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Oral history interview with Polly Thayer, 1995 May 12-1996 February 1

Interviewee:
Thayer, Polly, 1904-2006  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Cox, Gardner  Search this
Hale, Philip Leslie  Search this
Hawthorne, Charles Webster  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Hopkinson, Charles  Search this
Littlefield, William Horace  Search this
Saltonstall, Nathaniel  Search this
Sarton, May  Search this
Van Ness, Beatrice Whitney  Search this
Wickey, Harry  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Women painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12461
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215859
AAA_collcode_thayer95
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215859
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Reed Kay, 1995 December 22-1996 October 4

Interviewee:
Kay, Reed, 1925-  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Kokoschka, Oskar  Search this
Zerbe, Karl  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12343
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215905
AAA_collcode_kay95
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215905
Online Media:

Barbara Swan papers, 1927-1992

Creator:
Swan, Barbara, 1922-  Search this
Subject:
Kelly, Ellsworth  Search this
Tovish, Harold  Search this
Sexton, Anne  Search this
Miller, Edwin Haviland  Search this
Miller, Rosalind S.  Search this
Chaet, Bernard  Search this
Fink, Alan  Search this
Kumin, Maxine  Search this
Olsen, Tillie  Search this
Weinberg, Elbert  Search this
Chaet, Ninon  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Topic:
Women artists -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8701
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210882
AAA_collcode_swanbarp
Theme:
Diaries
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210882

Conflict of visions [videorecording] / producer, Tug Yourgrau; editor, Joel Olicker, c1987

Creator:
WGBH Educational Foundation  Search this
Subject:
Aldrich, Nelson W.  Search this
Allara, Pamela  Search this
Bloom, Hyman  Search this
Chaet, Bernard  Search this
Coburn, Ralph  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd  Search this
Plaut, James S. (James Sachs)  Search this
Swan, Barbara  Search this
Yourgrau, Tug  Search this
Olicker, Joel  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Institute of Modern Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Type:
Video recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Expressionism (Art) -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)21890
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216531
AAA_collcode_wgbhedut
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216531

Oral history interview with Donald Barton, 1989 March 31

Interviewee:
Barton, Donald B., 1903-1990  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Allen, Charles Curtis  Search this
Hale, Philip Leslie  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Stevens, William Lester  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Photographers -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12030
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212711
AAA_collcode_barton89
Theme:
Photography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212711
Online Media:

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston records, 1876-1962

Creator:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6581
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215881
AAA_collcode_museof
Theme:
Art Materials, Techniques, and Studio Art Education
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215881

Ralph Rosenthal papers, 1938-1996

Creator:
Rosenthal, Ralph, 1912-2003  Search this
Subject:
Chaet, Bernard  Search this
Kay, Reed  Search this
Kramer, Jack  Search this
Lebrecht, Alma  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Jewish artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6149
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216372
AAA_collcode_roseralp
Theme:
Art Materials, Techniques, and Studio Art Education
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216372

Video interviews with Ralph Rosenthal and Nat Jacobsen / Moshe Alon, producer, c1995

Creator:
Alon, Moshe, 1914-  Search this
Subject:
Rosenthal, Ralph  Search this
Jacobson, Nat  Search this
Alon, Moshe  Search this
Type:
Video recordings
Topic:
Artists -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)21759
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216489
AAA_collcode_moshalon
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216489

Aimée Lamb papers, 1888-1991

Creator:
Lamb, Aimée, 1893-1989  Search this
Subject:
James, William  Search this
Lamb, Horace  Search this
Thaxter, Celia  Search this
Type:
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Sketchbooks
Topic:
Women painters -- Massachusetts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11014
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215044
AAA_collcode_lambaime
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215044

Charles Mahoney collection of photographs of students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, ca. 1925

Creator:
Mahoney, Charles A.  Search this
Subject:
Coughlin, Burt  Search this
Curry, Tucker  Search this
Garniss, Freeman  Search this
Heffron, Walter  Search this
Hobbs, Laurence  Search this
Horrigan, Happy  Search this
Lanza, Benjamin  Search this
Laucks, Elliot  Search this
Low, Sanford B. D. (Sanford Ballard Dole)  Search this
Mahoney, Charles A.  Search this
Richenberger, Charles  Search this
Runyon, George  Search this
Shelton, Alphonse Joseph  Search this
Terletsky, Vitale  Search this
Thal, Samuel  Search this
Zimmerman, Harold K.  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Topic:
Art students -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Photographs  Search this
Art schools -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Photographs  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15934
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216113
AAA_collcode_mahochar
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216113

Ture Bengtz papers, 1935-1978

Creator:
Bengtz, Ture, 1907-1973  Search this
Subject:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Type:
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Topic:
Glass painting and staining -- United States  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6723
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)208848
AAA_collcode_bengture
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of American Artists
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_208848

Lucy Hayward Barker papers, 1898-1992

Creator:
Barker, Lucy Hayward, 1872-1948  Search this
Subject:
McCargar, Eleanor Barker  Search this
Hale, Philip Leslie  Search this
Tarbell, Edmund Charles  Search this
Type:
Video recordings
Topic:
Women painters  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6373
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215253
AAA_collcode_barklucy
Theme:
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215253

Oral history interview with John Wilson

Interviewee:
Wilson, John, 1922-2015  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Boston University. School of Fine and Applied Arts  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Aronson, David, 1923-2015  Search this
Bengtz, Ture, 1907-1973  Search this
Gaither, Edmund B.  Search this
Hurwitz, Sidney, 1932-  Search this
Kay, Reed  Search this
Kramer, Jack  Search this
Lewis, Elma  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Siqueiros, David Alfaro  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
497 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1993 March 11-1994 August 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Woodrow Wilson conducted 1993 March-1994 August, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Wilson discusses his childhood as a member of a family of middle class blacks from British Guiana (now Guyana); his father's grave disappointments in the face of racial discrimination; his parents' push for their children to succeed; early urge to read and draw; encouragement by School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston students who taught at the Roxbury Boys Club; his secondary education; and friends.
He talks about his education at the MFA School, Boston, and comments on such teachers as Ture Bengtz and Karl Zerbe and compares their exacting methods with those of Fernand Leger, his teacher in Paris.
His work of the 1940s prior to going to Paris; the importance of early awards and sales received while still a student at the MFA School; the excitement of sharing a studio with fellow students, Francesco Carbone and Leo Prince; and encouragement to stay in school during WW II with the promise of a European study fellowship after the war.
The great impact of his years in Paris (1948-49); the lack of racial prejudice; the liberating effect of Leger's teaching; his awe of the work of Masaccio and Piero della Francesca during a trip to Italy; and the deep impression made on him by seeing tribal art in the Musee de l'Homme, Paris.
Continued discussion of Leger; his teaching methods; and influences on his work.
His first teaching position at the MFA School; his involvement in civil rights in Boston; his gregariousness and the use of his studio as a meeting place for artists and political activists; his involvement with socialism in Boston and New York; and working in a socialist children's camp. He remembers meeting Paul Robeson, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, and Bob Blackburn, who was then setting up his printmaking atelier in New York; marriage to a fellow socialist (June 1950); move to Mexico on a fellowship to study with Jose Orozco on the advice of Leger, only to find that Orozco had died; terrors of travel as an interracial couple through the U.S.; and different racial attitudes in Mexico and the U.S.
Living in Mexico (1950-56) and anecdotes of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera; his wife's meeting with Frieda Kahlo and seeing her collection of folk art; their free and cosmopolitan, if impoverished, life in Mexico; his work in a printmaking atelier and on the production of frescoes, and a lengthy aside about his brilliant brother, Freddie, who because he was black was not allowed to pursue his first love, geology, for many years.
Continued discussion of his experiences in Mexico; the dreary year (1957) he spent doing commercial art for a meatpackers' union in Chicago, a city he disliked; his move to New York in 1958, taking on commercial work to support his family, and teaching anatomy at the Pratt Institute.
Teaching art at a junior high school in the Bronx, and his gaining respect of students through special projects; teaching drawing at Boston University (1965-86), his approach to teaching including his demanding standards, the seriousness of the students, his opposing rigid attendance and grading rules, and colleagues, such as David Aronson who had created the School, Reed Kay, Jack Kramer, Sidney Hurwitz, and the University president, John Silber.
Working with the black arts entrepreneur, Elma Lewis, in setting up a visual arts program for the Boston black community (late 1960s-1970s), including the selection of a curator, Edmund Barry Gaither, a young art historian, who eventually established a museum of African-American art; his participation in various black art exhibitions, despite his belief that art should be seen regardless of the ethnic origins of artists; his move toward sculpture, beginning in the early 1960s, as a medium most expressive of black persons, culminating in the 1980s in a series of colossal heads and a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. for the U.S. Capitol (1985-86); and why he makes art and will so long as he is able.
Biographical / Historical:
John Wilson (1922- ) is an African American painter, sculptor, illustrator, printmaker, and educator from Boston, Massachusetts. Full name John Woodrow Wilson.
General:
Originally recorded on 11 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 22 digital wav files. Duration is 16 hr., 2 min.
Uneven transcription reflects Wilson's unusual speech pattern.
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. Funding for the transcription and microfilming of the interview provided by the Newland Foundation.
Topic:
African American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Mexico  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Art teachers -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
African American artists as teachers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.wilson93
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wilson93

Oral history interview with Polly Thayer

Interviewee:
Thayer, Polly, 1904-2006  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Cox, Gardner, 1906-1988  Search this
Hale, Philip Leslie, 1865-1931  Search this
Hawthorne, Charles Webster, 1872-1930  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Hopkinson, Charles, 1869-1962  Search this
Littlefield, William Horace, 1902-1969  Search this
Saltonstall, Nathaniel, 1903-1968  Search this
Sarton, May, 1912-  Search this
Van Ness, Beatrice Whitney, 1888-1981  Search this
Wickey, Harry  Search this
Extent:
89 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1995 May 12-1996 February 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Polly Thayer (Starr) conducted 1995 May 12-1996 February 1, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Thayer talks about her childhood in an upper class Boston family, thriving on drawing in charcoal from casts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, under tutelage of Beatrice Van Ness; her social debut, 1921-1922; a trip in the summer of 1922 to the Orient with her mother and brother where she was caught in the Tokyo earthquake; Philip Hale's method of teaching drawing at the Museum School in Boston, 1923-1924, and, later, privately; Eugene Speicher's urging her to free herself from Hale's teaching; the difficulty of making the transition to painting; and winning of the Hallgarten Prize of National Academy of Design, 1929.
Studying with Charles W. Hawthorne in Provincetown, Massachusetts in the summer of 1923-1924, which countered the rigidity of her training at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston School; travels in Spain and Morocco in early 1929, at the time her large painting of a nude, "Circles," won the Hallgarten Prize; the importance to her of a letter in 1929 from the critic, Royal Cortissoz, urging her to not fall into the trap of the Boston School and become formulaic in her work; her first one-person show at Doll and Richards, Boston, which resulted in 18 portrait commissions; her ease with which she did self-portraits early in her career, but not so later; and her difficulty in holding the attention of portrait sitters.
Studying with Harry Wickey at the Art Students League, who taught her by boldly re-working her drawings for "plastic" values, which Starr quickly achieved; sketching medical operations and back-stage at theatres, which gave her the dramatic subject matter she sought in the early 1930s; her portraits; getting married in 1933 and the affect on her work; and her work at the Painter's Workshop in Boston with Gardner Cox and William Littlefield. She recalls May Sarton whose portrait she painted in 1936, Charles Hopkinson, and Hans Hofmann.
The distractions from painting brought about by marriage, children, acting, an active social life and much travel; her increased involvement in social concerns through her conversion to Quakerism; the simplification of her paintings beginning in the late 1930s and her steady execution of portrait commissions, which took less time; her exhibitions in Boston and New York through the 1940s and the rarity of them after that; being a board member of the Institute of Modern Art, Boston, and its co-founder, Nathaniel Saltonstall; her approach to painting which amounts to seeking the invisible in the visual world; and the onset of glaucoma which has ended her painting career.
Biographical / Historical:
Polly E. Thayer (1904-2006) was a painter from Boston, Massachusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 44 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:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Women painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.thayer95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-thayer95

Oral history interview with Ralph Rosenthal

Interviewee:
Rosenthal, Ralph, 1912-2003  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Alfred University -- Students  Search this
Boston University -- Students  Search this
Harvard University -- Students  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Hale, Philip Leslie, 1865-1931  Search this
Extent:
65 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1997 February 10-April 7
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ralph Rosenthal conducted 1997 February 10-April 7, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, at Rosenthal's home, in Brookline, Mass.
Rosenthal discusses his childhood in the South End of Boston; first art training at age of 10 under Bill Tate, Dudley Pratt, and Anthony DiBona; attending the Boston public schools' Saturday art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, headed by Alma LeBrecht, Blanche Brink, and Alice Morse, 1924-29; his years at the School of the MFA (1929-35) and the dominant influence there of Philip Hale; his further training in education at Boston University (Ed.M., 1936); his early teaching career; receiving a Carnegie Fellowship in 1938 to study at the Fogg Museum, Harvard University; studying ceramics at Alfred University in 1940; and his founding with Herbert Kahn in 1941 of ROKA, a ceramics supply company.
Teaching in the Boston public schools, 1936-1976, rising from teacher of sculpture to supervisor of art for the entire system in 1966; his work in sculpture, painting, drawing, and ceramics; and former students at the various places he has taught.
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph Rosenthal (1912-2003) was a sculptor from Boston, Mass.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 27 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:
Art students -- Massachusetts  Search this
Topic:
Sculptors -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Ceramicists -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Art teachers -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rosent97
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rosent97

Oral history interview with Elizabeth Saltonstall

Interviewee:
Saltonstall, Elizabeth, 1900-1990  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Boston Society of Independent Artists  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Institute of Modern Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Milton Academy (Milton, Mass.) -- Faculty  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Windsor School (Boston, Mass.) -- Faculty  Search this
Windsor School (Boston, Mass.) -- Students  Search this
Benson, Frank Weston, 1862-1951  Search this
Bosley, Frederick A., 1881-1942  Search this
Chase, Frank Swift, 1886-1958  Search this
Clark, Henry Hunt  Search this
Cross, Anson K., 1862-1944  Search this
Hale, Philip Leslie, 1865-1931  Search this
James, Alexander, 1890-1946  Search this
Miller, George Charles, b. 1894  Search this
Presser, Josef, 1909-1967  Search this
Saltonstall, Nathaniel, 1903-1968  Search this
Thompson, Leslie P.  Search this
Wengenroth, Stow, 1906-1978  Search this
Extent:
34 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1981 November 18
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Elizabeth Saltonstall conducted 1981 November 18, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Saltonstall discusses her experiences with art as a child in Boston (mentioning Frank Weston Benson as an influence) and her subsequent art education at the Winsor School, the art school of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and independent study in Paris. She remembers the various teaching styles of the Museum School faculty (Frederick A. Bosley, Henry Hunt Clark, Anson K. Cross, Philip Leslie Hale, Alexander James, and Leslie P. Thompson), especially as they contrasted with French teaching methods. She also speaks of her teachers in France and on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (including Frank Swift Chase), and recalls some of her co-students (including Josef Presser). Particular mention is made of a lithography workshop taught by Stow Wengenroth, and of George C. Miller, who printed her lithography stones. Her cousin, Nathaniel Saltonstall, is discussed as a patron of the arts, especially his contributions to the establishment of the Institute of Modern Art [Institute of Contemporary Art] in Boston. She touches also on her own teaching career at Winsor School and Milton Academy, and her involvement with the Boston Society of Independent Artists and the Grace Horn Gallery.
Biographical / Historical:
Elizabeth Saltonstall (1900-1990) was a painter, printmaker, and instructor of Chestnut Hill, Mass.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 25 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:
Art patrons -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts  Search this
Art teachers -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.salton81
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-salton81

Oral history interview with Robert O. Preusser

Interviewee:
Preusser, Robert O. (Robert Ormerod), 1919-1992  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Art Center School (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Boris Mirski Gallery (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Center for Advanced Visual Studies  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Joan Peterson Gallery  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Newcomb College. School of Art  Search this
University of Houston  Search this
Davidson, Ola McNeill  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
106 Pages (Transcipt)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1991 January-October
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert O. Preusser conducted 1991 January-October, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Preusser discusses the establishment of an art department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his involvement with it first as a visiting lecturer and then as a professor of visual design. He speaks often of Gyorgy Kepes, whom he had known at the Institute of Design, Chicago, in the early 1940s, and who recruited him to M.I.T; he also discusses other faculty members, like Minor White, professor of photography. He gives attention to his courses at M.I.T., 1954-1985; early computer design projects by students; his writings on the importance of visual arts to technology; and his supervision of educational programs at M.I.T.'s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, 1974-85. An extensive part of the interview is held in an exhibition of Preusser's work at the M.I.T. Museum (April 4, 1991), discussing in particular his incorporation of various plastic and metallic materials in his works from the 1960s and 1970s. He speaks as well of the importance of his inclusion in group exhibitions at the Downtown Gallery, New York, ("Newcomers," 1951, and "Recent Arrivals, 1952) and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston ("Collectors Exhibition," 1954), and of his exhibitions at the Boris Mirski Gallery and the Joan Peterson Gallery, Boston, during the 1950s and 1960s, and at various galleries in Houston during the 1980s. Other topics of discussion are his early art instruction in his native Houston, Texas, by the painter Ola McNeill Davidson, 1930-39; further training in painting and design at the Institute of Design, Chicago, 1930-39, 1941-42; Newcomb School of Art at Tulane University, 1940-41; service with a camouflage unit in the U.S. Army, 1942-45; classes at the Art Center School, Los Angeles, 1946-47; his teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1947-54, and at the University of Houston, 1951-54, and his role as co-director of the Houston Contemporary Arts Association, 1948-50.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Preusser (1919-1992) was a painter and art instructor from Houston, Texas and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
General:
Poor sound quality. The first 35 minutes of the interview have been lost.
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 18 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:
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Texas -- Houston  Search this
Camouflage (Military science)  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Texas -- Houston -- Interviews  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.preuss91
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-preuss91

Oral history interview with Mischa Richter

Topic:
New masses
New Yorker (New York, N.Y. : 1925)
Interviewee:
Richter, Mischa, 1910-2001  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Yale University. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Barnet, Will, 1911-2012  Search this
Bloom, Hyman, 1913-  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Steig, William, 1907-  Search this
Zimmerman, Harold K., 1905-1941  Search this
Extent:
3 Items (sound cassettes 2 hr., 43 min.), analog.)
54 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1994 September 27-28
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Mischa Richter conducted 1994 September 27-28, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Richter tells of his life as the only child of a prosperous Jewish family in Kharkov, Ukraine, where he showed early precocity in drawing. He remembers the Russian Revolution, being taken to Poland in 1921, and then in 1922 to New York and Boston. He discusses his education in Boston, including drawing lessons with Harold Zimmerman at which he got to know Hyman Bloom and Jack Levine; and classes at the Museum School in Boston from 1929 to 1930.
He speaks of his long-time friendship with Will Barnet, attending Yale School of Fine Arts, 1930-1934, and painting a WPA mural for the Boston Boys Club in 1935. He remembers meeting Will Steig, deciding to become a cartoonist, and selling enough drawings to leave the WPA to work as art editor for "The New Masses," where he became close friends with Ad Reinhardt. He discusses becoming a contract cartoonist in 1940 for "The New Yorker;" his avoidance of art dealers, because they demand steady production yet have no known goals, unlike a magazine; his abhorrence of taking himself, or others, too seriously; the perils of early success and the pettiness of many matters in the art community of Provincetown, Mass.; and the nature of his paintings.
Biographical / Historical:
Mischa Richter (1910-2001) was a painter and cartoonist from New York, N.Y. and Provincetown, Mass. Richter was born in the Ukraine. He came to the United States in 1922, attending special art classes for gifted students at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and subsequently graduating from the Yale School of Fine Arts in 1934. After working on the WPA art project as a mural painter in New York, he turned to cartooning, doing editorial and humorous cartoons for the daily newspaper, PM, and then becoming art editor for the New Masses. In 1941 he began his longtime affiliation with the New Yorker, as well as producing daily panels, "Strictly Richter" and "Bugs Baer" for King Features. In the 1970s and 1980s, Richter did numerous drawings for the OpEd page of the New York Times. Died March 23, 2001, at age 90.
General:
Sound quality is poor.
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 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:
Cartooning  Search this
Jewish artists -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown -- Interviews  Search this
Cartoonists -- Massachusetts -- Provincetown -- Interviews  Search this
Magazine illustration -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.richte94
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-richte94

Video interviews with Ralph Rosenthal and Nat Jacobsen / Moshe Alon, producer

Creator:
Alon, Moshe, 1914-  Search this
Names:
Alon, Moshe, 1914-  Search this
Jacobson, Nat  Search this
Rosenthal, Ralph, 1912-2003  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (videocassette (VHS) (2 hrs.), sd., col., 1/2 in.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Date:
c1995
Scope and Contents:
The Rosenthal interview, presumably talking with Moshe Alon (off camera) discusses his training and teaching at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston School, and Boston University, and in the Boston Public Schools where he was the first Jewish art teacher. He mentions Alan Crite, Philip Hale, Bernard Chaet, Karl Zerbe.
The second and lengthier (approx. 1 1/2 hrs.) is an interview with Nat Jacobson, and his interest in becoming an artist, museum schools, painting classes, the Massachusetts College of Art, serving in the army, and attending the MFA, Boston School on the GI Bill, commissions, and his mural at Boston University.
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.
Topic:
Artists -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Identifier:
AAA.moshalon
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-moshalon

Oral history interview with Reed Kay

Interviewee:
Kay, Reed  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School -- Faculty  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School -- Students  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. School -- Faculty  Search this
Kokoschka, Oskar, 1886-  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
54 Slides
232 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1995 December 22-1996 October 4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Reed Kay conducted 1995 December 22-1996 October 4, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art over seven sessions, in Kay's home, in Brookline, Massachusetts.
The cassettes are accompanied by 54 color slides of Kay's artwork executed between 1941 and 1993, including sketches, watercolors, and paintings.
Kay talks about his childhood in an immigrant Jewish community in Boston and the great encouragement he received from teachers and librarians; his entry into the difficult Boston Latin School at age 11; and his early entry into the art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Kay continues discussion about the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston School; life-long friendships there with Jason Berger, Jack Kramer, and David Aronson; and instructors, including Karl Zerbe, head of painting.
Kay talks about his service in World War II; completion of education at MFA School; his marriage in 1946; his first teaching position at the MFA School's summer sessions under Mitchell Siporin and Leonard Baskin in 1948 and Oskar Kokoschka in 1949. He discusses Kokoschka and Zerbe as teachers and colleagues; and his travelling fellowship to Paris, Italy, and Spain, 1949-1950.
Kay continues his discussion of Karl Zerbe as a teacher; talks about the difficulty of beginning a painting career and teaching, especially in a university as Kay did from 1956 until 1989; and about various teaching colleagues at the MFA School.
Kay talks about the superb teaching of anatomy by Ture Bengtz and of perspective by Peter Dubaniewicz at MFA School in the early 1940s; on the precocious abilities of upperclassmen such as Conger Metcalf and John Wilson, and the stimulation their accomplishment gave Kay; on his work, from student drawings to his cityscape paintings of the late 1950s, which he continues to make, abandoning figural, narrative, and studio subjects.
Teaching materials and methods of painting at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (summers of 1952 and 1954-1960) and the high quality of instruction and students and his decision to leave; the pluses and minuses of teaching and the toll it took on his own work; his long tenure at the School of Visual Arts, Boston University (1956-1989).
On his writings, principally, "The Painter's Companion: a Basic Guide to Studio Methods and Material," (1961) [revised editions, titled, "Painter's Guide," (1972, 1983)], which was an outgrowth of the emphasis put on craftsmanship, permanence, and mastery of media at MFA School under Karl Zerbe; on his growing concern, expressed in writings and lectures, with the toxicity of some modern artists' materials; and his relationship with art conservators. He discusses his work, from 1959 into the early 1990s while viewing slides.
Biographical / Historical:
Reed Kay (1925- ) is a painter and teacher from Brookline, Massachusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 9 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 17 digital wav files. Duration is 12 hrs., 56 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:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kay95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kay95

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