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.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 39 min.
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.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Composers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
This small collection of the papers of sculptor Marion Walton measures 0.8 linear feet and dates from 1915-1976. Fifteen folders of letters written to Marion and her mother Blanche Wetherill Walton include many from artists and photographers, writers, musicians and composers, and political figures. Also found are printed materials, photographs, and a file concerning a reception for author Jonathan Daniels.
Scope and Content Note:
The collection measures 0.8 linear feet, dates from 1915-1976, and documents the career of sculptor Marion Walton. Found within the papers are letters, printed material, photographs, and a file concerning a reception for author Jonathan Daniels.
Letters include those received by Walton and her mother, music patron Blanche Wetherill Walton, from many notable correspondents, including artist Charles Green Shaw, historian and suffragist Mary Beard, and novelist Vera Brittain. There are scattered letters from artists Béla Kádár, Rockwell Kent, Fred Dana Marsh, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, Theo Stamos, and Abbott Handerson Thayer, composers Henry Cowell and Carl Ruggles, musician Pete Seeger, lecturer Ruth Gage-Colby, photographer Roy E. Stryker, political figures James Forrestal, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Shirley Williams, and writers Carl Carmer and Margaret Storm Jameson.
Printed material primarily consists of clippings and exhibition catalogs, and photographs are of Walton, her family, colleagues, and artwork. Of special interest is an early photograph of Alberto Giacometti with Rodin's model Carmen, and a photograph of Pablo Picasso autographed on the reverse.
The collection is arranged into 4 series. All series are arranged chronologically.
Series 1: Letters, 1922-1976 (Box 1; 15 folders)
Series 2: File Concerning a Reception for Jonathan Daniels, 1946 (Box 1; 14 folders)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1924-1976 (Boxes 1-2; 17 folders)
Series 4: Photographs, 1915-1972 (Box 2; 18 folders)
Marion Walton was born in 1905 in New Rochelle, New York, the daughter of Ernest Forster Walton and music patron Blanche Wetherill Walton. During the 1920s, she studied at the Art Students League and, from approximately 1922 to 1924, at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris under sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. One of her classmates was Alberto Giacometti.
In 1933, Walton had a solo exhibition at the Weyhe Gallery and later participated in numerous group exhibitions primarily in New York City and in Paris, France. Her work is represented in private collections in the United States and abroad, and in the museum of the University of Nebraska.
Walton taught students in her studio in New York City and at Sarah Lawrence College. She was also a member of Artists Equity and a charter member of the Sculptors Guild.
Walton was married to James Putnam, assistant to the President of the publishing house, MacMillan Company.
Marion Walton died in 1996.
The Marion Walton papers were donated in 1976 by Marion Walton.
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
The Marion Walton papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Women sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Marion Walton papers, 1915-1976. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
A handwritten memoir, photographs, house plan, three cassette tapes related to Cowell's anniversary and birthday (1973), materials and a letter from sculptor Claire Falkenstein, and letters from California potters Frans and Marguerite Wildenhain. Also included is one spiral-bound photograph album containing ca. 40 photographs of Olive Cowell, her husband, Harry, and his son, pianist and composer Henry taken in their home in San Francisco, Calif., and a photograph of architect Lilian Bridgman taken in her studio.
Biographical / Historical:
Art and music patron, professor of International Relations; San Francisco, Calif.; b. 1887; d. 1984 Olive Cowell was founder of the international relations department of San Francisco State University, where she taught until 1956.
Donated 1994 and 1998 by Alan W. Ford, who inherited and resided in Cowell's home and received the papers from Cowell. He destroyed all other Cowell papers at her request. Ford subsequently resided in a house designed by architect Lilian Bridgman, and donated a group of Bridgman's papers as well; these are cataloged separately.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Joseph Schillinger (1895-1943), composer and musical theorist, worked extensively with the Rhythmicon. The Rhythmicon, constructed in 1931, is the earliest electronic rhythm machine. The collection consists of recordings of the Rhythmicon.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of nine transcription recordings of the Rhythmicon on 78 rpm phonographic records made by Joseph Schillinger in 1940 and 1941; two 1/4 inch master reel to reel tapes of disc recordings created by Radio Smithsonian in fall, 1985; and one research cassette tape of disc recordings created by Radio Smithsonian in fall, 1985.
A digital reference copy is available in the Smithsonian Institutions Digital Asset Management System (DAMS).
The collection is organized into one series. Box 1 contains of the original audio discs and Box 2 contains the open-reel master tapes, a cassette reference tape, and photocopies of the labels.
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph Schillinger (1895-1943), composer and musical theorist, worked extensively with the Rhythmicon. The Rhythmicon, developed in 1931 by Leon Theremin at the request of composer Henry Cowell, is the earliest electronic rhythm machine.
Schillinger was born on August 31, 1895, in Kharkov, Ukraine. After beginning a successful musical career in the Soviet Union, he immigrated to the United States in 1928 and settled in New York City. He taught at New York University, the Teachers College of Columbia University and the New School for Social Research. A trained mathematician, Schillinger developed his own system of composition based on mathematics.
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History by Mrs. Joseph Schillinger (Frances) and transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Musical Instruments (Division of Culture and the Arts) in June 1985.
Collection is open for research. Digital reference copies available in the Smithsonian Institution Digital Asset Management System (DAMS).
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.