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Oral history interview with Fritz Dreisbach

Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Frantz, Susanne K.  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Alfred University  Search this
Glass Art Society  Search this
Hiram College -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Pilchuck Glass Center (Stanwood, Wash.) -- Faculty  Search this
Toledo Museum of Art  Search this
University of Iowa -- Students  Search this
University of Wisconsin--Madison -- Students  Search this
Bailey, Clayton, 1939-2020  Search this
Bernstein, William, 1945-  Search this
Boysen, Bill  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Chihuly, Dale, 1941-  Search this
Dailey, Dan, 1947-  Search this
Eisch, Erwin, 1927-  Search this
Giberson, Dudley  Search this
Halem, Henry  Search this
Labino, Dominick  Search this
Leafgreen, Harvey  Search this
Lipofsky, Marvin, 1938-2016  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
McGlauchlin, Tom, 1934-2011  Search this
Myers, Joel Philip, 1934-  Search this
Noffke, Gary  Search this
Tamura, Ruth  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
121 Pages (Trancript)
21 Items (Sound recording: 21 sound files (8 hr., 41 min.), digital, wav)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Ohio -- Description and Travel
2004 April 21-22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Fritz Dreisbach conducted 2004 April 21-22, by Susanne Frantz, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Tucson, Arizona.
Dreisbach speaks of growing up in Ohio, in a family of educators and deciding at an early age to become a teacher; taking high school art; pursuing a BA in art and mathematics at Hiram College; getting his MAT and teaching high school math; attending the University of Iowa to study painting; the impact of taking a summer class in glassblowing; visiting Dominick Labino at his studio; researching colored glass and glass chemistry; becoming Harvey K. Littleton's teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; building a hot shop and teaching at the Toledo Museum of Art; teaching at Penland School of Crafts; creating the Glass Art Society with Mark Peiser after attending a NCECA conference; moving to Seattle to make glass colors for The Glass Eye; and working for Spectrum Glass Company. Dreisbach also speaks of the importance of community among glass artists; taking part in glass symposia in Frauenau, Germany; traveling around the country to teach workshops, known as his "Road Show"; making representational pop-style pieces as well as historical reference pieces; collaborating on a stained glass window with Gary Noffke; developing techniques for making goblets; working with Dante Marioni on a series of goblets; his commissioned pieces, including the Corning Pokal; engraving glass; his Mongo series; selling works through galleries; the influence of the Italian glass artists; teaching at Pilchuck Glass School; Dominick Labino's career and innovations in glass technology; being invited to give the Samuel R. Scholes lecture at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University; serving twice as Glass Art Society president; inaccuracies in the history of American studio glass; taking part in GAS conferences at Fenton Glass Factory; the importance of the rise of the university-trained glass artist in the 1960s; going to Pilchuck for the first time; meeting international glass artists; attending symposia at Novy Bor, Czech Republic; and his plans for the future. Dreisbach also recalls Tom McGlauchlin, Clayton Bailey, Erwin Eisch, Dale Chihuly, Bill Brown, Marvin Lipofsky, Joel Myers, Billy Bernstein, Dan Dailey, Dudley Giberson, Harvey Leafgreen, Bill Boysen, Henry Halem, Peter Voulkos, Ruth Tamura, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Fritz Dreisbach (1941- ) is a glass artist from Tucson, Arizona. Susanne Frantz is a writer and curator from Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Originally recorded on 8 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 21 digital wav files. Duration is 8 hr., 41 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.
Glass artists -- Arizona -- Tucson  Search this
Glass artists -- Italy  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Glass art  Search this
Sound recordings
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
Online Media:

Association of Curators Project Oral History Interviews

Association of Curators Project (National Museum of American History)  Search this
3 audiotapes (Reference copies).
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program staff conduct interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also reminiscences and interviews recorded by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Margaret Brown Klapthor, J. Jefferson Miller, and John T. Schlebecker, Smithsonian curators, were chosen to present their reminiscences because of their long and distinguished careers at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Descriptive Entry:
Harold D. Langley, chair of the Association of Curators, NMAH, moderated these sessions in 1983, and they were recorded by Smithsonian Institution Archives Historian, Pamela M. Henson.
Historical Note:
In 1983, the chair of the Association of Curators of the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Harold D. Langley, hosted a series of talks by senior curators "On Being a Curator." Informal remarks were followed by a question and answer period with curatorial staff. Margaret Brown Klapthor, J. Jefferson Miller, II, and John T. Schlebecker discussed their careers at the museum, focusing on development and curation of collections, and reminiscences of their museum years. Klapthor and Miller served on the NMAH Collections Committee and also addressed issues of collecting policies and curatorial methods. Their reminiscences span the years of the United States National Museum (USNM), the formation of a separate National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT), and its renaming as the National Museum of American History in 1980.

Margaret Brown Klapthor (1922-1994) received the B.A. from the University of Maryland and was appointed Museum Aid in the Division of History of the USNM in 1943. She advanced to Assistant curator in 1947, Associate Curator in 1952, and Curator in 1970. After forty years at the museum, she retired in 1983. Her curatorial work focused on the First Ladies gowns collection, White House china, and political campaign contributions.

J. Jefferson Miller, II (1928-2005) received the B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and the L.L.B. from the University of Maryland. He changed careers after pursuing a fellowship in American decorative arts at Winterthur and receiving the M.A. in American culture history from the University of Delaware. He came to the Division of Ceramics and Glass of the NMHT as Assistant Curator in 1962, after completing his master's degree. He served as Associate Curator from 1964 to 1969 and Curator from 1970 until his retirement in 1980. He then served as director of the Maryland Historical society from 1984 to 1989. His collecting and research focused on European ceramics and American art porcelains.

John T. Schlebecker, a noted scholar of agricultural history and a key player in the living historical farms movement, graduated from Hiram College in 1949 with a major in social science, earned the M.A. in history from Harvard University in 1951 and the Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1954. He was curator of agricultural history at the American History Museum from 1965 until his retirement in 1984, and also served as chair of the Department of History of Science and Technology in 1978.
Restricted. Contact to request permission.
Museum techniques  Search this
Records of meetings, organizations, and professional societies  Search this
Special events  Search this
Museum curators -- Interviews  Search this
Oral history  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9522, Association of Curators Project Oral History Interviews
Record Unit 9522
See more items in:
Association of Curators Project Oral History Interviews
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

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