An interview of Adele S. Brown and William H. Calfee conducted 1995 January 11, by Liza Kirwin, at Calfee's home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, for the Archives of American Art.
Brown and Calfee speak of their roles in Phillips Studio House. They recall Law Watkins, Karl Knaths, Duncan Phillips, Bernice Cross, Bob Gates, Marjorie Phillips, Alice Acheson, John Marin, George Groves, Harold West, Adelyn Breeskin, Kenneth Noland, Jack Tworkov, Caresse Crosby, Prentiss Taylor, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Brown, an art administrator in Washington, D.C., managed the sales gallery of the Phillips Studio House from 1933-1937. Calfee, a painter and sculptor, taught at the art school affiliated with Studio House from 1933 until it closed in 1945. Phillips Studio House, founded by C. Law Watkins, Associate Director of the Phillips Memorial Gallery, was both an art school and commercial gallery. It opened in November 1933, and closed in 1945 upon Watkins' death. In 1946 Calfee and a group of artists affiliated with the school were asked to form the first art department faculty at American University for which he served as its department head until 1954.
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 33 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
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Funding for the transcription of this interview provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Women's Committee.
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Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 19-136, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Curatorial Office, Acquisition Records (Declined)