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Oral history interview with Ralph Coburn, 1995 May 25-June 23

Interviewee:
Coburn, Ralph, 1923-  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F  Search this
Subject:
Kelly, Ellsworth  Search this
Nelson, Carl Gustaf  Search this
Netsch, Walter  Search this
Plaut, James S. (James Sachs)  Search this
Polonsky, Arthur  Search this
Saltonstall, Nathaniel  Search this
Swetzoff, Hyman Wulf  Search this
Wilson, John  Search this
Zerbe, Karl  Search this
Boris Mirski Gallery (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Ralph Coburn, 1995 May 25-June 23. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Architecture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Designers -- Massachusetts -- Gloucester -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Gloucester -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
Architecture & Design  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13209
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216509
AAA_collcode_coburn95
Theme:
Architecture & Design
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216509
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Ralph Coburn

Interviewee:
Coburn, Ralph, 1923-  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Boris Mirski Gallery (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Students  Search this
Kelly, Ellsworth, 1923-  Search this
Nelson, Carl Gustaf, 1898-1988  Search this
Netsch, Walter  Search this
Plaut, James S. (James Sachs), 1912-1996  Search this
Polonsky, Arthur  Search this
Saltonstall, Nathaniel, 1903-1968  Search this
Swetzoff, Hyman Wulf, 1920-1968  Search this
Wilson, John, 1922-2015  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
48 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1995 May 25-June 23
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ralph Coburn conducted 1995 May 25 and 1995 June 23, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Coburn's home, Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Coburn talks about his parents and his childhood in Miami Beach, Florida; his early schooling; and entering Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 1941, in its 5-year architecture program. He recalls Walter Netsch, a classmate at MIT, who later became a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who introduced Coburn to modern design and to avant-garde music. He also recalls the painter and head of painting at the Museum of Fine Arts School, Karl Zerbe, his teacher in the course of his work for advanced MIT architecture students. He talks about his return to Florida as a draftsman for an aircraft equipment company in Miami, outfitting planes for the African campaign, and his foreman, a son of Al Capone; then returning to Massachusetts to work with an electrical company making secret military components.
Coburn discusses returning to and dropping out of MIT; working at the Institute of Modern Art in Boston through Hyman Swetzoff; following Swetzoff to the Boris Mirski Gallery; studying at Mirski's art school with Esther Geller and John Wilson and friends made at the school, including Ellsworth Kelly, Arthur Polonsky, and Reed Kaye. He recalls Carl Nelson, one of his teachers. He talks about the change in atmosphere at the Institute with the replacement of Thomas Metcalf by James Plaut and Nathaniel Saltonstall who changed the Institute's name to Institute of Contemporary Art and the protest surrounding the name change.
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph Coburn (1923- ) is an architect, painter, and designer currently living in Gloucester, Massahusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 36 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.
Occupation:
Architects -- Massachusetts  Search this
Topic:
Architecture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Designers -- Massachusetts -- Gloucester -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Gloucester -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.coburn95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9bdafcb74-8cc1-4eb9-a579-5765ce77d004
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-coburn95
Online Media:

Conflict of visions [videorecording] / producer, Tug Yourgrau; editor, Joel Olicker

Creator:
WGBH Educational Foundation  Search this
Names:
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Institute of Modern Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Aldrich, Nelson W.  Search this
Allara, Pamela  Search this
Bloom, Hyman, 1913-  Search this
Chaet, Bernard  Search this
Coburn, Ralph, 1923-  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd, 1897-1987  Search this
Olicker, Joel  Search this
Plaut, James S. (James Sachs), 1912-1996  Search this
Swan, Barbara, 1922-  Search this
Yourgrau, Tug  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (videocassette (VHS) (ca. 30 min), sd., col., 1/2 in.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Interviews
Date:
c1987
Scope and Contents:
Examines the Boston art scene in the late l930s and l940s, where traditional conservative artistic taste clashed with the emerging Boston Expressionists trained at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston School. Focuses on the artists' relationship to the newly formed Institute of Modern Art, and the uproar which resulted when its director, James Plaut, issued a statement viewed as antagonistic to artists explaining the change of name of the museum to the Institute of Contemporary Art. Discussing the events are artists Barbara Swan, Bernard Chaet, Ralph Coburn and Hyman Bloom, ICA director James Plaut and president Nathanial Saltonstall, art historian Pamela Allara, Nelson Aldrich and Lloyd Goodrich.
Publication, Distribution, Etc. (Imprint):
Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, c1987
General:
First broadcast on WGBH January 1988.
Provenance:
Donated in 1993 by the WGBH Educational Foundation.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Museum directors -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Expressionism (Art)  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.wgbhedut
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw948fc6ce9-50b6-41d9-b40c-f9e30b3f3026
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-wgbhedut

Ralph Coburn

Author:
Coburn, Ralph 1923-  Search this
Hall, David H. 1961-  Search this
David Hall Fine Art  Search this
Subject:
Coburn, Ralph 1923-  Search this
Physical description:
[61] p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2007
C2007
Call number:
N6537.C587 A4 2007
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_836455

Ralph Coburn : selected works

Author:
Coburn, Ralph 1923-  Search this
Hall, David H. 1961-  Search this
David Hall Fine Art  Search this
Subject:
Coburn, Ralph 1923-  Search this
Physical description:
96 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2009
C2009
Call number:
N40.1.C64442 D39 20009
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1020110

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