An interview of Herbert Palmer conducted 2004 Dec. 6 and 22, by Susan Ehrlich, for the Archives of American Art, in West Hollywood, Calif.
Palmer discusses his family background and childhood in New York City; early exposure to art exhibitions; music appreciation; attending New York University; taking classes with Winhold Reiss, Meyer Shapiro, Richard Offner, and Heinrich Wolfflin; his master's thesis on Paul Cezanne's paintings of Mount Saint Victoire; moving to California; learning to fly; meeting Lillian, his wife; founding Feigen-Palmer Gallery with Richard Feigen; other galleries in the area, including Irving Blum, David Stuart, Felix Landau, Charles Garabedian, and Joan Ankrum; Monday Night Art Walks; John Cage and David Tudor performance pieces; the many artists he's exhibited; Andy Warhol's "The Kiss"; 1968 split with Richard Feigen to become the Herbert Palmer Gallery; the theft of a Picasso sculpture in Dec. 1981 and the ensuing legal case, which involved numerous galleries and collectors; his longstanding friendships with Gordon Onslow Ford, Lee Mullican, and Wolfgang Paalen; membership to the Art Dealers Association of California; and his enjoyment of discovering art, old and new. Palmer also recalls Henriette Riess, Harold Stevenson, Lucienne Bloch, Bridget Riley, Vasa Mihich, Maillol, Red Grooms, Norman Bluhm, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Herbert Palmer (1915-2006) owned the Herbert Palmer Gallery of West Hollywood, Calif. Interviewer Susan Ehrlich is an art historian from Beverly Hills, Calif.
Originally recorded on 4 mini discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 35 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 Lucienne Bloch conducted by Mary Fuller McChesney and Robert McChesney on 1964 August 11 for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project.
Biographical / Historical:
Lucienne Bloch (1909-1999) was a mural painter in New York, New York.
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 15 min.
This interview 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.
This interview is open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the Federal Art Project (FAP), 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of mostly photographic prints and negatives that document primarily artwork produced by artists employed by the FAP. A smaller number of photographs also document other programs of the FAP, such as art classes and community centers, exhibitions by children and adults, artwork installed in public buildings, project divisions, and demonstrations of art processes by FAP artists.
Scope and Content Note:
The Federal Art Project (FAP), Photographic Division collection dates from circa 1920-1965, with the bulk of the records spanning the active years of the FAP: 1935-1942. The collection comprises 12.4 linear feet of photographic prints and negatives, including photos of FAP artists and the artwork created by them, and other activities of the FAP in communities throughout New York City and other states. Photographers include Andrew Herman, Sol Horn, David Robbins, Leo Seltzer, and others.
Artist files comprise three-quarters of the collection and consist primarily of photographs of artwork, as well as scattered photos of artists at work, including: Charles Alston, Luis Arenal, Richmond Barthe, John Benson, Andrew Berger, Lucille Blanch, Lucienne Bloch, Ilya Bolotowsky, Luise Brann, Selma Burke, Letterio Calapai, Eugene Chodorow, Francis Criss, Stuart Davis, Adolf Dehn, Virginia Dehn, Jose de Rivera, George Pearse Ennis, Philip Evergood, Eugenie Gershoy, Bertram Goodman, Arshile Gorky, Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Donal Hord, Joseph Hovell, William Karp, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Edward Laning, Julian Levi, Audrey McMahon, Elizabeth Olds, Anton Refregier, Will Shuster, William Zorach, and others.
The remainder of the collection consists of files documenting related activities and programs of the FAP, arranged by subject. The bulk of these files document the activities of the New York City FAP, including free art classes and art exhibitions for adults and children, exhibitions at the Harlem Art Center, and the work of FAP branches including the Easel Division, the Graphic Arts Division, and the Poster Division.
Other subjects documented include federal and community art centers in eleven states, most extensively Washington State; other WPA projects such as the Federal Theater Project, the Federal Music Project, and the Federal Writers' Project; buildings decorated with FAP artwork; art processes as demonstrated by FAP artists; special events; and people involved with the FAP, including director Holger Cahill.
One folder contains images that appear to have been taken by Berenice Abbott for the exhibition Changing New York (1935), for the Museum of the City of New York in collaboration with the WPA.
The collection is arranged as 2 series:
Series 1: Artist Files, circa 1920-1965 (Boxes 1-24; 9.6 linear feet)
Series 2: Subject Files, 1934-1956 (Boxes 25-32; 2.8 linear feet)
The Federal Art Project (FAP) was one of the Depression-era work-relief programs of the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). The program was founded in August 1935 to provide employment for artists and to implement visual arts programs in local communities across the country.
Together with the Federal Music Project, the Federal Theater Project, and the Federal Writers' Project, the FAP formed part of the WPA's Federal Project No. 1. The WPA became the Work Projects Administration in 1939 when it fell under the administrative hand of the newly created Federal Works Agency; concurrently the Federal Art Project was officially re-named the Federal Art Program.
Under the direction of Holger Cahill, the goals of the FAP fell into three main areas: production of artwork, art education through art classes and community centers, and art research through the Index of American Design. During the course of the program, artists created murals and other works of art for many non-Federal government buildings such as schools, hospitals, and libraries. Separate photographic divisions were set up in several states, most notably in New York City, to document the work of artists employed by the program, activities in art education such as classes for children and adults, community center outreach programs, and other "Federal 1" projects, including the Federal Theater and Music Projects. Employees of the photographic division were also involved in other assignments, such as creating exhibitions and photo murals.
The Federal Art Project ended in 1943.
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are related collections, including the Federal Art Project of the Work Projects Administration records, 1935-1948. Additional FAP records are held by the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C.
The collection was anonymously donated to the Archives of American Art in the late 1950s.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
A panel discussion sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Arts, moderated by Linda Downs, curator of education. The participants include Lucienne Bloch, Stephen Pope Dimitroff, Linda Anne Downs and Ernst Halberstadt.
Biographical / Historical:
Art museum; Detroit, Mich.
Donated 1980 by the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
An interview of Venezuelan born American paitner, Luchita Hurtado, conducted 1994 May 1-1995 Apr. 13, by Amy Winter and Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, Women in the Arts in Southern California Oral History Project.
1994 May 1 session: The interview focuses on Hurtado's family background; years with her second husband, artist and collector Wolfgang Paalen; the surrealist artist group, Dynaton, living and traveling in Mexico with Paalen, moving to San Francisco and her relationships with artists, collectors; influences on her painting; and Surrealism. Among those mentioned are Rufino and Olga Tamayo, Isamu Noguchi, Gordon Onslow Ford, Jacqueline Johnson, Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varos, Leonora Carrington, Edward James, Lucienne Bloch, Stephen Dimitroff, Grace McCann Morley, Sybil Moholy-Nagy, Jack and Frank Stauffacher, James Broughton, Rene d'Harnoncourt, Julius Karlebach, Herbert (Joe) Spinden, and Robert Motherwell.
April 13, 1995 session: Hurtado continues with a focus on the California years, discussing her reasons for settling there, the Dynaton group and her circle of friends; her third husband, Lee Mullican; the birth of her son Matthew Mullican; her work; California and Mexican imagery; importance of experience and senses, particularly smell, to her creativity and work; importance of her family; and difficulties of pursuing art as a career for a woman, wife and mother; and life in Taos, N.M. She recalls Jean Varda, Shiela and Giles Healey, Mary and Paul Wescher, and Joyce Kozloff.
Biographical / Historical:
Luchita Hurtado (1920-2020) was a painter from Santa Monica, Calif. and Arroyo Seco, N.M. She was born in Caracas, Venezuela.
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. Funding for this interview was provided by the Margery and Harry Kahn Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Communal Fund of New York.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.