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Oral history interview with Bruce Metcalf

Interviewee:
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  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:
Colorado State University -- Faculty  Search this
Kent State University -- Faculty  Search this
Montana State University (Bozeman, Mont.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
State University of New York at New Paltz -- Students  Search this
Syracuse University -- Students  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
University of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.) -- Faculty  Search this
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Arneson, Robert, 1930-1992  Search this
Bauer, Fred  Search this
Bennett, Jamie, 1948-  Search this
Burns, Mark, 1950-  Search this
Church, Sharon, 1948-  Search this
Clark, Garth, 1947-  Search this
Craig, Gabriel  Search this
Cummins, Susan  Search this
Daley, William, 1925-2002  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Eidelberg, Martin P.  Search this
Flynn, Pat, 1954-  Search this
Getty, Nilda  Search this
Gill, John, 1949-  Search this
Griffin, Gary, 1945-  Search this
Halem, Henry  Search this
Hammer, Wayne  Search this
Hash, Arthur, 1976-  Search this
Jerry, Michael John, 1937-  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Koplos, Janet  Search this
Koss, Gene  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Long, Randy  Search this
Matzdorf, Kurt  Search this
Mawdsley, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Morris, William, 1834-1896  Search this
Pritchard, Marian  Search this
Rogers, Harriet  Search this
Rogers, Steve  Search this
Ruskin, John, 1819-1900  Search this
Schaechter, Judith, 1961-  Search this
Shaw, Richard, 1941 Sept. 12-  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Slosberg, Jill  Search this
Wilson, Anne, 1949-  Search this
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Extent:
96 Pages (Transcript)
5 Items (Sound recording: 5 sound files (4 hr., 10 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
California -- description and travel
Seoul (Korea) -- Description and Travel
Date:
2009 June 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Bruce Metcalf conducted 2009 June 10, by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Metcalf's home, in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Mr. Metcalf discusses his early years in Amherst, Massachusetts; beginnings as a maker with modeling clay and plastic airplane models; undergraduate years at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York in the late 1960s; early interest in architecture; early disenchantment with modernist discourse and theory; introduction to Marxist theory and idealism of the 1960s; summer trip to California in 1970; return to the East Coast upon the death of his father; return to college, transferring into jewelry in his senior year; influence of his teacher Michael Jerry; seeing the work in "Objects: USA" exhibition (1969) and influence of the work of J. Fred Woell, Richard Mawdsley, L. Brent Kington; rejection of current trends in art, including conceptual art and formalism; his affinity for the medium of metal, and hammersmithing; influence of funk ceramics, including work by Fred Bauer and Richard Shaw; brief stint at Montana State University, Bozeman; working in cardboard and wood; graduate school at the State University of New York, New Paltz; working with Robert Ebendorf and Kurt Matzdorf at New Paltz; work as a production artist/craftsperson; attending Rhinebeck, New York, craft fair in the mid-1970s; the influence of writings by William Morris and John Ruskin and the notion of "dignified labor"; graduate school at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; formulating his aesthetic of narrative symbolism; publication of his first article in 1977 as a response to review of the exhibition "Forms in Metal: 275 Years of Metalsmithing in America" (1975); yearlong teaching position at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; taking a teaching position at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (1986-1991); publication of his article "Crafts: Second-Class Citizens?" in the first issue of Metalsmith, 1980; growing involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths; development of his notion of "social utility" and the role and function of crafts and making; expansion of his writing on craft; rejection of the deconstructivist school of thought in the 1980s; abandonment of sculptural objects for jewelry in the early 1990s; return to Philadelphia in 1991; early teaching of history of craft, first at Kent, then on a Fulbright scholarship in Seoul, South Korea (1990), later at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, in the early 1990s; influence of Martin Eidelberg; development of his vision for a history of craft course; collaboration with Janet Koplos on "Makers: A History of American Studio Craft"; use of his medium and craft to explore issues of nurturing and anxiety; the psychological/social effect and aesthetic importance of wearing jewelry (for the wearer and the artist); the pros and cons of craft collectors; the problematics of installation work by craft artists; recent trends in craft, including Anne Wilson's notion of "sloppy craft" and an "anti-craft" attitude; recent artists, including Arthur Hash and Gabriel Craig; lack of exhibition opportunities for younger/emerging artists; influential recent texts, including "Shards," by Garth Clark. He also recalls Robert Arneson, Randy Long, Carol Kumata, Jamie Bennett, Steve and Harriet Rogers, Wayne Hammer, Stanley Lechtzin, Gene Koss, Henry Halem, Mark Burns, Rose Slivka, Nilda Getty, Jill Slosberg, Sharon Church, John Gill, David La Plantz, Lois Moran; Gary Griffin; William Daley, Marian Pritchard, Glenn Adamson, Pat Flynn, Susan Cummins, and Judith Schaechter.
The following oral history transcript is the result of a recorded interview with Bruce Metcalf on June 10, 2009. The interview took place in Bala Cynwyd, Penn., and was conducted by Edward S. Cooke, Jr. for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This interview is part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Bruce Metcalf has reviewed the transcript. His corrections and emendations appear below in brackets with initials. This transcript has been lightly edited for readability by the Archives of American Art. The reader should bear in mind that they are reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.
Biographical / Historical:
Bruce Metcalf (1949- ) is a jeweler and writer in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded as 5 sound files. Duration is 4 hr., 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.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Communism  Search this
Deconstructivism (Architecture)  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Formalism (Art)  Search this
Jewelers -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.metcal09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw974054f15-9dfd-4aea-98f7-707fd609918e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-metcal09
Online Media:

The collected letters of William Morris / edited by Norman Kelvin

Author:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Kelvin, Norman  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896 Correspondence  Search this
Physical description:
v. <1 > : ill., ports. ; 25 cm
Type:
Correspondence
Place:
England
Date:
1984
C1983-
19th century
Topic:
Authors, English  Search this
Artists  Search this
Socialists--Correspondence  Search this
Call number:
PR5083.A4 1983X
N40.1.M875A1
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_194103

The defence of Guenevere and other poems by William Morris ; illustrated by Jessie M. King

Author:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Illustrator:
King, Jessie M.  Search this
Publisher:
John Lane Company  Search this
Physical description:
310 pages illustrations 20 cm
Type:
Adaptations
Specimens
Poetry
Binders (Binding)
Gold-blocked bindings.)
Illustrated books
Illustrated cloth case bindings)
Panel stamp bindings
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)
Poems
Place:
United States
Date:
1904
Topic:
Arthurian romances  Search this
Decoration and ornament--Art nouveau  Search this
Guenevere, Queen (Legendary character)  Search this
Kings and rulers  Search this
Knights and knighthood  Search this
Queens  Search this
Jessie M. King  Search this
Call number:
PR5078 .D4 1904X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1053196

This then is a William Morris book being a little journey by Elbert Hubbard, & some letters, heretofore unpublished, written to his friend & fellow worker, Robert Thomson, all throwing a side-light, more or less, on the man and his times

Author:
Hubbard, Elbert 1856-1915  Search this
Author:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896 Homes and haunts  Search this
Thomson, Robert  Search this
Physical description:
67 pages facsimile, portraits 22 cm
Type:
Books
Correspondence
Printers' devices (Printing)
Place:
Great Britain
New York
East Aurora
Date:
1907
19th century
20th century
Topic:
Socialism  Search this
Artists  Search this
Socialism--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1051100

William Morris : design and enterprise in Victorian England / Charles Harvey and Jon Press

Author:
Harvey, Charles 1950-  Search this
Press, Jon 1953-  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Physical description:
x, 257 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
Great Britain
Date:
1991
C1991
Topic:
Businessmen  Search this
Artisans  Search this
Designers  Search this
Socialists  Search this
Call number:
HD252.5.M65H37 1991X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_412995

William Morris : romantic to revolutionary / E. P. Thompson

Author:
Thompson, E. P (Edward Palmer) 1924-1993  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Physical description:
x, 829 p. ; 25 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
Great Britain
Date:
1977
C1977
19th century
Topic:
Authors, English  Search this
Socialism  Search this
Call number:
PR5083.T6 1977X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_94204

Morris & Co. : designs & patterns from the Art Gallery of South Australia / [text written by Robert Reason]

Title:
Morris & Company
Author:
Reason, Robert  Search this
Art Gallery of South Australia  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Morris & Co. (London, England)  Search this
Art Gallery of South Australia  Search this
Physical description:
63 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
Great Britain
Australia
Adelaide (S.A.)
Date:
2003
C2003
Topic:
Arts and crafts movement  Search this
Pre-Raphaelitism  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_826031

Morris & Co. : Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide / Christopher Menz

Title:
Morris and Co
Morris & Company
Author:
Menz, Christopher 1958-  Search this
Art Gallery of South Australia  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Morris & Co. (London, England)  Search this
Art Gallery of South Australia  Search this
Physical description:
187 p. (some folded) : ill. (some col.) ; 31 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
Great Britain
Australia
Adelaide (S.A.)
Date:
2002
C2002
Topic:
Arts and crafts movement  Search this
Pre-Raphaelitism  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Call number:
NK1142 .M46 2002
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_826277

The journal of William Morris studies : the journal of the William Morris Society

Title:
JWMS
Author:
William Morris Society  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Physical description:
v. : ill. ; 22 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
2002
2002-
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_736912

Newsletter / William Morris Society

Title:
William Morris Society newsletter
Author:
William Morris Society  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
William Morris Society  Search this
Physical description:
v. ; 30 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
19uu
Call number:
PR5082.A1 W5
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_748469

William Morris : romantic to revolutionary / E.P. Thompson

Author:
Thompson, E. P (Edward Palmer) 1924-1993  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Physical description:
x, 829 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Type:
Biography
Place:
Great Britain
Date:
1988
1955
1988, c1976
19th century
Topic:
Authors, English  Search this
Socialism  Search this
Call number:
PR5083 .T6X 1988
PR5083.T6X 1988
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_380052

News from nowhere, or, An epoch of rest : being some chapters from a Utopian romance / by William Morris

Author:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Former owner:
Bernheim, Henry DSI  Search this
Bernheim, Mary M. DSI  Search this
Physical description:
[6], 305, [1] p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Type:
Electronic resources
Date:
1892
Topic:
Utopias  Search this
Call number:
HX811 1892 .M87 1892
HX811 1892.M87 1892
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_412329

Hopes and fears for art. By William Morris

Author:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Physical description:
217 p. 20 cm
Type:
Electronic resources
Date:
1901
Topic:
Art  Search this
Arts and crafts movement  Search this
Call number:
N7445 .M86X
N7445.M86X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_87372

William Morris & his palace of art : architecture, interiors & design at Red House / Tessa Wild

Title:
William Morris and his palace of art
Author:
Wild, Tessa  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896 Homes and haunts  Search this
Webb, Philip 1831-1915  Search this
Red House (Bexley, London, England)  Search this
Physical description:
272 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
England
London
London (England)
Date:
2018
19th century
Topic:
Interior decoration  Search this
Arts and crafts movement  Search this
Medievalism in architecture  Search this
Medievalism in art  Search this
Medievalism--History  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1081023

Morris and the printed book : a reconsideration of his views on type and book design in the light of later computer-aided techniques / John Dreyfus

Author:
Dreyfus, John  Search this
Issuing body:
William Morris Society  Search this
Author:
William Morris Society  Search this
Printer:
White Dove Press  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Physical description:
32 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
England
Date:
1989
Topic:
Type designers  Search this
Book design  Search this
Call number:
PR5083 .D74 1989
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1100321

William Morris y compañía : el movimiento arts and Crafts en Gran Bretaña / Manuel Fontán del Junco y María Zozaya Alvarez (eds.) con textos de Pat Kirkham, Clive Wilmer, Karen Livingstone, Jan Marsh, Joanna Banham, Jennifer Harris, Mariangels Fondevila y Francesc Quilez Corella

Editor:
Fontán del Junco, Manuel 1963-  Search this
Zozaya Alvarez, María  Search this
Author:
Kirkham, Pat  Search this
Wilmer, Clive 1945-  Search this
Livingstone, Karen  Search this
Marsh, Jan 1942-  Search this
Banham, Joanna  Search this
Harris, Jennifer 1949-  Search this
Fondevila, Mariàngels  Search this
Quílez i Corella, Francesc M  Search this
Publisher:
Fundación Juan March  Search this
Host institution:
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Physical description:
480 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 30 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Exhibition catalogs
Place:
Great Britain
Date:
2017
Topic:
Arts and crafts movement  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1088231

Red House : Bexleyheath

Publisher:
National Trust (Great Britain)  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896 Homes and haunts  Search this
Red House (Bexley, London, England)  Search this
Physical description:
23 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), portraits (some color) ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
Guidebooks
Place:
England
London
London (England)
Date:
2010
Topic:
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1041512

Peacock & vine : on William Morris and Mariano Fortuny / A.S. Byatt

Title:
Peacock and vine : on William Morris and Mariano Fortuny
Author:
Byatt, A. S (Antonia Susan) 1936-  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Fortuny, Mariano 1871-1949 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
181 pages ; 18 cm
Type:
Texts
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Biographies
Date:
2016
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1082445

Morris and the printed book : a reconsideration of his views on type and book design in the light of later computer-aided techniques / John Dreyfus

Author:
Dreyfus, John  Search this
William Morris Society  Search this
Subject:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Physical description:
32 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
England
Date:
1989
Topic:
Type designers  Search this
Book design  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1079603

An address delivered by William Morris at the distribution of prizes to students of the Birmingham Municipal School of Art on Feb. 21, 1894

Author:
Morris, William 1834-1896  Search this
Birmingham Municipal School of Art (Birmingham, England)  Search this
Chiswick Press  Search this
Physical description:
25 p. ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1898
Topic:
Arts and crafts movement  Search this
Art--Study and teaching  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_800254

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