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Oral history interview with Mary Ann Scherr, 2001 April 6-7

Interviewee:
Scherr, Mary Ann, 1931-2016  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Subject:
Parsons School of Design  Search this
Kent State University  Search this
Penland School of Handicrafts  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Mary Ann Scherr, 2001 April 6-7. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Women jewelers  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12648
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)227010
AAA_collcode_scherr01
Theme:
Craft
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_227010
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Mary Ann Scherr

Interviewee:
Scherr, Mary Ann, 1931-  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:
Kent State University -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Parsons School of Design -- Faculty  Search this
Penland School of Handicrafts  Search this
Extent:
71 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 April 6-7
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Mary Ann Scherr conducted 2001 April 6-7, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
This interview took place in the artist's home and studio, Raleigh, N.C.
Biographical / Historical:
Mary Ann Scherr (1921- ) is a jeweler from Raleigh, N.C. Mary Douglas (1956-) is a curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, N.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 34 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 -- North Carolina -- Raleigh  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Women jewelers  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.scherr01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw984262d07-5cf7-4dcb-aeae-367127ef39a3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-scherr01
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Rude Osolnik, 2001 May 1

Interviewee:
Osolnik, Rude, 1915-2001  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Subject:
American Association of Woodturners  Search this
Berea College  Search this
Bradley University  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Rude Osolnik, 2001 May 1. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Turning (Lathe work)  Search this
Woodwork  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11979
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)226989
AAA_collcode_osolni01
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_226989
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Ed Moulthrop, 2001 April 2-3

Interviewee:
Moulthrop, Ed, 1916-2003  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Subject:
Chappell, Jerry  Search this
Noffke, Gary  Search this
Ruffner, Ginny  Search this
Schreckengost, Viktor  Search this
Stocksdale, Bob  Search this
Georgia Institute of Technology  Search this
Georgia Designer-Craftsmen  Search this
Library of Congress  Search this
Princeton University  Search this
Western Reserve University  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Ed Moulthrop, 2001 April 2-3. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Architecture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculpture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Woodworkers -- Georgia -- Interviews.  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Turning (Lathe work)  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11635
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)227004
AAA_collcode_moulth01
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_227004
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Rude Osolnik

Interviewee:
Osolnik, Rude, 1915-2001  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:
American Association of Woodturners  Search this
Berea College -- Students  Search this
Bradley University -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Extent:
38 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 May 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Rude Osolnik conducted 2001 May 1, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Osolnik's home, Berea, Kentucky.
Osolnik explains that he was born in New Mexico but moved to Illinois where he grew up. He speaks about his decision to not become a coal miner like his father; learning wood turning from Jack Rohner; engaging in production turning; majoring in industrial arts at Bradley University, in Peoria, Illinois; teaching at Berea College; working in the Westervelt Shop; using Oliver and Powermatic lathes; making candlesticks, twig pots, and new items for the craft fair market; assembling booths at craft fairs; working with his wife Daphne; their five children; edge bowls; purchasing his property, now a parcel of approximately three hundred acres of land called "Poverty Ridge"; finding and working with wood from their land; appreciating and exploiting spalted pieces; laminating Mahogany; preparing tools and wood for turning; working with Zebrawood, Macasar Ebony, and Pink Ivory; turned pieces proportions; and teaching classes and workshops. Osolnik discusses his caretaker Zenobia Parks; selling his goods at Fireside Industries and America House; founding the American Association of Woodturners; working with the Kentucky Guild; the Southern Highland Craft Guild and developing the Berea Crafts Festival; the failure of the craft fair at Charlotte, N.C.; visiting with the prime minister of Belize, a consultation sponsored by the World Church Service to advise on that country's furniture production and export market; the role of the crafts movement in higher education; the Wallace Nutting collection at Berea; "Osolnik Originals"; a book project (Rude Osolnik: A Life Turning Wood. Louisville, KY: Crescent Hill Books, 1997); and signing his pieces. Osolnik also mentions in passing the DeMano Gallery, California; Great American Gallery, Georgia; Martha Connell; the Mint Museum; "Craft Multiples," an exhibition at the Renwick Gallery; Mark Lindquist; Jack Fifield; American Craft Council; Benchmark Galleries; I Love My Stuff Gallery; Eleanor Roosevelt; Queen Elizabeth; O. J. Mattil; Gary Barker; Walter Hyleck; Bernard Leach; Bob Stockdale; Dale Nish; Ray Key; Berea Craft Enterprises; travel to Scandinavia; and Richard and Lila Bellando.
Biographical / Historical:
Rude Osolnik (1915-2001) was a woodturner from Berea, Kentucky. Mary Douglas (1956- ) a curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, N.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 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.
Occupation:
Wood-carvers -- Kentucky -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Turning (Lathe work)  Search this
Woodwork  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.osolni01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw99c751f53-5366-41d9-ac0d-5f1dba65c435
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-osolni01
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Ed Moulthrop

Interviewee:
Moulthrop, Ed, 1916-2003  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:
Georgia Designer-Craftsmen  Search this
Georgia Institute of Technology -- Faculty  Search this
Library of Congress -- Buildings.  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Princeton University -- Students  Search this
Western Reserve University -- Students  Search this
Chappell, Jerry  Search this
Noffke, Gary  Search this
Ruffner, Ginny  Search this
Schreckengost, Viktor, 1906-2008  Search this
Stocksdale, Bob, 1913-2003  Search this
Extent:
39 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 April 2-3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ed Moulthrop conducted 2001 April 2-3, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Moulthrop's home and studio, Atlanta, Georgia.
Moulthrop speaks of his childhood in Cleveland; his introduction to woodcarving at age 8; buying his first wood lathe in 1932 at age 16; studying architecture at Western Reserve University and sculpture with Victor Schreckengost; his architecture studies in graduate school at Princeton University; the rejection of crafts or "handmade things" in the 1930s; the use of craft in architecture; the beginning of the craft movement in 1965; the government invention of polyethylene glycol which allowed wood to dry without cracking; his process of soaking wood in polyethylene glycol; teaching architecture at Georgia Tech for ten years; his work with architectural firms in Atlanta and designing an addition to the Library of Congress; selling his first pieces at The Signature Shop & Gallery, in Atlanta, in 1970; the progression of the craft movement from clay, to glass, metal, then wood; the importance of the Albert LeCoff woodturning shop in Philadelphia and conferences sponsored by Coff in the mid-1970s; his full-time pursuit of woodturning in 1975; craft exhibitions at the Mint Museum, High Museum, and American Craft Museum; his exhibitions at Arrowmont; teaching woodturning to his son Philip; his scholarship to make watercolors at Fontainbleu; and his interest in design over technique. He also talks about the work of Bob Stocksdale; the qualities of different woods; major woodturning exhibitions at DIA, the Connell Gallery in Atlanta, and of the Mason collection; the necessity of dealers; galleries including The Hand and The Spirit, Heller Gallery, Gumps, and The Signature Shop & Gallery in Atlanta; woodturning as an American craft movement; the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Frank Gehry; and the Greene Brothers; the strengths and limitations of wood; commissions for museums and corporations; his preference for ellipsoids (squashed spheres) and other shapes; his search for unusual woods, such as American Chestnut, Yellowwood, American Mahogany, and Box Elder; making his own tools and lathe; developing his own polish; his involvement with the Georgia Designer-Craftsmen with Jerry Chappell, Gary Noffke, and Ginny Ruffner; and his invention of the "Saturn Bowl" (a bowl with rings).
Biographical / Historical:
Ed Moulthrop (1916-2003) is a wood turner from Atlanta, Georgia. Mary Douglas (1956- ) is the curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, N.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 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.
Topic:
Architecture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculpture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Woodworkers -- Georgia -- Interviews.  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Turning (Lathe work)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.moulth01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw935cf424b-fe39-4424-acad-e4b7c4d69c3e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-moulth01
Online Media:

Oral history interview with L. Brent Kington, 2001 May 3-4

Interviewee:
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent),, 1934-2013  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Subject:
Thomas, Richard C.  Search this
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale  Search this
University of Kansas  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with L. Brent Kington, 2001 May 3-4. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Metal-workers -- Illinois -- Interviews  Search this
Blacksmithing  Search this
Learning disabilities  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13103
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)226971
AAA_collcode_kingto01
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_226971
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Gary L. Noffke, 2010 December 4-5

Interviewee:
Noffke, Gary L., 1943-  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Subject:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph)  Search this
Coulter, Lane  Search this
DeRuiter, Garret  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert  Search this
Erbe, Gary T.  Search this
Fike, Phillip G.  Search this
Gingras, Toms  Search this
Hu, Mary Lee  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent)  Search this
Loloma, Charles  Search this
Merrit, Barry  Search this
Messersmith, Fred  Search this
Nettles, Dickie  Search this
Norell, Lydia  Search this
Pujol, Elliot  Search this
Streetman, Evon  Search this
Wilde, Sue  Search this
Zelmanoff, Marci  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Eastern Illinois University  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Southern Illinois University (System)  Search this
Stetson University  Search this
University of Iowa  Search this
National Ring Show  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Gary L. Noffke, 2010 December 4-5. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Metal-work  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15921
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)297227
AAA_collcode_noffke10
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_297227
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 Gary L. Noffke

Interviewee:
Noffke, Gary  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  Search this
Eastern Illinois University -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
National Ring Show  Search this
Southern Illinois University (System) -- Students  Search this
Stetson University -- Faculty  Search this
University of Iowa -- Students  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Coulter, Lane, 1944-  Search this
DeRuiter, Garret  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Erbe, Gary T., 1944-  Search this
Fike, Phillip G., 1927-1997  Search this
Gingras, Toms  Search this
Hu, Mary Lee, 1943-  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Loloma, Charles, 1921-  Search this
Merrit, Barry  Search this
Messersmith, Fred  Search this
Nettles, Dickie  Search this
Norell, Lydia  Search this
Pujol, Elliot  Search this
Streetman, Evon  Search this
Wilde, Sue  Search this
Zelmanoff, Marci  Search this
Extent:
106 Pages (Transcript)
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 sound files (4 hr., 49 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2010 December 4-5
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Gary L. Noffke conducted 2010 December 4 and 5, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Noffke's home, in Farmington, Georgia.
Noffke speaks of growing up in Sullivan, Illinois; disliking school; the absence of formal art education before college and doing art on his own; his grandfather's farm; attending Eastern Illinois University to study painting, receiving a BS and MS in education with a major in art; what classes he took and his professors; his opinion about art programs in universities; the influence of the Vietnam draft; attending the University of Iowa and his introduction to metals; transferring to Southern Illinois University and his peers; learning techniques with metals; early metal work; working at Stetson University in Deland, Florida; working with colleagues and students and its influence on work; experimenting with different techniques; transition from graduate school to professional life; developing different methods for metal work, and motivations; how the notion of form and function has changed in design, especially regarding metal work and artists; the dynamics of working with students throughout the years; discusses in detail individual works and his approaches and anecdotes; his attraction to rings, simple hardware, and traditional, ancient forms; other teaching jobs before landing at the University of Georgia; building his house and studio; working in the Italy program at Cortona; his experiences at Cranbrook, Michigan and Summervale, Colorado; current and past exhibitions including the National Ring Shows; entering competitions; how the hand-made motif is important in his work; the connotation of labels of craft artist; his casual approach to the art market and formalities in the art world. Noffke also recalls Garret DeRuiter, Brent Kington, Elliot Pujol, May Lee Hu, Marci Zelmanoff, Dickie Nettles, Robert Ebendorf, Gary Erbe, Phil Fike, Bill Brown, Evon Streetman, Lane Coulter, Sue Wilde, Lydia Norell, Fred Messersmith, Tom Gingras, Charles Loloma, Fritz Dreisbach, Barry Merrit, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Gary L. Noffke (1943- ) is a goldsmith in Farmington, Georgia. Mary Douglas (1956- ) is a curator and artist in Statesville, North Carolina.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 SD memory cards. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 49 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-work  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.noffke10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9c8fe3d12-fd8c-46ac-9759-5c035e421350
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-noffke10
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Philip Simmons, 2001 April 4-5

Interviewee:
Simmons, Philip, 1912-2009  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Subject:
DeKoven, Ira  Search this
Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc.  Search this
Southeastern Blacksmith Association  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Festival of American Folklife  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Philip Simmons, 2001 April 4-5. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Blacksmiths -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Ironworkers -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Blacksmithing  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
African American  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11873
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)226990
AAA_collcode_simmon01
Theme:
Craft
African American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_226990
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Philip Simmons

Interviewee:
Simmons, Philip, 1912-2009  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:
Festival of American Folklife  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Philip Simmons Foundation, Inc.  Search this
Southeastern Blacksmith Association  Search this
DeKoven, Ira  Search this
Extent:
30 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2001 April 4-5
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Philip Simmons conducted 2001 April 4-5, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Simmons' home and workshop, Charleston, South Carolina.
Simmons speaks of his childhood and early education; jobs shining shoes and delivering papers at age 8; also at age 8, working as an apprentice to Peter Simmons in his blacksmith shop on Calhoun Street; Philip Simmons's attraction to blacksmithing and the action of the shop; being hired by Peter Simmons at age 13 in the blacksmith's shop where he has worked for 79 years. He also describes his apprenticeship and talks about blacksmithing as an ongoing learning experience; the necessity of adapting skills to an evolving market, from making wagons and horse shoes to ornamental iron work, and equipment for cargo shipments; the affect of the economic boom after World War II; drawing inspiration from nature and "God's creations in Charleston" for design ideas; working with wrought iron, mild steel, brass, and lead; making his own tools; craft as a representation of the past; giving demonstrations at the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. in 1976 and 1977 (through John Vlach's invitation) and a gate he made at the festival that was purchased by the Smithsonian and featured in Southern Living; his 1982 lunch with Ronald Reagan on the occasion of receiving a National Folk Award; meeting other blacksmiths through the Southeastern Regional Blacksmith Conference; the public's understanding and reception of blacksmithing; recognition, awards, and publicity for his work; involvement with craft educational programs at schools, museums, and churches; the function of the Philip Simmons Foundation; blacksmithing in Charleston as a national tourist attraction; the relationship of farming and blacksmithing by slaves to his own blacksmithing; the impact of travel on his work; working with Ira DeKoven; his interest in preserving traditions; corporate versus private commissions; the importance of mechanical drawing skills; preserving old piece, salvage work; his retirement because of arthritis; current interest in sketching and drawing; family life with his wife and three children; and his involvement with the community.
Biographical / Historical:
Philip Simmons (1912-2009) was a blacksmith from Charleston, South Carolina. Mary Douglas (1956- ) is the curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 7 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 more information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.
Topic:
Blacksmiths -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Ironworkers -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Interviews  Search this
Blacksmithing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.simmon01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw947468bcf-aed3-4829-8f73-0358775a39cd
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-simmon01
Online Media:

Oral history interviews with North Carolina glass artists, 1995

Creator:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Subject:
Beck, Rick  Search this
Beck, Valerie  Search this
Bernstein, William  Search this
Johnson, Gilbert C.  Search this
Levin, Robert  Search this
Littleton, John  Search this
Nielander, Joe  Search this
Nygren, John Fergus  Search this
Nygren, Sharon  Search this
Vogel, Kate  Search this
Citation:
Oral history interviews with North Carolina glass artists, 1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Glass artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12550
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216311
AAA_collcode_dougla95
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216311

Oral history interviews with North Carolina glass artists

Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Interviewee:
Beck, Rick  Search this
Beck, Valerie  Search this
Bernstein, William, 1945-  Search this
Johnson, Gilbert C.  Search this
Levin, Robert, 1948-  Search this
Littleton, John  Search this
Nielander, Joe  Search this
Nygren, John Fergus, 1940-  Search this
Nygren, Sharon  Search this
Vogel, Kate  Search this
Extent:
7 Sound cassettes (Sound recordings)
42 Pages (Transcripts)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound cassettes
Pages
Date:
1995
Scope and Contents:
Tapes and transcripts of interviews with North Carolina glass artists conducted by Mary Douglas as part of her research for a paper, "Rural Esthetics in the North Carolina Glass Community," delivered at the 1995 Glass Art Society (GAS) Conference in Asheville, N.C. Interviewees include: Rick and Valerie Beck, William Bernstein, Gilbert C. Johnson, Rob Levin, Joe Nielander, John and Sharon Nygren, and Kate Vogel and John Littleton.
Topics covered include "craft culture': whether there is a rural esthetic in North Carolina glass; the idea of community around Penland School and the surrounding region of the Southern Highlands; the significance of the region's craft history on contemporary glass artists; and the distinctive qualities of North Carolina glass.
Biographical / Historical:
Art historian; Statesville, N.C.
Provenance:
Donated 1997 by Mary Douglas. The paper for which these interviews was conducted was subsequently published in the Glass Art Society Journal (1995, p. 34-41). Each of the artists interviewed agreed to donate their interviews to the Archives, with the exception of Harvey K. Littleton.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art historians -- North Carolina -- Statesville  Search this
Topic:
Glass artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.dougla95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw92624df4c-5d14-46be-a6e9-4049203e0b51
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dougla95

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