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Oral history interview with Ilya Bolotowsky, 1968 March 24-April 7

Interviewee:
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-1997  Search this
Subject:
Albers, Josef  Search this
Browne, Byron  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia  Search this
Drewes, Werner  Search this
Gorky, Arshile  Search this
Greenberg, Clement  Search this
Greene, Balcomb  Search this
Greene, Gertrude  Search this
Hawthorne, Charles Webster  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Johnson, William H.  Search this
Léger, Fernand  Search this
Mondrian, Piet  Search this
Neilson, Raymond P. R. (Raymond Perry Rodgers)  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Olinsky, Ivan G. (Ivan Gregorewitch)  Search this
Ozenfant, Amédée  Search this
Spivak, Max  Search this
Vogel, Joseph  Search this
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
G.R.D. Studio (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Yaddo (Artist's colony)  Search this
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Wyoming
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Concretionists (Group of artists)  Search this
Emigration and immigration  Search this
Experimental films  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- United States  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Playwriting  Search this
Philadelphia Ten (Group of artists)  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Anecdotes  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12377
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212205
AAA_collcode_boloto68
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212205

Oral history interview with Ilya Bolotowsky

Interviewee:
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Creator:
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
G.R.D. Studio (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
United States. Works Progress Administration  Search this
Yaddo (Artist's colony)  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Browne, Byron, 1907-1961  Search this
Dlugoszewski, Lucia, 1931-2000  Search this
Drewes, Werner, 1899-1985  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Greene, Balcomb, 1904-1990  Search this
Greene, Gertrude, 1904-1956  Search this
Hawthorne, Charles Webster, 1872-1930  Search this
Holtzman, Harry  Search this
Johnson, William H., 1901-1970  Search this
Léger, Fernand, 1881-1955  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Neilson, Raymond P. R. (Raymond Perry Rodgers), 1881-1964  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Olinsky, Ivan G. (Ivan Gregorewitch), 1878-1962  Search this
Ozenfant, Amédée, 1886-1966  Search this
Spivak, Max, 1906-1981  Search this
Vogel, Joseph, b. 1911  Search this
Extent:
197 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Wyoming
Date:
1968 March 24-April 7
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Ilya Bolotowsky conducted 1968 March 24-April 7, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Bolotowsky, a lively raconteur, recalls a host of episodes from his personal and professional life. He speaks of his childhood in Russia and Azerbaijan; the effects of war and communism; the family's flight as refugees into Georgia and then to present-day Istanbul; and his early education with a private tutor and at a Jesuit school in Istanbul. Bolotowsky recalls his family's emigration to the United States by ship in 1923; his first impressions of New York City; and early visits to the city's museums. He relates numerous anecdotes about faculty and fellow students at the National Academy of Design, including Ivan Olinsky, Raymond Neilson, Charles Hawthorne, Amedee Ozenfant, and William Henry Johnson.
He speaks of various early exhibitions of his work, including those with the Art Students League, G.R.D. Studio, and the J.B. Neumann Gallery. He also describes a stay at Yaddo in 1934.
Bolotowsky recounts his participation in the Public Works of Art Project as a teacher of art to delinquent children; later work on the mural project of the Works Progress Administration; the picketing of WPA offices, providing anecdotes about Max Spivak and Joseph Vogel; military service during World War II, first working on a Russian dictionary of technical terms and then as a liason officer with the Soviet Air Force in Nome, Alaska.
Upon his return from the military, Bolotowsky immediately resumed his painting career, and describes his involvement with artists' organizations such as the American Abstract Artists, the American Artists' Congress, the Concretionists, the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, and the Ten; he mentions in these contexts such personalities as Byron Browne, Burgoyne Diller, Werner Drewes, Arshile Gorky, Clement Greenberg, Balcomb and Gertrude Greene, Harry Holtzman, Fernand Leger, Piet Mondrian, and Meyer Schapiro.
Bolotowsky gives an extensive description of his experiences filling in for Joseph Albers for a year at Black Mountain College, and goes on to discuss his subsequent teaching positions at the University of Wyoming (including a discussion of the impact of the Wyoming landscape on his painting), Brooklyn College, Southampton College, and SUNY New Paltz. He devotes great attention to the development of his painting, his understanding of neo-plasticism and abstraction, and his efforts in filmmaking and playwriting.
Biographical / Historical:
Ilya Bolotowsky (1907-1981) was a Russian-American abstract painter in New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 12 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 37 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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 others. Funding for the interview was provided by the New York State Council on the Arts.
Restrictions:
ACCESS RESTRICTED; written permission required.
Occupation:
Filmmakers  Search this
Playwrights  Search this
Topic:
Art and state  Search this
Concretionists (Group of artists)  Search this
Emigration and immigration  Search this
Experimental films  Search this
Federal aid to the arts -- United States  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Playwriting  Search this
Philadelphia Ten (Group of artists)  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Anecdotes  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.boloto68
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-boloto68

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