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Oral history interview with Al Hansen

Interviewee:
Hansen, Al, 1927-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students  Search this
New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.) -- Students  Search this
Pratt Institute -- Students  Search this
Reuben Gallery  Search this
Brecht, George  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Dine, Jim, 1935-  Search this
Dunn, Bob  Search this
Dunn, Judith  Search this
Eisenhauer, Lette  Search this
Goldfine, Pauline  Search this
Groth, John, 1908-1988  Search this
Higgins, Dick, 1938-1998  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Karp, Ivan C., 1926-2012  Search this
Mac Low, Jackson  Search this
Maciunas, George, 1931-1978  Search this
Marisol, 1930-  Search this
McCarey, Don  Search this
Moorman, Charlotte  Search this
Muller, Jan, 1922-1958  Search this
Nakian, Reuben, 1897-1986  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Ortiz, Rafael Montanez  Search this
Paik, Nam June, 1932-  Search this
Poons, Larry  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980  Search this
Vostell, Wolf, 1932-1998  Search this
Waring, James, 1922-1975  Search this
Watts, Robert M., 1923-1988  Search this
Extent:
2 Sound tape reels (Sound recording, 5 in.)
112 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tape reels
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1973 November 6-13
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Al Hansen conducted 1973 November 6-13, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Hansen traces his personal history, recalling his childhood and early education in Queens; his service in the armed forces; and jobs he held in social work, advertising, off-Broadway theater, and art galleries. He describes taking classes with John Groth at the Art Students League in the 1940s; with Reuben Nakian at Pratt in the 1950s; and with John Cage at the New School in 1958. He also discusses the rise of New York as an art center; his interest in film; his involvement in experimental sound and music; his approach to creating Happenings and that of other artists; organizing poetry readings at the Epitome Coffee Shop; his Hershey bar wrapper collages; the writing of his book, "A Primer of Happenings and Space Time Art," (New York: Something Else Press 1965); his interactions with Fluxus and George Maciunas; participating in the "Below Zero" show at the Reuben Gallery in 1959; attending the Destruction In Art symposium in London in 1966; and his recent exhibitions in Germany. People he recalls include Tony Smith; Pauline Goldfine [ph]; Dick Higgins; Wolf Vostell; Larry Poons; Allan Kaprow; Claes Oldenburg; Don McCarey [ph]; Jim Dine; George Brecht; Jackson Mac Low; James Waring; Marisol Escobar; Ivan Karp; Bob Watts; George Segal; Judith Dunn; Bob Dunn; Jan Müller; Nam June Paik; Raphael Ortiz; Charlotte Moorman; and Lettie Lou Eisenhauer.
Biographical / Historical:
Al Hansen (1927-1995) was an artist from New York, New York. Founder of Fluxus art movement and one of the first Happenings artists.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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 others.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Fluxus (Group of artists)  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Happening (Art)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.hansen73
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hansen73

Oral history interview with Herbert Palmer, 2004 Dec. 6-22

Interviewee:
Palmer, Herbert Bearl, 1915-2006  Search this
Interviewer:
Ehrlich, Susan, 1942-  Search this
Subject:
Offner, Richard  Search this
Reiss, Winold  Search this
Feigen, Richard L.  Search this
Cézanne, Paul  Search this
Shapiro, Meyer  Search this
Garabedian, Charles  Search this
Ankrum, Joan  Search this
Tudor, David  Search this
Stevenson, Harold  Search this
Onslow-Ford, Gordon  Search this
Paalen, Wolfgang  Search this
Mullican, Lee  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Bluhm, Norman  Search this
Grooms, Red  Search this
Maillol, Aristide  Search this
Gustavus Vasa  Search this
Bloch, Lucienne  Search this
Wölfflin, Heinrich  Search this
Reiss, Henrietta  Search this
Riley, Bridget  Search this
New York University  Search this
David Stuart Galleries  Search this
Ankrum Gallery  Search this
Felix Landau Gallery  Search this
Feigen Palmer Gallery  Search this
Irving Blum Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art dealers -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Art thefts  Search this
Gallery owners -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11749
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)250508
AAA_collcode_palmer04
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_250508

Oral history interview with Herbert Palmer

Interviewee:
Palmer, Herbert Bearl, 1915-2006  Search this
Interviewer:
Ehrlich, Susan, 1942-  Search this
Names:
Ankrum Gallery  Search this
David Stuart Galleries  Search this
Feigen Palmer Gallery  Search this
Felix Landau Gallery  Search this
Irving Blum Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
New York University -- Students  Search this
Ankrum, Joan  Search this
Bloch, Lucienne, 1909-1999  Search this
Bluhm, Norman, 1921-1999  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
Feigen, Richard L., 1930-  Search this
Garabedian, Charles  Search this
Grooms, Red  Search this
Gustavus Vasa  Search this
Maillol, Aristide, 1861-1944  Search this
Mullican, Lee, 1919-1998  Search this
Offner, Richard, 1889-1965  Search this
Onslow-Ford, Gordon  Search this
Paalen, Wolfgang, 1907-  Search this
Reiss, Henrietta  Search this
Reiss, Winold, 1886-1953  Search this
Riley, Bridget, 1931-  Search this
Shapiro, Meyer  Search this
Stevenson, Harold, 1929-2018  Search this
Tudor, David, 1926-1996  Search this
Wölfflin, Heinrich, 1864-1945  Search this
Extent:
56 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2004 Dec. 6-22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Herbert Palmer conducted 2004 Dec. 6 and 22, by Susan Ehrlich, for the Archives of American Art, in West Hollywood, Calif.
Palmer discusses his family background and childhood in New York City; early exposure to art exhibitions; music appreciation; attending New York University; taking classes with Winhold Reiss, Meyer Shapiro, Richard Offner, and Heinrich Wolfflin; his master's thesis on Paul Cezanne's paintings of Mount Saint Victoire; moving to California; learning to fly; meeting Lillian, his wife; founding Feigen-Palmer Gallery with Richard Feigen; other galleries in the area, including Irving Blum, David Stuart, Felix Landau, Charles Garabedian, and Joan Ankrum; Monday Night Art Walks; John Cage and David Tudor performance pieces; the many artists he's exhibited; Andy Warhol's "The Kiss"; 1968 split with Richard Feigen to become the Herbert Palmer Gallery; the theft of a Picasso sculpture in Dec. 1981 and the ensuing legal case, which involved numerous galleries and collectors; his longstanding friendships with Gordon Onslow Ford, Lee Mullican, and Wolfgang Paalen; membership to the Art Dealers Association of California; and his enjoyment of discovering art, old and new. Palmer also recalls Henriette Riess, Harold Stevenson, Lucienne Bloch, Bridget Riley, Vasa Mihich, Maillol, Red Grooms, Norman Bluhm, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Herbert Palmer (1915-2006) owned the Herbert Palmer Gallery of West Hollywood, Calif. Interviewer Susan Ehrlich is an art historian from Beverly Hills, Calif.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 mini discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 35 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:
Use requires an appointment.
Topic:
Art dealers -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Art thefts  Search this
Gallery owners -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- California
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.palmer04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-palmer04

Oral history interview with John Cage, 1974 May 2

Interviewee:
Callahan, Harry M. (Harry Morey), 1912-1999  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-  Search this
Subject:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Bird, Bonnie  Search this
Buhlig, Richard  Search this
Cowell, Henry  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Johns, Jasper  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Watts, Alan  Search this
Weiss, Adolph  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Composers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12442
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212080
AAA_collcode_cage74
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212080
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Leo Castelli, 1969 May 14-1973 June 8

Interviewee:
Castelli, Leo, 1907-1999  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-  Search this
Subject:
Barr, Alfred H., Jr.  Search this
Bellamy, Richard  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Drouin, René  Search this
Flavin, Dan  Search this
Johns, Jasper  Search this
Johnson, Philip  Search this
Karp, Ivan C.  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy  Search this
List, Vera  Search this
Ludwig, Peter  Search this
Nauman, Bruce  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Scull, Robert C.  Search this
Serra, Richard  Search this
Solomon, Alan R.  Search this
Sonnabend, Ileana  Search this
Tremaine, Burton  Search this
Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12370
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212111
AAA_collcode_castel69may
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212111
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Paulus Berensohn, 2009 March 20-21

Interviewee:
Berensohn, Paulus, 1933-2017  Search this
Interviewer:
Shapiro, Mark, 1955-  Search this
Subject:
Anderson, Ian  Search this
Bennion, Joseph W.  Search this
Brown, Carolyn  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph)  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Charlip, Remy  Search this
Cowles, Fleur  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
Dunn, Robert G.  Search this
Ekman, June  Search this
Garfinkel, Ron  Search this
Graham, Martha  Search this
Karnes, Karen  Search this
Kokis, George  Search this
Mendes, Jerry  Search this
Oliver, Mary  Search this
Peterson, Mary  Search this
Pieser, Jane  Search this
Raine, Yvonne  Search this
Richards, Mary Caroline  Search this
Stanford, Verne  Search this
Stannard, Ann  Search this
Supree, Burton  Search this
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Williams, Gerald  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Bennington College  Search this
Columbia University  Search this
Goddard College  Search this
Juilliard School  Search this
New York Philharmonic  Search this
Penland School of Crafts  Search this
Pendle Hill (School : Wallingford, Pa.)  Search this
Swarthmore College  Search this
Yale University  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Australia -- description and travel
Topic:
Artists' books  Search this
Ceramicists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Clay  Search this
Communal living  Search this
Dance -- Study and teaching  Search this
Diaries -- Authorship  Search this
Dyslexia  Search this
Photography  Search this
Poets -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15906
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)296474
AAA_collcode_berens09
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_296474
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Rauschenberg

Interviewee:
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Interviewer:
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994  Search this
Names:
Amsterdam (Netherlands). Stedelijk Museum  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Tworkov, Jack  Search this
Extent:
31 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 Dec. 21
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert Rauschenberg conducted 1965 Dec. 21, by Dorothy Seckler, for the Archives of American Art.
In this interview Rauschenberg speaks of his role as a bridge from the Abstract Expressionists to the Pop artists; the relationship of affluence and art; his admiration for de Kooning, Jack Tworkov, and Franz Kline; the support he received from musicians Morton Feldman, John Cage, and Earl Brown; his goal to create work which serves as unbiased documentation of his observations; the irrational juxtaposition that makes up a city, and the importance of that element in his work; the facsimile quality of painting and consequent limitations; the influence of Albers' teaching and his resulting inability to do work focusing on pain, struggle, or torture; the 'lifetime' of painting and the problems of time relative symbolism; his feelings on the possibility of truly simulating chance in his work; his use of intervals, and its possible relation to the influence of Cage; his attempt to show as much drama on the edges of a piece as in the dead center; his belief in the importance of being stylistically flexible throughout a career; his involvement with the Stadtlijk Museum; his loss of interest in sculpture; his belief in the mixing of technology and aesthetics; his interest in moving to the country and the prospect of working with water, wind, sun, rain, and flowers; Ad Reinhardt's remarks on his Egan Show; his discontinuation of silk screens; his illustrations for Life Magazine; his role as a non-political artist; his struggles with abstraction; his recent theater work "Map Room Two;" his white paintings; and his disapproval of value hierarchy in art.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was a painter and photographer from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tapes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 58 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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 others.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rausch65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rausch65

Oral history interview with V. V. Rankine

Interviewee:
Rankine, V. V., 1920-2004  Search this
Interviewer:
Kirwin, Liza  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
David Herbert Gallery  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Arts (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Jefferson Place Gallery  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Bader, Franz, 1903-1994  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Denney, Alice  Search this
Dorrance, Nesta  Search this
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Duncan, Augustin  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977  Search this
Gilliam, Sam, 1933-  Search this
Gorky, Agnes  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Halle, Kay  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-1992  Search this
Helburn, Theresa, 1887-1959  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-1995  Search this
Kennedy, Kit  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
Kinney, Gilbert H.  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003  Search this
Leopold, Richard  Search this
Louis, Morris, 1912-1962  Search this
Magruder, Esther  Search this
Merrill, Kevin  Search this
Nelson, Wretha  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Newman, Bonnie  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Ozenfant, Amédée, 1886-1966  Search this
Pace, Stephen, 1918-2010  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Penn, Arthur, 1922-  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Renault, Jean  Search this
Richman, Robert  Search this
Russo, Alexander  Search this
Sheridan, Walt  Search this
Sherman, Saul  Search this
Snelson, Kenneth, 1927-2016  Search this
Soyer, Moses, 1899-1974  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Sweeney, James Johnson, 1900-  Search this
Thomas, Dylan, 1914-1953  Search this
Truitt, Anne, 1921-2004  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987  Search this
Yektai, Manoucher, 1922-  Search this
Youngerman, Jack, 1926-2020  Search this
Extent:
34 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1990 Mar. 2-22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of V. V. Rankine conducted 1990 Mar. 2-22, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art.
Rankine discusses the evolution of her nickname, V.V.; discovering her dyslexia; growing up in Boston; auditioning for a part in, "The Philadelphia Story"; her art studies with Amedee Ozenfant from 1944 to 1946; her studies at Black Mountain College with Josef Albers and Willem De Kooning in 1947; her friendship with Morris Louis and watching him work; living with her brother-in-law Arshile Gorky, in New York City; her first one-woman show at the David Herbert Gallery in New York in 1962; exhibiting at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York and at the Jefferson Place Gallery in Washington, D.C.; Robert Richman and the Institute of Contemporary Arts; the relationship between her painting and her sculpture; favorite shapes and materials; and her summer home in East Hampton and artist friends there. Rankine also recalls Robert Rauschenberg, Jack Youngerman, Manoucher Yektai, Betty Parsons, Ibram Lassaw, Buckminster Fuller, Elaine De Kooning, Arthur Penn, Richard Leopold, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Ken Noland, Morris Louis, Ray Johnson, Kenneth Snelson, David Hare, Frederick Kiesler, Raphael Soyer, Moses Soyer, Jean Renault, Agnes Gorky, Esther Magruder, James Johnson Sweeney, Jim Brooks, John Graham, Phillip Guston, Duncan Phillips, Theresa Helburn, Augustine Duncan, Tom Downing, Gene Davis, Alice Denney, Nesta Dorrance, Kevin Merrill, Sam Gilliam, Dylan Thomas, Kay Halle, Kit Kennedy, Naum Gabo, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Anne Truitt, Wretha Nelson, Franz Bader, Louise Nevelson, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Bonnie Newman, Alexander Russo, Walt Sheridan, Gilbert Kinney, Saul Sherman, Steve Pace, Lee Krasner, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
V.V. Rankine (1920-2004) was a painter and sculptor from Washington, D.C. Variable forms of the artist's name are notably E. R. (Elvine Richard) Rankine, Vivian Scott Rankine, and her married name, Mrs. Paul Scott.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 53 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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 others.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Sculptors -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rankin90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rankin90

Oral history interview with Alison Knowles

Interviewee:
Knowles, Alison, 1933-  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch  Search this
Creator:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Names:
California Institute of the Arts -- Faculty  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Middlebury College -- Students  Search this
Pratt Institute. Art School -- Students  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Brecht, George  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Chicago, Judy, 1939-  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Gordon, Coco, 1938-  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Hamilton, Richard, 1922-  Search this
Hendricks, Jon, 1921-  Search this
Higgins, Dick, 1938-1998  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-1995  Search this
Jones, Joe, 1909-1963  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Kuehn, Kathy  Search this
Lauf, Cornelia  Search this
Lindner, Richard, 1901-1978  Search this
Mac Low, Jackson  Search this
Maciunas, George, 1931-1978  Search this
Moorman, Charlotte  Search this
Ono, Yōko  Search this
Paik, Nam June, 1932-  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Saito, Takako, 1929-  Search this
Schapiro, Miriam, 1923-2015  Search this
Schneemann, Carolee, 1939-  Search this
Schöning, Klaus  Search this
Shiomi, Mieko, 1909-1948  Search this
Silverman, Gilbert  Search this
Spoerri, Daniel, 1930-  Search this
Teitelbaum, Richard  Search this
Tenney, James  Search this
Waśko, Ryszard  Search this
Extent:
86 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2010 June 1-2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Alison Knowles conducted 2010 June 1-2, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project, at Knowles' home and studio, in New York, N.Y.
Knowles speaks of her family background; her father's (an English professor) influence on her education; her love of nature and isolation as a young girl; her French studies at Middlebury College; her transfer to Pratt Institute to study art; the social and academic environment at Pratt; her inclinations towards abstraction; her first marriage to Jim Ericson; her first studio at 423 Broadway; her early jobs as a commercial artist; her first gallery show at Nonagon, in 1958, and how she subsequently burned the paintings in that show; her second marriage to Dick Higgins in 1960; her Judson Gallery Show in 1962 and how she subsequently discarded those works; her involvement in the Fluxus group; her involvement with the "Cage class," and its early performances; her collaboration with John Cage on the book, "Notations" (1968); her collaboration with Marcel Duchamp on a print (1967); the circumstances surrounding her performance piece, "Make a Salad" (1962), her travels through Europe with Higgins; the birth of her twins; her computerized poetic piece and installation, "House of Dust" (1967) and how it was later vandalized; her move to Los Angeles to teach at CalArts; the rebuilding of "House of Dust" at CalArts; her move back to New York; the processes leading up to several projects and collaborations including "Loose Pages," "Big Book," "Bread and Water," and more; where she finds her inspiration; her thoughts on performance art; her studio environment in Barrytown, N.Y.; the influence and support of Germany on her work and Fluxus in general; her recent work, including "Identical Lunch"; and current challenges she faces as an artist.
She recalls Richard Lindner, Adolph Gottlieb, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Judy Chicago, Josef Albers, Dorothy Podber, Ray Johnson, Dick Higgins, Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, Klaus Schöning, Jon Hendricks, Gilbert Silverman, George Maciunas, George Brecht, Jack Mac Low, Yoko Ono, Mieko Shiomi, Takako Saito, Joe Jones, Marcel Duchamp, Daniel Spoerri, Richard Hamilton, Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman, Helmut Becker, Coco Gordon, Jim Tenney, Cornelia Lauf, Rirkrit Tirvanija, Allan Kaprow, Simone Forte, Carolee Schneemann, Richard Teitelbaum, Miriam Schapiro, Miguel Abrau, James Fuentes, Cyrilla Wozenter, Kathy Kuehn, Ryszard Wasko.
Biographical / Historical:
Alison Knowles (1933- ) is an artist and a founding member of Fluxus in New York, N.Y. Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is a former director of iCI in New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 mini discs. Duration is 5 hr., 45 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.
Topic:
Fluxus (Group of artists)  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Performance art  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.knowle10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-knowle10

Oral history interview with John Cage

Interviewee:
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Bird, Bonnie  Search this
Buhlig, Richard, 1880-1952  Search this
Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Watts, Alan, 1915-1973  Search this
Weiss, Adolph, 1891-1971  Search this
Extent:
55 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1974 May 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Cage conducted 1974 May 2, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Cage speaks of his education; studying art and architecture in Europe; his paintings; his music teachers including Richard Buhlig, Henry Cowell, and Adolph Weiss; his lectures on modern art and music; his first wife, Xenia; teaching at the Cornish School, the Chicago Institute of Design, and Black Mountain College; taking chess lessons from Marcel Duchamp; Oriental philosophy; and "Silence," "Empty Words," and other compositions. He recalls Josef Albers, Bonnie Bird, Merce Cuningham, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Tobey, Alan Watts, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
John Cage (1912-1992) was a composer and printmaker from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 39 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 others.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Composers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cage74
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cage74

Oral history interview with Leo Castelli

Interviewee:
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Bellamy, Richard  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Drouin, René  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Karp, Ivan C., 1926-2012  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
List, Vera  Search this
Ludwig, Peter, 1925-  Search this
Nauman, Bruce, 1941-  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Scull, Robert C.  Search this
Serra, Richard, 1939-  Search this
Solomon, Alan R., 1920-1970  Search this
Sonnabend, Ileana  Search this
Tremaine, Burton  Search this
Extent:
194 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1969 May 14-1973 June 8
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Leo Castelli conducted 1969 May 14-1973 June 8, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Castelli speaks of his background; fleeing Europe, 1940-1941; his U.S. Army service; The Club; establishing his New York galleries; his first wife, Ileana Sonnabend, and her success as an art dealer; galleries in the 1940s and 1950s; his staff; prints; commissioned works; exhibitions and sales of works by Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, and others; collectors including Philip Cortelyou Johnson, Vera G. List, Peter Ludwig, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Scull, and Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine. Castelli recalls Alfred H. Barr, Richard Bellamy, John Cage, René Drouin, Ivan C. Karp, and Alan Robert Solomon.
Biographical / Historical:
Leo Castelli (1907-1999) was an art dealer from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded as 8 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 14 hr., 12 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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 others.
Topic:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.castel69may
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-castel69may

Oral history interview with Alanna Heiss, 2010 June 15-October 28

Interviewee:
Heiss, Alanna, 1943-  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-0  Search this
Subject:
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Finkelpearl, Tom  Search this
Gill, Brendan  Search this
Highstein, Jene  Search this
Matta-Clark, Gordon  Search this
Nonas, Richard  Search this
Clocktower Gallery  Search this
Institute for Art and Urban Resources  Search this
Lawrence University  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New Museum  Search this
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center  Search this
University of Chicago  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Gallery directors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15902
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)296450
AAA_collcode_heiss10
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_296450
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Alanna Heiss

Interviewee:
Heiss, Alanna  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Creator:
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Names:
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Clocktower Gallery  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Institute for Art and Urban Resources  Search this
Lawrence University  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New Museum (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center  Search this
University of Chicago -- Students  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Finkelpearl, Tom  Search this
Gill, Brendan, 1914-1997  Search this
Highstein, Jene, 1942-2013  Search this
Matta-Clark, Gordon, 1943-1978  Search this
Nonas, Richard, 1936-  Search this
Extent:
80 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2010 June 15-October 28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Alanna Heiss conducted 2010 June 15 and October 28, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts project, at Art International Radio, on Leonard Street, in New York, New York.
Heiss speaks of the Clocktower Gallery and the AIR offices; New York galleries and museums and the economic depression of the 1970s; art shows in Germany, France, Switzerland, and England and the role of foreign and West Coast curators in New York shows during the 1960s; founding the Institute for Art and Urban Resources with Brendan Gill; her lack of interest in collecting and the problems she feels it poses for organizations showing art; her attitudes about displaying art in the 1970s; growing up in a small town in Southern Illinois; spending summers as a child in South Dakota; her musical training; art in relation to Midwestern cultural values; her work on the exhibition "Stalin's Choice: Soviet Socialist Realism, 1932-1956" in 1993; her degree in music and the philosophy of aesthetics from Lawrence University; taking classes at the University of Chicago; moving to New York and deciding to focus on visual arts; her time in Europe and the various jobs she took while abroad including teaching, inspecting monuments for the Society for Ancient Buildings and Monuments, writing about animals, selling and transporting used cars, and serving as an artist liaison; and the exhibitions she saw during her travels.
Heiss also discusses trips she made across the United States after returning from Europe; working as a band road crew manger; her work in 1993 on the John Cage tribute show for the Venice Biennale called "Il Suono Rapido delle Cose" and the album produced in conjunction with the show called Caged/Uncaged - A Rock/Experimental Homage To John Cage; her marriage to the artist Jene Highstein and their friendships with the artists Richard Nonas and Gordon Matta-Clark; her return to New York from Europe around 1970 and her use of old or abandoned real estate as locations for contemporary art exhibitions; her first show, "Under the Brooklyn Bridge" in 1971; founding PS1; her work as a parole officer and her exposure to the culture of Harlem; the various shows held at PS1; urban art spaces in New York including the New Museum and the Coney Island Sculpture Museum; her exhibition space on Bleecker Street in New York; her disenchantment with the idea of community art; her work with Tom Finkelpearl; the way she publicized exhibitions; the underground culture of the 1970s; and the relationship between the Museum of Modern Art and PS1 and their eventual merger.
Biographical / Historical:
Alanna Heiss (1943-) is director of Art International Radio in New York, New York. James McElhinney (1952-) is an artist and educator in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound disc. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 39 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.
Occupation:
Teachers  Search this
Topic:
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Gallery directors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.heiss10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-heiss10

Hugo Weber papers

Creator:
Weber, Hugo, 1918-1971  Search this
Names:
Clair Fox Gallery  Search this
Howard Wise Gallery  Search this
Arp, Jean, 1887-1966  Search this
Cajori, Charles, 1921-2013  Search this
Callahan, Eleanor  Search this
Coleman, Ornette  Search this
Greenbaum, Jack  Search this
Hall, Robert D.  Search this
Held, Annet  Search this
Hervochon, Yves  Search this
Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969  Search this
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Ward, Cora Kelley, 1920-1989  Search this
Weber, Anne  Search this
Photographer:
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Crane, Barbara, 1928-  Search this
Siegel, Arthur S.  Search this
Woelffer, Dina, 1907-  Search this
Extent:
6.2 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 9 reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1932-1971
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence; photographs and photograph albums; diaries; writings; sketches and sketchbooks; biographical data; catalogs; material relating to the Artists Tenants Association; clippings; and miscellany.
REEL D388: Correspondence, 1945-1966; photographs; sketches; and clippings.
REELS N70-9-N70-10: 75 photographs by Weber and photographer Harry Callahan of Mies van der Rohe, taken from 1961-1964, with occasional photos of Weber, his studio, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and other friends, including one of Moholy-Nagy by Arthur Siegel, 1946. Also included are 30 letters from Clair Fox Gallery, Howard Wise Gallery, Harry Callahan, Jack Kerouac and other friends; and 2 sketchbooks, 1962.
REEL 671: 9 photograph albums and ca. 200 photographs of Weber, friends, family (including his artist wife, Anne Weber), studios, and his works of art. Among them are one of Weber by Barbara Crane, ca. 1960, a contact sheet of photographs of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and many photographs by Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Cora Ward, Robert D. Hall, Annet Held and Yves Hervochon, including photos of Charles Cajori and Jack Greenbaum by Cora Ward, and Ornette Coleman by Callahan.
REELS 841-845: Correspondence, 1932-1971; 3 diaries (written in German), 1941-1944, April 1942, and April to August 1964; poetry by Weber; writings on art, 1951-1968; writings on other artists; sketchbooks and drawings, 1945-1971; biographical material; material on the Artists Tenants Association; catalogs; clippings; and miscellany.
UNMICROFILMED: Three photos by Harry Callahan, including one each of Eleanor Callahan, Weber, and "Drawing in Space with a Flashlight"; and one of Jean (Hans) Arp by Dina Woelffer, 1957. One photo of Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe taken by Aaron Siskind, ca. 1950.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; New York, N.Y.; b. 1918 in Basel, Switzerland; d. August 15, 1971.
Provenance:
Material on reel D388 and N70-9 (portion) lent for microfilming 1969 by Hugo Weber; and material on reel N70-9 (portion)-N70-10, 671 & 841-845 donated 1971 by Anne Weber, ex-wife of Hugo Weber.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.webehugo
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-webehugo

Judith Wechsler papers, circa 1940-2003, bulk 1971-1994

Creator:
Wechsler, Judith, 1940-  Search this
Subject:
Adams, Ansel  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Cage, John  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Cohen, John  Search this
Falkenberg  Search this
Hockney, David  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Johns, Jasper  Search this
Menil, Dominique de  Search this
Meyerowitz, Joel  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred  Search this
Steichen, Edward  Search this
Museum at Large Ltd.  Search this
Universal Limited Art Editions (Firm)  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Topic:
Art historians -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Art patronage  Search this
Art museums  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Filmmakers--Massachusetts--Boston  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15836
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)292401
AAA_collcode_wechjudi
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_292401

Oral history interview with Todd Webb, 1990 September 4-1992 May 22

Interviewee:
Webb, Todd, 1905-2000  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Adams, Ansel  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Documentary photography  Search this
Photographers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12229
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)214732
AAA_collcode_webb90
Theme:
Photography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_214732

Oral history interview with V. V. Rankine, 1990 Mar. 2-22

Interviewee:
Rankine, V. V., 1920-2004  Search this
Interviewer:
Kirwin, Liza, 1957-  Search this
Subject:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Bader, Franz  Search this
Brooks, James  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
Davis, Gene  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Denney, Alice  Search this
Dorrance, Nesta  Search this
Duncan, Augustin  Search this
Downing, Thomas  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster)  Search this
Gabo, Naum  Search this
Gilliam, Sam  Search this
Gorky, Arshile  Search this
Gorky, Agnes  Search this
Graham, John  Search this
Guston, Philip  Search this
Halle, Kay  Search this
Hare, David  Search this
Helburn, Theresa  Search this
Johnson, Ray  Search this
Kennedy, Kit  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
Kinney, Gilbert H.  Search this
Krasner, Lee  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram  Search this
Leopold, Richard  Search this
Louis, Morris  Search this
Magruder, Esther  Search this
Merrill, Kevin  Search this
Nelson, Wretha  Search this
Nevelson, Louise  Search this
Newman, Bonnie  Search this
Noland, Kenneth  Search this
Ozenfant, Amédée  Search this
Pace, Stephen  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Penn, Arthur  Search this
Phillips, Duncan  Search this
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Renault, Jean  Search this
Richman, Robert  Search this
Russo, Alexander  Search this
Sheridan, Walt  Search this
Sherman, Saul  Search this
Snelson, Kenneth  Search this
Soyer, Moses  Search this
Soyer, Raphael  Search this
Sweeney, James Johnson  Search this
Thomas, Dylan  Search this
Truitt, Anne  Search this
Warhol, Andy  Search this
Yektai, Manoucher  Search this
Youngerman, Jack  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Arts  Search this
Jefferson Place Gallery  Search this
David Herbert Gallery  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Sculptors -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12937
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213467
AAA_collcode_rankin90
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213467
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Todd Webb

Interviewee:
Webb, Todd  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Extent:
57 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1990 September 4-1992 May 22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Todd Webb conducted 1990 September 4-1992 May 22, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art. Webb speaks of his childhood in Detroit and Ontario, Canada; friendship with photographer Harry Callahan and the influence of a course by Ansel Adams on them both; service as a Navy photographer in World War II; development of a close friendship with Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe during the late 1940s; photographic assignments with FORTUNE magazine for Standard Oil Company under Roy Stryker, and in England and France under Rene Leonhardt, a photo agency; writing and photographic essays on the American West; assignments in 1960s for the United Nations; sale, in the 1970s, of negatives and work to date to the collector George Rinhart; residence in Maine; and his frequent travels.
Biographical / Historical:
Todd Webb (1905-2000) was a photographer and writer from Bath, Maine. Born Charles Clayton Webb III, in Detroit, Michigan, in 1905. Studied with Ansel Adams.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 32 min.
Provenance:
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.
Topic:
Photography, Artistic  Search this
Documentary photography  Search this
Photographers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.webb90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-webb90

Oral history interview with Rosanne Somerson, 2006 August 7 and 2007 June 22

Interviewee:
Somerson, Rosanne, 1954-  Search this
Interviewer:
Michie, Thomas S., 1956-  Search this
Subject:
Abramson, Ron  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Capanigro, Paul  Search this
Cooke, Ned  Search this
Dunnigan, John  Search this
Fairbanks, Jonathan L.  Search this
Follen, Eck  Search this
Frid, Tage  Search this
Jackson, Dan  Search this
Joseph, Peter T. (Peter Thomas)  Search this
Kagan, Richard  Search this
Keck, Hardu  Search this
Kranov, James  Search this
Maruyama, Wendy  Search this
Mattia, Alphonse  Search this
Melanson, Gracie  Search this
Osgood, Jere  Search this
Sfirri, Mark  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Swanson, Charlie  Search this
Szasz, Merlin  Search this
White, Leroy  Search this
Wolf, Hans  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Peters Valley (Craft center)  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Richard Kagan Gallery  Search this
Snyderman Gallery  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Fine woodworking  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Educators -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Furniture design -- Study and teaching  Search this
Photography  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13618
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)271125
AAA_collcode_somers06
Theme:
Craft
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_271125
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Rosanne Somerson

Topic:
Fine woodworking
Interviewee:
Somerson, Rosanne, 1954-  Search this
Interviewer:
Michie, Thomas S.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Peters Valley (Craft center)  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Faculty  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Students  Search this
Richard Kagan Gallery  Search this
Snyderman Gallery  Search this
Abramson, Ron  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Capanigro, Paul  Search this
Cooke, Ned  Search this
Dunnigan, John, 1950-  Search this
Fairbanks, Jonathan L.  Search this
Follen, Eck  Search this
Frid, Tage  Search this
Jackson, Dan  Search this
Joseph, Peter T. (Peter Thomas), 1950-1998  Search this
Kagan, Richard  Search this
Keck, Hardu  Search this
Kranov, James  Search this
Maruyama, Wendy, 1952-  Search this
Mattia, Alphonse  Search this
Melanson, Gracie  Search this
Osgood, Jere, 1936-  Search this
Sfirri, Mark  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Swanson, Charlie  Search this
Szasz, Merlin  Search this
White, Leroy  Search this
Wolf, Hans  Search this
Extent:
61 Pages (Transcripts)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2006 August 7 and 2007 June 22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Rosanne Somerson conducted 2006 August 7-2007 June 22, by Thomas Michie, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the Rhode Island School of Design, in Providence, Rhode Island. In part one of this interview, Somerson speaks of growing up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; attending RISD beginning in 1971; being asked to teach there nine years later; creating a new department of furniture design; tailoring that furniture design program to encompass the development from design to manufacture; introducing materials other than wood into the program; garnering international attention through worldwide exhibits; her first show at the Richard Kagan Gallery in Philadelphia; participating in a group show in New York City for female woodworkers; making connections through the Snyderman Gallery and Pritam and Eames Gallery; working directly with clients on commissioned pieces; the financial stability of teaching; designing a piece for the headquarters of Khon, Peterson Fox, and Conway in New York; the sculptural elements present in many of her works; moving from a small studio in Boston, Massachusetts, to a larger studio in Westport, Connecticut, and finally to a shared studio in Fall River, Massachusetts; the supportive and proud reaction of her children to her work; creating a production company with colleagues and designing furniture for the RISD dormitories; attempting to make these designs both flexible and environmentally-friendly; putting aside teaching for an administrative position in the department; recent travel to Japan, Australia, England, Israel, and France; enrolling in summer programs with art schools like Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Maine and others; and excitement for her upcoming sabbatical.
In the second portion of the interview, she discusses living in a house built by her father in Wyncote, Pennsylvania; enjoying the location of the house on a former cherry orchard and consequently being drawn cherry wood as a medium; the feeling of her parents that anything could be accomplished with a certain amount of study; her mother's interest in weaving and spinning later in life; the creative pursuits of her older brothers, including creative writing and photography; verbally communicating the outside world to her blind grandfather and gaining an aptitude for interpreting visual imagery; being more academically than artistically focused in her youth; visiting art museums and having other cultural experiences with her family; being fascinated with photography by seeing her brother's work; deciding to put off college in order to spend a year in Denmark studying photography; enrolling in RISD and feeling overwhelmed at first by her inexperience; taking a winter course in wood-working and preferring it to photography; being advised by her teacher Tage Frid to gain a wood-working education by pursuing sculpture at RISD; transferring into industrial design later; learning a great deal from and being extraordinarily influenced by Tage Frid as a furniture designer and teacher; taking a semester off to attend Peters Valley Craftsmen in New Jersey; spending a few years after graduation assisting Frid with the writing and publication of his articles; working as an assistant editor for Fine Woodworking magazine; being offered a job at RISD in the furniture department; creating the furniture design program; using RISD's collection as inspiration for her work and as a teaching tool; moving towards using more local woods in her designs; her recent lecture and travel in China; and looking forward to focusing on her work in the new studio.
Somerson recalls John Dunnigan, Dick Kagan, Ned Cooke, Jonathan Fairbanks, Wendy Maruyama, James Krenov, Dan Jackson, Jere Osgood, Alphonse Mattia, Peter Joseph, Ron Abramson, Charlie Swanson, Eck Follen, Peter Walker, and others. In the second part, Somerson recalls Merlin Szasz, LeRoy White, Hardu Keck, Gracia Melanson, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Paul Crot, Paul Capanigro, Tage Frid, Hans Wolfe, Mark Sfirri, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Rosanne Somerson (1954- ) is a professor of furniture design and furniture designer and maker in Westport, Massachusetts. Thomas Michie is a curator of decorative arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 3 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.
Occupation:
Furniture designers -- Rhode Island  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Educators -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Furniture design -- Study and teaching  Search this
Photography  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.somers06
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-somers06

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