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Oral history interview with Susan Rothenberg

Interviewee:
Rothenberg, Susan, 1945-2020  Search this
Interviewer:
Nadelman, Cynthia  Search this
Names:
Graves, Nancy Stevenson, 1940-1995  Search this
Johnson, Miani Guthrie, 1948-  Search this
Jonas, Joan, 1936-  Search this
Saret, Alan, 1944-  Search this
Trakas, George, 1944-  Search this
Extent:
126 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1987 May 22-June 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Susan Rothenberg conducted 1987 May 22-1987 June 2, by Cynthia Nadelman, for the Archives of American Art.
Rothenberg speaks of her early life; her art training, starting out as a sculpture student in college; her arrival in New York, the art scene there in the 1960s and the 1970s; experimental painting techniques; the development of her "Horses" and "Mondrian" series. She recalls Joan Jonas, Alan Saret, George Trakas, Nancy Graves, and Miani Johnson.
Biographical / Historical:
Susan Rothenberg (1945-2020) was a figurative painter in New York, N.Y. and Galisteo, N.M.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 10 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' 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.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rothen87
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rothen87

Samuel J. Wagstaff papers

Creator:
Wagstaff, Samuel J.  Search this
Names:
Basen, Dan, 1939-  Search this
Brecht, George  Search this
Byars, James Lee  Search this
De Maria, Walter, 1935-2013  Search this
Di Suvero, Mark, 1933-  Search this
Fine, Albert M.  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Halprin, Anna  Search this
Hartigan, Grace  Search this
James, Charles, d. 1978  Search this
Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-  Search this
Manning, Doreen  Search this
Manning, Robert  Search this
Martin, Agnes, 1912-2004  Search this
Newton, Gordon, 1948-  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Roth, Dieter, 1930-1998  Search this
Saret, Alan, 1944-  Search this
Tuttle, Richard, 1941-  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-  Search this
Wilson, Mary F.  Search this
Extent:
6.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Drawings
Date:
circa 1932-1985
Summary:
The Samuel J. Wagstaff papers, circa 1932-1985 comprise 6.4 linear feet of correspondence, writings, miscellaneous records, printed material, and photographs documenting Wagstaff's professional and personal relationships with artists and photographers, his career as an art curator, and his position as an important collector of paintings and photographs. Correspondence with artists and others such as curators, arts organizations, galleries, and museums, reflects the diversity of contemporary American art and includes individuals associated with the abstract expressionist, Fluxus, pop, earth, conceptual, and minimalist art movements.
Scope and Content Note:
The Samuel J. Wagstaff papers, circa 1932-1985, comprise 6.4 linear feet of correspondence, writings, miscellaneous records, printed material, and photographs documenting Wagstaff's professional and personal relationships with artists and photographers, his career as an art curator, and his position as an important collector of paintings and photographs.

Correspondence with artists and others such as curators, arts organizations, galleries, and museums reflects the diversity of contemporary American art and includes individuals associated with the abstract expressionist, Fluxus, pop, earth, conceptual, and minimalist art movements. Wagstaff's importance as a collector and curator and his generosity to and interest in artists is evident from the large number of invitations to view and critique work, requests for fellowship and grant recommendations, and thank you notes from artists to whom he extended financial or moral support. Among the most prolific correspondents found here are: Dan Basen, George Brecht, James Lee Byars, Walter de Maria, Mark Di Suvero, Albert Fine, Dan Flavin, Ann Halprin, Grace Hartigan, Charles James, Philip Johnson, Ray Johnson, Doreen and Robert Manning, Agnes Martin, Gordon Newton, Claes Oldenburg, Ad Reinhardt, Dieter Rot, Alan Saret, Richard Tuttle, May Wilson, and Andy Warhol.

Writings by Wagstaff consist of "Looking at Modern Art" prepared for the Trinity College Reading Program, and an untitled, undated piece about multiplicity in art. Among the writings by other authors are Bruce Bennard's "The Photographer Rediscovered," "Pop Art" by Henry Geldzahler, and "Collecting Photographs" by Bonnie Barrett Stretch.

Miscellaneous records are drawings by Bruce Kleinsmith, a print by Harold Paris and artists' resumes. Also included is a costume consisting of a stuffed devil's tail and two red silk caps connected by a long sash, all in a matching red silk bag.

Among the printed material are books, exhibition catalogs and prospectuses, periodicals, press releases, reproductions, and a variety of other printed items relating to photography and art.

Photographs consist largely of copy prints and a small number of original prints. Also included are a few images of exhibition installations and other miscellaneous subjects. There are no portraits of Samuel J. Wagstaff among the photographs of people. Identified individuals include: Bella Abzug, Peter Allen, Michael Collins, Angela Davis, Candy Darling, Wendell Ford, Joseph Hirshhorn, W. A. Huffman, David Love, Marc Miller, Bettie Ringma, and Andy Warhol.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1932-1986 (Boxes 1-3, 8, OV 9-10; 2.5 linear ft.)

Series 2: Writings, 1961-1983 (Box 3; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 3: Miscellaneous Papers and Artifacts, 1970s-1980s (Box 3; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1914-1988 (Boxes 3-8, OV 11; 3.2 linear ft.)

Series 5: Photographs, 1975-1982 (Boxes 7-8; 0.1 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Samuel J. Wagstaff, Jr. (1921-1987), the son of a lawyer from an old New York family and fashion artist Olga Piorkowska, was born in New York City. A graduate of Yale University, he was an ensign in the Navy and took part in the D-day landing at Omaha Beach.

Following World War II, Wagstaff studied Renaissance art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. A David E. Finley art history fellowship took him to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C. in 1959. He served as curator of contemporary art at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Conn., from 1961 to 1968, where he coordinated sculptor Tony Smith's first museum show in 1966. In 1971, during Wagstaff's tenure as curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts (1968-1971), he presented Michael Heizer's installation Dragged Mass Geometric on the grounds of the museum.

In addition to his curatorial work, Samuel J. Wagstaff was a noted collector. Originally, he was a fairly influential collector of avant-garde paintings. After seeing the exhibition "The Painterly Photograph" and meeting photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Wagstaff became convinced that photographs were the most unrecognized and, possibly, the most valuable works of art. He moved to New York and began selling his collection of paintings, using the proceeds to begin his photography collection and concentrating on 19th century American, British, and French examples. Then, influenced by his lover, photographer Mapplethorpe, Wagstaff's taste veered toward the daring, and he began to depart from established names in search of new talent. His collection was soon recognized as one of the finest private holdings in the United States. An exhibition of his photographs was organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., in 1978, and A Book of Photographs from the Sam Wagstaff Collection was published to accompany the show that toured the country.

The photograph collection was sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, Calif., in 1984, for a reported $5 million. Wagstaff then focused his attention on collecting 19th century American silver, and a selection from that collection was exhibited at the New York Historical Society in 1987.

Samuel J. Wagstaff died in New York City on January 14, 1987, from pneumonia, a complication of HIV infection.
Provenance:
Samuel J. Wagstaff donated his papers between 1976 and 1986.
Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
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.
Topic:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Photography  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Photographs -- Collectors and collecting -- United States  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Fluxus (Group of artists)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Drawings
Citation:
Samuel J. Wagstaff papers, circa 1932-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.wagssamu
See more items in:
Samuel J. Wagstaff papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wagssamu
Online Media:

7 Objects/69: Untitled, (sculpture)

Title:
Untitled, (sculpture)
Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Fabricator:
Tanglewood Press  Search this
Medium:
Reprocessed nylon net
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Washington University Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum Campus Box 1214, One Brookings Drive St. Louis Missouri 63130 Accession Number: 4430E
Date:
1969
Topic:
Undetermined  Search this
Control number:
IAS 28280022
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_300781

Tears, from 7 Objects / 69, (sculpture)

Title:
7 Objects / 69, (sculpture)
Seven Objects, (sculpture)
Sculptor:
Bradshaw, David  Search this
Hesse, Eva 1936-1970  Search this
Kaltenbach, Steve 1940-  Search this
Nauman, Bruce 1941-  Search this
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Serra, Richard 1939-  Search this
Sonnier, Keith 1941-2020  Search this
Medium:
Wet and dry materials, painting on canvas, tape dipped in rubber, bronze, silk-screen, nylon net etc., in wooden box
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smith College Smith College Museum of Art Elm Street at Bedford Terrace Northampton Massachusetts 01063 Accession Number: 1973:49
Date:
1969
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 77000718
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_11051

Lead Cable Gold Crown, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
Lead, stainless steel, and gold
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery 1285 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo New York 14222 Accession Number: 1983:14
Date:
1983
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 33660151
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_467250

Alan Saret : matter into aether : [exhibition] the Newport Harbor Art Museum

Author:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Kertess, Klaus  Search this
Newport Harbor Art Museum  Search this
Subject:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Physical description:
108 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
C1982
Call number:
N6537.S319.A4.1982
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_635434

Artists draw : Tom Martin, Auste Peciura, Alan Saret, Patti Smith, Nancy Spero / organized by Donald Sultan

Author:
Sultan, Donald  Search this
Artists Space (Gallery)  Search this
Committee for the Visual Arts, Inc  Search this
Subject:
Martin, Tom Exhibitions  Search this
Peciura, Auste Exhibitions  Search this
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Smith, Patti  Search this
Spero, Nancy 1926-2009  Search this
Physical description:
[16] p. : chiefly ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1979
C1979
Call number:
NC108 .A78 1979
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_636034

Alan Saret : installation, Had heaven, phase III, January 28-March 20, 1983, Albright-Knox Art Gallery : drawings, February 4-February 28, 1983, Hallwalls

Author:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Hallwalls (Museum)  Search this
CEPA Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Physical description:
15, [1] p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1983
C1983
Call number:
N6537.S319 A4 1983
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_652484

Air lines / curators, Carol Becker Davis, Judy Collischan van Wagner

Author:
Hassinger, Maren  Search this
Knowles, Elizabeth  Search this
Loebel, Stephen  Search this
McCalebb, Howard  Search this
Mueller, Susanne  Search this
Pfaff, Judy 1946-  Search this
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Siña, Alejandro  Search this
Siña, Moira  Search this
Hillwood Art Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Hassinger, Maren  Search this
Knowles, Elizabeth  Search this
Loebel, Stephen  Search this
McCalebb, Howard  Search this
Mueller, Susanne  Search this
Pfaff, Judy 1946-  Search this
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Siña, Alejandro  Search this
Siña, Moira  Search this
Physical description:
32 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 20 x 26 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
United States
Date:
1989
20th century
Topic:
Installations (Art)  Search this
Call number:
NB212 .A35 1989
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_661836

Matter into Aether / Alan Saret

Author:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Newport Harbor Art Museum  Search this
Subject:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Physical description:
108 p. : chiefly ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1982
C1982
Call number:
N40.1.S237 N5
N40.1.S237N5
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_307007

Recent drawings : William Allan, James Bishop, Vija Celmins, Brice Marden, Jim Nutt, Alan Saret, Pat Steir, Richard Tuttle : an exhibition / organized by the American Federation of Arts ; guest director, Elke M. Solomon

Author:
American Federation of Arts  Search this
Solomon, Elke  Search this
Subject:
Alan, William 1936-  Search this
Bishop, James 1927-  Search this
Celmins, Vija 1938-  Search this
Marden, Brice 1938-  Search this
Nutt, Jim 1938-  Search this
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Steir, Pat 1940-  Search this
Tuttle, Richard 1941-  Search this
Physical description:
[48] p. : ill. ; 21 x 28 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1975
Topic:
Drawing  Search this
Call number:
NC15.N5 A512
NC15.N5A512
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_90693

Blue-Red Ten-Fire Permutation Cluster, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
Coated wire
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive 2626 Bancroft Way Berkeley California 94720 Accession Number: 1979.12
Date:
1979
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 02080014
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_411181

Untitled, from 7 Objects / 69, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
Nylon net in black paper covered with cardboard box
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Smith College Smith College Museum of Art Elm Street at Bedford Terrace Northampton Massachusetts 01063 Accession Number: 1973:49-5
Date:
1969
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 22280091
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_456609

Painted Wire: Yellow and Turquoise, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
Painted fence wire
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Oberlin College Allen Memorial Art Museum Oberlin Ohio 44074 Accession Number: 68.30
Date:
1967
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 42190027
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_301042

Reprocessed Nylon Net, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
Various media in a wooden box
Type:
Sculptures-Box
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Art Gallery of Ontario 317 Dundas Street West Toronto Ontario Canada M5T 1G4
Topic:
Object--Other--Container  Search this
Control number:
IAS 60660014
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_304572

Field Cube Dancer, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
Corroded galvanized steel
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Phillips Academy Addison Gallery of American Art Andover Massachusetts 01810 Accession Number: 1991.93
Date:
1975-1990
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Recreation--Dancing  Search this
Control number:
IAS 20110017
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_379150

Toward Union Pleased, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
Steel and nickel
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art Nashville Tennessee Accession Number: 1984.10.17AB
Date:
1982
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 49590006
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_382921

Untitled, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
Electrical wire
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Art Museum of South Texas 1902 North Shoreline Drive Corpus Christi Texas 78401
Date:
1969
Topic:
Undetermined  Search this
Control number:
IAS 50430016
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_292956

Mt. Sylvanaiatha, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
mixed copper and vinyl wire
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Portland Museum of Art Seven Congress Square Portland Maine 04101 Accession Number: 1985.525
Date:
1980
Topic:
Landscape--Mountain--Mt. Sylvanaiatha  Search this
Control number:
IAS 18580053
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_294219

Wave Hill, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Saret, Alan 1944-  Search this
Medium:
Stainless steel wire mesh
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth 3200 Darnell Street Fort Worth Texas 76107 Accession Number: 1982.1.P.S
Date:
1980
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 50910008
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_297115

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