An interview of Sidney Gordin conducted 1965 Sept. 2, by Dorothy Seckler, for the Archives of American Art.
Gordin speaks of immigrating to the United States from Shanghai, China in 1922; being the class artist in grade school; attending Brooklyn Technical High School; studying at the WPA art school at the Brooklyn Museum for a summer; attending the Cooper Union School of Art; encountering Cubism; working as a commercial artist and making cartoons; teaching at the Pratt Institute; and alternating, as inspiration strikes, between painting and sculpture; and Constructivist philosophy. Gordin also mentions Ralph Rosenborg, Tom Eldred, Carol and Wallace Harrison, Edward Alden Jewell, Pablo Picasso, Byron Thomas, Morris Kantor, Hans Hofmann, Paul Clay, Jackson Pollock, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Sidney Gordin (1918-1996) was a sculptor and educator from Berkeley, Calif.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 1 min.
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.
Art teachers -- California -- Berkeley -- Interviews Search this
Letters; photographs and photograph albums; diaries; notes and notebooks; writings; sketchbooks; business records; catalogs; periodicals; clippings; and miscellany.
REELS 9-12: Detailed autobiographical or diary-type notes of Thomas's activities and notes on his paintings, October 1928-August 1970, plus a few clippings, inventories of paintings, and miscellaneous items.
REEL 1197: A typescript of Thomas's autobiography, "For the Life of Me"; a volume of painting notes, 1966-1977; a notebook entitled "Record of Painting, 'Baseball at Rum Point'", 1968; and miscellany.
REEL 1202: An album containing photos of Thomas, his works, and a few exhibition catalogs and letters; and loose photographs of Thomas, his works, and an Artists Equity group leaving for a trip to Europe.
REEL 1417: Letters from friends and colleagues about Thomas's exhibitions; two diaries of European travels, and a notebook on European art; "Journal no. 8" (1975-1978) with sporadic entries concerning activities and work; manuscripts of four unpublished children's books written and illustrated by Thomas; drawing notes, 1968; six sketchbooks, 1929-1931; business records include files on Babcock Galleries, 1965-1971; catalogs, periodicals, clippings, and miscellaneous printed matter.
REEL 1427: Photographs, ca. 1909-1978, of Thomas, his work, his family, and friends; and a World War II photograph album.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; Woodstock, Vt.
Material on reels 9-12, 1197 & 1202 lent for microfilming 1971 & 1977 by Byron Thomas; material on reels 1417 & 1427 lent for microfilming 1978 by Virginia Thomas, widow of Thomas.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
0.8 Linear feet ((microfilmed on 2 partial reels))
12 Items (Addition)
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, letter essays, writings, project files, printed material, works of art, and photographs primarily regarding Dowden's positions as head of the Design Department at Cooper Union Art School (CUAS) for 32 years and Director of the Yale summer art school in Norfolk, Connecticut. Also included are papers of Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden.
REELS 4884-4885: Biographical material consists of memorial tributes and obituaries, 1982. Correspondence, 1952-1980, is with friends and colleagues, primarily concerning the Cooper Union Art School and it's publications and projects, calligraphy, and the Yale-Norfolk art school, 1952-1982. Among the correspondents are Rudolf Arnheim, painter Byron Thomas, and Floyd Starr of the Starr Commonwealth for Boys, where Dowden had gone as a boy. Letters, written in essay form, 1955-1978, by Dowden regard Anne Ophelia's botanical drawing publications, his health concerns, travel plans, and general thoughts. Writings, ca. 1960, concern Dowden's philosophy of art in relation to CUAS.
Also included are files regarding CUAS publications, Green Camp, Dowden's participation as an art juror, the Yale summer art school, and Byron Thomas's death and memorial service, 1978. Printed material, 1940-1976, includes exhibition announcements and catalogs, CUAS publications, newspaper and magazine clippings, and reproductions of Dowden's art work. Original art work by Raymond and Ophelia include ink drawings and pencil sketches. Photographs are of family and friends, works of art and exhibition installations, and friends while Dowden was a resident fellow at the Tiffany Foundation in 1929 and 1932.
Unmicrofilmed addition: Biographical material, writings, an outline of a book on design, exhibition announcements, printed material, and photographs.
Biographical / Historical:
Painters; New York, N.Y. Raymond Dowden taught design at Cooper Union Art School, New York, N.Y., and is known also for his calligraphy work. His wife, Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden, was a botanical artist. Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden died in 2007.
Donated 1978-1982 by Raymond Baxter Dowden and Anne Ophelia Dowden; and in 1990 and 2004 by Anne Dowden.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.