Interview of John Walter Stephan, conducted by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art, at Newport, Rhode Island, on May 20, 1986 and May 7, 1987.
Stephan speaks of Chicago childhood and adolescence; life during the Depression; the Art Institute of Chicago; the 1930s Chicago leftist movement; the WPA and PWAP; The Tiger's Eye art magazine; Rome artistic and literary society; the New York School of artists; Betty Parsons Gallery; the Surrealists; teaching at Fairleigh Dickenson University; Hunter College; and his critiques of Pop and contemporary artists. Stephan also recalls Ruth Walgreen, Dart Stephan, Rainey Bennett, Clyfford Still, Juan de Diego, Caleb Harrison, Aaron Bohrod, Dudley Crafts Watson, Jack Jones, George Constant, Connie Moran, CJ Bulliet, Rudolph Weisenborn, Inez Cunningham, Eva Watson-Schütze, Jesus Torres, Edgar Miller, Katherine Kuh, Increase Robinson, Peterpaul Ott, Mitchell Siporin, Raymond Breinin, Holger Cahill, John Fabian, Eddie Millman, Winn Nathanson, Fairfield Porter, Norman MacLeish, Ossip Zadkine, Betty Parsons, Alfonso Ossorio, Max Ernst, Julien Levy, Peggy Guggenheim, Bill de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Barney Newman, Nicolas Calas, Bob Motherwell, Monroe Wheeler, Myra Shapiro, Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg, Alfred Knopf, Robert Flaherty, Jaime Sebartés, Frederick Kiesler, Robert Matta, Mario Praz, Bill Denby, Ben Johnson, Milton Gendel, Walter Auerbach, Jerry Wilhelm, Eugene Goossens, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
John Walter Stephan (1906-1995) was a painter.
Originally recorded on 6 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 54 min.
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.