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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

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 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

Oral history interview with Betty Cooke

Interviewee:
Cooke, Betty, 1924-  Search this
Interviewer:
Yager, Jan, 1951-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Maryland Institute, College of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Maryland Institute, College of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Beene, Geoffrey  Search this
Bertoia, Harry  Search this
De Patta, Margaret, 1903-1964  Search this
Morton, Philip  Search this
Nakashima, George, 1905-1990  Search this
Steinmetz, Bill  Search this
Extent:
132 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2004 July 1-2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Betty Cooke conducted 2004 July 1-2, by Jan Yager, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Cooke speaks of her family and growing up in Baltimore, Maryland; taking art classes in high school; attending the Maryland Institute, College of Art; apprenticing in a jeweler's studio; teaching design at the Maryland Institute; buying a house and setting up a studio and shop in it; showing her work in the MoMA "Good Design" Exhibition; marrying fellow artist Bill Steinmetz; working as a design consultant; designing interiors for bowling alleys and restaurants; early jewelry designs; studying one summer at Cranbrook Academy of Art; selling works in various galleries; her interest in folk art; using wood and stones in her pieces; creating a wall mural for a school; working with the Rouse Company; opening The Store Ltd. at Cross Keys and designing the modern interior; her trademark designs; making jewelry on commission; and showing her work in exhibitions. Cooke also speaks of her current studio space and routine; sketching designs; documenting her work; traveling to Mexico, China, Morocco, and London; her current involvement with the Maryland Institute, College of Art; renovating a barn for a new studio; the function and wearability of her jewelry; having a retrospective show in 1995; designing for Geoffrey Beene; her interest in painting and sculpture; defining design versus craft; the market for jewelry; how her work has changed over time; sources of inspiration; collecting objects; deciding to go into retail; choosing metals and tools; masculine and feminine jewelry; and being a female artist. Cooke also recalls Margaret De Patta, Harry Bertoia, Philip Morton, George Nakashima, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Betty Cooke (1924- ) is a jeweler and metalsmith of Baltimore, Maryland. Jan Yager is a jeweler from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 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 administrators.
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Jewelers -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cooke04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cooke04

Oral history interview with Chunghi Choo

Interviewee:
Choo, Chunghi  Search this
Interviewer:
Milosch, Jane  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Ihwa Yŏja Taehakkyo  Search this
Museum für Kunsthandwerk Frankfurt am Main  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 -- Students  Search this
University of Iowa -- Faculty  Search this
University of Northern Iowa  Search this
Victoria and Albert Museum  Search this
Bush, Cody  Search this
Chateauvert, Jocelyn  Search this
Fujio, Yuho  Search this
Grotell, Maija  Search this
Kao, Ruth  Search this
Kaufman, Glen  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor, 1927-2020  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Lee, Sang-Bong  Search this
Mayer-VanderMey, Sandra  Search this
McFadden, David Revere  Search this
Merkel-Hess, Mary  Search this
Park, No Soo  Search this
Raab, Rosanne  Search this
Saarinen, Loja  Search this
Smith, Paul J.  Search this
Thomas, Richard C., 1917-1988  Search this
Yeun, Kee-ho  Search this
Extent:
75 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Korea (South) -- History -- April Revolution, 1960
Date:
2007 July 30-2008 July 26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Chunghi Choo conducted 2007 July 30-2008 July 26, by Jane Milosch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home, in Iowa City, Iowa.
Choo speaks of establishing the Metalsmithing and Jewelry program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City; the elaborate equipment, tools, and safety protection used in the studio; her experience teaching silent metalforming at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine; participating in international workshops and seminars in Korea; the extensive world traveling she does with her husband, Dr. Charles Read, including destinations in Scandinavia, Thailand, Austria, Italy, and South Africa, among others; the house she designed in Iowa City; her love of the city and being surrounded by treasured friends, a supportive university, and beautiful environments; an interest in creative cooking and appreciation for diverse dishes from all around the world; her childhood and young adulthood in Inchon, Korea; growing up with an appreciation for beautiful art objects and classical music; an early interest and talent in drawing; attending Ewha Women's University as generations of women in her family had previously; experiences during the Korean War and April 19 Revolution in 1961; coming to the United States in 1961 as a student; studying English, ceramics, enameling, and stone cutting for one semester at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C.; attending Cranbrook Art Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and studying metalsmithing with Richard Thomas, ceramics with Maija Grotell, and weaving with Glen Kaufman; living with Mrs. Loja Saarinen during her three and a half years at Cranbrook; teaching general craft at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids from 1965-1968; pioneering the mixed-media studies with her students at UNI; accepting the challenge to build a metalsmithing and jewelry program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 1968; learning and teaching electroforming; the development of the electro-appliqué technique; extensive donor support and fundraising for the Metalsmithing and Jewelry program and its students; finding inspiration in nature, East Asian calligraphy, classical music, and travel; her long friendship with Jack Lenor Larsen and the great influence he has had on her work; being represented in major art museums and institutions world-wide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum fur Kunsthandwerk in Frankfurt, Germany, and many others; the joy she has when her students succeed and surpass her; and plans for future work, writing projects, and travel. Choo also speaks of the 2008 flooding of Iowa City and the state of Iowa during which her studio was severely damaged and many things were lost. Choo also recalls Park, No Soo; Lee, Sang Bong; Ruth Kao; Stanley Lechtzin; Yuho Fujio; David McFadden; Paul J. Smith; Rosanne Raab; Cody Bush; Jocelyn Chateauvert; Mary Merkel Hess; Sandra Mayer-VanderMey; Kee-ho Yeun, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Chunghi Choo (1938- ) is a Korean American educator, metalsmith, jeweler, and textile and mixed media artist based in Iowa City, Iowa. Interviewer Jane Milosch is a curator from Silver Spring, Maryland.
General:
Originally recorded 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 27 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 22 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:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Korean War, 1950-1953  Search this
Jewelers -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry making -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Jewelry making -- Technique  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Asian American women artists  Search this
Korean American art  Search this
Korean American Artists  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Korean American women artists  Search this
Asian American jewelers  Search this
Asian American metal-workers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.choo07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-choo07

Oral history interview with William J. Brown

Interviewee:
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Creator:
Brown, Jane Brennan, 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Kessler, Jane  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Flint Institute of Arts  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Penland School of Handicrafts  Search this
Gray, Robert Ward, 1916-  Search this
Merritt, Francis Sumner, 1913-2000  Search this
Morgan, Lucy, 1889-1981  Search this
Faculty:
University of Delaware  Search this
Extent:
203 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1991 January 19-March 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of William J. Brown and his wife Jane Brown conducted 1991 January 19-1991 March 2, by Jane Kessler, for the Archives of American Art.
Brown and his wife Jane discuss his childhood in Michigan, his early interest in sculpture and his attitude towards education; military service in WWII; studies at Cranbrook Academy; designing for Steuben Glass; working with Francis Merritt at the Flint Institute of Arts and at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; teaching design at the University of Delaware and working summers at Haystack; Robert Gray, director of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild; first impressions of The Penland School of Crafts and its founder Lucy Morgan; the development of the Penland School and its various programs; craftspeople who taught at Penland; and relations with the Penland board of trustees.
Biographical / Historical:
William J. Brown, art administrator and designer. Director of the Penland School of Crafts (formerly Penland School of Handicrafts) from 1962 to 1983.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 4 min.
2 of the cassettes are 60 min. and 2 are 90 min.
Sound quality of interview is poor.
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:
Arts administrators -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Handicraft -- Study and teaching -- United States  Search this
Designers -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Function:
Art Schools -- United States
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.brown91
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-brown91

Oral history interview with Adela Akers

Interviewee:
Akers, Adela, 1933-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago -- Student  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Handicrafts -- Faculty  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Extent:
113 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2008 March 4-6
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Adela Akers conducted 2008 March 4-6, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Akers' studio, in Guerneville, California.
Akers speaks of her California studio; moving from Spain to Cuba at a young age; earning a degree in pharmacy before pursuing art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; her parents' businesses; struggling with English and becoming a citizen; the influence of architecture, geometry, and math in her work; her first big show at the American Craft Museum; working at Penland School of Crafts and Cranbrook Academy of Art; her several commissioned works; light and shadow in her accordion-shaped pieces; working with the Peace Corps and weaving in Peru; learning pre-Colombian weaving techniques; working on a commissioned project in Mexico with native weavers; experimenting with size and color in weaving; teaching at the Tyler School of Art; the influence of travel in her work; the qualities of jute, sisal, metal, and horsehair in weaving. Akers also recalls Cindy Cleary, Guido Llinas, Abelardo Estorino, Marianne Strengell, Ed Rossback, Glen Kaufman, Julia and Isiah Zagar, Joyce Chow, Katie and Billy Bernstein, Tom Suomalainen, Ron Garfinkel, Lee Nordness, Janet Taylor, Leora Stewart, Aron Siskin, Lewis Knauss, Agnes Martin, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Adela Akers (1933- ) is a fiber artist from Guerneville, California. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 59 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:
Fiber artists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Weaving -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Weaving -- Study and teaching  Search this
Weaving -- Technique  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.akers08
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-akers08

Oral history interview with Toshiko Takaezu

Interviewee:
Takaezu, Toshiko  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:
Cleveland Institute of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Princeton University -- Faculty  Search this
Grotell, Maija  Search this
Horan, Claude.  Search this
Extent:
33 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2003 June 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Toshiko Takaezu conducted 2003 June 16, by Gerry Williams, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Quakertown, N.J.
Takaezu describes growing up in Hawaii in a large family; her first work as a commercial potter; working with Claude Horan; how religion factors into her work; studying ceramics at Cranbrook Academy of Art with Maija Grotell; the role of universities and apprenticeships in the craft movement; teaching at Princeton and the Cleveland Institute of Art; visiting artists in Japan; setting up a studio in Clinton, N.J.; her teaching philosophy; the evolution of her work from functional to closed vessels; the inside of her large pots; the importance of color and glazes; her career highlights; the inspiration she finds in nature; her role in political and social activities; her relationship with galleries, including Perimeter and Charles Cowles Gallery; her exhibition history; and the changing face of the American craft movement. She also recalls Claude Horan, Maija Grotell, Otagaki Rengetsu, Kaneshige, Rosanjin, Jeff Schlanger, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011) was a Japanese American ceramist of Quakertown, New Jersey. Gerry Williams (1926- ) is the co-founder and former editor of Studio Potter in Dunbarton, New Hampshire. Takaezu's birth date is also cited as 1929.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 38 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:
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Japanese American women artists  Search this
Asian American ceramicists  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.takaez03
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-takaez03

Oral history interview with Tommy Simpson

Interviewee:
Simpson, Tommy  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Boston University. Program in Artisanry -- Faculty  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Northern Illinois University -- Students  Search this
University of Hartford -- Faculty  Search this
Castle, Wendell, 1932-2018  Search this
Maloof, Sam  Search this
Maruyama, Wendy, 1952-  Search this
McKie, Judy Kensley, 1944-  Search this
Newman, Richard, (Artist)  Search this
Sepeshy, Zoltan, 1898-1974  Search this
Smith, Paul J., 1931-  Search this
Zucca, Edward  Search this
Extent:
6 Items (Sound recording: 6 sound files (3 hr., 54 min.), digital, wav)
89 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
China -- Description and Travel
Europe -- description and travel
Date:
2004 May 6-July 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Tommy Simpson conducted 2004 May 6-July 2, by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Simpson speaks of growing up in rural Illinois; making things as a child; discovering his interest in art at Northern Illinois University; getting an MFA in painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art; using the wood shop at Cranbrook; exhibiting at various galleries in New York City and moving to Connecticut; showing work in the "Fantasy Furniture" exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Design; visiting Europe; the New York studio furniture market in the 1960s; writing the book, "Fantasy Furniture"; exhibiting in "Objects USA;" working as artist in residence at the Fairtree Gallery; teaching at the University of Hartford; his work ethic and productivity; living and working in Greenwich, Connecticut; the constraints of being classified as a furniture maker; teaching briefly at the Program In Artisanry and other schools; the increased public interest in fine woodworking in the 1980s; changes in the craft market; writing the book, "Two Looks to Home"; the influence of events on his work; his current interest in making whole interiors; working on commission; the current public interest in craft; expressing themes in his work; his working process in his studio; the future of fine woodworking; the difficulties of working with galleries; designing rugs; and visiting China. Simpson also recalls Zoltan Sepeshy, Wendell Castle, Paul Smith, Sam Maloof, Edward Zucca, Wendy Maruyama, Richard Newman, Judy McKie, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Tommy Simpson (1939- ) is a furniture maker and sculptor from Washington Depot, Connecticut. Edward S. Cooke, Jr. is a professor from Newtonville, Massachusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 54 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:
Cabinetmakers  Search this
Sculptors -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.simpso04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-simpso04

Zoltan L. Sepeshy papers

Creator:
Sepeshy, Zoltan, 1898-1974  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Extent:
11 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1958-1965
Scope and Contents:
Commencement addresses delivered by Sepeshy at Cranbrook Academy of Art while serving as a faculty member and administrator; clippings; a curriculum vita; and an essay by Sepeshy on judging art.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, educator, Cranbrook Academy; Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham, Michigan.
Provenance:
Originally lent for microfilming 1973. Subsequently donated by Sepeshy, 1975.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Hills  Search this
Painters -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Hills  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching -- Michigan -- Bloomfield Hills  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.sepezolt
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-sepezolt

Oral history interview with Walter Nottingham

Interviewee:
Nottingham, Walter, 1930-2012  Search this
Interviewer:
Owen, Carol, 1936-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Catholic Church  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
St. Cloud State University -- Students  Search this
United States -- Montgomery G.I. Bill  Search this
University of Wisconsin--River Falls -- Faculty  Search this
Constantine, Mildred  Search this
Crane, Jim  Search this
Drutt, Helen Williams  Search this
Johnson, Meda  Search this
Kaufman, Glen  Search this
Knodel, Gerhardt  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor, 1927-2020  Search this
Merritt, Francis Sumner, 1913-2000  Search this
Miller, Don  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Nordness, Lee  Search this
Nottingham, Karron  Search this
Penning, Pauline  Search this
Ross, Shelley  Search this
Rossbach, Ed  Search this
Strengell, Marianne, 1909-1998  Search this
Extent:
29 Pages (Transcript)
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 sound files (1 hr., 41 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Mexico City (Mexico) -- description and travel
Date:
2002 July 14-18
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Walter Nottingham conducted 2002 July 14-18, by Carol Owen, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the studios of Idyllwild Arts, in Idyllwild, California. Nottingham speaks of his enthusiasm for basketball; being an altar boy and, as such, surrounded by beautiful fabrics at an early age; attending St. Cloud State University on the GI Bill; his teachers Jim Crane and Pauline Penning; serving as an art consultant for public schools in Jackson, Michigan; the lasting influence of an exhibition of battle flags at the Metropolitan Museum; articulating aging and decay through self-taught weaving; developing a fiber art program at University of Wisconsin, River Falls; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art and working with Glen Kaufman and Meda Johnson. He discusses specific works including his "Yahooties", that combine both his grandmother's and mother's crochet work; his trip to Mexico City on a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1974; forming the company Off the Wall with his eldest daughter Karron and their decorative design commissions; the influence of his Catholic upbringing, oriental philosophy, and spirituality in his work; and techniques and materials. Nottingham recalls Shelly Ross, Helen Drutt, Francis Merritt, Don Miller, Lois Moran, Jack Lenor Larsen, Marianne Strengell, Mildred Constantine, Gerhardt Knodel, Lee Nordness, Ed Rossbach, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Walter Nottingham (1930-2012) is a fiber artist from Hilo, Hawaii. Carol Owen is a fiber artist from Pittsboro, North Carolina.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 41 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:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Weavers -- Wisconsin -- Interviews  Search this
Self-taught artists  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Technique  Search this
Crocheting  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Fiber artists -- Hawaii -- Interviews  Search this
Weavers -- Hawaii -- Interviews  Search this
Weaving -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Weaving -- Study and teaching  Search this
Weaving -- Technique  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.nottin02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nottin02

Lilian Swann Saarinen papers

Creator:
Saarinen, Lilian Swann, 1912-1995  Search this
Names:
Cambridge Art Center  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Faculty  Search this
G Place Gallery (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Knoll Associates, inc.  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Faculty  Search this
Midtown Galleries (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Otava Publishing Company  Search this
Reynal & Hitchcock  Search this
Armitage, Merle, 1893-1975  Search this
Crosby, Caresse, 1892-  Search this
Eames, Charles  Search this
Eames, Ray  Search this
Koch, Carl  Search this
Kreis, Henry, 1899-1963  Search this
Milles, Carl, 1875-1955  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, László, 1895-1946  Search this
Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, 1905-  Search this
Saarinen, Eero, 1910-1961  Search this
Saarinen, Eliel, 1873-1950  Search this
Saarinen, Loja  Search this
Venturi, Robert  Search this
Weese, Harry, 1915-1998  Search this
Extent:
9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Blueprints
Diaries
Illustrations
Sketches
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
circa 1909-1977
Summary:
The papers of Cambridge sculptor and illustrator, Lilian Swann Saarinen, measure nine linear feet and date from circa 1909 to 1977. The collection documents Saarinen's career through correspondence with artists, architects, publishers, and gallery owners; writings and notes, including manuscripts and illustrations for children's books and publications; project and teaching files; financial records; artwork, including numerous project sketches; and photos of Saarinen and her artwork. Saarinen's personal life is also documented through diaries and correspondence with friends and family members, including Eero Saarinen, to whom she was married from 1939-1953.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Cambridge sculptor and illustrator, Lilian Swann Saarinen, measure nine linear feet and date from circa 1909 to 1977. The collection documents Saarinen's career through correspondence with artists, architects, publishers, and gallery owners; writings and notes, including manuscripts and illustrations for children's books and publications; project and teaching files; financial records; artwork, including numerous project sketches; and photos of Saarinen and her artwork. Saarinen's personal life is also documented through diaries and correspondence with friends and family members, including Eero Saarinen, to whom she was married from 1939-1953.

Biographical material consists of resumes and biographical sketches, as well as a 1951 blueprint for the Eero Saarinen and Associates Office Building in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Correspondence documents Saarinen's personal and professional life through letters to and from Eero Saarinen and other family members, including six letters from Loja Saarinen; correspondence with artists and architects, including Merle Armitage, Charles and Ray Eames, Carl Koch, Henry Kreis, Carl Milles, Laszlo and Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, Robert Venturi, and Harry Weese; and friends and colleagues at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Knoll Associates. Also documented is Saarinen's business relationship with Midtown Galleries and Caresse Crosby, and publishers and publications including Child Life, Interiors, Otava Publishing Company, and Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc.

Writings and Notes document Saarinen's work on several children's publications, including Picture Book Zoo (1935) and Who Am I? (1946), through correspondence, notes, manuscript drafts, and extensive sketches. This series also includes Saarinen's ideas for other publications and incorporates some early writings and notes, as well as typescripts of her reminiscences about Eliel Saarinen, the Saarinen family, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Diaries consist of bound diary volumes, loose-leaf journal entries, and heavily annotated engagement calendars, documenting Saarinen's personal life, artistic aspirations, and career development from the 1930s-1970s. This material provides a deeply personal view of the emotional landscape of Saarinen's life, her struggles to balance her identity as a working artist with the roles of wife, mother, and homemaker, and the complex, and often competing, relationships within the renowned architectural family into which she married.

Project files document Saarinen's work on book cover designs, federal and post office commissions in Bloomfield, Indiana, Carlisle, Kentucky, and Evanston, Illinois, reliefs for the Crow Island School in Winnetka, Illinois, and other important commissions including the Harbor National Bank Clock in Boston, Massachusetts, the KLM Airlines installation at JFK Airport, the Fountain of Noah sculpture at the Northland Center in Detroit, Michigan, and the interior of Toffenetti's restaurant in Chicago, Illinois. Also documented is her role in designs for the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, with Eero Saarinen.

Teaching files document Saarinen's "Language of Clay Course" which she taught at Cambridge Art Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Financial records document exhibition and sales expenses for two exhibitions, including her show at G Place Gallery in 1944.

Printed material consists of clippings about Saarinen and her family, exhibition announcements and catalogs for herself and others, and reference files from the 1930s-1940s, primarily comprising clippings of animals.

Additional printed material documenting Saarinen's career can be found in one of two scrapbooks found in the collection. An additional scrapbook consists of clippings relating primarily to Saarinen's parents.

Artwork comprises extensive sketches, particularly animal and figure sketches, in graphite, crayon, ink, pastel, and watercolor. The sketches demonstrate in particular Saarinen's developing interest in and skill with animal portraiture from her childhood to the 1960s.

Photographs are primarily of artwork and Saarinen's 1944 exhibition at G Place Gallery. Also found are one negative of Saarinen, probably with Eero Saarinen, and a group photo including Lilian, Eero, and Eliel Saarinen with the model for the Detroit Civic Center, circa 1940s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1930s-1960s (3 folders; Box 1, OV 12)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1920-1974 (1.9 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 8, OV 12)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1920s-1973 (1.3 linear feet, Boxes 2-3, 8, OVs 13-16)

Series 4: Diaries, 1930-1973 (1.4 linear feet, Boxes 3-5, 8)

Series 5: Project Files, 1931-1966 (1.7 linear feet, Boxes 5-6, 8, OVs 17-19)

Series 6: Teaching Files, 1966-1970 (3 folders, Box 6)

Series 7: Financial Records, 1940s-1970s (2 folders, Box 6)

Series 8: Printed Material, circa 1930s-1970s (0.2 linear feet, Box 6)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, circa 1909-1974 (2 folders; Boxes 6, 9)

Series 10: Artwork, circa 1920s-circa 1960s (1.7 linear feet, Boxes 6-7, 9-10, OVs 20-27)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1940s, 1977 (0.5 linear feet, Boxes 7, 11, OV 27)
Biographical / Historical:
Cambridge artist and sculptor, Lilian Swann Saarinen (1912-1995), studied at the Art Students League with Alexander Archipenko in 1928, and later with Albert Stewart and Heninz Warneke from 1934-1936, before moving to Michigan where she studied with Carl Milles at the Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1936-1940. Saarinen was an accomplished skier and a member of the 1936 US Olympic ski team.

At Cranbrook, Swann met architect Eero Saarinen, whom she married in 1939. She subsequently worked with Saarinen's design group on a variety of projects, including the Westward Expansion Memorial, which later became known as the "Gateway Arch" in St. Louis. Lilian and Eero had a son, Eric, and a daughter, Susie, before divorcing in 1953.

Saarinen, who had developed an affinity for drawing animals in childhood, specialized in animal portraits in a variety of sculptural media. In 1939, she exhibited her sculpture Night, which depicted Bagheera the panther from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, at the World's Fair. The sculpture was placed in the Boston Public Garden in 1986. In the 1930s and 1940s Saarinen was commissioned to work on a variety of architectural projects, including reliefs for post offices in Bloomfield, Indiana, Carlisle, Kentucky, and Evanston, Illinois, and the Crow Island School in Winnetka, Illinois. She also executed commissions for the Harbor National Bank in Boston, KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) at JFK Airport, the Northland shopping Center in Detroit Michigan, and Toffenetti's Restaurant in Chicago.

Saarinen was a contributing author and illustrator for a variety of publications, including Child Life, Interiors and Portfolio: An Intercontinental Quarterly. In 1935 she illustrated Picture Book Zoo for the Bronx Zoo and in 1946 Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc. published Who Am I?, a children's book which Saarinen wrote and illustrated.

Saarinen taught ceramic sculpture to soldiers for the Red Cross Arts and Skills Unit rehabilitation program in 1945, served on the Visiting Committee to the Museum School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from 1959-1964, where she taught ceramics, and later taught a course entitled "The Language of Clay" at the Cambridge Art Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One of Saarinen's private students at Cambridge was her cousin, Edie Sedgwick.

Saarinen died in Cohasset, Massachusetts, in 1995 at the age of 83.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reels 1152 and 1192) including a scrapbook containing clippings, copies of letters and telegrams received, and reproductions of Saarinen's work. There is a copy of Saarinen's book, "Who Am I?", and three albums containing photographs of Saarinen, photographs and reproductions of her work, a list of exhibitions, quotes about her, and writings by her about sculpture. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Lilian Swann Saarinen donated the collection in 1975. She lent additional materials for microfilming in 1976.
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.
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:
Sculptors -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge  Search this
Topic:
Women artists -- Massachusetts  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Illustrated books, Children's  Search this
Gateway Arch (Saint Louis, Mo.)  Search this
Sculpture, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Illustrators -- Massachusetts  Search this
Art commissions  Search this
Art, Municipal  Search this
Genre/Form:
Blueprints
Diaries
Illustrations
Sketches
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Lilian Swann Saarinen papers, circa 1909-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.saarlili
See more items in:
Lilian Swann Saarinen papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-saarlili
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Hiroko Sato Pijanowski

Interviewee:
Pijanowski, Hiroko Sato, 1942-  Search this
Interviewer:
Fisch, Arline M.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Michigan -- Faculty  Search this
Pijanowski, Eugene, 1938-  Search this
Extent:
123 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2003 May 13-15
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Hiroko Sato Pijanowski conducted 2003 May 13-15, by Arline F. Fisch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Pijanowski speaks of her American/Japanese identity; childhood in Japan and her small family; the Christian schools she attended; Geidai University; learning Japanese jewelry design in the U.S.; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art; her thesis on line-inlay, a Japanese technique; meeting Eugene (Gene) Pijanowski, her future husband, at Cranbrook; life in Japan with Gene; moving back to the U.S.; her teaching philosophy; teaching at the University of Michigan; computers and other technological advances that have changed the way metals are taught; her presentation at a 1999 SNAG conference, "A Look Into the Future: The Implementation of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing for Metalsmiths"; the importance of sharing information; her creative work and its relation to teaching; working with Japanese paper cord [mizuhiki]; Zen philosophy; her reoccurring childhood dreams; her line of jewelry "Hiroko Sato Pijanowski"; and the different types of molds she has made in wax, silicon, and rubber. Pijanowski also discusses jewelry tradeshows; her series Gentle Solitude; Issey Miyake's approach to design and his influence; her haiku club; orchids as inspiration; scuba diving experiences; the World Crafts Conference in Kyoto in 1978; the importance of exhibitions, such as "International Jewelry" in Vienna and "Poetry of the Physical" at the American Craft Museum, New York; galleries such as Helen Drutt in Philadelphia and Yaw Gallery in Michigan; the custom of "renting a gallery space" in Japan; and she concludes the interview with a discussion of the effects of of her depression. Pijanowski also recalls Ruth Taubman, Jim Hopfensperger, Leslie Leupp, Michael Rodemer; Stanley Lechtzin, Herman Junger, Albert Paley, David Watkins, Bob Ebendorf, Otto Kunzli, Michael Rowe, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Hiroko Sato Pijasnowski (1942- ) is a Japanese American metalsmith from Honolulu, Hawaii. Arline M. Fisch is a jeweler.
General:
Originally recorded on 6 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 42 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:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Jewelry making -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Jewelry making -- Technique  Search this
Metal-work -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-work -- Technique  Search this
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Japanese American women artists  Search this
Asian American metal-workers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.pijanoh03
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-pijanoh03

Oral history interview with Frank S. Okada

Interviewee:
Okada, Frank S. (Frank Sumio), 1931-2000  Search this
Interviewer:
Johns, Barbara  Search this
Names:
Cornish School of Allied Arts (Seattle, Wash.)  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
University of Oregon -- Faculty  Search this
Bunce, Louis, 1907-1983  Search this
Charles, Ray, 1930-2004  Search this
Chin, Frank, 1940-  Search this
Davis, Sammy, 1925-  Search this
Derbyshire, Leon  Search this
Dusanne, Zoe, 1884-1977  Search this
Horiuchi, Paul, 1906-  Search this
Inada, Lawson Fusao  Search this
Ivey, William, 1919-1992  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Kusama, Yayoi, 1929-  Search this
Martin, David Stone  Search this
Nomura, Kenjiro, 1896-1956  Search this
Okada, John  Search this
Peck, James Edward, 1907-  Search this
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Tsutakawa, George  Search this
Extent:
87 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1990 Aug. 16-17
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Frank Okada conducted 1990 Aug. 16-17, in Seattle, Wash., by Barbara Johns, for the Archives of American Art Northwest Asian American Project. Okada discusses his parents' background; his family including his brothers, John, author of "No-No Boy," and Charlie, a graphic designer; traveling to Japan for the Pacific Northwest Artists and Japan exhibition; being in an internment camp; painting in Eugene, Ore. and Seattle, Wash.; his painting techniques; studying under Leon Derbyshire; his connection with the jazz scene in Seattle in the late 1940s and 1950s including musicians Sammy Davis, Ray Charles, and Quincy Jones; attending Cornish School of Art, Seattle; meeting Mark Tobey; comparision of his painting style to Tobey's; his stint in the Army; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art and studying with painter Fred Mitchell; his Whitney fellowship in New York; study of Japanese, Chinese, and Zen paintings; working for Boeings in the early 1960s; traveling to France on a Guggenheim; teaching at University of Oregon in Eugene; his minimalist work; influence of Japanese art in his painting. Okada mentions Lawson Inada (Asian American poet), Frank Chin (Asian American playwright), artists David Stone Martin, James Edward Peck, Yayoi Kusama, George Tsutakawa, Paul Horiuchi, Ben Shahn, Kenjiro Nomura, Louis Bunce, Bill Ivey, and art gallery owner Zoe Dusanne.
Biographical / Historical:
Frank S. Okada (1931-2000) was a Japanese American painter based in Seattle, Washington. He taught at University of Oregon from 1969-1999.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 38 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 administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Asian American art  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Japanese American art  Search this
Japanese American artists  Search this
Art, Japanese American influences  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Painting, Japanese  Search this
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Painting, Zen  Search this
Painting, Chinese  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Asian American sculptors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.okada90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-okada90

Oral history interview with Gary L. Noffke

Interviewee:
Noffke, Gary  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Eastern Illinois University -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
National Ring Show  Search this
Southern Illinois University (System) -- Students  Search this
Stetson University -- Faculty  Search this
University of Iowa -- Students  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Coulter, Lane, 1944-  Search this
DeRuiter, Garret  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Erbe, Gary T., 1944-  Search this
Fike, Phillip G., 1927-1997  Search this
Gingras, Toms  Search this
Hu, Mary Lee, 1943-  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Loloma, Charles, 1921-  Search this
Merrit, Barry  Search this
Messersmith, Fred  Search this
Nettles, Dickie  Search this
Norell, Lydia  Search this
Pujol, Elliot  Search this
Streetman, Evon  Search this
Wilde, Sue  Search this
Zelmanoff, Marci  Search this
Extent:
106 Pages (Transcript)
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 sound files (4 hr., 49 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2010 December 4-5
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Gary L. Noffke conducted 2010 December 4 and 5, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Noffke's home, in Farmington, Georgia.
Noffke speaks of growing up in Sullivan, Illinois; disliking school; the absence of formal art education before college and doing art on his own; his grandfather's farm; attending Eastern Illinois University to study painting, receiving a BS and MS in education with a major in art; what classes he took and his professors; his opinion about art programs in universities; the influence of the Vietnam draft; attending the University of Iowa and his introduction to metals; transferring to Southern Illinois University and his peers; learning techniques with metals; early metal work; working at Stetson University in Deland, Florida; working with colleagues and students and its influence on work; experimenting with different techniques; transition from graduate school to professional life; developing different methods for metal work, and motivations; how the notion of form and function has changed in design, especially regarding metal work and artists; the dynamics of working with students throughout the years; discusses in detail individual works and his approaches and anecdotes; his attraction to rings, simple hardware, and traditional, ancient forms; other teaching jobs before landing at the University of Georgia; building his house and studio; working in the Italy program at Cortona; his experiences at Cranbrook, Michigan and Summervale, Colorado; current and past exhibitions including the National Ring Shows; entering competitions; how the hand-made motif is important in his work; the connotation of labels of craft artist; his casual approach to the art market and formalities in the art world. Noffke also recalls Garret DeRuiter, Brent Kington, Elliot Pujol, May Lee Hu, Marci Zelmanoff, Dickie Nettles, Robert Ebendorf, Gary Erbe, Phil Fike, Bill Brown, Evon Streetman, Lane Coulter, Sue Wilde, Lydia Norell, Fred Messersmith, Tom Gingras, Charles Loloma, Fritz Dreisbach, Barry Merrit, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Gary L. Noffke (1943- ) is a goldsmith in Farmington, Georgia. Mary Douglas (1956- ) is a curator and artist in Statesville, North Carolina.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 SD memory cards. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 49 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:
Metal-work -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-work -- Technique  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.noffke10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-noffke10

Oral history interview with Gerhardt Knodel

Interviewee:
Knodel, Gerhardt  Search this
Interviewer:
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Los Angeles City College -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles -- Students  Search this
Abakanowicz, Magdalena  Search this
Al-Hilali, Neda, 1938-  Search this
Albers, Anni  Search this
Andreson, Laura  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Hicks, Sheila, 1934-  Search this
Kester, Bernard  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor, 1927-2020  Search this
Leland, Mary Jane  Search this
Smith, Kiki, 1954-  Search this
Tawney, Lenore  Search this
Zeisler, Claire, 1903-1991  Search this
Extent:
7 Items (Sound recording: 7 sound files (5 hr., 23 min.), digital, wav)
77 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
California -- Los Angeles -- Description and Travel
Michigan -- Description and Travel
Date:
2004 August 3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Gerhardt Knodel conducted 2004 August 3, by Glenn Adamson, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Knodel speaks of his German heritage; his parents each immigrating to Los Angeles; growing up in Los Angeles and being part of the German community; his father building houses; the influence of his childhood environment on his artwork; taking art classes in school; participating in theater and set design; studying art at Los Angeles City College; collecting textiles; transferring to UCLA; teaching high school art; the influence of Abstract Expressionism on his early work; quitting teaching and studying fiber arts at University of California, Long Beach; traveling to numerous countries, and their influence on his artwork; researching and lecturing on fabric as environment; how the fiber art movement has evolved and changed; early exhibitions and the need for more venues; the fiber art community in the 1960s and 70s; the importance of University art programs; moving to Michigan and teaching at Cranbrook; the importance of scale and context in his work; making large scale pieces to fit within an architectural space; working on commission for public projects; working with the community in Pontiac, Michigan on a commissioned piece; the influence of the history of textiles; being director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art; putting figures on to textiles; the decline of the fiber art movement; and the benefits of schools such as Cranbrook. Knodel also recalls Bernard Kester, Mary Jane Leland, Laura Andreson, Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks, Neda Al-Hilali, Lenore Tawney, Claire Zeisler, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Jack Lenor Larsen, Christo, Kiki Smith, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Gerhardt Knodel (1940-) is a fiber artist from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Glenn Adamson is a curator and, art historian from Wisconsin.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 23 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:
Fiber artists -- California  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Textile crafts -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.knodel04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-knodel04

Julian E. Levi papers

Creator:
Levi, Julian E. (Julian Edwin), 1900-1982  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
An American Group (Organization)  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.) -- Faculty  Search this
Extent:
6.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Sketches
Drawings
Photographs
Illustrated letters
Date:
1846-1981
Summary:
The papers of painter and teacher Julian E. (Edwin) Levi date from 1846 to 1981, and comprise 6.9 linear feet. They include biographical information and extensive correspondence with museums and galleries, as well as letters written to his family, circa 1927, while Levi was living in Paris. Also found within the papers are scattered drawings and sketches by Levi, writings and notes, financial records, two scrapbooks, printed material, miscellaneous records and photographs that document Levi's professional career and personal life.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and teacher Julian E. Levi date from 1846 to 1981, and comprise 6.9 linear feet. They consist of biographical information, correspondence, artwork, writings and notes, financial records, scrapbooks, printed material, miscellaneous records and photographs that document Levi's professional career and personal life.

Biographical information includes French documents regarding his trips to Paris in 1920 and 1926-1927. Julian E. Levi's Correspondence, 1914-1981, and undated, concerns professional and personal matters and consists primarily of incoming letters from friends and colleagues, arts organizations, museums, schools, and galleries. Also found are approximately sixty letters he wrote to his family circa 1927, while living in Paris. In addition, a small number of Henderson Family letters, 1846-1886, are included with the Julian E. Levi papers; their relationship to Levi is unclear. Found within the correspondence are illustrated letters and original artwork in the form of greeting cards. Additional Artwork consists mainly of pencil drawings and sketches by Levi, including a large number of stage costume designs.

Writings by Levi consist of brief statements concerning his work and other artists, brief reminiscences of friends, a poem, and the text of a speech. Notes contain miscellaneous jottings, lists of paintings, addresses and telephone information, and address books. Among the writings by others are catalog introductions for Levi exhibitions by unknown authors, and by Lewis Mumford and Archibald MacLeish for An American Group, Inc.

Financial Records concern both business and personal transactions and document art sales, commissions, consignments, and gallery expenses. Also included are receipts, a small number of banking and tax records, and scattered documentation of purchases, appraisals, and sales of antiques in his collection.

Scrapbooks (2 disbound volumes) contain clippings, other printed items, and a few photographs documenting Levi's exhibitions. There are a substantial number of exhibition catalogs and announcements. Miscellaneous printed material includes brochures, newsletters and publications, clippings, invitations, announcements of meetings, blank postcards, travel brochures and printed souvenirs. Also found is a copy of his book, Modern Art: An Introduction, and one of the articles he published in the American expatriate periodical Gargoyle.

Items of note among the Miscellaneous Records pertain to the American Artists' Congress, An American Group, Inc., Downtown Gallery, and New York City Council for Art Week. Other items of interest are a blueprint of plans for Levi's studio at his home in Easthampton, New York, and records regarding the New School for Social Research where Levi taught for many years.

Photographs of artwork include a disbound album of Levi's work and exhibition installation views that show paintings by Levi. Pictures of Levi include some taken when he was a young child, along with many views of him in his studio, with students, and others. Many views of places probably were used as reference for paintings. Other places recorded in photographs include Downtown Gallery, Stuart Davis's grave, and studios he occupied while in Paris, circa 1926-1927 and at the American Academy in Rome, 1967-1968. Of particular note are copies of Resettlement Administration and Farm Security Administration photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 9 series. Correspondence and Scrapbooks are arranged chronologically. Other series are further categorized by record type or broad topic, with material in each folder arranged chronologically or alphabetically, as noted in the series descriptions.

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1906-1980 (Box 1; 14 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1846-1981 (Boxes 1-3, OV 9; 2.3 linear ft.)

Series 3: Artwork, circa 1922-1972 (Box 3; 8 folders)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1938-1978 (Box 3; 11 folders)

Series 5: Financial Records, 1920s-1980 (Box 3; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1921-1940(Box 4; 2 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, circa 1922-1981(Boxes 4-6 and OV 10; 2.3 linear ft.)

Series 8: Miscellaneous Records, circa 1940-1974 (Box 6 and OV 9; 0.2 linear ft.)

Series 9: Photographs, circa 1902-1974 (Boxes 6-8 and OV 11; 1.1 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Julian Edwin Levi was born in New York in 1900, and his family relocated to Philadelphia six years later. At age 17, Levi enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he studied under Henry McCarter and Arthur B. Carles. Upon completing his studies at the Academy in 1919, Levi was awarded one of the Pennsylvania Academy's Cresson Traveling Scholarship which enabled him to travel to Italy during the summer of 1920.

Levi then headed to Paris where he spent the next four years. During this time he became fluent in French, looked at a wide variety of art that influenced him to experiment with abstraction, and had paintings accepted for exhibition the Salon d'Automne of 1921 and 1922. He met many artists in Paris, and developed a close friendship with Jules Pascin. He retuned for a second stay in Paris during 1926 and 1927.

Upon his return to Philadelphia in 1924, Levi and several other modern artists in the city (including his former instructors Carles and McCarter) began exhibiting together under the name "31." The group's work was not well-received. For the remainder of his time in Philadelphia, he continued to paint and on several occasions was able to see Albert Barnes' collection that normally was not open to the public. Levi moved to New York City in 1932 and was attracted to the support and cooperation offered by various artists' organizations. He became a member of An American Group, Inc., in 1933, and was in active in the American Artists' Congress beginning around 1937. Later, Levi was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, an Associate Artist of the National Academy of Design, and a member of the Century Association.

The sea, beaches, dunes, and shores served as inspiration for many of Levi's paintings. He studied his subjects closely, amassing a wide knowledge of boats, fishing, and related equipment; he even learned professional fishing and sailing techniques in order to better understand his subjects. Levi also focused on painting people, and his wife often served as his model. Paintings by Levi are in many museums, among them: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Art Institute of Chicago, Butler Institute of American Art, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Des Moines Art Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, Guild Hall, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Newark Museum, Norton Simon Museum, Santa Barbara Museum, Springfield Museum of Art, Toledo Museum, University of Illinois, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Many of the paintings Levi produced while employed by the Federal Art Project, 1936-1938, served as the nucleus of his first one-man show held in 1940 at Downtown Gallery. He remained with Downtown Gallery for more than a decade. Later, he was associated with the Alan Gallery, Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries, and Nordness Gallery, each of which staged frequent solo exhibitions of Levi's work. He participated in most of the major national exhibitions and in the Venice Biennale, winning prizes awarded by the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Institute, National Academy of Design, University of Illinois, Guild Hall, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. A large retrospective exhibition of his work was organized by Boston University in 1962, and a small retrospective was held in 1971 at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

A highly respected and much loved teacher, Levi emphasized the importance of drawing and provided individualized instruction. He considered himself a "coach" and viewed his students as less experienced artists (all were encouraged to call him Julian instead of Mr. Levi). His teaching career, which lasted for more than three decades, began in 1946 with his appointments as a painting instructor at the Art Students League and the New School for Social Research in New York City (later the New School appointed him director of its Art Workshop). In 1964 he began making weekly trips to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he taught painting; at the start of the 1977 academic year, he reduced his schedule to once a month and acted as a general critic. During the 1967-68 academic year, Levi was on sabbatical leave while artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome. In addition, he taught summer courses at Columbia University in the early 1950s and occasionally served as a guest instructor at other summer programs over the years.

Julian Levi died in New York City, February 28, 1982, after a brief illness.
Provenance:
The papers were a gift received in several accessions between 1969-1982 from Julian E. Levi and his estate (Herman Englander, executor). Portions of the collection were microfilmed upon receipt.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. office.
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:
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Interviews
Sketches
Drawings
Photographs
Illustrated letters -- Local
Citation:
Julian E. Levi papers, 1846-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.levijuli
See more items in:
Julian E. Levi papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-levijuli
Online Media:

Oral history interview with L. Brent Kington

Interviewee:
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale -- Faculty  Search this
University of Kansas -- Students  Search this
Thomas, Richard C., 1917-1988  Search this
Extent:
95 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 May 3-4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of L. Brent Kington conducted 2001 May 3-4, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Kington's home and studio, Makando, Illinois.
Kington describes his childhood and the impact of the Depression; his adopted sister Kay; and his hyperactivity and difficulty accomplishing schoolwork. He comments on his high school teachers; his academic and athletic accomplishments at University of Kansas (UK); his studies at Cranbrook Academy of Art with Richard (Dick) Thomas "the intellectual silversmith" and his "mentor"; Hugh Acton and the GM Tech Center; and fellow metalsmiths Fred Fenster, Mike Jerry, Stanley Lechtzin, and Heikki Seppä.
He discusses exhibitions including "Kansas Designer Craftsmen," "Michigan Designer Craftsmen," "Fiber, Clay, Metal," "Creative Casting, Young Americans 1962," and "Objects: USA." He talks about Ashanti gold weights; Scandinavian design; teaching at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois (SIU) and Illinois State University (ISU), and taking students to the Saint Louis Art Museum to see granulation in Mycenaean gold. He comments at length on his toys and experimenting with ideas about toys.
Kington also describes blacksmithing workshops held at SIU and the "renaissance" of blacksmithing in the United States. He recalls his involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), American Craft Council (ACC), World Crafts Council (WCC), Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America (ABANA), the Kentucky School of Craft, the National Ornamental Metal Museum, and other organizations. He discusses his weathervane pieces and other series such as Icarus, Crozier, Europa, and Axis Mundi. He comments on the influence of Mircea Eliade's book "The Forge and the Crucible" (1979), considers the blacksmith's role in various cultural mythologies, and evaluates publications such as "Anvil's Ring" and "American Blacksmith."
He comments on the current state of affairs in metalsmithing; his retirement from SIU and teaching in the University of Georgia-Cortona program; the impact of Cyril Stanley Smith's insights and the importance of his book "A History of Metallography" (1960); his appreciation of Daryl Meier's work; exploring new techniques such as mokume gane, kuromido, shibuichi, rokusho (patination process); encouraging Mary Lee Hu to pursue wire structuring; and his enthusiasm for sharing information. He recalls John Allgood, Philip Baldwin, Robert Ebendorf, Phil Fike, Maija Grotell, Marvin Jensen, Richard Mawdsley, Lee Nordness, Ron Pearson, Bob Peterson,Gene and Hiroko Pijanowski, Jim Wallace, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
L. Brent Kington (1934-) is a metalsmith from Makanda, Illinois. Mary Douglas (1956-) is a curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, N.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 54 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:
Metal-workers -- Illinois -- Interviews  Search this
Blacksmithing  Search this
Blacksmithing -- Technique  Search this
Learning disabilities  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kingto01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kingto01

L. Brent Kington papers

Creator:
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Names:
American Craft Council  Search this
Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- 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 -- Faculty  Search this
Yellin, Samuel, 1885-1940  Search this
Interviewer:
Hsu, Ilin  Search this
Extent:
9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Slides (photographs)
Sketches
Sound recordings
Date:
1944-2012
Summary:
The papers of influential blacksmith, sculptor, metalsmith and educator, L. Brent Kington, measure 9 linear feet and date from 1944 to 2012. The collection provides a valuable overview of Kington's career through correspondence relating primarily to exhibitions, subject files, drawings, photographs of Kington and his artwork, printed matter and audiovisual material. An additional 5.2 linear feet of papers was accessioned from 2007 to 2012 and remains unprocessed.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of influential blacksmith, sculptor, metalsmith, and educator, L. Brent Kington, measure 9 linear feet and date from 1944 to 2012. The collection provides a valuable overview of Kington's career through correspondence, subject files, drawings, photographs of Kington and his artwork, printed matter and audiovisual material.

Correspondence in Series 1 relates primarily to exhibitions in the United States at institutions such as the the American Craft Museum, the Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, and the National Ornamental Metal Museum, in which Kington's work was represented.

Kington's education at Cranbrook Academy of Art, his career at Southern Illinois University, his involvement with various professional organizations, his appearances at conferences and workshops, and his relationships with individual galleries, are more fully represented in Series 2: Subject Files.

The collection also includes printed matter, including exhibition announcements and catalogs for group and solo exhibitions in which Kington's work was featured, and publications containing articles about Kington.

Photographs in the collection include images of Kington's artwork and also picture Kington at various stages throughout his career. Audiovisual material includes an oral history interview with Kington from 2001, and two video recordings of a blacksmith workshop and a program entitled Brent Kington: Image of an Artist.

An additional 5.2 linear feet of papers was accessioned from 2007 to 2012 and remains unprocessed.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series. Original arrangement has generally been maintained throughout the collection, with some merging of chronological correspondence in Series 1 to facilitate access.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1955-2004, undated (box 1; 0.8 linear ft.)

Series 2: Subject Files, 1956-2005, undated (box 1-3; 1.6 linear ft.)

Series 3: Printed Material, 1952-2003, undated (box 3-4, OV 5; 0.9 linear ft.)

Series 4: Photographs, circa 1944-2001 (box 4; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 5: Audiovisual Material, 1982, 2001, undated (box 4; 4 items)

Series 6: Unprocessed Addition to the L. Brent Kington Papers, 1956-2012 (boxes 6-12, OV 13; 5.2 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
L. Brent Kington was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1934. He received a BFA from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, in 1957 and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1961. Kington began his career primarily as a silversmith working with small-scale objects such as jewelry, silverware, and toys, and then became interested in using forged iron to create sculpture. He sought the help and instruction of the few blacksmiths he could find working in a "traditional" style and began working with large-scale sculptures forged in iron and steel, weathervanes, and other kinetic sculpture. Kington's subsequent research, such as his exploration of forge welding techniques of iron and his experimentation with laminated, non-ferrous alloys, constituted an important contribution to the resurgence of traditional blacksmithing and was highly influential in the fields of blacksmithing and metalsmithing in general.

Kington served as Director of the School of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale from 1981 to 1994. He was a lecturer at SIU from 1961 to 1962, assistant professor from 1962 to 1967, associate professor from 1967 to 1972, professor from 1972 to 1996, and is currently professor emeritus. A committed educator and an avid spokesman for the arts, he has been honored many times as a guest lecturer, visiting artist, exhibit juror, workshop demonstrator, and panelist in the United States and abroad. In 1987 he spent a summer in Cortona, Italy as guest professor in the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program.

Since 1962, Kington's sculpture and metalwork has been shown in more than 350 group and solo exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada, Mexico, and South America. Over the years Kington has served in various professional organizations. He has been a Trustee of the American Craft Council, Director of the Artist-Blacksmith Association of North America (ABANA), and President of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG). In 1978 he was elected to the American Craft Council's Academy of Fellows and has been the recipient of two Artist Fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kington continues to work from his home and studio in Makando, Illinois.
Related Material:
The Archives also has a transcribed interview of L. Brent Kington, conducted May 3-4, 2001 by Mary Douglas for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. The interview was conducted in Kington's home and studio in Makando, Illinois.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in installments by L. Brent Kington from 2001 to 2012. Materials donated from 2007 to 2012 remain unprocessed.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. research facility.
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:
Blacksmithing  Search this
Blacksmiths -- Illinois  Search this
Sculptors -- Illinois  Search this
Art metal-workers  Search this
Art metal-work -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Photographs
Interviews
Slides (photographs)
Sketches
Sound recordings
Citation:
L. Brent Kington papers, 1944-2012. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kinglbre
See more items in:
L. Brent Kington papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kinglbre
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