An interview with Hugh Mesibov conducted 2012 Dec. 4, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Mesibov's home and studio, in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y. Mesibov speaks of growing up in Philadelphia; working as a shipfitter at Cramp's Shipyard; his time working with the graphic arts division of the WPA and creating a new print process called the carborundum print with artists Dox Thrash and Michael Gallagher; painting canvases and mural for the WPA; his time at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art; his relationship with Dr. Albert C. Barnes of the Barnes Foundation and Barnes Collection; gatherings at "The Heel" on South Broad Street in Philadelphia, which was part of Horn and Hodart; painting murals The Book of Job and Byzantine Figure; his relationship with art collector David Orr. He recalls moving to New York City in the 1940s and becoming a member of "The Club" with other Abstract Expressionists like David Kline and Ibram Lassaw; exhibiting his work at the Sragow Gallery, the Susan Teller Gallery, the Woodmere Art Gallery, and the Chinese Gallery; his time spent in Aspen, Colorado, where he was exposed to poets and nature that influenced his work; working as an art teacher at the Wiltwyck School in Esopus, New York; working as an art therapist with Judith Kramer at the Lenox Hill House in New York City; moving to Rockland County, New York in the 1960s with his family; teaching at Rockland Community College; his friendships with other artists in the area such as Khoren Der Harootian, Vaclav Vytlacil, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Maurice Prendergast. Mesibov is joined in the interview by his wife, Eudice Charney Meisbov, and his daughter, Deborah Mesibov. Chelsea Cooksey assists James McElhinney with the recording.
Biographical / Historical:
Interviewee Hugh Mesibov (1916-2016) was an artist and professor emeritus in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y. Interviewer James McElhinney is a painter and educator in New York, N.Y.
Originally recorded as 4 sound digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 24 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
An interview of Hugh Mesibov conducted by Linda Shopes for the Archives of American Art Philadelphia Project. Mesibov speaks of his early life and early art experiences including his attendance at the Graphic Sketch Club (now known as the Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial); financial difficulties in the 1930s and his subsequest successful application to the Federal Art Project; his experiences on the FAP print project, including reminiscences of fellow artists Dox Thrash and Michael Gallagher; the development of the carborundum print process and its subsequent promotion; how the project was run and work assigned; his experiences on the easel and mural projects; political problems with the state director, Mary Curran, and the Artists' Union; and his post-FAP career.
Biographical / Historical:
Printmaker, associated with WPA Federal Art Project; Philadelphia, Pa.