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Oral History interview with Adele Brandeis, 1965 June 1

Interviewee:
Brandeis, Adele, 1885-1975  Search this
Brandeis, Adele, 1885-1975  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington),, 1920-  Search this
Subject:
Donahue, Kenneth  Search this
Long, Frank W.  Search this
Morrison, Richard C.  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum  Search this
Weston, Harold  Search this
Index of American Design  Search this
Federal Art Project (Ky.)  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Theme:
New Deal  Search this
Women  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12249
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213365
AAA_collcode_brande65
Theme:
New Deal
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213365

Oral history interview with Sue M. Thurman, 1993 April 23-1998 March 11

Interviewee:
Thurman, Sue M., 1927-2012  Search this
Thurman, Sue M., 1927-2012  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Rickey, George  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Isaac Delgado Museum of Art  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Arts administrators -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Museum directors -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12833
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216373
AAA_collcode_thurma93
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216373
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Sue M. Thurman

Interviewee:
Thurman, Sue M., 1927-2012  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Isaac Delgado Museum of Art  Search this
Rickey, George  Search this
Extent:
5 Items (sound cassettes, analog.)
162 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1993 April 23-1998 March 11
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Sue M. Thurman conducted 1993 April 23-1998 March 11, by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art over 7 sessions, in Thurman's home, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Thurman discusses her childhood in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, a major tobacco center; her father's work in retail sales; her early schooling; and the impact on her of the Methodist church, attending Bethel Women's College, and World War II.
Study of studio art and art history at the University of Kentucky; the influence of teachers Ray Barnhart, Cliff Amyx, and Ted Rannells; founding an art deptartment at Wilmington College (a small Quaker college near Cinncinatti, Ohio); marriage to artist Harold Thurman; moving to NYC in 1951 to study art history at Columbia on an American Council of Learned Societies' scholarship; study of communal tribal arts, in particular the transfer of motifs from one medium to another in the Congo, under Paul Wingert, with consultation from Meyer Schapiro, and research in several anthropological collections in NYC; teaching of design at the Barnard School for Boys in the Bronx; returning to Kentucky to direct the Junior Art Gallery at the Louisville Free Public Library and developing it into a program which stressed display of original art and borrowing items from New York dealers; going to New Orleans in 1957 to direct the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art (now the New Orleans Museum of Art) at the urging of sculptor and museum trustee George Rickey, whom Thurman had met when he installed a sculpture in the Louisville library.
The near chaotic situation she faced at the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art due to its understaffing and the involvement of various factions - politicians, socialites and artists; help from George Rickey; enhancing the museum's local presence and stature through an exhibition, "Early Masters of Modern Art" (1959); getting the building renovated and obtaining a professional curator to assist her.
Leaving New Orleans, in 1961, after sucessfully competing for the directorship of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (at the urging of former director Thomas Messer); finding the ICA to be in serious financial trouble; holding a Potlatch event, in which artists contributed work for purchase, which put ICA on stable financial footing and enabled it to move into new quarters in the shopping district; Thurman's cyclical exhibition program from 1963-1967 which featured contemporary artists, regional work, topical issues relating to design, and international shows. She recalls the response to the Edward Kienholz installations in 1966, and an Andy Warhol exhibition which was marred by vandalism by his entourage and led to ICA's eviction from its leased quarters.
Thurman continues her discussion of her tenure at ICA, including exhibitions focusing on themes and various media; its no-collecting policy; display of art from New England museums and from art collected by the federal government for embassies; her belief that art should be allowed to speak for itself through careful installations and absence of intrusive labels; and exhibitions of unconventional media and of contemporary design. She describes her work undertaken for the Ford Foundation, in 1969, to study the effectiveness of its financial support of art schools.
Thurman discusses the ICA's board of trustees, mentioning Charles Withers as someone she felt was an exemplary trustee and her views to exclude art collectors as trustees. She discusses her membership on MIT's Committee for the Arts; her appointment, as a result of her Ford Foundation work, as vice-president for development at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, for a 3-year term (1970-1973), and the difficulties there of imposing changes and raising funds.
Caring for her terminally-ill mother, 1973-1975; returning to Boston and beginning a new career as a general fund raiser; directing a quilt museum in Lowell, Massachusetts; and her beliefs that what sustained her through the years was altruism, acute powers of observation, and determination.
Biographical / Historical:
Sue M. Thurman (1927-2012) was an art administrator in Louisville, Kentucky, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Boston, Massachusetts. Thurman received a M.A. at Bethel Women's College, University of Kentucky, 1950 and in art and archeology from Columbia University in 1953. She taught at Wilmington College, Ohio, 1950-1951, and held directorships at the Junior Art Gallery, Louisville Free Public Library, Kentucky. (1954-1957), the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans, La. (1957-1961), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (1961-1968) and the New England Quilt Museum (1991-1992). She was Vice-President for Development at Cranbrook Academy of Art (1970-1973) and has served as consultant and director to various development and fundraising initiatives.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr., 57 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:
Arts administrators -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Museum directors -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.thurma93
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-thurma93

Oral History interview with Adele Brandeis

Interviewee:
Brandeis, Adele, 1885-1975  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Ky.)  Search this
Index of American Design  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Donahue, Kenneth  Search this
Long, Frank W.  Search this
Morrison, Richard C.  Search this
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Weston, Harold, 1894-1972  Search this
Extent:
27 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 June 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Adele Brandeis conducted 1965 June 1, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art. Brandeis speaks of her involvement on the Index of American Design; murals for the Federal Art Project in Kentucky; Kentucky artists; and Frank Long, Richard Morrison, Henry Varnum Poor, Harold Weston, and Kenneth Donahue.
Biographical / Historical:
Adele Brandeis (1885-1975) was the director of the Federal Art Project and from Louisville, Kentucky.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 4 min.
An interview of Lou Block conducted by H. Phillips is also on this tape.
Provenance:
Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Arts administrators -- Kentucky -- Louisville -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.brande65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-brande65

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