An interview of Dore Ashton conducted 2010 November 21 and 2011 March 9, by George W. Sampson, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts project, at Ashton's home, in New York, New York.
Ashton talks about growing up politically active; protesting the internment of the Japanese Americans during WWII; attending The New School and then Harvard University; briefly working as a gallery receptionist; writing her first reviews for Art Digest; Howard Devree hiring her as a writer for The New York Times; travels and living in Europe; writing feature pieces about individual artists for The New York Times; writing for Cahiers d'art; her relationships Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Philip Guston, Robert Motherwell, Billy Kluver, Robert Rauschenberg, Octavio Paz, and others; marriage to Adja Yunkers; teaching at Cooper Union; interest in Latin American Art; flirting; being a "dedicated reader of Nietzsche"; visits to the Cedar Tavern; being a peacenik; and other topics. She recalls Jeanne Reynal, Mario Pedrosa, Alger Hiss, Peter Selz, Peter Orlovsky, David Smith, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Dore Ashton (1928-2017) was an art historian in New York, New York. George W. Sampson (1951-) is an arts administrator in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Originally recorded on 2 memory cards. Duration is 2 hr., 57 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.
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Evacuation of civilians Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Correspondence, writings, photographs, and printed material regarding painter John Button.
Correspondence includes two letters from Fairfield Porter,1974, three letters from Button to Zara Cohan, 1964, and copies of personal and professional letters from Button to businesses, organizations, and friends regarding his artwork, political beliefs, and personal issues, and photocopies of a postcard and six letters from Fairfield Porter. Writings include a typescript poem by Frank O'Hara, a poem by Helen Weaver, a copy of a poem attributed to James Schuyler about Button, and copies of two poems by Katherine Porter.
Photographs are of Button, Allen Ginsberg, Alan Ansen, Peter Orlovsky, Bette Davis, Gerald. L. Fabian, Maxine Groffsky, Harry Matthews, Scott Burton, James Schuyler, Jane Freilicher, Hal Fondren, Joe LeSueur, Frank O'Hara, and three photographs of the mural created by John Button and Mario Dubsky at the Gay Activist Alliacne Firehouse, 99 Wooster Street, New York, 1971-1974. Printed material consists of exhibition catalogs, announcements, reviews, publications by Button and others, among them a book of poems, "If I Dream I Have You, I Have You," written by Richard Howard and illustrated by Button, 1997.
Biographical / Historical:
John Button (1930-1982) was a painter in San Francisco, Calif. and New York, N.Y.
Donated 2010 by Alvin Novak, longtime friend of Button's, and by John Button via Jaap van Liere, executor.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.