An interview of Jackie Ferrara conducted 2009 January 16-February 13, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art's U.S. General Services Administration, Design Excellence and the Arts oral history project, at the Ferrara's home, in New York, New York.
Ferrara speaks of growing up in Detroit, Michigan; her early interest in mathematics and its ever present role in her work; attending Michigan State University for one year; taking fashion drawing classes at Wayne State University and her supposed lack of drawing skills; an early interest in pottery and leather making; moving to New York City in 1951 on a night train from Detroit; working at the Henry Street Playhouse and its influential role on her art; her relationship with Robert Beauchamp and her friendship with many artists in Provincetown, Massachusetts; early works, including the cotton batting works and the rope works, most of which were destroyed; her dislike of traveling and her use of imagination for inspiration; participating in the performances and happenings of Claes Oldenburg; her friendship with Robert Smithson and his influence on her later works; working with Max Protetch; never teaching art because she herself did not attend art school; her creation process of her wood and stone pieces, including their conception in early drawings; having a positive attitude towards her pieces being rebuilt because of decay; quickly moving into public art in the late 1970s, early 1980s; living and working in the same loft in New York for over 40 years; the helpful role the women's movement played in her successful career though she did not participate; receiving art grants to enable her to work for a year or two without having to find an odd job to support herself; various public art projects around the country, how they came to be, creating the works and their significance to her. Ferrara also recalls Charlotte Tokayer, Don Ferrara, Alvin Nikolai, Richard Bellamy, Mary and Paul Frank, Miles and Barbara Forst, Sally Gross, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Nat Halprin, Lucas Samara, Letty Lou Eisenhauer, James Rosenquist, Marcia Marcus, Charles Addams, Eva Hesse, Frank Gallo, Tony DeLap, Dorothea Rockburne, Time Doyle, Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Nancy Graves, Marty Greenbaum, Abe Sachs, Mel Bochner, Jan Groover, Alice Aycock, Alice Adams, Jackie Windsor, Scott Burton, Siah Armajani, Michelle Stuart, Lucy Lippard, Zaha Hadid, Max Hutcinson, Andrea Blum, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Jackie Ferrara (1929- ) is a sculptor. Ferrara works with the built environment in her designs for courtyards and architectural structures.
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.
Audio: ACCESS RESTRICTED; Use requires written permission.
Scrapbook compiled by Greenbaum relating to various artists; and untranscribed interviews, including two of Herman Somberg conducted by Greenbaum, ca. 1965; two of Greenbaum conducted by Vivienne Wechter, 1961 and 1978; and one of Greenbaum conducted by Hilda Weltman, 1968.
The scrapbook contains photographs of Greenbaum and artists George Segal, Miles Forst, and Willem de Kooning; photographs of works of art by Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Chryssa, Isamu Noguchi, Will Barnet, Barbara Hepworth, and Ilya Bolotowsky; sketches by Herman Somberg and Henry Pearson; a sketch of Greenbaum by Hugo Weber; a catalog, "The 30's -- Painting in New York"; clippings; and printed miscellany.
The interviews of Somberg conducted by Greenbaum include one (5 5" tapes) in which Somberg discusses Pop and Op movements; artist's motivations; realism vs. reality and tradition vs. modern art; the elements of structure, texture, composition and pigment in modern art; social commentary in painting; "pure painting"; Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and Willem de Kooning; happenings; and Somberg's disdain for art history. In the second interview (1 5" tape), painter Raymond Hendler is also present; they discuss their favorite television shows, an Op exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, and the meanings of the words "good," "like," "taste," and opinion" in relation to contemporary art.
The interviews of Greenbaum, include: one (on 2 5" tapes), conducted by Hilda Weltman, July 13 & 20, 1968 in which Greenbaum speaks of the conflicts and opportunities of American artists and his views on Pop art, strobe lights, civil rights, religion, existentialism, the Catholic Church, Vietnam, technology, hippies, and demonstrations at Columbia University; one (on 1 7"tape) conducted by Viviene Wechter, 1961 wherein Greenbaum speaks of collecting, art and affordability, abstract art, the arrangement of paintings on walls, his collection, and artists as personalities independent of their aesthetic; and the third, conducted in 1978, also by Wechter (on 1 cassette) for a radio program entitled "Today's World" on FM radio station WFUV.
Biographical / Historical:
Jack Greenbaum: collector and dentist; New York, N.Y. and an intimate friend of Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Hugo Weber. He did their dental work and was given their paintings in payment.
Donated 1978 by Dr. Jack Greenbaum.
Microfilmed portion (scrapbook) must be consulted on microfilm. Use of untranscribed interviews requires an appointment and is limited to AAA; Washington, D.C. office.
An interview of Richard Bellamy, concerning the Hansa Gallery, conducted 1963, by Richard Brown Baker, for the Archives of American Art.
Bellamy speaks of the Hansa Gallery's original organization by a group of Hans Hofmann's students; Hansa's location, purpose and program; and the definition of a cooperative gallery. Bellamy reminisces about his early life in Cincinnati, the influence of the Provincetown exhibition in 1949, becoming manager and director of Hansa Gallery and the gallery's move uptown. He discusses financial arrangements with artists, guest exhibitions, collectors, the gallery's location and its disadvantages in regard to visitors and critics, an Allan Kaprow exhibition, and the inclusion of Hansa artists in the Whitney Museum of American Art's annuals and other exhibitions.
He comments on Hansa's reputation, ART NEWS notices, comparisons of the Hansa and Green galleries, the weaknesses of a cooperative gallery, the search for new artists, financial problems, reasons for closing the gallery, galleries where original Hansa artists now exhibit and the gallery's importance in the art life of the times. He recalls John Gruen, Richard Stankiewicz, Miles Forst, Jan Muller, Myron Stout, and Thomas Hess.
Biographical / Historical:
Richard Bellamy (1927-1998) was an art dealer from New York, N.Y.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 34 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art's 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.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Cooperative societies -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
276 photographs, ca. 1946-1966, taken by Kalisher of artists teaching at Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont, Black Mountain College, North Carolina, and the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Artists include: Peter Abate, Kongo Abe, Cora-Beth Abel, Samuel M. Adler, Paul Aschenbach, Josef Albers, Ture Bengtz, Wieslaw Borowski, Ms. Coonhan, Jan Cox, Merce Cunningham, Dorothy Dehner, Elaine de Kooning, Garabed der Hovanesian, Blanche Dombek, Jan Doubrova, Franc Epping, Vernon Fimple, Miles Forst, Helen Frankenthaler, Buckminster Fuller, David Gil, Maurice Glickman, Julio Granda, Philip Grausman, Cleve Gray, Stanley William Hayter, Victoria Kilbourn, Oskar Kokoschka, Alexander Lieberman, Michael Mazur, ? McKenzie, Ivan Mestrovic, George L. K. Morris, Robert Motherwell, Alice Neel, Kenneth Noland, Mine Okubo, Gregorio Prestopino, Norman Rockwell, Jakob Rosenberg, David Smith, John Torres, Wen Ying Tsai, Asapia Voulis, Iain Whitecross, Marguerite Wildenhain, and ? Zhermansky.
Biographical / Historical:
Lent for microfilming 1982 by Clemens Kalischer.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.