An interview of V. V. Rankine conducted 1990 Mar. 2-22, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art.
Rankine discusses the evolution of her nickname, V.V.; discovering her dyslexia; growing up in Boston; auditioning for a part in, "The Philadelphia Story"; her art studies with Amedee Ozenfant from 1944 to 1946; her studies at Black Mountain College with Josef Albers and Willem De Kooning in 1947; her friendship with Morris Louis and watching him work; living with her brother-in-law Arshile Gorky, in New York City; her first one-woman show at the David Herbert Gallery in New York in 1962; exhibiting at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York and at the Jefferson Place Gallery in Washington, D.C.; Robert Richman and the Institute of Contemporary Arts; the relationship between her painting and her sculpture; favorite shapes and materials; and her summer home in East Hampton and artist friends there. Rankine also recalls Robert Rauschenberg, Jack Youngerman, Manoucher Yektai, Betty Parsons, Ibram Lassaw, Buckminster Fuller, Elaine De Kooning, Arthur Penn, Richard Leopold, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Ken Noland, Morris Louis, Ray Johnson, Kenneth Snelson, David Hare, Frederick Kiesler, Raphael Soyer, Moses Soyer, Jean Renault, Agnes Gorky, Esther Magruder, James Johnson Sweeney, Jim Brooks, John Graham, Phillip Guston, Duncan Phillips, Theresa Helburn, Augustine Duncan, Tom Downing, Gene Davis, Alice Denney, Nesta Dorrance, Kevin Merrill, Sam Gilliam, Dylan Thomas, Kay Halle, Kit Kennedy, Naum Gabo, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Anne Truitt, Wretha Nelson, Franz Bader, Louise Nevelson, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Bonnie Newman, Alexander Russo, Walt Sheridan, Gilbert Kinney, Saul Sherman, Steve Pace, Lee Krasner, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
V.V. Rankine (1920-2004) was a painter and sculptor from Washington, D.C. Variable forms of the artist's name are notably E. R. (Elvine Richard) Rankine, Vivian Scott Rankine, and her married name, Mrs. Paul Scott.
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 53 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.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Mary Fanton Roberts papers, 1880-1956. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.