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Oral history interview with Howard Ben Tré

Interviewee:
Ben Tré, Howard, 1949-2020  Search this
Interviewer:
Shea, Josephine, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Appalachian Center for Craft  Search this
Brooklyn College -- Students  Search this
Brooklyn Technical High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cristallerie Daum  Search this
Hadler/Rodriguez Gallery  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Missouri Valley College -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Pilchuck School  Search this
Portland State University -- Students  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Students  Search this
Venceremos Brigade  Search this
Aycock, Alice  Search this
Brychtová, Jaroslava, 1924-  Search this
Chihuly, Dale, 1941-  Search this
Dailey, Dan, 1947-  Search this
Hampson, Ferdinand  Search this
LaMonte, Karen, 1967-  Search this
Labino, Dominick  Search this
Libenský, Stanislav, 1921-2002  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Onorato, Ronald J.  Search this
Parker, Anthony  Search this
Polander, Steve  Search this
Scanga, Italo, 1932-2001  Search this
Extent:
63 Pages (Transcript)
3 Sound discs (Sound recording (4 hr., 3 min.), digital, 2 5/8 in.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound discs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Cuba -- Description and Travel
Europe -- description and travel
Date:
2007 July 7
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Howard Ben Tré conducted 2007 July 7, by Josephine Shea, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's studio, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Ben Tré speaks of his childhood in Rockaway Park, New York; his Polish immigrant father who was a woodworker and artist; inheriting a particular aesthetic and sense of hard work from his father; attending Brooklyn Technical High School to play football but not graduating; moving to Marshall, Missouri to attend Missouri Valley College for one year; attending Brooklyn College; becoming involved in Students for a Democratic Society, the antiwar movement and civil rights movement of the 1960s; traveling to Cuba as part of the first Venceremos Brigade to cut sugarcane in 1969; meeting his first wife, Gay, in Cuba and returning to New York with her; organizing a food co-op and community events in Brooklyn; moving to Portland, Oregon; working in construction for the city before going back to school to study veterinarian medicine at Portland State University; discovering the glass studio in a garage at Portland State; meeting Dale Chihuly and working at Pilchuck Glass School; utilizing the foundry skills learned from Brooklyn Technical High to work with glass in casting and cope and drag methods; his series Burial Boxes and the influence of ancient architecture and ceremonial Chinese bronzes; the rise of the studio glass movement as symptomatic of socio-political-economic times, not just the pioneering efforts of Harvey Littleton and Dominic Labino; traveling throughout Europe with Gay; visiting Stanislav Libenský and Jaraslava Brychtová in Czechoslovakia; visiting Dan Dailey at Cristallerie Daum in France; attending Rhode Island School of Design [RISD]; his first show at Hadler/Rodriguez Gallery in 1980; teaching experiences at Haystack Mountain School of Craft and Appalachian Center for Craft; building and installing an oven at Blenko Glass in Milton, West Virginia and at Super Glass in Brooklyn; working with Mold Melted Glass Studio in Pelechov, Czech Republic; the history of glass and early glass-working techniques; his many commissions, including sited public projects such as Post Office Square in Boston; the adoption of his name, Ben Tré; return visits to Cuba; working with RISD to create a winter study session in Havana; and his view of artists as artists, not defined by medium. Ben Tré also recalls Anthony Parker, Italo Scanga, Ron Onorato, Alice Aycock, Ferdinand Hampson, Steven Polander, Karen LaMonte, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Howard Ben Tré (1949- 2020) was a glass artist from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Josephine Shea is a curator from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan.
General:
Originally recorded 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 3 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:
Glass artists  Search this
Topic:
Art commissions  Search this
Civil rights -- United States  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art -- Technique  Search this
Peace movements  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.bentre07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bentre07

Writings and Illustrated Notebooks

Collection Creator:
Linhares, Judith, 1940-  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Linear feet (Box 2)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1955-2000s
Scope and Contents:
Writings and illustrated notebooks date from circa 1955-2000s and are by Linhares and others. Writings by Linhares include three illustrated notebooks, a transcript from a panel discussion she participated in at the New Museum, and a poem she published while still in high school. The illustrated notebooks contain sketches in pen and pastel, clippings, notes, recorded dreams, and scattered journal entries. Writings by others are a document compiled by early educators of Linhares' encouraging her to pursue her "vocation," and essays by Rhode Island School of Design students responding to a visit to Linhares' studio.
Arrangement:
The series is arranged as two subseries

3.1: By Linhares, 1958-circa 2000s

3.2: By Others, circa 1955, 1994
Collection 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.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Judith Linhares papers, circa 1955-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.linhjudi, Series 3
See more items in:
Judith Linhares papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-linhjudi-ref13

Oral history interview with Rosanne Somerson

Topic:
Fine woodworking
Interviewee:
Somerson, Rosanne, 1954-  Search this
Interviewer:
Michie, Thomas S.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Peters Valley (Craft center)  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Faculty  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Students  Search this
Richard Kagan Gallery  Search this
Snyderman Gallery  Search this
Abramson, Ron  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Capanigro, Paul  Search this
Cooke, Ned  Search this
Dunnigan, John, 1950-  Search this
Fairbanks, Jonathan L.  Search this
Follen, Eck  Search this
Frid, Tage  Search this
Jackson, Dan  Search this
Joseph, Peter T. (Peter Thomas), 1950-1998  Search this
Kagan, Richard  Search this
Keck, Hardu  Search this
Kranov, James  Search this
Maruyama, Wendy, 1952-  Search this
Mattia, Alphonse  Search this
Melanson, Gracie  Search this
Osgood, Jere, 1936-  Search this
Sfirri, Mark  Search this
Siskind, Aaron  Search this
Swanson, Charlie  Search this
Szasz, Merlin  Search this
White, Leroy  Search this
Wolf, Hans  Search this
Extent:
61 Pages (Transcripts)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2006 August 7 and 2007 June 22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Rosanne Somerson conducted 2006 August 7-2007 June 22, by Thomas Michie, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the Rhode Island School of Design, in Providence, Rhode Island. In part one of this interview, Somerson speaks of growing up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; attending RISD beginning in 1971; being asked to teach there nine years later; creating a new department of furniture design; tailoring that furniture design program to encompass the development from design to manufacture; introducing materials other than wood into the program; garnering international attention through worldwide exhibits; her first show at the Richard Kagan Gallery in Philadelphia; participating in a group show in New York City for female woodworkers; making connections through the Snyderman Gallery and Pritam and Eames Gallery; working directly with clients on commissioned pieces; the financial stability of teaching; designing a piece for the headquarters of Khon, Peterson Fox, and Conway in New York; the sculptural elements present in many of her works; moving from a small studio in Boston, Massachusetts, to a larger studio in Westport, Connecticut, and finally to a shared studio in Fall River, Massachusetts; the supportive and proud reaction of her children to her work; creating a production company with colleagues and designing furniture for the RISD dormitories; attempting to make these designs both flexible and environmentally-friendly; putting aside teaching for an administrative position in the department; recent travel to Japan, Australia, England, Israel, and France; enrolling in summer programs with art schools like Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Maine and others; and excitement for her upcoming sabbatical.
In the second portion of the interview, she discusses living in a house built by her father in Wyncote, Pennsylvania; enjoying the location of the house on a former cherry orchard and consequently being drawn cherry wood as a medium; the feeling of her parents that anything could be accomplished with a certain amount of study; her mother's interest in weaving and spinning later in life; the creative pursuits of her older brothers, including creative writing and photography; verbally communicating the outside world to her blind grandfather and gaining an aptitude for interpreting visual imagery; being more academically than artistically focused in her youth; visiting art museums and having other cultural experiences with her family; being fascinated with photography by seeing her brother's work; deciding to put off college in order to spend a year in Denmark studying photography; enrolling in RISD and feeling overwhelmed at first by her inexperience; taking a winter course in wood-working and preferring it to photography; being advised by her teacher Tage Frid to gain a wood-working education by pursuing sculpture at RISD; transferring into industrial design later; learning a great deal from and being extraordinarily influenced by Tage Frid as a furniture designer and teacher; taking a semester off to attend Peters Valley Craftsmen in New Jersey; spending a few years after graduation assisting Frid with the writing and publication of his articles; working as an assistant editor for Fine Woodworking magazine; being offered a job at RISD in the furniture department; creating the furniture design program; using RISD's collection as inspiration for her work and as a teaching tool; moving towards using more local woods in her designs; her recent lecture and travel in China; and looking forward to focusing on her work in the new studio.
Somerson recalls John Dunnigan, Dick Kagan, Ned Cooke, Jonathan Fairbanks, Wendy Maruyama, James Krenov, Dan Jackson, Jere Osgood, Alphonse Mattia, Peter Joseph, Ron Abramson, Charlie Swanson, Eck Follen, Peter Walker, and others. In the second part, Somerson recalls Merlin Szasz, LeRoy White, Hardu Keck, Gracia Melanson, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Paul Crot, Paul Capanigro, Tage Frid, Hans Wolfe, Mark Sfirri, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Rosanne Somerson (1954- ) is a professor of furniture design and furniture designer and maker in Westport, Massachusetts. Thomas Michie is a curator of decorative arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 3 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:
Furniture designers -- Rhode Island  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Educators -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Furniture design -- Study and teaching  Search this
Photography  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.somers06
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-somers06

Oral history interview with Cynthia Schira

Interviewee:
Schira, Cynthia, 1934-  Search this
Interviewer:
Mensing, Margo, 1941-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Students  Search this
Extent:
52 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 July 25-26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Cynthia Schira conducted 2001 July 25-26, by Margo Mensing, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Schira's home and studio, in Westport, N.Y.
Biographical / Historical:
Cynthia Schira (1934- ) is a fiber artist from Westport, N.Y. Margo Mensing (1941- ) is a fiber artist from Gansevoort, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 22 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:
Fiber artists -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Tapestry  Search this
Weaving -- Technique  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.schira01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-schira01

Oral history interview with Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick

Interviewee:
Mace, Flora, 1949-  Search this
Kirkpatrick, Joey  Search this
Interviewer:
Herman, Lloyd E.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Foster/White Gallery  Search this
Habatat Galleries  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Pilchuck Glass Center (Stanwood, Wash.)  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Students  Search this
Walla Walla Foundry  Search this
Anderson, Dale, 1944-  Search this
Anderson, Doug, 1943-  Search this
Ben Tré, Howard, 1949-2020  Search this
Benglis, Lynda, 1941-  Search this
Borenstein, Joan  Search this
Chihuly, Dale, 1941-  Search this
Dehoff, Bill  Search this
Dehoff, Sarah  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Moore, Ben  Search this
Morris, William, 1957-  Search this
Pfaff, Judy, 1946-  Search this
Pilloff, Bensen  Search this
Pilloff, Francine  Search this
Rooney, Alice, 1926-2019  Search this
Rosenfield, Betsy  Search this
Royal, Rich  Search this
Saxe, Dorothy  Search this
Saxe, George  Search this
Scanga, Italo, 1932-2001  Search this
Shirley, Jon, 1938-  Search this
Shirley, Mary  Search this
Statom, Therman, 1953-  Search this
Stroemple, George R.  Search this
Tagliapietra, Lino  Search this
Vallien, Bertil, 1938-  Search this
Welch, Ann  Search this
Wilmarth, Christopher  Search this
Wolff, Ann  Search this
Zynsky, Toots, 1951-  Search this
Extent:
5 Items (Audio: 5 wav files (3 hrs., 17 min.), digital)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2005 August 17-18
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick conducted 2005 August 17-18, by Lloyd E. Herman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artists' home and studio, in Seattle, Washington.
They discuss their first meeting at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, in 1979; the structure of classes and teaching philosophies at Pilchuck in the late '70s and early '80s; the change in equipment and the growth of the Pilchuck campus through the years; their first projects together, which were wire drawings made by Flora and based on Joey's sketches; leaving Pilchuck after the summer session and moving together to Waterville, New Hampshire, where they worked in a studio at the Rhode Island School of Design with Dale Chihuly; building up a body of work and then having to decide whose work it was, at a time when collaborating and co-signing was not standard practice; going back to Pilchuck every summer for 14 years after first meeting there in 1979; beginning to teach as a collaborative team at Pilchuck in 1981, the first women to teach glass blowing at that school; building their house together on the grounds of Pilchuck, a design which was then emulated for dormitories at the school; convincing Dale Chihuly to lower the class size at Pilchuck to 10, down from 20, to allow teachers to work more closely with the students; early shows of their work at Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak, Michigan, Ivor Kurland Gallery in Los Angeles, California, and Foster-White Galleries in Seattle, Washington; the support of their sisters and families throughout the years, mostly in providing them a place to stay as they traveled cross country; their relationships with collectors; what each artist brings to the partnership, including vision, inspiration, and technique; the influence of water on their work, as both artists are drawn to the sea and the tides; the purpose of their work, and what they feel it can bring to the viewer; the challenge given to the artists by Joan Borenstein to make 30 glass goblets, all with different fruits and vegetables; having their work cast at the Walla Walla Foundry; and the ideas behind various bodies of work, including the "Bird Pages" and the large latticino fruit. A more in-depth discussion of each artist's childhood, education, and artistic experiences prior to their meeting at Pilchuck can be found in the individual artist's interviews. They recall Italo Scanga, Bill Morris, Ben Moore, Rich Royal, Howard Ben Tre, Toots Zynsky, Therman Statom, Harvey Littleton, Lino Tagliapetra, Chris Wilmarth, Judy Pfaff, Lynda Benglis, Alice Rooney, Bertil Vallien, Ann Wolff, Betsy Rosenfield, George and Dorothy Saxe, Doug and Dale Anderson, Jon and Mary Shirley, Sarah and Bill Dehoff, Francine and Benson Pilloff, George Stroemple, Ann Welch, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Joey Kirkpatrick (1952- ) and Flora Mace (1949- ) are glass artists from Seattle, Washington. Lloyd E. Herman (1936- ) is a curator and former director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery of Art and is currently from Seattle, Washington. Mace and Kirkpatrick have been working collaboratively on glass since the late 1970s.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 17 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:
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Glass art -- Technique  Search this
Glass art -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Glass artists -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Glass blowing and working -- Technique  Search this
Glass blowing and working -- Study and teaching  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mace05
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mace05

Oral history interviews with Sam Green

Creator:
Green, Samuel Adams  Search this
Interviewer:
Tippett, Jane Marguerite  Search this
Names:
Rhode Island School of Design -- Students  Search this
Richard Green Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
University of Pennsylvania. Institute of Contemporary Art  Search this
Allen, Peter  Search this
Baekeland, Barbara Daly, 1922-1972  Search this
Beaton, Cecil Walter Hardy, Sir, 1904-  Search this
Berlin, Brigid  Search this
Darling, Candy, 1944-1974  Search this
Garbo, Greta, 1905-1990  Search this
Minnelli, Liza  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Tremaine, Burton  Search this
Tremaine, Emily Hall, 1908-1987  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
17 Items (Sound recordings: 17 mini cassettes, analog)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Place:
Easter Island -- statues
Date:
2007-2009, undated
Scope and Contents:
Two interviews of Sam Green conducted by Jane Tippett and an unknown male, possibly Hugo Vickers.
Green speaks of his childhood in Mass., his family's early New England and New York antecedents, and his education at the Rhode Island School of Design. He reminisces about his early employment at the Green Gallery, which led to his introduction to Burton and Emily Tremaine and his first encounter with Andy Warhol. He further discusses being appointed director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia in 1965, where he staged Warhol's first retrospective, and his later appointment as a cultural advisor to New York City by Mayor John V. Lindsay. Green discusses organizing "Sculpture and Environment" exhibition, sponsored by the city, specifically the display of Barnet Newman's, "Broken Obelisk," (1963). Green discusses the installation of a large Eastern Island Moai Head, which he displayed in hopes of raising awareness to the planned conversion of Easter Island into a jet-refueling station. He discusses his real estate investments, specifically his home in Cartagena, Columbia, and an Upper East Side apartment. The remainder of the interview details Green's notable social relations with celebrity figures including Peter Allen and Liza Minnelli, Barbara Baekeland, Brigid Berlin, Cecil Beaton, Candy Darling, Cyrinda Foxe, Greta Garbo, and the Lennon-Ono family. He elaborates specifically on his relationship with Garbo, and his first encounter with Garbo at Cecile de Rothschild's home in the south of France. He also summarizes his work establishing the Landmarks Foundations, designed to preserve "sacred sites" on a global scale.
Biographical / Historical:
Sam Green (1940-2011) was an art dealer who was an early champion of Pop art. Jane Tippett is a biographer writing a book on Green.
Provenance:
Donated 2010 by Jane Tippett.
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.
Identifier:
AAA.greesam
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-greesam

The art of critical making : Rhode Island School of Design on creative practice / edited by Rosanne Somerson and Mara L. Hermano ; foreword by John Maeda

Writer of introduction:
Maeda, John  Search this
Editor:
Hermano, Ma. Alessandra L.  Search this
Somerson, Rosanne 1954-  Search this
Subject:
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Physical description:
272 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Rhode Island
Providence
Date:
2013
Topic:
Design--Study and teaching (Higher)  Search this
Art--Study and teaching (Higher)  Search this
Creative teaching  Search this
Creative thinking  Search this
Creation (Literary, artistic, etc.)  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1075368

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