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Oral history interview with Bruce Metcalf

Interviewee:
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Colorado State University -- Faculty  Search this
Kent State University -- Faculty  Search this
Montana State University (Bozeman, Mont.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
State University of New York at New Paltz -- Students  Search this
Syracuse University -- Students  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
University of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.) -- Faculty  Search this
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Arneson, Robert, 1930-1992  Search this
Bauer, Fred  Search this
Bennett, Jamie, 1948-  Search this
Burns, Mark, 1950-  Search this
Church, Sharon, 1948-  Search this
Clark, Garth, 1947-  Search this
Craig, Gabriel  Search this
Cummins, Susan  Search this
Daley, William, 1925-  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Eidelberg, Martin P.  Search this
Flynn, Pat, 1954-  Search this
Getty, Nilda  Search this
Gill, John, 1949-  Search this
Griffin, Gary, 1945-  Search this
Halem, Henry  Search this
Hammer, Wayne  Search this
Hash, Arthur, 1976-  Search this
Jerry, Michael John, 1937-  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Koplos, Janet  Search this
Koss, Gene  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Long, Randy  Search this
Matzdorf, Kurt  Search this
Mawdsley, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Morris, William, 1834-1896  Search this
Pritchard, Marian  Search this
Rogers, Harriet  Search this
Rogers, Steve  Search this
Ruskin, John, 1819-1900  Search this
Schaechter, Judith, 1961-  Search this
Shaw, Richard, 1941 Sept. 12-  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Slosberg, Jill  Search this
Wilson, Anne, 1949-  Search this
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Extent:
96 Pages (Transcript)
5 Items (Sound recording: 5 sound files (4 hr., 10 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
California -- description and travel
Seoul (Korea) -- Description and Travel
Date:
2009 June 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Bruce Metcalf conducted 2009 June 10, by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Metcalf's home, in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Mr. Metcalf discusses his early years in Amherst, Massachusetts; beginnings as a maker with modeling clay and plastic airplane models; undergraduate years at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York in the late 1960s; early interest in architecture; early disenchantment with modernist discourse and theory; introduction to Marxist theory and idealism of the 1960s; summer trip to California in 1970; return to the East Coast upon the death of his father; return to college, transferring into jewelry in his senior year; influence of his teacher Michael Jerry; seeing the work in "Objects: USA" exhibition (1969) and influence of the work of J. Fred Woell, Richard Mawdsley, L. Brent Kington; rejection of current trends in art, including conceptual art and formalism; his affinity for the medium of metal, and hammersmithing; influence of funk ceramics, including work by Fred Bauer and Richard Shaw; brief stint at Montana State University, Bozeman; working in cardboard and wood; graduate school at the State University of New York, New Paltz; working with Robert Ebendorf and Kurt Matzdorf at New Paltz; work as a production artist/craftsperson; attending Rhinebeck, New York, craft fair in the mid-1970s; the influence of writings by William Morris and John Ruskin and the notion of "dignified labor"; graduate school at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; formulating his aesthetic of narrative symbolism; publication of his first article in 1977 as a response to review of the exhibition "Forms in Metal: 275 Years of Metalsmithing in America" (1975); yearlong teaching position at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; taking a teaching position at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (1986-1991); publication of his article "Crafts: Second-Class Citizens?" in the first issue of Metalsmith, 1980; growing involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths; development of his notion of "social utility" and the role and function of crafts and making; expansion of his writing on craft; rejection of the deconstructivist school of thought in the 1980s; abandonment of sculptural objects for jewelry in the early 1990s; return to Philadelphia in 1991; early teaching of history of craft, first at Kent, then on a Fulbright scholarship in Seoul, South Korea (1990), later at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, in the early 1990s; influence of Martin Eidelberg; development of his vision for a history of craft course; collaboration with Janet Koplos on "Makers: A History of American Studio Craft"; use of his medium and craft to explore issues of nurturing and anxiety; the psychological/social effect and aesthetic importance of wearing jewelry (for the wearer and the artist); the pros and cons of craft collectors; the problematics of installation work by craft artists; recent trends in craft, including Anne Wilson's notion of "sloppy craft" and an "anti-craft" attitude; recent artists, including Arthur Hash and Gabriel Craig; lack of exhibition opportunities for younger/emerging artists; influential recent texts, including "Shards," by Garth Clark. He also recalls Robert Arneson, Randy Long, Carol Kumata, Jamie Bennett, Steve and Harriet Rogers, Wayne Hammer, Stanley Lechtzin, Gene Koss, Henry Halem, Mark Burns, Rose Slivka, Nilda Getty, Jill Slosberg, Sharon Church, John Gill, David La Plantz, Lois Moran; Gary Griffin; William Daley, Marian Pritchard, Glenn Adamson, Pat Flynn, Susan Cummins, and Judith Schaechter.
The following oral history transcript is the result of a recorded interview with Bruce Metcalf on June 10, 2009. The interview took place in Bala Cynwyd, Penn., and was conducted by Edward S. Cooke, Jr. for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This interview is part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Bruce Metcalf has reviewed the transcript. His corrections and emendations appear below in brackets with initials. This transcript has been lightly edited for readability by the Archives of American Art. The reader should bear in mind that they are reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.
Biographical / Historical:
Bruce Metcalf (1949- ) is a jeweler and writer in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded as 5 sound files. Duration is 4 hr., 10 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Communism  Search this
Deconstructivism (Architecture)  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Formalism (Art)  Search this
Jewelers -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.metcal09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-metcal09

Oral history interview with Kiff Slemmons

Interviewee:
Slemmons, Kiff  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Scripps College -- Students  Search this
University of Iowa -- Students  Search this
Adams, Leo  Search this
Benjamin, Walter  Search this
Di Mare, Dominic, 1932-  Search this
Herman, Lloyd E.  Search this
Holshuh, Virginia  Search this
Höch, Hannah, 1889-1978  Search this
Knobel, Esther, 1949-  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Messager, Annette, 1943-  Search this
Solberg, Ramona  Search this
Steffins, Ella  Search this
Toledo, Francisco, 1940-  Search this
Extent:
92 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2007 November 1-2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Kiff Slemmons conducted 2007 November 1-2, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Slemmons' home and studio in Chicago, Illinois.
Slemmons speaks of her childhood growing up in a small town in Iowa; helping her mother in the town pharmacy; working the printing press with her dad, who published the town newspaper; taking art lessons in grade school; learning to play the piano; attending one year at Scripps College before living for a year in Paris; attending the University of Iowa majoring in French; taking basic art classes her senior year; a spring trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, with her future husband Rod; financing the trip by selling 150 pairs of earrings at the student art fair; visiting Monte Alban and being inspired by the ancient jewelry in Tomb 7; moving to Washington state; meeting Ella Steffins and doing jewelry repair work; a strong feeling of the maker's presence in work she repairs; the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi; imperfection as an attractive quality; the conscious decision made from jewelry making to art making, based more in ideas and concepts as opposed to simple decoration; series Hands of Heros, Figures of Speech; the importance of exhibiting her work as it would be seen worn as opposed to in cases under glass; the development of her breastplate pieces; the Top 10 Ethnic Hits; the layering of many meanings as well as materials in her work; her respect for the brevity of poetry and love of Emily Dickinson's work; the restraint of poetry in leaving things unsaid and her struggle to capture that essence; series Re:Pair and Imperfection coming out of her move to Chicago and the developing Iraq War; her workbench as an ever-changing sketchbook full of chaos, tension, and conversation; working with Francisco Toledo and the city of Oaxaca in developing paper jewelry; her travels to India, Africa, Mexico, and Japan; her piece Insectopedia and the great interest shown in it by entomologists; and her desire to send her work out in the world where it is seen and enjoyed. Slemmons also recalls Ramona Solberg, David LaPlantz, Leo Adams, Esther Knobel, Lloyd Herman, Dominic DiMare, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Hoch, Annette Messager, Virginia Holshuh, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Kiff Slemmons (1944- ) is a metal artist from Chicago, Illinois. Interviewer Mija Riedel is a curator and writer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 13 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr., 19 min.
Provenance:
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.
Topic:
Metal-workers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry makers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.slemmo07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-slemmo07

Oral history interview with Bruce Metcalf, 2009 June 10

Interviewee:
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Subject:
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Arneson, Robert  Search this
Bauer, Fred  Search this
Bennett, Jamie  Search this
Burns, Mark  Search this
Church, Sharon  Search this
Clark, Garth  Search this
Craig, Gabriel  Search this
Cummins, Susan  Search this
Daley, William  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert  Search this
Eidelberg, Martin P.  Search this
Flynn, Pat  Search this
Getty, Nilda  Search this
Gill, John  Search this
Griffin, Gary  Search this
Halem, Henry  Search this
Hammer, Wayne  Search this
Hash, Arthur  Search this
Jerry, Michael John  Search this
Long, Randy  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent)  Search this
Koplos, Janet  Search this
Koss, Gene  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley  Search this
Matzdorf, Kurt  Search this
Mawdsley, Richard  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Morris, William  Search this
Pritchard, Marian  Search this
Rogers, Harriet  Search this
Rogers, Steve  Search this
Ruskin, John  Search this
Schaechter, Judith  Search this
Shaw, Richard  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Slosberg, Jill  Search this
Wilson, Anne  Search this
Woell, J. Fred  Search this
Colorado State University  Search this
Kent State University  Search this
Montana State University (Bozeman, Mont.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
State University of New York at New Paltz  Search this
Syracuse University  Search this
Tyler School of Art  Search this
University of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.)  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
California -- description and travel
Seoul (Korea) -- Description and travel
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Communism  Search this
Deconstructivism (Architecture)  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Formalism (Art)  Search this
Jewelers -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)16051
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)310185
AAA_collcode_metcal09
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_310185
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Kiff Slemmons, 2007 November 1-2

Interviewee:
Slemmons, Kiff, 1944-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Subject:
Solberg, Ramona  Search this
Steffins, Ella  Search this
Toledo, Francisco  Search this
Herman, Lloyd E.  Search this
Di Mare, Dominic  Search this
Adams, Leo  Search this
Benjamin, Walter  Search this
Knobel, Esther  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Höch, Hannah  Search this
Holshuh, Virginia  Search this
Messager, Annette  Search this
University of Iowa  Search this
Scripps College  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Metal-workers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry makers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13662
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)273941
AAA_collcode_slemmo07
Theme:
Craft
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_273941
Online Media:

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