An interview of Robert O. Preusser conducted 1991 January-October, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Preusser discusses the establishment of an art department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his involvement with it first as a visiting lecturer and then as a professor of visual design. He speaks often of Gyorgy Kepes, whom he had known at the Institute of Design, Chicago, in the early 1940s, and who recruited him to M.I.T; he also discusses other faculty members, like Minor White, professor of photography. He gives attention to his courses at M.I.T., 1954-1985; early computer design projects by students; his writings on the importance of visual arts to technology; and his supervision of educational programs at M.I.T.'s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, 1974-85. An extensive part of the interview is held in an exhibition of Preusser's work at the M.I.T. Museum (April 4, 1991), discussing in particular his incorporation of various plastic and metallic materials in his works from the 1960s and 1970s. He speaks as well of the importance of his inclusion in group exhibitions at the Downtown Gallery, New York, ("Newcomers," 1951, and "Recent Arrivals, 1952) and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston ("Collectors Exhibition," 1954), and of his exhibitions at the Boris Mirski Gallery and the Joan Peterson Gallery, Boston, during the 1950s and 1960s, and at various galleries in Houston during the 1980s. Other topics of discussion are his early art instruction in his native Houston, Texas, by the painter Ola McNeill Davidson, 1930-39; further training in painting and design at the Institute of Design, Chicago, 1930-39, 1941-42; Newcomb School of Art at Tulane University, 1940-41; service with a camouflage unit in the U.S. Army, 1942-45; classes at the Art Center School, Los Angeles, 1946-47; his teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1947-54, and at the University of Houston, 1951-54, and his role as co-director of the Houston Contemporary Arts Association, 1948-50.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Preusser (1919-1992) was a painter and art instructor from Houston, Texas and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Poor sound quality. The first 35 minutes of the interview have been lost.
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 18 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.
Correspondence, writings, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, and miscellany.
ADDITION: Biographical material; writings, including notes, drafts, and finished copy for Engel's columns, "Do You Know That?" and "The Bright Palette," manuscripts of articles about collecting autographs, and "Miscellaneous Art Notes-- Michael M. Engel" (1 vol.); art research files; letters from Engel's collection of artists' autographs, many of which are illustrated; and artists' files, containing mainly clippings, exhibition announcements, photographs, and a small amount of correspondence, except for the Hugo Ballin file, which contains a large number of letters with illustrated envelopes.
Also, printed matter, including M. Grumbacher & Co. publicity, promotions, and biographical information on artists featured in their advertisements, articles about Engel and his palette collection, annual exhibition catalogs and other printed matter of Audubon Artists and other art organizations and galleries; photographs and slides of Engel, artists who represented M. Grumbacher & Co., palettes, paintings produced in Grumbacher demonstrations and other works of art, and one album of photographs of paintings by various artists with notes on palettes; files on camouflage, containing printed matter, notes, and photographs; and scrapbooks, including 3 on National Art Week, a WPA-Federal Art Project event, compiled by his wife, Mary Black Diller, an artist active in promoting it, and 3 compiled by Engel containing publicity material on Artists for Victory "Four Freedoms," Florida International Art Exhibition at Grand Central Galleries, and "Wayman Adams Film Painting a Portrait."
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, collector, lecturer, writer; New York, N.Y. Engel worked as public relations director for M. Grumbacher & Co., an artists' supplies firm. He contributed to Art Digest and other magazines, and founded Audubon Artists in 1940.
Donated 1975 by Mary Black Diller, widow of Michael M. Engel, and in 1994-1995, by their son, Michael M. Engel.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Camouflage : proceedings of the International Congress on Uniforms organized by the Royal Museum of Armed Forces and of Military History in co-operations with ICOMAM (Brussels, 13-15 October 2010) / ed. by Ilse Bogaerts & Werner Palinckx = Le camouflage : actes du congrès international sur les uniformes organisé par le Musée royal de l'Armée et d'Histoire militaire en collaboration avec l'ICOMAM (Bruxelles, 13-15 octobre 2010) / ed. par Ilse Bogaerts & Werner Palinckx = De camouflage : akten van het internationale congres over uniformen georganiseerd door het Koninklijk Museum van het Leger en de Krijgeschiedenis in samenwerkig met ICOMAM (Brussel, 13-15 oktober 2010) / uitg. door Ilse Bogaerts & Werner Palinckx
Proceedings of the International Symposium "Camouflage takes centre stage," Brussels, October 13-15, 2010
Camouflage takes centre stage
Camouflage : actes du congrès international sur les uniformes organisé par le Musée royal de l'Armée et d'Histoire militaire en collaboration avec l'ICOMAM (Bruxelles, 13-15 octobre 2010)
Camouflage : akten van het internationale congres over uniformen georganiseerd door het Koninklijk Museum van het Leger en de Krijgeschiedenis in samenwerkig met ICOMAM (Brussel, 13-15 oktober 2010)
International Symposium "Camouflage takes centre stage" (2010 : Brussels, Belgium) Search this