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Oral history interview with Chunghi Choo

Interviewee:
Choo, Chunghi  Search this
Interviewer:
Milosch, Jane  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Ihwa Yŏja Taehakkyo  Search this
Museum für Kunsthandwerk Frankfurt am Main  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Handicrafts -- Students  Search this
University of Iowa -- Faculty  Search this
University of Northern Iowa  Search this
Victoria and Albert Museum  Search this
Bush, Cody  Search this
Chateauvert, Jocelyn  Search this
Fujio, Yuho  Search this
Grotell, Maija  Search this
Kao, Ruth  Search this
Kaufman, Glen  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Lee, Sang-Bong  Search this
Mayer-VanderMey, Sandra  Search this
McFadden, David Revere  Search this
Merkel-Hess, Mary  Search this
Park, No Soo  Search this
Raab, Rosanne  Search this
Saarinen, Loja  Search this
Smith, Paul J.  Search this
Thomas, Richard C., 1917-1988  Search this
Yeun, Kee-ho  Search this
Extent:
75 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Korea (South) -- History -- April Revolution, 1960
Date:
2007 July 30-2008 July 26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Chunghi Choo conducted 2007 July 30-2008 July 26, by Jane Milosch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home, in Iowa City, Iowa.
Choo speaks of establishing the Metalsmithing and Jewelry program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City; the elaborate equipment, tools, and safety protection used in the studio; her experience teaching silent metalforming at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine; participating in international workshops and seminars in Korea; the extensive world traveling she does with her husband, Dr. Charles Read, including destinations in Scandinavia, Thailand, Austria, Italy, and South Africa, among others; the house she designed in Iowa City; her love of the city and being surrounded by treasured friends, a supportive university, and beautiful environments; an interest in creative cooking and appreciation for diverse dishes from all around the world; her childhood and young adulthood in Inchon, Korea; growing up with an appreciation for beautiful art objects and classical music; an early interest and talent in drawing; attending Ewha Women's University as generations of women in her family had previously; experiences during the Korean War and April 19 Revolution in 1961; coming to the United States in 1961 as a student; studying English, ceramics, enameling, and stone cutting for one semester at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C.; attending Cranbrook Art Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and studying metalsmithing with Richard Thomas, ceramics with Maija Grotell, and weaving with Glen Kaufman; living with Mrs. Loja Saarinen during her three and a half years at Cranbrook; teaching general craft at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids from 1965-1968; pioneering the mixed-media studies with her students at UNI; accepting the challenge to build a metalsmithing and jewelry program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 1968; learning and teaching electroforming; the development of the electro-appliqué technique; extensive donor support and fundraising for the Metalsmithing and Jewelry program and its students; finding inspiration in nature, East Asian calligraphy, classical music, and travel; her long friendship with Jack Lenor Larsen and the great influence he has had on her work; being represented in major art museums and institutions world-wide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum fur Kunsthandwerk in Frankfurt, Germany, and many others; the joy she has when her students succeed and surpass her; and plans for future work, writing projects, and travel. Choo also speaks of the 2008 flooding of Iowa City and the state of Iowa during which her studio was severely damaged and many things were lost. Choo also recalls Park, No Soo; Lee, Sang Bong; Ruth Kao; Stanley Lechtzin; Yuho Fujio; David McFadden; Paul J. Smith; Rosanne Raab; Cody Bush; Jocelyn Chateauvert; Mary Merkel Hess; Sandra Mayer-VanderMey; Kee-ho Yeun, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Chunghi Choo (1938- ) is a Korean American educator, metalsmith, jeweler, and textile and mixed media artist based in Iowa City, Iowa. Interviewer Jane Milosch is a curator from Silver Spring, Maryland.
General:
Originally recorded 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 27 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 22 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.
Occupation:
Metal-workers -- Iowa -- Iowa City  Search this
Jewelers -- Iowa -- Iowa City  Search this
Textile designers -- Iowa -- Iowa City  Search this
Mixed-media artists -- Iowa -- Iowa City  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Jewelers -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry making -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Jewelry making -- Technique  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Korean War, 1950-1953  Search this
Korean American art  Search this
Korean American Artists  Search this
Asian American jewelers  Search this
Asian American metal-workers  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women textile artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.choo07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw91d0f3d3d-e648-47b2-9282-e395b73f635f
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-choo07
Online Media:

Oral history interview with L. Brent Kington

Interviewee:
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale -- Faculty  Search this
University of Kansas -- Students  Search this
Thomas, Richard C., 1917-1988  Search this
Extent:
95 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 May 3-4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of L. Brent Kington conducted 2001 May 3-4, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Kington's home and studio, Makando, Illinois.
Kington describes his childhood and the impact of the Depression; his adopted sister Kay; and his hyperactivity and difficulty accomplishing schoolwork. He comments on his high school teachers; his academic and athletic accomplishments at University of Kansas (UK); his studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art with Richard (Dick) Thomas "the intellectual silversmith" and his "mentor"; Hugh Acton and the GM Tech Center; and fellow metalsmiths Fred Fenster, Mike Jerry, Stanley Lechtzin, and Heikki Seppä.
He discusses exhibitions including "Kansas Designer Craftsmen," "Michigan Designer Craftsmen," "Fiber, Clay, Metal," "Creative Casting, Young Americans 1962," and "Objects: USA." He talks about Ashanti gold weights; Scandinavian design; teaching at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois (SIU) and Illinois State University (ISU), and taking students to the Saint Louis Art Museum to see granulation in Mycenaean gold. He comments at length on his toys and experimenting with ideas about toys.
Kington also describes blacksmithing workshops held at SIU and the "renaissance" of blacksmithing in the United States. He recalls his involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), American Craft Council (ACC), World Crafts Council (WCC), Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America (ABANA), the Kentucky School of Craft, the National Ornamental Metal Museum, and other organizations. He discusses his weathervane pieces and other series such as Icarus, Crozier, Europa, and Axis Mundi. He comments on the influence of Mircea Eliade's book "The Forge and the Crucible" (1979), considers the blacksmith's role in various cultural mythologies, and evaluates publications such as "Anvil's Ring" and "American Blacksmith."
He comments on the current state of affairs in metalsmithing; his retirement from SIU and teaching in the University of Georgia-Cortona program; the impact of Cyril Stanley Smith's insights and the importance of his book "A History of Metallography" (1960); his appreciation of Daryl Meier's work; exploring new techniques such as mokume gane, kuromido, shibuichi, rokusho (patination process); encouraging Mary Lee Hu to pursue wire structuring; and his enthusiasm for sharing information. He recalls John Allgood, Philip Baldwin, Robert Ebendorf, Phil Fike, Maija Grotell, Marvin Jensen, Richard Mawdsley, Lee Nordness, Ron Pearson, Bob Peterson,Gene and Hiroko Pijanowski, Jim Wallace, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
L. Brent Kington (1934-) is a metalsmith from Makanda, Illinois. Mary Douglas (1956-) is a curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, N.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 54 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:
Metal-workers -- Illinois -- Interviews  Search this
Blacksmithing  Search this
Learning disabilities  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kingto01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9965d97da-f46b-4a53-a40d-bc5ca73b03b3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kingto01
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Hiroko Sato Pijanowski

Interviewee:
Pijanowski, Hiroko Sato, 1942-  Search this
Interviewer:
Fisch, Arline M.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Michigan -- Faculty  Search this
Pijanowski, Eugene, 1938-  Search this
Extent:
123 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2003 May 13-15
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Hiroko Sato Pijanowski conducted 2003 May 13-15, by Arline F. Fisch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Pijanowski speaks of her American/Japanese identity; childhood in Japan and her small family; the Christian schools she attended; Geidai University; learning Japanese jewelry design in the U.S.; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art; her thesis on line-inlay, a Japanese technique; meeting Eugene (Gene) Pijanowski, her future husband, at Cranbrook; life in Japan with Gene; moving back to the U.S.; her teaching philosophy; teaching at the University of Michigan; computers and other technological advances that have changed the way metals are taught; her presentation at a 1999 SNAG conference, "A Look Into the Future: The Implementation of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing for Metalsmiths"; the importance of sharing information; her creative work and its relation to teaching; working with Japanese paper cord [mizuhiki]; Zen philosophy; her reoccurring childhood dreams; her line of jewelry "Hiroko Sato Pijanowski"; and the different types of molds she has made in wax, silicon, and rubber. Pijanowski also discusses jewelry tradeshows; her series Gentle Solitude; Issey Miyake's approach to design and his influence; her haiku club; orchids as inspiration; scuba diving experiences; the World Crafts Conference in Kyoto in 1978; the importance of exhibitions, such as "International Jewelry" in Vienna and "Poetry of the Physical" at the American Craft Museum, New York; galleries such as Helen Drutt in Philadelphia and Yaw Gallery in Michigan; the custom of "renting a gallery space" in Japan; and she concludes the interview with a discussion of the effects of of her depression. Pijanowski also recalls Ruth Taubman, Jim Hopfensperger, Leslie Leupp, Michael Rodemer; Stanley Lechtzin, Herman Junger, Albert Paley, David Watkins, Bob Ebendorf, Otto Kunzli, Michael Rowe, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Hiroko Sato Pijasnowski (1942- ) is a Japanese American metalsmith from Honolulu, Hawaii. Arline M. Fisch is a jeweler.
General:
Originally recorded on 6 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 42 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American metal-workers  Search this
Jewelers -- Hawaii -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- Hawaii -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.pijanoh03
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9be3f93ac-2c5f-4b62-a0b3-b25d91ea2207
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-pijanoh03
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Heikki Seppä

Interviewee:
Seppä, Heikki  Search this
Interviewer:
Herman, Lloyd E.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Fabergé (Firm)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Extent:
76 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 May 6
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Heikki Seppä conducted 2001 May 6, by Lloyd Herman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in the artist's home and studio, Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Seppä speaks of his early childhood in Finland and being placed in a children's home (twice) in the Karelian Isthmus; his mother's move to Canada; his parents' divorce; his educational background including his course of study at the goldsmith school in 1940 and 1941, at age 14, and his lack of role models; the postwar growth of the metal industry; his participation in an exchange program with Denmark; his athletic accomplishments, especially kayaking; his service in the Finnish Army; his employment in Helsinki; producing objects for Georg Jensen; the state of Nordic decorative arts in the 1950s; his marriage and move to British Columbia; working with refrigeration systems; obtaining Canadian and American citizenship; teaching metalsmithing in a community center; winning prizes for metal pieces in Canadian national exhibitions; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art; introducing reticulation to Cranbrook; and his Cranbrook classmates Stanley Lechtzin, L. Brent Kington, Leslie Motch, and teachers Richard Thomas and Alma Eicherman. Seppä describes in detail the history of and process for producing a reticulated surface; he refers to crimping and spraying metal; teaching at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1965 to 1992; the origin of his spiculum and shell forms; his books, "Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths" (Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1978) and "From Silversmith's Workshop" (1996 or 1998); commissions; his gradual withdrawal from juried and competitive exhibitions; his use and limitations of preliminary drawings; the silversmith as a maker of expressive objects; and repairs he made to silver pieces made by metalworkers who did not understand silver. He discusses a difficult period marked by his early retirement in 1992, his wife's death in 1993, and declining commissions.
He talks about becoming reacquainted with metalsmith Laurie Lyall in 1997 and moving to Bainbridge Island, where he now lives with Lyall. SNAG (the Society of North American Goldsmiths), its founders, membership, and five-year dormancy are discussed as is the organization's revitalization. Seppä speaks about stylistic influences; technique and style; his work-related travel; and his admiration for Jack da Silva's sculpture. He comments on the homogenization of the arts; the difference between jewelers and metalsmiths trained in art schools and vocational schools; the distinction between art and craft; the desire of craftsmen to be called artists; the function of critical writing and the lack thereof; Metalsmith magazine; Bruce Metcalf as critic; his commissioned ecclesiastical pieces, including a triangular chalice for an Episcopal church in St. Louis; metalsmiths and manufacturing companies; Fabergé-trained metalsmiths; reticulation at Fabergé's shop; enamel and enamelers at Fabergé; and gemology. Seppä also speaks about his future pursuits and artistic contributions; silver as an expressive medium; and silver as a material for utilitarian objects. He recalls Eero Saarinen, Aline Saarinen, Loja Saarinen, Nellie Peterson, Alma Eicherman, Robert Ebendorf, Michael Good, David Jaworski, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Heikki Seppä (1927-) is a jeweler and metalsmith from Bainbridge Island, Washington. Lloyd Herman (1936-) is a former director of the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery and from Seattle, Washington.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 51 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:
Silversmiths  Search this
Topic:
Jewelers -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.seppa01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw932c2033d-239f-4ab9-8510-59a6865fe74c
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-seppa01
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Earl Krentzin

Interviewee:
Krentzin, Earl, 1929-  Search this
Interviewer:
Yager, Jan, 1951-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Wayne State University -- Students  Search this
Extent:
48 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2002 August 30-31
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Earl Krentzin conducted 2002 August 30-31, by Jan Yager, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.
Krentzin speaks of his family and childhood; the education he received in Detroit, Michigan; attending Wayne State University then Cranbrook Academy of Art; deciding to major in metalwork; being exposed to Dick Thomas at Cranbrook; meeting his wife, Lorraine Wolstein at Wayne; their son Alexander; receiving a Fulbright in 1957 and 1958 and traveling to the Royal College of Art in London; visiting the museums in England and traveling throughout Europe during their time abroad; the different places he has lived in the United States; winning the Founder' Prize at the Michigan Craft Show as well as the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award; the different types of things that he and his wife collect; a gallery manager named Margaret Conzelman; Lawrence Fleischman and his insistence on Krentzin having a show in New York; the James Graham & Sons Gallery and Kennedy Gallery; and the "Young Americans Show" at the American Craft Museum and "Fiber, Clay and Metal" in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He also discusses, his interest in the English magazine, "Country Life;" flea markets in the Detroit area; trades and barters with fellow artists; the 1964 World Crafts Conference at Columbia University, organized by Stanley Lechtzin; the Michigan Silversmiths Guild; the Henry Ford Museum and Detroit Historical Society; how his process has remained the same and his pieces have only gotten a little bit larger; the commission for the Westland Shopping Center in Westland, Michigan; the jewelry he creates; the little figures, he calls "creatures," in his work; Larry Fleischman and his Krentzin collection; the important encouragement from his wife Lorraine; the significance of university training, and his disapproval of students immediately attending RISD or Cranbrook after high school; his fascination with Medieval European metalwork, Japanese metalwork, and the Bauhaus as well; the Archives of American Art and its beginnings in Detriot; he concludes with a discussion about natural objects, such as ivory or exotic woods, and the debate of their usage, then and now. Krentzin also recalls Robert Eaton, Dick Thomas, Lillian Wallick Elliott, Karl Fox, Mike Vizzini, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Earl Krentzin (1929- ) is a metalsmith from Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. Jan Yager is an artist from Phildelphia, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 54 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Metal-workers -- Michigan -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.krentz02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9892ff6e5-fedc-49bb-b5f5-03a0821b9728
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-krentz02
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Tommy Simpson

Interviewee:
Simpson, Tommy  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:
Boston University. Program in Artisanry -- Faculty  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Northern Illinois University -- Students  Search this
University of Hartford -- Faculty  Search this
Castle, Wendell, 1932-2018  Search this
Maloof, Sam  Search this
Maruyama, Wendy, 1952-  Search this
McKie, Judy Kensley, 1944-  Search this
Newman, Richard, (Artist)  Search this
Sepeshy, Zoltan, 1898-1974  Search this
Smith, Paul J., 1931-  Search this
Zucca, Edward  Search this
Extent:
6 Items (Sound recording: 6 sound files (3 hr., 54 min.), digital, wav)
89 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
China -- Description and Travel
Europe -- description and travel
Date:
2004 May 6-July 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Tommy Simpson conducted 2004 May 6-July 2, by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Simpson speaks of growing up in rural Illinois; making things as a child; discovering his interest in art at Northern Illinois University; getting an MFA in painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art; using the wood shop at Cranbrook; exhibiting at various galleries in New York City and moving to Connecticut; showing work in the "Fantasy Furniture" exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Design; visiting Europe; the New York studio furniture market in the 1960s; writing the book, "Fantasy Furniture"; exhibiting in "Objects USA;" working as artist in residence at the Fairtree Gallery; teaching at the University of Hartford; his work ethic and productivity; living and working in Greenwich, Connecticut; the constraints of being classified as a furniture maker; teaching briefly at the Program In Artisanry and other schools; the increased public interest in fine woodworking in the 1980s; changes in the craft market; writing the book, "Two Looks to Home"; the influence of events on his work; his current interest in making whole interiors; working on commission; the current public interest in craft; expressing themes in his work; his working process in his studio; the future of fine woodworking; the difficulties of working with galleries; designing rugs; and visiting China. Simpson also recalls Zoltan Sepeshy, Wendell Castle, Paul Smith, Sam Maloof, Edward Zucca, Wendy Maruyama, Richard Newman, Judy McKie, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Tommy Simpson (1939- ) is a furniture maker and sculptor from Washington Depot, Connecticut. Edward S. Cooke, Jr. is a professor from Newtonville, Massachusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 54 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:
Cabinetmakers  Search this
Sculptors -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.simpso04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95d21c644-be78-4a66-83ff-e67f648199b8
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-simpso04
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Walter Nottingham

Interviewee:
Nottingham, Walter, 1930-2012  Search this
Interviewer:
Owen, Carol, 1936-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Catholic Church  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
St. Cloud State University -- Students  Search this
United States -- Montgomery G.I. Bill  Search this
University of Wisconsin--River Falls -- Faculty  Search this
Constantine, Mildred  Search this
Crane, Jim  Search this
Drutt, Helen Williams  Search this
Johnson, Meda  Search this
Kaufman, Glen  Search this
Knodel, Gerhardt  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor  Search this
Merritt, Francis Sumner, 1913-2000  Search this
Miller, Don  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Nordness, Lee  Search this
Nottingham, Karron  Search this
Penning, Pauline  Search this
Ross, Shelley  Search this
Rossbach, Ed  Search this
Strengell, Marianne, 1909-1998  Search this
Extent:
29 Pages (Transcript)
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 sound files (1 hr., 41 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Mexico City (Mexico) -- description and travel
Date:
2002 July 14-18
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Walter Nottingham conducted 2002 July 14-18, by Carol Owen, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the studios of Idyllwild Arts, in Idyllwild, California. Nottingham speaks of his enthusiasm for basketball; being an altar boy and, as such, surrounded by beautiful fabrics at an early age; attending St. Cloud State University on the GI Bill; his teachers Jim Crane and Pauline Penning; serving as an art consultant for public schools in Jackson, Michigan; the lasting influence of an exhibition of battle flags at the Metropolitan Museum; articulating aging and decay through self-taught weaving; developing a fiber art program at University of Wisconsin, River Falls; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art and working with Glen Kaufman and Meda Johnson. He discusses specific works including his "Yahooties", that combine both his grandmother's and mother's crochet work; his trip to Mexico City on a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1974; forming the company Off the Wall with his eldest daughter Karron and their decorative design commissions; the influence of his Catholic upbringing, oriental philosophy, and spirituality in his work; and techniques and materials. Nottingham recalls Shelly Ross, Helen Drutt, Francis Merritt, Don Miller, Lois Moran, Jack Lenor Larsen, Marianne Strengell, Mildred Constantine, Gerhardt Knodel, Lee Nordness, Ed Rossbach, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Walter Nottingham (1930-2012) is a fiber artist from Hilo, Hawaii. Carol Owen is a fiber artist from Pittsboro, North Carolina.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 41 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Weavers -- Wisconsin -- Interviews  Search this
Self-taught artists  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Technique  Search this
Crocheting  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Fiber artists -- Hawaii -- Interviews  Search this
Weavers -- Hawaii -- Interviews  Search this
Weaving  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.nottin02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93e03a8ff-6563-405b-8f81-0532a2e21dfd
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nottin02
Online Media:

L. Brent Kington papers

Creator:
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Names:
American Craft Council  Search this
Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale -- Faculty  Search this
Yellin, Samuel, 1885-1940  Search this
Interviewer:
Hsu, Ilin  Search this
Extent:
9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Interviews
Sketches
Sound recordings
Date:
1944-2012
Summary:
The papers of influential blacksmith, sculptor, metalsmith and educator, L. Brent Kington, measure 9 linear feet and date from 1944 to 2012. The collection provides a valuable overview of Kington's career through correspondence relating primarily to exhibitions, subject files, drawings, photographs of Kington and his artwork, printed matter and audiovisual material. An additional 5.2 linear feet of papers was accessioned from 2007 to 2012 and remains unprocessed.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of influential blacksmith, sculptor, metalsmith, and educator, L. Brent Kington, measure 9 linear feet and date from 1944 to 2012. The collection provides a valuable overview of Kington's career through correspondence, subject files, drawings, photographs of Kington and his artwork, printed matter and audiovisual material.

Correspondence in Series 1 relates primarily to exhibitions in the United States at institutions such as the the American Craft Museum, the Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, and the National Ornamental Metal Museum, in which Kington's work was represented.

Kington's education at Cranbrook Academy of Art, his career at Southern Illinois University, his involvement with various professional organizations, his appearances at conferences and workshops, and his relationships with individual galleries, are more fully represented in Series 2: Subject Files.

The collection also includes printed matter, including exhibition announcements and catalogs for group and solo exhibitions in which Kington's work was featured, and publications containing articles about Kington.

Photographs in the collection include images of Kington's artwork and also picture Kington at various stages throughout his career. Audiovisual material includes an oral history interview with Kington from 2001, and two video recordings of a blacksmith workshop and a program entitled Brent Kington: Image of an Artist.

An additional 5.2 linear feet of papers was accessioned from 2007 to 2012 and remains unprocessed.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series. Original arrangement has generally been maintained throughout the collection, with some merging of chronological correspondence in Series 1 to facilitate access.

Missing Title

Series 1: Correspondence, 1955-2004, undated (box 1; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 2: Subject Files, 1956-2005, undated (box 1-3; 1.6 linear ft.)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1952-2003, undated (box 3-4, OV 5; 0.9 linear ft.)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1944-2001 (box 4; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 5: Audiovisual Material, 1982, 2001, undated (box 4; 4 items)

Series 6: Unprocessed Addition to the L. Brent Kington Papers, 1956-2012 (boxes 6-12, OV 13; 5.2 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
L. Brent Kington was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1934. He received a BFA from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, in 1957 and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1961. Kington began his career primarily as a silversmith working with small-scale objects such as jewelry, silverware, and toys, and then became interested in using forged iron to create sculpture. He sought the help and instruction of the few blacksmiths he could find working in a "traditional" style and began working with large-scale sculptures forged in iron and steel, weathervanes, and other kinetic sculpture. Kington's subsequent research, such as his exploration of forge welding techniques of iron and his experimentation with laminated, non-ferrous alloys, constituted an important contribution to the resurgence of traditional blacksmithing and was highly influential in the fields of blacksmithing and metalsmithing in general.

Kington served as Director of the School of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale from 1981 to 1994. He was a lecturer at SIU from 1961 to 1962, assistant professor from 1962 to 1967, associate professor from 1967 to 1972, professor from 1972 to 1996, and is currently professor emeritus. A committed educator and an avid spokesman for the arts, he has been honored many times as a guest lecturer, visiting artist, exhibit juror, workshop demonstrator, and panelist in the United States and abroad. In 1987 he spent a summer in Cortona, Italy as guest professor in the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program.

Since 1962, Kington's sculpture and metalwork has been shown in more than 350 group and solo exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada, Mexico, and South America. Over the years Kington has served in various professional organizations. He has been a Trustee of the American Craft Council, Director of the Artist-Blacksmith Association of North America (ABANA), and President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG). In 1978 he was elected to the American Craft Council's Academy of Fellows and has been the recipient of two Artist Fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kington continues to work from his home and studio in Makando, Illinois.
Related Material:
The Archives also has a transcribed interview of L. Brent Kington, conducted May 3-4, 2001 by Mary Douglas for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. The interview was conducted in Kington's home and studio in Makando, Illinois.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in installments by L. Brent Kington from 2001 to 2012. Materials donated from 2007 to 2012 remain unprocessed.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Blacksmithing  Search this
Blacksmiths -- Illinois  Search this
Sculptors -- Illinois  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Interviews
Sketches
Sound recordings
Citation:
L. Brent Kington papers, 1944-2012. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kinglbre
See more items in:
L. Brent Kington papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cf13988f-4d5d-4cba-b783-bb9bd885abf8
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kinglbre
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Harvey K. Littleton

Interviewee:
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Interviewer:
Byrd, Joan Falconer  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
American Craft Council  Search this
Ann Arbor Potters Guild  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
Corning Glass Works  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Midwest Designer-Craftsmen  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Handicrafts  Search this
Pilchuck School  Search this
Renwick Gallery  Search this
University of Michigan -- Students  Search this
Braden, Norah, 1901-  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eisch, Erwin, 1927-  Search this
Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998  Search this
Hamada, Shōji, 1894-1978  Search this
Marioni, Dante, 1964-  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Turner, Robert Chapman, 1913-2005  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Extent:
36 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 March 15
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Harvey K. Littleton conducted 2001 March 15, by Joan Falconer Byrd, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Littleton's home, Spruce Pine, N.C.
Littleton speaks of his family background including the work of his father [Jesse Talbot Littleton] at Corning Glassworks, and his early experiences with glass at Corning. He discusses his studies at the University of Michigan in physics and his switch to sculpture; his studies at Cranbrook Academy, in 1941, and his teachers Marshall Fredericks and Carl Milles; his studies on industrial design; becoming a potter; and working at Corning Glassworks, in the summers, inspecting hand-blown coffee pots and top-of-the-stove ware. He discusses his service in the 849th Signal Intelligence Unit in North Africa and Italy during WWII; studying with Norah Braden, at the Brighton School of Art, in England; the importance of, "A Potter's Book," by Bernard Leach; teaching pottery at night, in Ann Arbor, Michigan; the beginnings of the Ann Arbor Potters Guild; making his own potters' wheels; serving on the board of Penland School of Crafts; the development of "American" art and the impact of the GI Bill on the creation and expansion of art departments; the "master-slave apprentice system"; "the genius of Shoji Hamada"; the properties of porcelain; artist communities at Penland and Cranbrook; the influence of Bill Brown, director of the Penland School of Crafts; art education and the impact of the MFA; Black Mountain College, Pilchuck Glass School, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; problems with the European educational system; the importance of Erwin Eisch's work on his development; his relationship with galleries and museums, particularly the Museum of Modern Art, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and American Craft Museum; and consignment laws. He also comments on the founding of the Midwest Designer Craftsmen; his involvement with the American Crafts Council (ACC) and the distinction between "the indigenous craftsman" and the "artist-craftsman"; American Crafts Council fairs; his printmaking; his techniques of sandblasting; teaching vitreography; and his plans for opening a print gallery. He recalls Charles Eames, Peter Voulkos, Shoji Hamada, Robert Turner, Dante Marioni, Fritz Dreisbach, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Harvey K. Littleton (1922- ) is a glass artist, potter, sculptor, and printmaker from Wisconsin and Spruce Pine, N.C. Joan Falconer Byrd (1939-) ia a professor in the art department of Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, N.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 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.
Topic:
Glass artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Potters -- Interviews  Search this
Pottery -- Study and teaching -- United States.  Search this
Printmakers -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Prints -- Technique  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.little01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw961daf4d2-b6dd-486c-8664-b04a9b099d65
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-little01
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Glen Kaufman

Interviewee:
Kaufman, Glen  Search this
Interviewer:
Shea, Josephine, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Reserve Officers Training Corps  Search this
Allrich, Louise  Search this
Constantine, Mildred  Search this
Cook, Camille J.  Search this
Grotell, Maija  Search this
Johnston, Meda Parker  Search this
Lambert, Ed  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor  Search this
Liebes, Dorothy  Search this
McCutchen, Earl  Search this
Page, Charlene  Search this
Rossbach, Ed  Search this
Strengell, Marianne, 1909-1998  Search this
Thompson, Bill  Search this
Extent:
12 Items (Sound recording: 12 sound files (5 hr., 29 min.))
86 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Denmark -- description and travel
Europe -- description and travel
Illinois -- Chicago -- Description and Travel
India -- description and travel
Japan -- Description and Travel
Ohio -- Description and Travel
Date:
2008 January 22-February 23
Scope and Contents:
Oral history interview with Glen Kaufman conducted 2008 January 22 and February 23 by Josephine Shea, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America at Kaufman's home in Athens, Georgia.
Kaufman speaks of his childhood in Chicago; earning his B.A. in education in Wisconsin and meeting his wife; joining the ROTC and moving to Ohio; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art; living and studying in Denmark; traveling through Western Europe; working at the Liebes Studio in New York; teaching at Cranbrook for about 40 years; working in Japan; using metal leaf and wax in his art; moving from large to miniature textiles; his glove exhibition; visiting India; gallery exhibitions in Japan; the difference between university-trained artists and artisans; the impact of travel and international influences on his work; the art community in Kyoto; using Japanese dancers in his exhibitions; incorporating traditional Korean and Japanese materials and techniques into his work. Kaufman also recalls Charlene Page, Bill Thompson, Maija Grotell, Marianne Strengell, Dorothy Liebes, Jack Lenor Larsen, Meda Parker Johnston, Earl McCutchen, Ed Lambert, Mildred Constantine, Louise Allrich, Ed Rossbach, Camille Cook, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Glen Kaufman (1932- ) is a textile artist who lives and works in Athens, Georgia and Kyoto, Japan. Josephine Shea (1958- ) is curator of the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Detroit, Michigan.
General:
Originally recorded as 4 minidiscs as 12 digital sound files. Duration is 5 hr., 29 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:
For information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.
Topic:
Art -- Japan -- Kyoto  Search this
Textile artists -- Georgia -- Athens  Search this
Textile artists -- Japan -- Kyoto  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kaufma08
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9799596e6-8da2-4c67-8f61-3c969b4d97ba
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kaufma08
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Mary Lee Hu

Interviewee:
Hu, Mary Lee, 1943-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
American Craft Council  Search this
Cleveland Institute of Art -- Students  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Lawrence Arts Center  Search this
Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale -- Students  Search this
University of Washington -- Faculty  Search this
Baldridge, Mark S., 1946-  Search this
Choo, Chunghi  Search this
Christensen, Hans, 1924-1983  Search this
Dingeldein, Otto  Search this
Eikerman, Alma  Search this
Farafol, Daphne  Search this
Fenster, Fred, 1934-  Search this
Fike, Phillip G., 1927-1997  Search this
Halper, Vicki  Search this
Ho, Ron  Search this
Kidman, Hero  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Marshall, John, 1936-  Search this
Matsukata, Miye, 1922-1981  Search this
Matzdorf, Kurt  Search this
McMurray, James  Search this
Moty, Eleanor  Search this
Noffke, Gary  Search this
Pujol, Eleanor  Search this
Seppä, Heikki  Search this
Turner, Gary  Search this
Warashina, Patti, 1940-  Search this
Extent:
8 Items (Sound recording: 8 wav files (5 hr., 42 min.), digital)
163 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Afghanistan -- Description and Travel
Australia -- Description and Travel
China -- Description and Travel
Indonesia -- Description and Travel
Iran -- Description and Travel
Nepal -- Description and Travel
Ohio -- Description and Travel
Papua New Guinea -- Description and Travel
Tibet (China) -- Description and Travel
Turkey -- description and travel
Date:
2009 March 18-19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Mary Lee Hu conducted 2009 March 18-19, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Hu's home and studio, in Seattle, Washington.
Hu speaks of growing up outside Cleveland, Ohio; her early interest in making objects; attending the Lawrence Art Center camp in Kansas at the age of 16 where she first experimented with metals; her like of working with tools in order to create something; taking metal smith classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art during high school; attending Miami University in Ohio for two years followed by two years an Cranbrook Academy of Art; working as a TA with L. Brent Kington at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale; her collaborative work in both textiles and metals while at Carbondale which lead to her first experimentation in weaving silver wire; creating a body of work for her Master's thesis in which all the pieces were woven wire; various works, their origins, when, where and why they were created, including her Neckpiece, Choker, Bracelet, Brooch and Ring series; her aesthetic interest in patterns, line and positive/negative space; a limited interest in and use of color in her work; the transition from silver to gold wire; a progressively larger interest in the history of jewelry and body adornment which eventually became a lecture at the University of Washington, where she taught for 26 years; numerous trips around the world to countries such as China, Tibet, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia; a strong interest in ethnic and native jewelry/body adornment practices; the various purposes which jewelry can serve in society; her involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths and the American Craft Council; her technique based teaching practices; the role that modern technology plays in teaching, learning, and making jewelry; the lack of support and funds for metals programs in universities around the country; her library, which includes aver 2,000 books about the history of jewelry and body adornment; her collection of jewelry from around the world; her want to create beautiful and functional jewelry; the public and private aspects to jewelry and it's role in museums; current projects and the importance to maintain interest of metals in younger generations. Hu also recalls Gary Turner, Hans Christensen, Otto Dingeldein, Heikki Seppä, Hero Kielman, Phil Fike, Patti Warashina, Gary Noffke, Elliott Pujol, Chonghi Choo, Daphne Farafo, Vicki Halper, Ron Ho, Miye Matsukata, Alma Eikermann, Mark Baldridge, Kurt Matzdorf, Eleanor Moty, Fred Fenster, John Marshall, James McMurray, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Mary Lee Hu (1943- ) is a metalsmith in Seattle, Washington. Smith was educated at Cranbrook Academy of Art and Southern Illinois University. She teaches at the University of Washington.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 43 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:
Body adornment  Search this
Jewelry  Search this
Jewelry making -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Jewelry making -- Technique  Search this
Metal-workers -- Washington (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.hu09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a23bb6bc-66a5-4900-9a0f-031b4e2ab83d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hu09
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Betty Cooke

Interviewee:
Cooke, Betty, 1924-  Search this
Interviewer:
Yager, Jan, 1951-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Maryland Institute, College of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Maryland Institute, College of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Beene, Geoffrey  Search this
Bertoia, Harry  Search this
De Patta, Margaret, 1903-1964  Search this
Morton, Philip  Search this
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Steinmetz, Bill  Search this
Extent:
132 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2004 July 1-2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Betty Cooke conducted 2004 July 1-2, by Jan Yager, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Cooke speaks of her family and growing up in Baltimore, Maryland; taking art classes in high school; attending the Maryland Institute, College of Art; apprenticing in a jeweler's studio; teaching design at the Maryland Institute; buying a house and setting up a studio and shop in it; showing her work in the MoMA "Good Design" Exhibition; marrying fellow artist Bill Steinmetz; working as a design consultant; designing interiors for bowling alleys and restaurants; early jewelry designs; studying one summer at Cranbrook Academy of Art; selling works in various galleries; her interest in folk art; using wood and stones in her pieces; creating a wall mural for a school; working with the Rouse Company; opening The Store Ltd. at Cross Keys and designing the modern interior; her trademark designs; making jewelry on commission; and showing her work in exhibitions. Cooke also speaks of her current studio space and routine; sketching designs; documenting her work; traveling to Mexico, China, Morocco, and London; her current involvement with the Maryland Institute, College of Art; renovating a barn for a new studio; the function and wearability of her jewelry; having a retrospective show in 1995; designing for Geoffrey Beene; her interest in painting and sculpture; defining design versus craft; the market for jewelry; how her work has changed over time; sources of inspiration; collecting objects; deciding to go into retail; choosing metals and tools; masculine and feminine jewelry; and being a female artist. Cooke also recalls Margaret De Patta, Harry Bertoia, Philip Morton, George Nakashima, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Betty Cooke (1924- ) is a jeweler and metalsmith of Baltimore, Maryland. Jan Yager is a jeweler from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 2 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:
Jewelers -- Maryland -- Baltimore  Search this
Metal-workers -- Maryland -- Baltimore  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women designers  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cooke04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94615c64b-45d5-4415-a2ba-a76412a92057
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cooke04
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Toshiko Takaezu

Interviewee:
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Interviewer:
Williams, Gerald, 1926-2014  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cleveland Institute of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Princeton University -- Faculty  Search this
Grotell, Maija  Search this
Horan, Claude.  Search this
Extent:
33 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2003 June 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Toshiko Takaezu conducted 2003 June 16, by Gerry Williams, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Quakertown, N.J.
Takaezu describes growing up in Hawaii in a large family; her first work as a commercial potter; working with Claude Horan; how religion factors into her work; studying ceramics at Cranbrook Academy of Art with Maija Grotell; the role of universities and apprenticeships in the craft movement; teaching at Princeton and the Cleveland Institute of Art; visiting artists in Japan; setting up a studio in Clinton, N.J.; her teaching philosophy; the evolution of her work from functional to closed vessels; the inside of her large pots; the importance of color and glazes; her career highlights; the inspiration she finds in nature; her role in political and social activities; her relationship with galleries, including Perimeter and Charles Cowles Gallery; her exhibition history; and the changing face of the American craft movement. She also recalls Claude Horan, Maija Grotell, Otagaki Rengetsu, Kaneshige, Rosanjin, Jeff Schlanger, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011) was a Japanese American ceramist of Quakertown, New Jersey. Gerry Williams (1926- ) is the co-founder and former editor of Studio Potter in Dunbarton, New Hampshire. Takaezu's birth date is also cited as 1929.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 38 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:
Ceramicists -- New Jersey  Search this
Topic:
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Japanese American women artists  Search this
Asian American ceramicists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women potters  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.takaez03
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw922563297-8b8e-452b-bb2b-c8485197f8a8
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-takaez03
Online Media:

Oral history interview with J. Fred Woell

Interviewee:
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Boy Scouts of America  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Wisconsin--Madison -- Students  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Extent:
75 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 June 6-2002 January 19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of J. Fred Woell conducted 2001 June 6-2002 January 19, by Donna Gold, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in the artist's home and studio, Deer Isle, Maine.
Woell speaks of his childhood and the impact of many moves; his affiliation with the Presbyterian Church; his experiences at Park College and the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, studying economics and political science; and the influence of jewelry teacher Robert Von Neumann. Woell describes his experience in the masters program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and refers again to his early childhood noting his participation in Boy Scouts and how it engendered his respect for the environment. He also mentions collecting baseball cards and rocks; the absence of a peer group; and his lack of confidence. He discusses his affinity for open space and unpopulated places; his enjoyment of camping, kayaking with his wife Pat; and notes that his views of nature mirror those of Taoists. He cites effective teaching techniques and comments on secondary school curricula. He discusses a cover story about his work in Metalsmith and his mother's response; his early art classes and interest in drawing cartoons; his tendency to be a clown; his participation in an American-Legion-sponsored event called Boys State; artists as purveyors of culture; and the premise for a workshop titled "Art by Accident." Woell speaks of influence of a John Cage performance at University of Illinois and subsequently contacting Cage; and teaching at Boston University, Haystack, and elsewhere. Woell also provides thoughtful commentary on the teaching style and learning process at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He discusses in some detail the strong influence of Vincent Campanella and Frank Gallo on his work; sharing a workbench with Bob von Neumann; recording and saving ideas; drawing preliminary sketches for jewelry; and his early sculptures of helmets and spoons. He describes and interprets his piece, "Come Alive, You're in the Pepsi Generation," and he comments on found-object pieces that were inspired by Scouting and cartooning. Woell explains how his environmental concerns inform his work and argues that art has a healing function. He remarks on meeting and marrying Kathleen, his first wife; his one-man show at Garth Clark Gallery; and how his work is part of an American, rather than international, tradition. Woell discusses his relationship with galleries including Helen Drutt in Philadelphia, Sybaris Gallery in Royal Oak, Michigan, Connell Gallery in Atlanta, and Mobilia in Cambridge, Massachusetts He points out the value of being included in publications such as, "Metalsmith," "Jewelers Circular Keystone," "Ornament," "American Craft," "Craft Horizon," and "Craft Report." He speaks about commissions for institutions and individuals and describes his current obligation to Haystack and his plans for his retirement, which includes exploring photography and making videos. Woell also describes his typical workday and his symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and dyslexia. He recalls Peter Voulkos, Jennifer Burton, Francis Sumner Merritt, Ronald Pearson, Georg Jensen, Audrey Handler, Jerry Brown, Jon Wilson, and others.
On January 19, 2002 Woell added an addendum to the interview which included remarks about September 11, 2001 acts of terrorism in the U.S.
Biographical / Historical:
J. Fred Woell (1934-) is a jeweler and metalsmith from Deer Isle, Maine. Donna Gold (1953-) is an art critic from Stockton Springs, Maine.
General:
Originally recorded on 6 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 43 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:
Jewelers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.woell01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw939303f25-e810-46cd-b745-00b2cb922419
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woell01
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Frank S. Okada

Interviewee:
Okada, Frank S. (Frank Sumio), 1931-2000  Search this
Interviewer:
Johns, Barbara  Search this
Names:
Cornish School of Allied Arts (Seattle, Wash.)  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Northwest Asian American Project  Search this
University of Oregon -- Faculty  Search this
Bunce, Louis, 1907-1983  Search this
Charles, Ray, 1930-2004  Search this
Chin, Frank, 1940-  Search this
Davis, Sammy, 1925-  Search this
Derbyshire, Leon  Search this
Dusanne, Zoe, 1884-1977  Search this
Horiuchi, Paul, 1906-  Search this
Inada, Lawson Fusao  Search this
Ivey, William, 1919-1992  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Kusama, Yayoi, 1929-  Search this
Martin, David Stone  Search this
Nomura, Kenjiro, 1896-1956  Search this
Okada, John  Search this
Peck, James Edward, 1907-  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tsutakawa, George  Search this
Extent:
87 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1990 Aug. 16-17
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Frank Okada conducted 1990 Aug. 16-17, in Seattle, Wash., by Barbara Johns, for the Archives of American Art Northwest Asian American Project. Okada discusses his parents' background; his family including his brothers, John, author of "No-No Boy," and Charlie, a graphic designer; traveling to Japan for the Pacific Northwest Artists and Japan exhibition; being in an internment camp; painting in Eugene, Ore. and Seattle, Wash.; his painting techniques; studying under Leon Derbyshire; his connection with the jazz scene in Seattle in the late 1940s and 1950s including musicians Sammy Davis, Ray Charles, and Quincy Jones; attending Cornish School of Art, Seattle; meeting Mark Tobey; comparision of his painting style to Tobey's; his stint in the Army; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art and studying with painter Fred Mitchell; his Whitney fellowship in New York; study of Japanese, Chinese, and Zen paintings; working for Boeings in the early 1960s; traveling to France on a Guggenheim; teaching at University of Oregon in Eugene; his minimalist work; influence of Japanese art in his painting. Okada mentions Lawson Inada (Asian American poet), Frank Chin (Asian American playwright), artists David Stone Martin, James Edward Peck, Yayoi Kusama, George Tsutakawa, Paul Horiuchi, Ben Shahn, Kenjiro Nomura, Louis Bunce, Bill Ivey, and art gallery owner Zoe Dusanne.
Biographical / Historical:
Frank S. Okada (1931-2000) was a Japanese American painter based in Seattle, Washington. He taught at University of Oregon from 1969-1999.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 38 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 administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Sculptors -- United States  Search this
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Topic:
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Painting, Japanese  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Painting, Chinese  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Asian American sculptors  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Forced removal and internment, 1942-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.okada90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ff6868c7-38fd-4e50-9323-474b69e03b8e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-okada90
Online Media:

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