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Oral history interview with Edward Landon, 1975 Apr. 17-May 28

Interviewee:
Landon, Edward August, 1911-1984  Search this
Landon, Edward August, 1911-1984  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Abbott, Berenice  Search this
Bridgman, George Brant  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield  Search this
Gottlieb, Harry  Search this
Hartley, Dennis  Search this
Hughes, Marian  Search this
Lozowick, Louis  Search this
Mark, Henry  Search this
Marin, John  Search this
Mauer, Alfred  Search this
McCausland, Elizabeth  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia  Search this
Olds, Elizabeth  Search this
Perry, Marvo  Search this
Rebay, Hilla  Search this
Rogers, William T.  Search this
Sabbath, Bernie  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred  Search this
Stein, Gertrude  Search this
Strand, Paul  Search this
Weber, Max  Search this
Federal art project (Mass.)  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
National Serigraph Society  Search this
Artists' Congress  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Printmakers -- Vermont -- Weston -- Interviews  Search this
Printing -- Technique  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12109
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212814
AAA_collcode_landon75
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212814
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Edward Landon

Interviewee:
Landon, Edward, 1911-1984  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Artists' Congress  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Federal art project (Mass.)  Search this
National Serigraph Society  Search this
Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991  Search this
Bridgman, George Brant, 1864-1943  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Gottlieb, Harry, 1895-  Search this
Hartley, Dennis  Search this
Hughes, Marian  Search this
Lozowick, Louis, 1892-1973  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Mark, Henry  Search this
Mauer, Alfred  Search this
McCausland, Elizabeth, 1899-1965  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Olds, Elizabeth, 1896-1991  Search this
Perry, Marvo  Search this
Rebay, Hilla, 1890-1967  Search this
Rogers, William T.  Search this
Sabbath, Bernie  Search this
Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Strand, Paul, 1890-1976  Search this
Weber, Max, 1881-1961  Search this
Extent:
39 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1975 Apr. 17-May 28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Edward Landon conducted 1975 Apr. 17-May 28, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Landon speaks of working with the local theater in high school; leaving Hartford at age 17 or 18 for Greenwich Village in New York and the Art Students League; studying figure drawing with George Bridgman; getting married and moving to Springfield, Mass.; exhibiting with the Springfield Art League; the Artist Union and the Artist Congress in the 1930s; spending a summer with Georgia O'Keeffe and Paul Strand in Taos, N.M.; the cooperation amongst artists that lasted into the 1950s to establish serigraphs as an American fine art print medium; when he received the Solomon Guggenheim Scholarship for Non-objective Art in 1939; when he made furniture and picture frames and the publishing of his book on making picture frames in 1946; when he began working as an easel painter in the Massachusetts Federal Art Project of the WPA in 1933; becoming president of the Western Chapter of the Artists Union in 1934; when he corresponded and visited Arthur Dove; his friendship with Elizabeth McCausland; his introduction to Harry Gottlieb and silk screen printing; the love of color and currently trying for emotional effects in his work; initiating silk screen exhibitions in the Springfield Museum; the beginning of the National Serigraph Society and his work as the exhibition secretary; his teaching approach; the first class held in his garage with fellow artists; more on his relationship with Elizabeth McCausland; Arthur Dove's influence on a recent painting Landon finished; his trip to Taos in 1930 and the importance of artist colonies for him early on; the feeling of not having roots, but being comfortable with the idea; the purpose of the National Serigraph Society; his feelings about printmakers moving away from traditional printing; organized exhibitions for the United States Information Service; his enjoyment in organizing things; the commercialization of creating "prints;" how photo-realism does not translate well in the print medium; the importance of trying to convey an idea in his work; his success in covering small boxes, address books and other items, as well as book binding; his preference for printing small editions of 25 to 35 prints; of a description of his method of printing; his Fulbright Fellowship in 1950 to travel to Norway and lecture; an interest in early Scandinavian art; publishing a silkscreen portfolio of pre-Viking art for the American Scandinavian Foundation; traveling through Europe; his influence as an innovator in France and Scandinavia; meeting with silk screen artists in Oslo; art forms in his work at this time; his inclusion in "Who's Who in American Art;" the avoidance of art movements; how by the 1950s the reason for the National Serigraph Society no longer existed because the medium was popular by that time; his move to Vermont in 1957 or 1958; work as a color mixer, book binder, and returning to framing because of health reasons; his second illness changing what he found important in his life; and how the content of his work became more emotional. Landon also recalls Louie Lozowick, Gertrude Stein, Marian Hughes, Elizabeth Olds, John Marin, Alfred Stieglitz, Berenice Abbott, Marvo Perry, Hilla Rebay, Sir William T. Rogers, Max Weber, Dennis Hartley, Alfred Maurer, Bernie Sabbath, and Henry Mark.
Biographical / Historical:
Edward Landon (1911-1984) was a printmaker from Weston, Vt.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 39 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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 others.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Printmakers -- Vermont -- Weston -- Interviews  Search this
Printing -- Technique  Search this
Function:
Artist colonies
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.landon75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-landon75
Online Media:

George Tooker papers

Creator:
Tooker, George, 1920-2011  Search this
Names:
Bachinski, Walter  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Cadmus, Paul, 1904-1999  Search this
Christopher, William R, 1924-1973  Search this
Dix, Otto, 1891-1969  Search this
French, Jared, 1905-1988  Search this
French, Margaret  Search this
Ginzburg, Ralph  Search this
Gonzalez, Xavier, 1898-1993  Search this
Isaacson, Robert  Search this
Kirstein, Fidelma  Search this
Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907-  Search this
Laning, Edward, 1906-1981  Search this
Lynes, George Platt, 1907-1955  Search this
Nordness, Lee  Search this
Perlin, Bernard, 1918-  Search this
Peterson, Joan, 1933-  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Wescott, Glenway, 1901-  Search this
Wheeler, Monroe, 1899-  Search this
Extent:
5.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Date:
circa 1851-2010
Summary:
The papers of painter George Tooker measure 5.1 linear feet and date from circa 1851 to 2010. The papers document Tooker's personal and professional life through biographical material, correspondence, project files, gallery files, exhibition files, printed material, artwork and one sketchbook, and numerous photographs, including some taken by noted photographer George Platt Lynes.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of painter George Tooker measure 5.1 linear feet and date from circa 1851 to 2010. The papers document Tooker's personal and professional life through biographical material, correspondence, project files, gallery files, exhibition files, printed material, artwork and one sketchbook, and numerous photographs, including some taken by noted photographer George Platt Lynes.

Biographical material consists of membership and travel documents, writings on and by Tooker on his circle, an address book, resume, and papers regarding Tooker's education. Also included are biographical material related to Tooker's partner William Christopher who passed in 1973. A 1978 interview with Vermont Public radio on two sound reels is also featured.

Correspondence is with friends, colleagues, and organizations. Correspondents include Isabel Bishop, Paul Cadmus, Walter Bachinski, William Christopher, Otto Dix, Jared and Margaret French, Ralph Ginzburg, Xavier Gonzalez, Robert Isaacson, Edward Laning, Lincoln Kirstein, Lee Nordness, Bernard Perlin, Joan Peterson, Theodore Stamos, Bridget Tichenor, and others. Also included are family correspondence and correspondence regarding the Estate of William Christopher.

Project files document Tooker's commissions including the set and costume design for Gian-Carlo Menotti's opera The Saint of Bleecker Street and Tooker's participation in the selection of candidates for the Vestris Prize for Choreography. Files contain correspondence, business documents, printed ephemera, sketches, photographs, three volumes of vocal scores, and textile samples.

Gallery records include business correspondence and consignments with various key galleries in Tooker's career spanning the 1960s to the end of his career including D.C. Moore Gallery, Marisa Del Re Gallery, and Durlacher Bros..

Exhibition records include documents regarding the organization of several select exhibitions in Tooker's career incuding an early retrospective at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1974) and a later traveling retrospective from 2008-2009.

Printed material consists of invitations, press releases, news clippings and exhibition catalogs documenting the careers of both George Tooker and William Christopher.

Artwork includes numerous sketchbooks, loose drawings, and sketches from Tooker's studies at the Art Students' League in the mid 1940s, in addition to an early ex-libris print created by Tooker in his youth. Also included is a sketchbook by William Christopher, as well as a study for the work The Subway, in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Photographic materials depict Tooker's family life as well as his early artistic collaborations depicted in a number of black and white photographs taken by George Platt Lynes and PaJaMa in the mid to late 1940s. A majority of the photographs depict artists and friends, among them: George Tooker and his companion William Christopher, Paul Cadmus, Jared and Margaret French, Lincoln and Fidelma Kirstein, Glenway Wescott, Monroe Wheeler, and Bridget Tichenor. Other photographs are of Tooker building his home, gardening, and working in his studio in Hartland, Vermont. Also included are installation views from the exhibition Painting in the United States (1949) at the Carnegie Institute in Pennsylvania. There are also a fair amount of photographs, transparencies, slides and negatives documenting artwork from both the studios of George Tooker and his late partner William Christopher.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1920-2005 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 1, 5)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1932-2010 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, Oversize 7)

Series 3: Project Files, circa 1935-1968 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 2-3, 6)

Series 4: Gallery Records, circa 1960-2009 (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 5: Exhibition Files, circa 1967-2009 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 1, 3)

Series 6: Printed Material, circa 1851-2010 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 3, 5)

Series 7: Artwork and Sketchbook, circa 1932-2009 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 3, 5, 8)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1900-2010 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 4-5, 8)
Biographical / Historical:
George Tooker (1920-2011) was a painter based in Hartland, Vermont and New York, New York. Tooker was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 5, 1920 to George Clair Tooker and Angela Montejo Roura. He graduated from preparatory school at Phillips Academy, Andover in 1938 and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Harvard University in 1942. Tooker studied drawing and painting under Reginald Marsh, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and Harry Sternberg at the Art Students' League from circa 1944 to 1945.

Tooker became acquainted with American painter Paul Cadmus while studying at the Art Students' League. Cadmus introduced Tooker to a circle of artists and writers living and working in New York and Europe in the mid to late 1940s that included George Platt Lynes, Jared and Margaret French, Monroe Wheeler, Glenway Westcott, and Lincoln and Fidelma Kirstein. He lived and worked with his partner and fellow artist William Christopher in New York City and later Hartland, VT.

In 1953, Tooker was commissioned by writer and philanthropist Lincoln Kirstein to design the sets and costumes for The Saint of Bleecker Street, an opera by Gian-Carlo Menotti. In 1966, the Wasemquia Charitable Trust sponsored the Vestris Prize for Choreography in cooperation with the Boston Ballet Company and Tooker was invited by trustee Henry H. Crapo to participate on the Committee of Judges for the Vestris Prize. In 1968, NASA commissioned Tooker to produce drawings and one painting documenting the development of spacecraft at the Goddard Space Flight Center located in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Tooker's paintings are found in numerous art museums and galleries including the Whitney Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, DC Moore Gallery, Robert Isaacson Gallery, and the Venice Biennale. In 1968, Tooker's paintings were featured in the art magazine, Avant-Garde.
Related Materials:
Available in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with George Tooker conducted in 1966 by Grace G. Alexander for radio station WNYC, New York City.

Materials related to the George Tooker papers can be found the William Christopher papers at the Archives of American Art.
Provenance:
George Tooker donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1973. A subsequent addition was donated in 2018 by Aaron Watkins, the executor to George Tooker's estate.
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.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Vermont  Search this
Printmakers -- Vermont  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Citation:
George Tooker papers, circa 1851-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tookgeor
See more items in:
George Tooker papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tookgeor

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