An interview of Joan Ankrum conducted 1997 November 5-1998 February 4, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in Pasadena, California.
Ankrum discusses her status as a role model for women due to her independence in leaving a difficult marriage and establishing a new career; her theater and film career and association with the Pasadena Playhouse; her discovery of Morris Broderson, the hearing-impaired nephew of her husband Morris Ankrum; encouraging Broderson's artistic talent and efforts to help him learn to speak and interact socially; her career as director of the Ankrum Gallery in Los Angeles and the artists, collectors and dealers she became involved with, among them Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg, Joseph Hirshhorn, Martha Jackson and Jake Zeitlin.
Biographical / Historical:
Joan Ankrum (1913-2001) was a gallery owner from Los Angeles, California.
Originally recorded on 6 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 24 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 50 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.
An interview of Morris Broderson conducted 1998 March 11 and 13, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at Broderson's home, in Los Angeles, California.
Broderson discusses his childhood and family background and the way in which he saw the world as a congenitally hearing impaired person; his first meeting with Joan Ankrum, who was married at the time to Broderson's uncle, Morris Ankrum; Ankrum's special interest in him, recognizing a talent for drawing, encouraging his learning to speak, and arranging art lessons at an early age; his recognition of Ankrum's marital unhappiness and encouragement for her to leave her husband; his art education through private lessons with Francis De Erdely; enrollment at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; his perspective on events in his relationship with Ankrum that led her to abandon her career as an actress and become an art dealer in order to show Broderson's work; exhibitions at the Ankrum Gallery; his favorite themes and subjects in his work and why he used them; his homosexuality and its possible reflection in his art; credit to Ankrum for her key role in his development as an artist; the role of his deafness in his interaction with the world and to a lesser extent, his artistic expression, but rejecting the idea that it was a determining factor; and his current series of paintings and hopes for the future.
Biographical / Historical:
Morris Gaylord Broderson (1928-2011) was a painter from Los Angeles, California.
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 8 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.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.