box 2

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw91932fa54-415c-4cb8-9571-ffef35522b04
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref105

Oversized Penland, Faculty and Students from Box 6

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 4-6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1954-1980s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 7: Photographic Materials and Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a69c7ab8-73cc-480c-8b41-cc459d290968
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref106

Oversized Photo Album - "Event 77"

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 9, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1977
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 7: Photographic Materials and Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94d853a3b-6c1e-45b4-a1e2-98c6e8d0429f
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref107

Oversized Bill and Jane Brown from Box 6, Folder 12

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1960-1992
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 7: Photographic Materials and Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99ab40c8e-6cdc-4c65-9646-2a2935d95d08
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref108

Oversized Penland, Faculty and Students

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder 2-3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1970s-1980s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 7: Photographic Materials and Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a8e416ad-a71a-4079-b4f2-cb81e05eb0d8
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref109

Award, North Carolina Award in the Fine Arts, Ceremony Preparations and Programs

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4-5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1991
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 1: Biographical Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw936c7a8f4-6ea7-4fe9-9527-a5cb7d7e4507
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref11

Oversized Penland, Grounds from Box 7, Folders 7-9

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1969-1980s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 7: Photographic Materials and Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97199f257-5831-41ff-82b5-97c099190dee
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref110

Oversized Penland, History from Box 8, Folder 1

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1980s
Scope and Contents:
Photographs are copies of historic photographs of Penland taken in 1930s-1940s.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 7: Photographic Materials and Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw98da6e8cd-ef45-4b69-8751-0d1381c14d87
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref111

Oversized Works of Art

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Box 10, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1983
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 7: Photographic Materials and Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9711c8b32-f587-4277-bf43-99458c5d25c2
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref112

Oversized Penland, Faculty and Students - Group Photos

Collection Creator:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Container:
Roll 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1970-1980s
Scope and Contents:
Includes five panoramic group photographs.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Collection Citation:
William J. and Jane Brown papers, circa 1940-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
William J. and Jane Brown papers
William J. and Jane Brown papers / Series 7: Photographic Materials and Moving Images
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b3f1fc21-393b-4910-a8bc-4b70da220c22
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-browwill-ref113

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