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Oral history interview with Bruce Metcalf, 2009 June 10

Interviewee:
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Subject:
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Arneson, Robert  Search this
Bauer, Fred  Search this
Bennett, Jamie  Search this
Burns, Mark  Search this
Church, Sharon  Search this
Clark, Garth  Search this
Craig, Gabriel  Search this
Cummins, Susan  Search this
Daley, William  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert  Search this
Eidelberg, Martin P.  Search this
Flynn, Pat  Search this
Getty, Nilda  Search this
Gill, John  Search this
Griffin, Gary  Search this
Halem, Henry  Search this
Hammer, Wayne  Search this
Hash, Arthur  Search this
Jerry, Michael John  Search this
Long, Randy  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent)  Search this
Koplos, Janet  Search this
Koss, Gene  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley  Search this
Matzdorf, Kurt  Search this
Mawdsley, Richard  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Morris, William  Search this
Pritchard, Marian  Search this
Rogers, Harriet  Search this
Rogers, Steve  Search this
Ruskin, John  Search this
Schaechter, Judith  Search this
Shaw, Richard  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Slosberg, Jill  Search this
Wilson, Anne  Search this
Woell, J. Fred  Search this
Colorado State University  Search this
Kent State University  Search this
Montana State University (Bozeman, Mont.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
State University of New York at New Paltz  Search this
Syracuse University  Search this
Tyler School of Art  Search this
University of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
California -- description and travel
Seoul (Korea) -- Description and travel
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Bruce Metcalf, 2009 June 10. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Communism  Search this
Deconstructivism (Architecture)  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Formalism (Art)  Search this
Jewelers -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)16051
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)310185
AAA_collcode_metcal09
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_310185
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Bruce Metcalf

Interviewee:
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Colorado State University -- Faculty  Search this
Kent State University -- Faculty  Search this
Montana State University (Bozeman, Mont.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
State University of New York at New Paltz -- Students  Search this
Syracuse University -- Students  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
University of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.) -- Faculty  Search this
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Arneson, Robert, 1930-1992  Search this
Bauer, Fred  Search this
Bennett, Jamie, 1948-  Search this
Burns, Mark, 1950-  Search this
Church, Sharon, 1948-  Search this
Clark, Garth, 1947-  Search this
Craig, Gabriel  Search this
Cummins, Susan  Search this
Daley, William, 1925-2002  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Eidelberg, Martin P.  Search this
Flynn, Pat, 1954-  Search this
Getty, Nilda  Search this
Gill, John, 1949-  Search this
Griffin, Gary, 1945-  Search this
Halem, Henry  Search this
Hammer, Wayne  Search this
Hash, Arthur, 1976-  Search this
Jerry, Michael John, 1937-  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Koplos, Janet  Search this
Koss, Gene  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Long, Randy  Search this
Matzdorf, Kurt  Search this
Mawdsley, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Morris, William, 1834-1896  Search this
Pritchard, Marian  Search this
Rogers, Harriet  Search this
Rogers, Steve  Search this
Ruskin, John, 1819-1900  Search this
Schaechter, Judith, 1961-  Search this
Shaw, Richard, 1941 Sept. 12-  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Slosberg, Jill  Search this
Wilson, Anne, 1949-  Search this
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Extent:
96 Pages (Transcript)
5 Items (Sound recording: 5 sound files (4 hr., 10 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
California -- description and travel
Seoul (Korea) -- Description and Travel
Date:
2009 June 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Bruce Metcalf conducted 2009 June 10, by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Metcalf's home, in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Mr. Metcalf discusses his early years in Amherst, Massachusetts; beginnings as a maker with modeling clay and plastic airplane models; undergraduate years at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York in the late 1960s; early interest in architecture; early disenchantment with modernist discourse and theory; introduction to Marxist theory and idealism of the 1960s; summer trip to California in 1970; return to the East Coast upon the death of his father; return to college, transferring into jewelry in his senior year; influence of his teacher Michael Jerry; seeing the work in "Objects: USA" exhibition (1969) and influence of the work of J. Fred Woell, Richard Mawdsley, L. Brent Kington; rejection of current trends in art, including conceptual art and formalism; his affinity for the medium of metal, and hammersmithing; influence of funk ceramics, including work by Fred Bauer and Richard Shaw; brief stint at Montana State University, Bozeman; working in cardboard and wood; graduate school at the State University of New York, New Paltz; working with Robert Ebendorf and Kurt Matzdorf at New Paltz; work as a production artist/craftsperson; attending Rhinebeck, New York, craft fair in the mid-1970s; the influence of writings by William Morris and John Ruskin and the notion of "dignified labor"; graduate school at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; formulating his aesthetic of narrative symbolism; publication of his first article in 1977 as a response to review of the exhibition "Forms in Metal: 275 Years of Metalsmithing in America" (1975); yearlong teaching position at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; taking a teaching position at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (1986-1991); publication of his article "Crafts: Second-Class Citizens?" in the first issue of Metalsmith, 1980; growing involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths; development of his notion of "social utility" and the role and function of crafts and making; expansion of his writing on craft; rejection of the deconstructivist school of thought in the 1980s; abandonment of sculptural objects for jewelry in the early 1990s; return to Philadelphia in 1991; early teaching of history of craft, first at Kent, then on a Fulbright scholarship in Seoul, South Korea (1990), later at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, in the early 1990s; influence of Martin Eidelberg; development of his vision for a history of craft course; collaboration with Janet Koplos on "Makers: A History of American Studio Craft"; use of his medium and craft to explore issues of nurturing and anxiety; the psychological/social effect and aesthetic importance of wearing jewelry (for the wearer and the artist); the pros and cons of craft collectors; the problematics of installation work by craft artists; recent trends in craft, including Anne Wilson's notion of "sloppy craft" and an "anti-craft" attitude; recent artists, including Arthur Hash and Gabriel Craig; lack of exhibition opportunities for younger/emerging artists; influential recent texts, including "Shards," by Garth Clark. He also recalls Robert Arneson, Randy Long, Carol Kumata, Jamie Bennett, Steve and Harriet Rogers, Wayne Hammer, Stanley Lechtzin, Gene Koss, Henry Halem, Mark Burns, Rose Slivka, Nilda Getty, Jill Slosberg, Sharon Church, John Gill, David La Plantz, Lois Moran; Gary Griffin; William Daley, Marian Pritchard, Glenn Adamson, Pat Flynn, Susan Cummins, and Judith Schaechter.
The following oral history transcript is the result of a recorded interview with Bruce Metcalf on June 10, 2009. The interview took place in Bala Cynwyd, Penn., and was conducted by Edward S. Cooke, Jr. for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This interview is part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Bruce Metcalf has reviewed the transcript. His corrections and emendations appear below in brackets with initials. This transcript has been lightly edited for readability by the Archives of American Art. The reader should bear in mind that they are reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.
Biographical / Historical:
Bruce Metcalf (1949- ) is a jeweler and writer in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded as 5 sound files. Duration is 4 hr., 10 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:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Communism  Search this
Deconstructivism (Architecture)  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Formalism (Art)  Search this
Jewelers -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.metcal09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw974054f15-9dfd-4aea-98f7-707fd609918e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-metcal09
Online Media:

LS-0380

Collection Creator:
Spandorf, Lily  Search this
Extent:
1 Drawings (visual works) (Medium: pen)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 12, Item LS-0380
Type:
Archival materials
Drawings (visual works)
Scope and Contents note:
Two women and one man dressed in traditional Japanese clothing. One woman sits playing koto (Japanese harp) while woman with fan stands beside her. Man sits in background. Small burn mark on drawing.

Missing Title

Festival Program: Old Ways in the New World
Collection Restrictions:
Access by appointment only. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at rinzlerarchives@si.edu or 202-633-7322 for additional information.
Collection Rights:
Copyright restrictions apply. Contact archives staff for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Lily Spandorf drawings, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Lily Spandorf drawings
Lily Spandorf drawings / Drawings and Papers
Archival Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/bk5e9ee1964-d2c4-4857-b422-ed29d9098a20
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-cfch-span-ref5111

LS-0588

Collection Creator:
Spandorf, Lily  Search this
Extent:
1 Drawings (visual works) (Medium: pen on manila)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 22, Item LS-0588
Type:
Archival materials
Drawings (visual works)
Scope and Contents note:
One man and two children carrying bags and boxes. House and trees in background. Small burn mark.
Collection Restrictions:
Access by appointment only. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at rinzlerarchives@si.edu or 202-633-7322 for additional information.
Collection Rights:
Copyright restrictions apply. Contact archives staff for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Lily Spandorf drawings, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Lily Spandorf drawings
Lily Spandorf drawings / Drawings and Papers
Archival Repository:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/bk5459990e3-4903-4462-a8c9-12fcd8d8f2f9
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-cfch-span-ref5534

Magician's Cup

Artist:
Mark Burns, born Springfield, OH 1950  Search this
Medium:
ceramic
Dimensions:
8 7/8 x 9 x 7 in. (22.7 x 23.0 x 17.9 cm)
Type:
Decorative Arts-Ceramic
Crafts
Date:
1973
Topic:
Animal\rabbit  Search this
Performing arts\other\magician  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Helen Williams Drutt English and H. Peter Stern in honor of the 35th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery
Object number:
2007.47.5
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Renwick Gallery
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/vk7cc08cd71-e42d-4330-90ac-1fe0cdac53b1
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_2007.47.5

Copper lightning rod tip

Measurements:
overall: 10 1/2 in x 1 in x 1 in; 26.67 cm x 2.54 cm x 2.54 cm
Object Name:
lightning rod component
lightning rod
Other Terms:
Lightning Rod Tip; Components; Power and Lighting; Power and Lighting
Credit Line:
from DeLancey Gill
ID Number:
EM.309801
Catalog number:
309801
Accession number:
109224
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Electricity
Exhibition:
Discovery and Revelation
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-391e-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_706029
Online Media:

RCA-De Forest type 211 / 511 transmitting triode

Maker:
Radio Corporation of America  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 7 1/2 in x 2 1/4 in; 19.05 cm x 5.715 cm
Object Name:
Electron Tube, Triode
triode
Other Terms:
Electron Tube, Triode; Electron Tubes
Credit Line:
from Franklin Wingard
ID Number:
EM.323111
Catalog number:
323111
Accession number:
241556
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Electricity
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-3b62-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_704674

#7031 ceramic base rheostat with nickel lever

Measurements:
overall: 1 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in; 3.81 cm x 8.89 cm
Object Name:
variable resistance
Credit Line:
from Franklin Wingard
ID Number:
EM.241556.500
Accession number:
241556
Catalog number:
241556.500
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Electricity
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ea0e10a-fcfa-3e0c-e053-15f76fa01e16
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1973999

Trench lantern

Created by:
Portia, British  Search this
Medium:
glass, metal and rope
Dimensions:
H x W (4a): 4 1/4 × 3 × 3 in. (10.8 × 7.6 cm)
H x W (4b): 2 1/2 × 1 1/2 × 1 1/2 in. (6.4 × 3.8 cm)
Type:
lanterns (lighting devices)
Place made:
England, Europe
Date:
1914-1918
Topic:
African American  Search this
Military  Search this
World War I  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Alan Laird
Object number:
2017.111.4ab
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Tools and Equipment-Military
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5ee4e7529-5d74-4415-aa3b-248d6bc28df9
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2017.111.4ab
Online Media:

Mark Burns, 1950- [Folder]

Contents:
Folder(s) may include exhibition announcements, newspaper and/or magazine clippings, press releases, brochures, reviews, invitations, illustrations, resumes, artist's statements, exhibition catalogs.
Topic:
Artists  Search this
Location:
Art & Artist files at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/ National Portrait Gallery Library
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILAF_60799

gourd dish

Collector:
Dr. Dolores Newton  Search this
Donor Name:
Dr. Dolores Newton  Search this
Length:
20.5 cm
Width:
10 cm
Culture:
Krikati  Search this
Object Type:
Dish
Place:
Sao Jose, Maranhao, Brazil, South America
Accession Date:
24 Apr 2006
Collection Date:
1964
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
400194
USNM Number:
E430990-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/32e426acc-8744-4493-9865-e4d6eecefd6c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8543779

Wooden Ladle / Spoon

Collector:
Dr. Labelle Prussin  Search this
Donor Name:
Dr. Labelle Prussin  Search this
Length:
28.2 cm
Width:
4.8 cm
Height:
2.5 cm
Culture:
Tuareg  Search this
Object Type:
Spoon
Place:
Niger, Africa
Accession Date:
6 Aug 2002
Collection Date:
1974
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
2023032
USNM Number:
E431571-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/341aa356a-26fc-42ae-ac65-fd8c2d0802a5
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8547353
Online Media:

Tray for Roasted Beans

Collector:
Mrs. Grace Burkholder  Search this
Donor Name:
Mrs. Grace Burkholder  Search this
Maximum Width - Wide End:
13 cm
Width - Narrow End:
5 cm
Length:
22 cm
Height:
4 cm
Culture:
Bedouin  Search this
Arab  Search this
Object Type:
Tray
Place:
Saudi Arabia, Asia
Accession Date:
1 Oct 1989
Collection Date:
1960 to 1980
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
370093
USNM Number:
E432010-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3581ea38c-8375-4195-821e-fe193015b919
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8552186
Online Media:

Bow

Collector:
Dr. William F. Wheeler  Search this
Donor Name:
Dr. William F. Wheeler  Search this
Length:
85 cm
Culture:
Efe Pygmy  Search this
Object Type:
Bow
Place:
Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa
Accession Date:
12 Apr 2006
Collection Date:
1993 to 1998
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
2036145
USNM Number:
E432259-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3a3c4b940-8469-4172-a425-74a9bc887dc0
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8945878

Bow

Collector:
Dr. William F. Wheeler  Search this
Donor Name:
Dr. William F. Wheeler  Search this
Length:
84 cm
Culture:
Efe Pygmy  Search this
Object Type:
Bow
Place:
Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa
Accession Date:
12 Apr 2006
Collection Date:
1993 to 1998
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
2036145
USNM Number:
E432262-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/30f2e69be-bd56-44bb-a7e0-170ec284f4f1
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8945881

Bow

Collector:
Dr. William F. Wheeler  Search this
Donor Name:
Dr. William F. Wheeler  Search this
Length:
83.8 cm
Culture:
Efe Pygmy  Search this
Object Type:
Bow
Place:
Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa
Accession Date:
12 Apr 2006
Collection Date:
1993 to 1998
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
2036145
USNM Number:
E432263-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/3a7937a01-bc37-4c30-acf4-dc6730f63802
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8945882

Medicine Beans

Collector:
Brig. Gen. William B. Hazen  Search this
William Courtenay  Search this
Donor Name:
Mrs. Mildred M. Hazen  Search this
Culture:
Hidatsa (?)  Search this
Arikara (Sahnish) (?)  Search this
Mandan (?)  Search this
Object Type:
Botanical / Dice
Place:
Fort Buford, Williams County, Dakota Territory / North Dakota, United States, North America
Accession Date:
25 May 1892
Collection Date:
1872
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
025748
USNM Number:
E154065-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/36ecea0d9-f7ef-4802-b1a1-a6df1780eb1f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8343629
Online Media:

Gaming Sticks In Purse

Collector:
Emile Granier  Search this
Donor Name:
Emile Granier  Search this
Culture:
Indian  Search this
Object Type:
Gambling Set
Place:
Northwest Coast (not certain), California (not certain), United States, North America
Accession Date:
14 Sep 1898
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
034005
USNM Number:
E200558-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/38df49716-eccc-45d7-a8e7-fe223669e13b
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8354905

Scrap Of Burned, Marked Bone

Collector:
Dr. Frank H. Roberts Jr.  Search this
Donor Name:
Bureau Of American Ethnology  Search this
Site Name:
Lindenmeier Site  Search this
Culture:
Folsom Complex  Search this
Object Type:
Bone
Place:
Larimer County, Colorado, United States, North America
Accession Date:
2 Mar 1965
Topic:
Archaeology  Search this
Accession Number:
259015
USNM Number:
A442384-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/368c54bf1-cc0c-452b-a160-a42949cef3d4
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8196206

Wooden Container for Oil and Meat

Collector:
Katherine Sobeck  Search this
Donor Name:
Eileen Sobeck  Search this
Length:
12 cm
Width:
10.5 cm
Height:
15 cm
Culture:
Turkana  Search this
Object Type:
Food Container
Place:
Kenya, Africa
Accession Date:
6 Aug 2008
Collection Date:
18 Aug 1968 to 22 Aug 1970
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
2041514
USNM Number:
E433084-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/37b57c462-6259-4a63-b7be-b16c04c00577
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_11052578

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