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Fred Mitchell papers

Creator:
Mitchell, Fred, 1923-  Search this
Names:
Mississippi Art Colony  Search this
Gonzales, Justo  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
McQuade, James M.  Search this
Ochman, Jim  Search this
Pajerski, Elizabeth  Search this
Reed, Harry Hope  Search this
Rooney, Peter  Search this
Rucker, Patrick  Search this
Stevens, Dick, 1928-  Search this
Sultz, Phil  Search this
Extent:
14.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Photographs
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Watercolors
Drawings
Date:
1938-2007
Summary:
The papers of Fred Mitchell, 1938-2007, measure 14.3 linear feet. Correspondence, writings, 29 diaries, and subject files, document his personal life and career as a painter and educator in New York City. The papers also include biographical materials, artwork, sketchbooks, printed material, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Fred Mitchell, 1938-2007, measure 14.3 liner feet. Correspondence, writings, 29 diaries, and subject files document his personal life and career as a painter and educator in New York City. The papers also include biographical materials, artwork, sketchbooks, printed material, and photographs.

Among the biographical materials are biographical notes, military records, passports, and resumes. Correspondence includes both professional and personal letters. Correspondents include friends, former students, colleagues, and individuals of romantic interest.

Writings by Mitchell include notebooks containing names and addresses, appointments, lists and a variety of notes. Diaries record Mitchell's personal and professional activities, plans, aspirations, and memories; also, many volumes contain loose items such as printed material, drawings, notes and letters. Other authors represented are Harry Hope Reed, Peter Rooney, and Patrick Rucker.

Subject files maintained by Mitchell concern friends, teaching activities, exhibitions; also, interests in art, dance, poetry, and music. Files on the Mitchell family concern four generations and include Elizabeth Pajerski, his artist sister with whom he sometimes exhibited. There are files on Coenties Slip artists and related exhibitions. Other subjects of note are a Franz Kline traveling exhibition curated by Mitchell, and Mississippi Art Colony. Individuals for whom threre are substantial subject files include Justo Gonzales, James M. McQuade, Jim Ochman, Peter Rooney, John W. ("Dicky") Stevens, and Phil Sultz.

Most artwork is by Mitchell and consists mainly of drawings and sketches. Artwork by others includes drawings and watercolors by Peter Rooney, students, and unidentified artists. Mitchell's sketchbooks (16 volumes) contain sketches, drawings, and a few finished watercolors.

Printed material is about or mentions Mitchell. Included are a variety of items such as exhibition catalogs and announcements, brochures, clippings, press releases, and concert programs. Photographs are of Mitchell with family and friends; artwork by Mitchell and other artists; exhibition installations and openings; and places including the Wall-South neighborhood just before the destruction of his studio and travel pictures.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials,1942-circa 2005 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1947-2004 (Boxes 1-2; 1.9 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1940s-2004 (Boxes 2-3; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Diaries, 1949-2002 (Boxes 4-6; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Subject Files, 1943-2002 (Boxes 6-12; 6 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1940s-2002 (Boxes 12-13; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 7: Sketchbooks, 1955-1993 (Boxes 13, 15; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1938-2004 (Boxes 13-14; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 9: Photographs, 1940s-2002 (Box 14; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Fred Mitchell (1923-2013), a painter and educator who worked in New York City, was among the first artists to open a studio in Coenties Slip on the East River in downtown Manhattan.

A native of Meridian, Mississippi, Madison Fred Mitchell (always called Fred), won a Scholastic Magazine award and his work was shown in its "15th Annual National High School Art Exhibit" held at the museum of the Carnegie Institute in 1942. Mitchell studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology for a year before entering the U. S. Army. After World War II ended, he resumed his education at Cranbrook Academy of Art (BFA 1946 and MFA 1956). He moved to New York in 1951 and became a member of the "Downtown Group." In 1952 he was among the organizers of Tanager Gallery and in 1954 founded the Coenties Slip School of Art.

Mitchell enjoyed a long career as a highly regarded teacher of drawing, painting, and art history. He taught at Finch College, the Positano Art Workshop in Italy, and Cranbrook Academy in the 1950s. During the 1960s, he was affiliated with Downtown Art Center at Seamens Church Institute in Coenties Slip, New York University, Cornell University, and Ithaca College. In the early 1970s Mitchell taught at Queens College, and from the mid-1980s-early 2000s served on the faculties of Parsons School of Design, Art Students League of New York, and City University of New York's Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.

He exhibited widely in group shows and solo exhibitions in the New York area and throughout the United States. Among these venues were: Howard Wise Gallery, Meridian Museum, Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute, State University of New York Binghamton, University of Oregon, and Whitney Museum of American Art.

After several years of declining health, Fred Mitchell died in New York City in 2013.
Provenance:
Fred Mitchell donated a small amount of printed material and photographs in 1972. The majority of the papers were donated in 2013 by Fred Pajerski, Fred Mitchell's nephew.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Photographs
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Watercolors
Drawings
Citation:
Fred Mitchell papers, 1938-2007. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.mitcfred
See more items in:
Fred Mitchell papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mitcfred
Online Media:

Zoltan L. Sepeshy papers, 1958-1965

Creator:
Sepeshy, Zoltan L. (Zoltan Leslie), 1898-1974  Search this
Subject:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Hills  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9225
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211420
AAA_collcode_sepezolt
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211420

Rockwell Kent letters to Robert T. Hatt, 1935-1936

Creator:
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Subject:
Hatt, Robert T. (Robert Torrens)  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Topic:
Graphic arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)10376
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213710
AAA_collcode_kentrocl
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_213710

Adela Akers papers

Creator:
Akers, Adela, 1933-  Search this
Names:
Tyler School of Art  Search this
Extent:
2.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Date:
1960-2009
Summary:
The papers of fiber artist and educator Adela Akers measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1960 to 2009. Her career as an artist and her tenure at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, are documented through scattered biographical material; correspondence; subject files on galleries, projects, weaving technique, research, workshops, and fiber arts organizations; writings; exhibition announcements, clippings, and other printed material; photographs; and artwork, including one sketchbook.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of fiber artist and educator Adela Akers measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1960 to 2009. Her career as an artist and her tenure at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, are documented through scattered biographical material; correspondence; subject files on galleries, projects, weaving technique, research, workshops, and fiber arts organizations; writings; exhibition announcements, clippings, and other printed material; photographs; and artwork, including one sketchbook.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1970s, 1991-1998 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1985-1987 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 3: Subject Files, 1960-2007 (Box 1; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1973-1995 (Box 1; 3 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1962-2009 (Box 1-2, 6; 6 folders)

Series 6: Photographic Materials, 1960-2008 (Box 2-3; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1960s-1980s (Box 3-6, OV 7; 1.1 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Adela Akers (1933- ) is a fiber artist and educator living and working in Guerneville, California.

Akers was born in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and was raised in Havana, Cuba. She came to the United States as a student in 1957 and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 1965 she served as a weaving advisor in Peru for the Alliance for Progress and was an artist in residence at Penland School of Crafts from 1968-1970. From 1972 to 1995 Akers was a professor and chair of fiber arts at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her weavings consist of zigzags, checkerboard patterns, and simple geometric shapes.
Related Material:
Also found at the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Adela Akers, 2008 Mar. 4-6, conducted by Mija Riedel.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in 2009 and 2011 by Adela Akers.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Educators -- California  Search this
Fiber artists -- California  Search this
Weaving -- Technique  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Adela Akers papers, 1960-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.akeradel
See more items in:
Adela Akers papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-akeradel

Marianne Strengell papers

Creator:
Strengell, Marianne, 1909-1998  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Hammarstrom, Olav, 1906-2002  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Date:
1904-1980s
Summary:
The papers of weaver, fiber artist and educator Marianne Strengell date from 1904 to the 1980s and measure 1.5 linear feet. The scattered papers focus on Strengell's career as an artist and include biographical materials, correspondence, writings, six scrapbooks, printed material, photographs, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of weaver, fiber artist and educator Marianne Strengell date from 1904 to the 1980s and measure 1.5 linear feet. The scattered papers focus on Strengell's career as an artist and include biographical materials, correspondence, writings, six scrapbooks, printed material, photographs, and artwork.
Biographical / Historical:
Finnish-American textile artist Marianne Strengell (1909-1998) was known for the use of synthetic fibers in her work. She was an educator and was at the Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1937 to 1962.

Born in Helsinki, Finland in 1909, Marianne Strengell studied industrial arts at a Helsinki university. She spent her early career designing textiles and rugs throughout Scandinavia but came to the United States in 1936. Strengell was invited to teach at the Cranbrook Academy of Art by Eliel Saarinen, a family friend. She began as a professor but became the head of the Department of Weaving and Textile Design after the retirement of Loja Saarinen. Strengell focused on texture in her weavings and often used synthetic fibers. She took many commissions during her career, including many for automotive companies in Detroit. Also, she exhibited her works at institutions and in print.

Under the United States government in 1951, Strengell travelled to the Philippines to establish weaving as a cottage industry. In the mid-1960s she acted as a consultant on textile production to the United Nations Technical Assistance Administration with her husband, Olav Hammarstrom.

Marianne Strengell married fellow Cranbrook artist Charles Yerkes Dusenbury in 1940. They had two children but divorced in 1949. Later, she married architect Olav Hammarstorm.
Related Materials:
Additional papers are held at the Cranbrook Archives, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Provenance:
Along with her husband Olav Hammarstrom, Marianne Strengell donated her papers to the Archives of American Art in 1982-1983 and 1989.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Fiber artists -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Hills  Search this
Weavers -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Hills  Search this
Educators -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Hills  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Textile crafts  Search this
Weaving  Search this
Finnish Americans  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Citation:
Marianne Strengell papers, 1904-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.stremari
See more items in:
Marianne Strengell papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-stremari

Paul Suttman papers

Creator:
Suttman, Paul, 1933-1993  Search this
Names:
American Academy in Rome  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Extent:
9.9 Linear feet
8 Items (rolled docs)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Date:
1947-1998
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material, correspondence, subject and teaching files, photographs, works of art, financial records, motion picture film and video recordings, and printed material concerning Suttman and his career as a sculptor and educator.
Biographical material includes address books, resumes, diplomas, awards, academic records, health records, obitutaries for Paul Suttman and a guest book from his funeral, 1993. Correspondence is with dealers, galleries and artists. Included are one illustrated letter from Mimi Gross and Red Grooms to Elisse and Paul Suttman and Edward C. Flood, ca. 1968 and one illustrated letter from Mimi Gross and Red Grooms to Elisse and Paul Suttman, Sept. 19, 1971. Subject and teaching files concern Cranbrook Academy of Art, the University of Michigan, Italy (1962-1965), the American Academy in Rome (1965-1968), Roswell, Rome and Pieve (1970-1975), University of New Mexico (1975-1979), Texas A & M, Columbia University.
Photographs are of Suttman as well as slides of works of art. Works of art include studies, sketches and sketcbhooks. Financial material includes expense and income records. Motion picture and videos consist of 3 reels of 16mm film by Paul Suttman, 1965, including one untitled art film shot at the American Academy of Rome, and 1 VHS copy of the 16mm film; 1 VHS tape of an exhibition and the Suttman house and studio; and 1 VHS biography of Suttman composed by his son Mark Bertin, 1993-1995. Printed material includes press books, 1958-1995, exhibition catalogs, brochures and newspaper clippings. Also found are material regarding the Paul Suttman memorial fund, memorial projects, and the Paul Suttman catalog raisonné, organized by Virginia Bush Suttman.
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor and educator. b. 1933; d. 1993 Suttman studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, The American Academy in Rome.
Provenance:
Donated 2005 by Virginia Bush Suttman, Suttman's widow.
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:
Sculptors -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Video recordings
Identifier:
AAA.suttpaul
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-suttpaul

Oral history interview with Harvey K. Littleton

Interviewee:
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Interviewer:
Byrd, Joan Falconer  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
American Craft Council  Search this
Ann Arbor Potters Guild  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
Corning Glass Works  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Midwest Designer-Craftsmen  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Handicrafts  Search this
Pilchuck School  Search this
Renwick Gallery  Search this
University of Michigan -- Students  Search this
Braden, Norah, 1901-  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eisch, Erwin, 1927-  Search this
Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998  Search this
Hamada, Shōji, 1894-1978  Search this
Marioni, Dante, 1964-  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Turner, Robert Chapman, 1913-2005  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Extent:
36 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 March 15
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Harvey K. Littleton conducted 2001 March 15, by Joan Falconer Byrd, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Littleton's home, Spruce Pine, N.C.
Littleton speaks of his family background including the work of his father [Jesse Talbot Littleton] at Corning Glassworks, and his early experiences with glass at Corning. He discusses his studies at the University of Michigan in physics and his switch to sculpture; his studies at Cranbrook Academy, in 1941, and his teachers Marshall Fredericks and Carl Milles; his studies on industrial design; becoming a potter; and working at Corning Glassworks, in the summers, inspecting hand-blown coffee pots and top-of-the-stove ware. He discusses his service in the 849th Signal Intelligence Unit in North Africa and Italy during WWII; studying with Norah Braden, at the Brighton School of Art, in England; the importance of, "A Potter's Book," by Bernard Leach; teaching pottery at night, in Ann Arbor, Michigan; the beginnings of the Ann Arbor Potters Guild; making his own potters' wheels; serving on the board of Penland School of Crafts; the development of "American" art and the impact of the GI Bill on the creation and expansion of art departments; the "master-slave apprentice system"; "the genius of Shoji Hamada"; the properties of porcelain; artist communities at Penland and Cranbrook; the influence of Bill Brown, director of the Penland School of Crafts; art education and the impact of the MFA; Black Mountain College, Pilchuck Glass School, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; problems with the European educational system; the importance of Erwin Eisch's work on his development; his relationship with galleries and museums, particularly the Museum of Modern Art, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and American Craft Museum; and consignment laws. He also comments on the founding of the Midwest Designer Craftsmen; his involvement with the American Crafts Council (ACC) and the distinction between "the indigenous craftsman" and the "artist-craftsman"; American Crafts Council fairs; his printmaking; his techniques of sandblasting; teaching vitreography; and his plans for opening a print gallery. He recalls Charles Eames, Peter Voulkos, Shoji Hamada, Robert Turner, Dante Marioni, Fritz Dreisbach, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Harvey K. Littleton (1922- ) is a glass artist, potter, sculptor, and printmaker from Wisconsin and Spruce Pine, N.C. Joan Falconer Byrd (1939-) ia a professor in the art department of Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, N.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 10 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:
Glass artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Potters -- Interviews  Search this
Pottery -- Study and teaching -- United States.  Search this
Printmakers -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Prints -- Technique  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.little01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-little01

Oral history interview with J. Fred Woell

Interviewee:
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Boy Scouts of America  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Wisconsin--Madison -- Students  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Extent:
75 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 June 6-2002 January 19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of J. Fred Woell conducted 2001 June 6-2002 January 19, by Donna Gold, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in the artist's home and studio, Deer Isle, Maine.
Woell speaks of his childhood and the impact of many moves; his affiliation with the Presbyterian Church; his experiences at Park College and the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, studying economics and political science; and the influence of jewelry teacher Robert Von Neumann. Woell describes his experience in the masters program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and refers again to his early childhood noting his participation in Boy Scouts and how it engendered his respect for the environment. He also mentions collecting baseball cards and rocks; the absence of a peer group; and his lack of confidence. He discusses his affinity for open space and unpopulated places; his enjoyment of camping, kayaking with his wife Pat; and notes that his views of nature mirror those of Taoists. He cites effective teaching techniques and comments on secondary school curricula. He discusses a cover story about his work in Metalsmith and his mother's response; his early art classes and interest in drawing cartoons; his tendency to be a clown; his participation in an American-Legion-sponsored event called Boys State; artists as purveyors of culture; and the premise for a workshop titled "Art by Accident." Woell speaks of influence of a John Cage performance at University of Illinois and subsequently contacting Cage; and teaching at Boston University, Haystack, and elsewhere. Woell also provides thoughtful commentary on the teaching style and learning process at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He discusses in some detail the strong influence of Vincent Campanella and Frank Gallo on his work; sharing a workbench with Bob von Neumann; recording and saving ideas; drawing preliminary sketches for jewelry; and his early sculptures of helmets and spoons. He describes and interprets his piece, "Come Alive, You're in the Pepsi Generation," and he comments on found-object pieces that were inspired by Scouting and cartooning. Woell explains how his environmental concerns inform his work and argues that art has a healing function. He remarks on meeting and marrying Kathleen, his first wife; his one-man show at Garth Clark Gallery; and how his work is part of an American, rather than international, tradition. Woell discusses his relationship with galleries including Helen Drutt in Philadelphia, Sybaris Gallery in Royal Oak, Michigan, Connell Gallery in Atlanta, and Mobilia in Cambridge, Massachusetts He points out the value of being included in publications such as, "Metalsmith," "Jewelers Circular Keystone," "Ornament," "American Craft," "Craft Horizon," and "Craft Report." He speaks about commissions for institutions and individuals and describes his current obligation to Haystack and his plans for his retirement, which includes exploring photography and making videos. Woell also describes his typical workday and his symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and dyslexia. He recalls Peter Voulkos, Jennifer Burton, Francis Sumner Merritt, Ronald Pearson, Georg Jensen, Audrey Handler, Jerry Brown, Jon Wilson, and others.
On January 19, 2002 Woell added an addendum to the interview which included remarks about September 11, 2001 acts of terrorism in the U.S.
Biographical / Historical:
J. Fred Woell (1934-) is a jeweler and metalsmith from Deer Isle, Maine. Donna Gold (1953-) is an art critic from Stockton Springs, Maine.
General:
Originally recorded on 6 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 43 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:
Jewelers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.woell01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woell01

Oral history interview with Lilian Swann Saarinen

Interviewee:
Saarinen, Lilian Swann, 1912-1995  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Archipenko, Alexander, 1887-1964  Search this
Warneke, Heinz (Heinrich), 1895-1983  Search this
Extent:
93 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1979-1981
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Lilian Swann Saarinen conducted in three installments between 1979-1981, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Cambridge, Mass.
Saarinen speaks of her childhood in New York; her training with Alexander Archipenko and Heinz Warneke; a ceramic relief for the Crow Island School, Winnetka, Ill.; ceramic and metal reliefs for architecture; the Cranbrook Academy of Art; her drawings and her sculpture.
Biographical / Historical:
Lilian Swann Saarinen (1912-1995) was a sculptor from Cambridge, Mass.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 40 min.
Audio quality varies greatly in this interview. Tape speed and volume are uneven.
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Sculptors -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.saarin79
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-saarin79

Oral history interview with Michael Cohen

Interviewee:
Cohen, Michael, 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
Williams, Gerald, 1926-2014  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Massachusetts College of Art  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Burke, Ron  Search this
Glick, John Parker, 1938-  Search this
Goodwin, Harriet  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Merritt, Francis Sumner, 1913-2000  Search this
Sedestrom, Bob  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Wyman, William, 1922-1980  Search this
Extent:
37 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 August 11
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Michael Cohen conducted 2001 August 11, by Gerry Williams, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at his home, in Pelham, Massachusetts.
Cohen speaks of his childhood, living outside of Boston, Massachusetts; his first adventures in art; attending Mass Art; his attraction to clay; his mentors; his first job with Bill Wyman; joining the Army; his travels; his unhappy experience at Cranbrook Academy of Art; his first studio in his mother's basement; enjoying his first summer at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the other schools of craft; how his pottery is meant to be functional; his fear of dying at 59 and the great sculptural work he did in that year; exhibition shows and how they have changed over the course of his career; why he's moved to primarily making tiles; apprenticeship and the benefits of paying your apprentices; how expensive being in the pottery business has become; various teaching and workshop experiences; local pottery guilds he is a part of; the creation and design of his studio space; technological advances in the field and the distinctive tools he loves to use; specialized periodicals that he reads or looks at; what makes a pot beautiful; limitations in clay; commissions and the lack of benefits involved with commissions; the permanent collections of museums that he is a part of; how he thinks he will be remembered; his most memorable exhibitions; where he gets his ideas from; social and political issues he's involved in and how he does not include them in his work; the craft organizations; curators he's enjoyed working with; his ex-wife Harriet Goodwin and how their collaboration was important to his work. Cohen also recalls Francis Merritt, Bernard Leach, Peter Voulkos, Ron Burke, John Glick, Bob Sedestrom, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Michael Cohen (1936-) is a ceramist from Amherst, Massachusetts. Gerry Williams (1926-) is the editor of Studio Potter from Goffstown, New Hampshire.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr.; 6 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.
Restrictions:
For more information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- Massachusetts -- Interview  Search this
Topic:
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramics. -- Economic aspects  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cohen01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cohen01

Oral history interview with Francis Sumner Merritt

Interviewee:
Merritt, Francis Sumner, 1913-2000  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Flint Institute of Arts  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Extent:
61 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1979 May 25-June 25
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Francis Sumner Merritt conducted 1979 May 25-June 25, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Merritt speaks of his education at art schools in Boston and at Yale; his career as a painter during the Depression; teaching at the Cranbrook Academy of Art; his tenure at the Flint (Michigan) Institute of Arts, 1947-1951; and the development of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts at Liberty and then at Deer Isle, Me.
Biographical / Historical:
Francis Sumner Merritt (1913-2000) was a painter, designer, art administrator, and the founder of Haystack Mountan School of Craftsof Deer Isle, Me. He studied at the Vesper George School of Art, the San Diego Academy of Fine Arts, the Massachusetts School of Art, and the Yale Univ. School of Fine Arts. Merritt taught at Bradford Junior College and was head of art department. He died Dec. 27, 2000, at age 87.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 14 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Arts administrators -- Maine -- Deer Isle  Search this
Topic:
Designers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Educators -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Depressions -- 1929  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.merrit79
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-merrit79

Oral history interview with Michael W. Monroe

Interviewee:
Monroe, Michael W.  Search this
Creator:
Herman, Lloyd E.  Search this
Names:
Bellevue Art Museum (Wash.)  Search this
Smithsonian American Art Museum. Renwick Gallery  Search this
Extent:
8 Items (sound files (3 hr., 59 min.) Audio, digital, wav)
71 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2018 January 22-March 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Michael W. Monroe conducted 2018 January 22-March 1, by Lloyd Herman, for the Archives of American Art, at the home of Michael Monroe and at the home of Lloyd Herman, in Seattle, Washington.
Monroe speaks of his childhood in Racine, Wisconsin; his Danish immigrant community and early exposure to Danish design; early experiences of art-making; his art and teaching education at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee; experiences with Midwestern art museums in adolescence and young adulthood; his graduate art education at the Cranbrook Academy of Art; his work as gallery director at SUNY Oneonta in the early 1970s; his approach to evaluating and curating craftwork; his curatorial tenure and close collaboration with Herman at the Renwick Gallery; securing the Renwick's Albert Paley gates; his lifestyle in the Washington, DC area; the American craft movement's shift towards the marketplace, social media, and quick do-it-yourself methods; organizing the "Craft Multiples" traveling exhibition; the beginning of the Renwick's collections policy; organizing "Celebration: A World of Art and Ritual;" organizing the White House Collection of Crafts and its eventual transfer to the Clinton Presidential Library; his continued involvement with the craft world after retirement from the Renwick; his tenure as executive director of the Bellevue Arts Museum; his mentorship of young craft artists; and his sense of the past and future of American crafts. Monroe also recalls Sylvester Jerry, Cherry Barr Jerry, Robert Verizer, Robert Kidd, George Ortman, Julius Schmidt, Richard DeVore, Steve Frykholm, Jon Eric Riis, Arturo Sandoval, Gretchen Bellinger, Bernadette Monroe, Robert Arneson, David Gilhooly, William Harper, Wendell Castle, Françoise Grossen, Claire Zeisler, Sarah Booth Conroy, Sheila Hicks, Dale Chihuly, Arthur Mason, Jane Mason, Betty Ford, Joan Mondale, Rosalynn Carter, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Paul Gottlieb, Peter Joseph, Matthew Kangas, Mark Haley, Nora Atkinson, and others. Herman recalls Susan Mellon, Joshua Taylor, Paul Gardner, Charles Eldredge, Elizabeth Broun, Paul Smith, Rose Slivka, Diane Douglas, Janet Kardon, William Morris, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Michael W. Monroe (1940- ) is director emeritus of the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington. Lloyd Herman (1936- ) is the founding director (emeritus) of the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. who resides in Seattle, Washington.
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.
Restrictions:
The transcript and recording are open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Arts administrators -- Washington (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Arts administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Arts administrators -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Arts -- Management  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Curators -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Curators -- Washington (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.monroe18
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-monroe18

Oral history interview with Fred Meyer

Interviewee:
Meyer, Fred  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Kansas City Art Institute  Search this
Rochester Institute of Technology  Search this
School for American Crafts  Search this
Extent:
3 Items (sound files Sound recording, digital, wav file)
34 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1982 May
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Fred (Frederick R.) Meyer conducted 1982 May, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Meyer speaks of his art activities as a youth in Wis.; his training at the Cranbrook Academy of Art; and his teaching positions at Cranbrook, the Kansas City Art Institute, the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester, N.Y., and the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Biographical / Historical:
Fred Meyer (1922-1986) was a painter, sculptor, and educator of Scottsville, N.Y. Full name Frederick R. Meyer.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 2 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 others.
Topic:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.meyer82
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-meyer82

Fred Meyer papers

Creator:
Meyer, Fred  Search this
Names:
Rochester Institute of Technology  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1959-1982
Scope and Contents:
Thirty-eight letters (1975-1982) include correspondence from Midtown Galleries, the Allentown Art Museum, Gallery St. Paul, and the National Academy of Design concerning Meyer's work, letters from theaters reviewing scripts submitted by Meyer, 2 letters from friends, and 3 letters from his son Michael. The collection also contains outlines for teaching assignments (1959-1969) used in Meyer's classes at the Rochester Institute of Technology, a 21-page script for a skit "R.I.T. in Orbit", and 4 exhibition announcements (1968-1982).
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor and playwright. Born 1922. Full name Frederick R. Meyer. Meyer was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and received his art education at Cranbrook Academy of Art and the universities of Wisconsin and Notre Dame. He has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute, Wayne University, Rochester Institute of Technology, the School of Art and Design and the School for American Craftsmen. His first one-man show was held in 1949 at Midtown Galleries and in 1955 he won a Ford Fellowship for a year in Italy. He is represented in the collections of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Everson Museum, Little Rock Museum of Fine Art, and many private collections.
Provenance:
Donated 1983 by Meyer.
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:
Art teachers -- United States  Search this
Sculptors -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching -- United States  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.meyefred
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-meyefred

Jack Lenor Larsen papers

Creator:
Larsen, Jack Lenor, 1927-2020  Search this
Names:
Josef Albers Foundation  Search this
Abakanowicz, Magdalena  Search this
Constantine, Mildred  Search this
Drutt, Helen Williams  Search this
Mondale, Walter F., 1928-  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Tillich, Hanna  Search this
Wood, Beatrice  Search this
Extent:
3.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiocassettes
Photographs
Sound recordings
Interviews
Video recordings
Date:
1941-2003
Summary:
The Jack Lenor Larsen papers measure 3.7 linear feet and date from 1941-2003. Larsen was a renowned weaver and designer, entrepreneur, and a scholar who wrote and lectured on modernist design. His career in the New York design world is documented by biographical materials, correspondence, writings by and about him, various printed materials and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The Jack Lenor Larsen papers measure 3.7 linear feet and date from 1941-2003. Larson was a renowned weaver and designer, entrepreneur, and a scholar who wrote and lectured on modernist design. His career in the New York design world is documented by biographical materials, correspondence, writings by and about him, various printed materials and photographs.

Found are biographical materials and artifacts including items from his early years, 4 volumes of daily planners and numerous awards. Correspondence includes letters from notables such as Isamu Noguchi, Walter F. Mondale, and various craft artists such as Helen W. Drutt English, Magdalena Abakanowicz, and Beatrice Wood, and author Hannah Tillich, widow of Paul Tillich. Business correspondence is from museums, professional societies, magazines and other organizations such as the Josef Albers Foundation. Larsen also curated textile exhibitions and there are records pertaining to these exhibitions.

There are a substantial number of writings, lectures and speeches by Larsen, and proofs of a book he co-authored with Mildred Constantin, Beyond Craft: The Art of Fabric. Also found are writings about Larsen and 3 interviews with him including a 1965 videotaped interview, 2 transcribed interviews, and an audio tape of Larsen's talk "Personal Perspective," presented at a conference of the American Craft Council.

Photographs show Larsen and his employees at work and at professional events. Photographs removed from albums retain their original order. Lastly, there are printed materials include catalogs and announcements, newspaper and magazine clippings, and press and promotional materials.
Arrangement:
The Jack Lenor Larsen papers are organized into 7 series based primarily on record type and arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1941-2001, (Box 1, 5; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1958-2003, (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 3: Exhibition Records, 1986-1990, (Boxes 1-2; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1950-2003, (Boxes 2-3; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Photographs, 1970-1992, (Box 3, 5; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1972-2002, (Boxes 4-5; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Audio Recordings, 1965, (Box 4; 0.1 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Jack Lenor Larsen (b. 1927), based in New York and of international reputation, has been deeply involved in the design of hand woven fabric and its application to modernist interior design. An international entrepreneur, Larsen also has written books on design and has been a frequent lecturer.

Larsen was born in Seattle, Washington to parents of Canadian/Scandinavian descent; his father was a building contractor. Larsen studied architecture at the University of Washington and became interested in materials design, receiving his M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1951. Following graduation, he opened a studio in New York and established Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated. Just months later, Larsen successfully competed for the commission to design draperies for the important glass walled Lever House building on Park Avenue designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

Larsen was highly successful in marketing his ideas and innovations, which included combining metallic thread with natural polished linen and hand woven fabrics consisting of varied yarns in random and repeating patterns. This later style of fabric became known as the "Larsen Look" and was synonymous with modern design. Larsen's firm successfully adapted technological advances to fabric design but also used ancient techniques; they were first to design fabrics for jet air planes, stretch upholsestry and printed velvets.

In 1958-1960, Larsen represented the United States Department of State in Vietnam and Taiwan, studying those countries' crafts with the goal of developing industry to create jobs and products for export. Larsen then saw the opportunity for international fabric design and production. He travelled to Latin America, Africa and Asia to study local crafts and weaving with an eye towards business opportunites, focusing on hand spun and hand woven silks. By the 1990s Larsen was producing fabric in over 30 countries. In 1997, Jack Lenor Larsen, Inc. merged with the British fabric house, Cowtan and Tout and became the United States subsidiary of the British company, Colefax and Fowler.

Many museums have collected and/or exhibited Larsen fabrics. Notable among them are The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musee des Arts Decoratifs (in the Louvre Museum), Museum of Modern Art, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In addition, Larsen is the author of several books relating to fabric and fabric design including Material Wealth: Living with Luxurious Fabrics (an international survey of contemporary fabric design) and an autobiography, Jack Lenor Larsen: A Weaver's Memoir.
Provenance:
The records were donated to the Archives in 2004 by Jack Lenor Larsen in connection with the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Weavers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Textile design -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Modernism (Art)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiocassettes
Photographs
Sound recordings
Interviews
Video recordings
Citation:
Jack Lenor Larsen papers, 1941-2003. Archives of America Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.larsjack
See more items in:
Jack Lenor Larsen papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-larsjack
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Kidd

Interviewee:
Kidd, Robert, 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
O'Korn, Jean  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette (Sound recording)
47 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound cassettes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1981 July 13
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert Kidd conducted 1981 July 13, by Jean O'Korn, for the Archives of American Art.
Kidd speaks of his family and educational background, student life and his teaching position at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, his influences, his techniques, his philosophy of work and his future plans.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Kidd (1936- ) was a weaver from Birmingham, Mich.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' 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.
Occupation:
Weavers -- Michigan -- Interviews  Search this
Weavers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kidd81
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kidd81

Tony Hepburn papers

Creator:
Hepburn, Tony  Search this
Extent:
4.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1967-2007
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material, letters and copies of electronic mail, writings, artwork, photographs, audio visual material, printed material and miscellaneous material relating to Tony Hepburn's career as a sculptor and educator.
Biographical material includes school yearbooks and certificates. Letters and e-mails are from business associates, university colleagues, and friends. Writings include various notebooks, many of which include notes and sketches, typed transcripts of lectures and typed essays by Hepburn and daily notes. Photographs are of Hepburn and his artwork. Printed material includes journals and newspaper clippings of reviews, exhibition catalogs, and publications by the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Audio visual material includes three VHS tapes, one of a workshop in Tulane, La., 1989; another of a Symposium in San Jose, Calif., 1985, in which Hepburn participated; and one tape labeled "Tony Marsh Wall Project," undated. Miscellaneous material includes travel records, an address book, and pricing lists.
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor, art teacher; Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; b. 1942
Provenance:
Donated in 2008 by Tony Hepburn.
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:
Sculptors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Educators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.hepbtony
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hepbtony

Oral history interview with Mary Lee Hu

Interviewee:
Hu, Mary Lee, 1943-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
American Craft Council  Search this
Cleveland Institute of Art -- Students  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Lawrence Arts Center  Search this
Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale -- Students  Search this
University of Washington -- Faculty  Search this
Baldridge, Mark S., 1946-  Search this
Choo, Chunghi  Search this
Christensen, Hans, 1924-1983  Search this
Dingeldein, Otto  Search this
Eikerman, Alma  Search this
Farafol, Daphne  Search this
Fenster, Fred, 1934-  Search this
Fike, Phillip G., 1927-1997  Search this
Halper, Vicki  Search this
Ho, Ron  Search this
Kidman, Hero  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Marshall, John, 1936-  Search this
Matsukata, Miye, 1922-1981  Search this
Matzdorf, Kurt  Search this
McMurray, James  Search this
Moty, Eleanor  Search this
Noffke, Gary  Search this
Pujol, Eleanor  Search this
Seppä, Heikki  Search this
Turner, Gary  Search this
Warashina, Patti, 1940-  Search this
Extent:
8 Items (Sound recording: 8 wav files (5 hr., 42 min.), digital)
163 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Afghanistan -- Description and Travel
Australia -- Description and Travel
China -- Description and Travel
Indonesia -- Description and Travel
Iran -- Description and Travel
Nepal -- Description and Travel
Ohio -- Description and Travel
Papua New Guinea -- Description and Travel
Tibet (China) -- Description and Travel
Turkey -- description and travel
Date:
2009 March 18-19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Mary Lee Hu conducted 2009 March 18-19, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Hu's home and studio, in Seattle, Washington.
Hu speaks of growing up outside Cleveland, Ohio; her early interest in making objects; attending the Lawrence Art Center camp in Kansas at the age of 16 where she first experimented with metals; her like of working with tools in order to create something; taking metal smith classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art during high school; attending Miami University in Ohio for two years followed by two years an Cranbrook Academy of Art; working as a TA with L. Brent Kington at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale; her collaborative work in both textiles and metals while at Carbondale which lead to her first experimentation in weaving silver wire; creating a body of work for her Master's thesis in which all the pieces were woven wire; various works, their origins, when, where and why they were created, including her Neckpiece, Choker, Bracelet, Brooch and Ring series; her aesthetic interest in patterns, line and positive/negative space; a limited interest in and use of color in her work; the transition from silver to gold wire; a progressively larger interest in the history of jewelry and body adornment which eventually became a lecture at the University of Washington, where she taught for 26 years; numerous trips around the world to countries such as China, Tibet, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia; a strong interest in ethnic and native jewelry/body adornment practices; the various purposes which jewelry can serve in society; her involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths and the American Craft Council; her technique based teaching practices; the role that modern technology plays in teaching, learning, and making jewelry; the lack of support and funds for metals programs in universities around the country; her library, which includes aver 2,000 books about the history of jewelry and body adornment; her collection of jewelry from around the world; her want to create beautiful and functional jewelry; the public and private aspects to jewelry and it's role in museums; current projects and the importance to maintain interest of metals in younger generations. Hu also recalls Gary Turner, Hans Christensen, Otto Dingeldein, Heikki Seppä, Hero Kielman, Phil Fike, Patti Warashina, Gary Noffke, Elliott Pujol, Chonghi Choo, Daphne Farafo, Vicki Halper, Ron Ho, Miye Matsukata, Alma Eikermann, Mark Baldridge, Kurt Matzdorf, Eleanor Moty, Fred Fenster, John Marshall, James McMurray, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Mary Lee Hu (1943- ) is a metalsmith in Seattle, Washington. Smith was educated at Cranbrook Academy of Art and Southern Illinois University. She teaches at the University of Washington.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 43 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:
Body adornment  Search this
Jewelry  Search this
Jewelry making -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Jewelry making -- Technique  Search this
Metal-workers -- Washington (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.hu09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hu09

Maija Grotell papers

Creator:
Grotell, Maija  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Extent:
2 Linear feet ((on 2 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1923-1973
Scope and Contents:
Biographical materials, correspondence, awards, photographs, and printed materials relating to the career of the noted ceramist and teacher who devoted the last quarter century of her life to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Correspondence consists chiefly of letters received from museums, colleagues (including Charles Eames), friends and former students. Other materials include biographical sketches, resumes, exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings, scrapbook fragments, a file relating to students and colleagues, a register of funeral visitors, numerous personal and family photographs and five photo albums of Grotell and her work.
Biographical / Historical:
Ceramist and educator. Born 1899. Died 1973. After several years as a textile designer in her native Finland, Grotell immigrated to the United States in 1927. For a short time she studied with Charles Fergus Binns and from 1938 to 1966 she headed the ceramics department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. During this period, the height of her career, she became one of the leaders in the development of ceramics as a medium of artistic expression. In addition, her research on glazes for Eero Saarinen made possible the widespread architectural use of colored glazed bricks.
Related Materials:
Slides of Grotell's work located at the George Arents Research Library for Special Collections, Syracuse University.
Provenance:
Order and arrangement is that of the George Arents Research Library for Special Collections, Syracuse University.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- Michigan  Search this
Topic:
Pottery -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women artists -- Michigan  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.grotmaij
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-grotmaij

Janet deCoux papers

Creator:
deCoux, Janet, 1904-1999  Search this
Names:
Guild of Liturgy, Art and Design  Search this
Liturgical Arts Society  Search this
Fraser, James Earle, 1876-1953  Search this
Fraser, Laura Gardin, 1889-1966  Search this
Gurney, George  Search this
Jennewein, Carl Paul, 1890-  Search this
Lindbergh, Anne Morrow, 1906-2001  Search this
Manship, Paul, 1885-1966  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Moore, Bruce, 1905-1980  Search this
Extent:
3.92 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Poetry
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1895-2000
Summary:
The papers of sculptor Janet DeCoux date from 1895-2000 and measure 3.92 linear feet. The collection documents DeCoux's career through scattered biographical material, correspondence, audio cassette tapes of an autobiographical narrative, an interview transcript, miscellaneous notes and writings, sketchbooks and drawings, files for commissioned sculpture projects, printed material, photographs of DeCoux, family members, friends, colleagues, and artwork.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor Janet deCoux measure 3.92 linear feet and date from 1895 to 2000. Found within the papers are scattered biographical material, including curriculum vitae and a file concerning deCoux's induction as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. Correspondence is primarily between family, friends, and colleagues. It includes letters from Carl Milles, Bruce Moore, C.P. Jennewein, the Guild of Liturgy, Art and Design (GLAD), the Liturgical Arts Society, Inc., sculptor James Earle Fraser, offering advice on various sculpture projects, his wife Laura Gardin Fraser, a letter of congratulations from Paul Manship on the occasion of deCoux's election to the National Academy of Design, and approximately fifty letters, 1944-1952, from Anne Morrow Lindbergh, writer and wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh. There are also one or two letters from Lu Duble, Joseph Bailey Ellis, Mark Tobey, and Albert Wein.

Found within the papers are a transcript of an interview of deCoux by George Gurney, and audio cassettes with transcripts of an autobiographical narrative by deCoux. Miscellaneous notes and writings include autobiographical accounts and poems by deCoux and miscellaneous writings by others. Seven of deCoux's sketchbooks and a folder of drawings by deCoux, as well as a portrait of deCoux by C. Paul Jennewein are found in the Artwork series. Project files contain letters, receipts, clippings, brochures, and photographs for sculpture projects primarily commissioned by religious organizations. Printed material includes clippings, exhibition catalogs, and miscellaneous brochures. Photographs are of deCoux, family members, friends including Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her children, colleagues including James Earle Fraser, Laura Gardin Fraser, Carl Milles, and Bruce Moore, and sculpture.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series. Glass plate negative housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1895-1993 (Box 1; 13 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1895-2000 (Boxes 1-2; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Interviews, 1978, 1990 (Box 2; 3 folders)

Series 4: Notes and Writings, 1937-1996 (Box 2; 23 folders)

Series 5: Artwork, 1928-1929 (Boxes 2, 6; 9 folders)

Series 6: Project Files, 1942-1982 (Boxes 2-3, 6; 36 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1906-2000 (Box 3; 20 folders)

Series 8: Photographs, 1926-1996 (Boxes 3-6, MGP 1; 1.3 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Janet deCoux was born on October 5, 1904 in Niles, Michigan, the youngest of the five children of Bertha Wright deCoux and Rev. Charles John deCoux, an Episcopal clergyman. The family moved to Grand Rapids in 1908 and four years later to a farm in Gibsonia, outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

deCoux studied with Joseph Bailey Ellis at the Carnegie Institute of Technology from 1925 to 1927. She then apprenticed in the New York studio of C. Paul Jennewein for fifteen months, followed by a year at the Gorham Bronze Division learning architectural modeling. She also worked with Aristide Cianfarani in Providence, and for Alvin Meyer in Chicago. While serving her apprenticeships, she attended night school at the New York School of Industrial Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Art Institute of Chicago. deCoux was then employed in James Earle Fraser's studio where she had previously assisted Gozo Kawamura.

In 1932 deCoux met Eliza Miller in the sculpture department of Carnegie Tech, beginning a sixty-year relationship in which they shared a shop and adjoining studios in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. For several months in 1935, deCoux traveled to Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, where she joined her friend Aly Moore, the wife of sculptor Bruce Moore. She first met longtime friend Father Hughson on a ship returning to the United States from Europe.

A Guggenheim Fellowship awarded to deCoux in 1938 was renewed for a second year. In 1943, she became resident instructor at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Janet deCoux died in December 1999.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Janet deCoux done by George Gurney, May 5, 1978.
Provenance:
The Janet deCoux papers were donated in 1992 by the artist and in two later installments in 2000-2001 by her longtime companion, Eliza Miller.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Poetry
Interviews
Sound recordings
Citation:
Janet deCoux papers, 1895-2000. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.decojane
See more items in:
Janet deCoux papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-decojane
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