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William Wyman to Bernard Leach

Creator:
Wyman, William, 1922-1980  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Wyman, William, 1922-1980  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1961 Sept. 12
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1777
See more items in:
William Wyman papers, 1930-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1777

Marguerite Wildenhain to Bernard Leach

Creator:
Wildenhain, Marguerite Friedlaender, 1896-1985  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Wildenhain, Marguerite Friedlaender, 1896-1985  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
ca. 1953
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1820
See more items in:
Marguerite Wildenhain papers, 1930-1982
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1820
Online Media:

Bernard Leach to Warren MacKenzie

Creator:
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
MacKenzie, Warren, 1924-2018  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Date:
1961 Sept. 25
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)1823
See more items in:
Warren MacKenzie letters from Bernard and Janet Leach, 1960-1966 [and undated]
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_1823

Bernard Leach letter to Warren MacKenzie

Creator:
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
MacKenzie, Warren, 1924-2018  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Subject:
Leach, Bernard  Search this
Type:
Correspondence
Place:
Japan
Date:
1961 Sept. 25
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Exhibitions  Search this
Travel  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)251
See more items in:
Warren MacKenzie letters from Bernard and Janet Leach, 1960-1966 [and undated]
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_251

Warren MacKenzie letters from Bernard and Janet Leach, 1960-1966 [and undated]

Creator:
MacKenzie, Warren, 1924-2018  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
MacKenzie, Warren, 1924-2018  Search this
Subject:
Leach, Janet  Search this
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5584
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209126
AAA_collcode_mackwarr
Theme:
Craft
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209126

Oral history interview with Betty Woodman

Interviewee:
Woodman, Betty, 1930-2018  Search this
Interviewer:
Perreault, John, 1937-2015  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Bellagio Study and Conference Center  Search this
Boulder (Colo.).. Parks & Recreation Department  Search this
Centre internationale de recherche sur le verre et les arts plastiques (Marseille, France)  Search this
Europees Keramisch Werkcentrum  Search this
Fabric Workshop  Search this
Girl Scouts of the United States of America  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
School for American Crafts  Search this
University of Colorado -- Faculty  Search this
Brown, Elenita  Search this
Carlson, Cynthia, 1942-  Search this
Hamada, Shōji, 1894-1978  Search this
Higby, Wayne  Search this
Kozloff, Joyce  Search this
Kushner, Robert, 1949-  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Serra, Richard, 1938-  Search this
Shark, Bud  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Woodman, George, 1932-  Search this
Extent:
5 Items (Sound recording: 5 sound files (2 hr., 55 min.), digital wav)
69 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Boulder (Colo.)
India -- description and travel
Mexico -- description and travel
Netherlands -- description and travel
Date:
2003 April 22 and 29
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Betty Woodman conducted 2003 April 22 and 29, by John Perreault, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in New York, New York.
Woodman speaks of frequent moves with her family during her childhood; her father's woodworking skills; gaining an interest in arts and crafts at four when she made a tablecloth with crayon drawings; attending summer camps, including Girl Scout Camp, where she participated in arts and crafts activities; being the first girl to take shop in her middle school; making model airplanes for air raid wardens during World War II; her interest in making functional objects; her introduction to clay and hand-building in high school; attending the School for American Craftsmen in New York City; collaborating with fellow students; her early desire to be a "craftsperson and not an artist"; her work with silk-screen fabric for The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia and glass at CIRVA in Marseille, France; teaching at the University of Colorado and the City of Boulder Recreation Department; working at the European Ceramic Work Center in Den Bosch, Holland, and the Bellagio Study Center in Italy; her studios in New York, Colorado, and Italy; her travels to India, The Netherlands, and Mexico; living in New Mexico, New York, Colorado, and Italy; her business Roadrunner Pottery in New Mexico with partner Elenita Brown; collaborative projects with Joyce Kozloff, Cynthia Carlson, Bud Shark, Judith Solodkin, and her husband George Woodman; developing a following in New York; how being a woman has affected her work and how she enjoys working with other women artists; the change of market for American crafts; Italian, Greek, and Etruscan influences; teaching experiences; the importance of getting reviews in art magazines; and the strong support from her husband George, a painter. Betty Woodman recalls Lynn Feelyn, Olan Wassen, Bernard Leach, Peter Voulkos, Shoji Hamada, Bob Kushner, Richard Serra, Wayne Higby, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Betty Woodman (1930-2018) was a ceramist from New York, New York. John Perreault (1937- ) is an independent critic and curator from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 55 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:
Airplanes -- Models  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art  Search this
Handicraft -- United States  Search this
Screen process printing  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.woodma03
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woodma03

Warren MacKenzie letters from Bernard and Janet Leach

Creator:
MacKenzie, Warren, 1924-2018  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Names:
Leach, Janet  Search this
Extent:
10 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1960-1966 [and undated]
Scope and Contents:
Letters from Bernard and Janet Leach to Warren MacKenzie from their home in England and while traveling in Japan. The letters describe their exhibitions of pottery, the progress of their work, and their travels. Four of the letters are illustrated and one includes a rough draft of an article on pottery by Janet Leach.
Biographical / Historical:
Ceramist and educator; West Bank, Minnesota.
Provenance:
Donated 1985 by Warren MacKenzie.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Ceramicists  Search this
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.mackwarr
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mackwarr

Oral history interview with Michael Cohen

Interviewee:
Cohen, Michael, 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
Williams, Gerald, 1926-2014  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Massachusetts College of Art  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Burke, Ron  Search this
Glick, John Parker, 1938-  Search this
Goodwin, Harriet  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Merritt, Francis Sumner, 1913-2000  Search this
Sedestrom, Bob  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Wyman, William, 1922-1980  Search this
Extent:
37 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 August 11
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Michael Cohen conducted 2001 August 11, by Gerry Williams, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at his home, in Pelham, Massachusetts.
Cohen speaks of his childhood, living outside of Boston, Massachusetts; his first adventures in art; attending Mass Art; his attraction to clay; his mentors; his first job with Bill Wyman; joining the Army; his travels; his unhappy experience at Cranbrook Academy of Art; his first studio in his mother's basement; enjoying his first summer at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the other schools of craft; how his pottery is meant to be functional; his fear of dying at 59 and the great sculptural work he did in that year; exhibition shows and how they have changed over the course of his career; why he's moved to primarily making tiles; apprenticeship and the benefits of paying your apprentices; how expensive being in the pottery business has become; various teaching and workshop experiences; local pottery guilds he is a part of; the creation and design of his studio space; technological advances in the field and the distinctive tools he loves to use; specialized periodicals that he reads or looks at; what makes a pot beautiful; limitations in clay; commissions and the lack of benefits involved with commissions; the permanent collections of museums that he is a part of; how he thinks he will be remembered; his most memorable exhibitions; where he gets his ideas from; social and political issues he's involved in and how he does not include them in his work; the craft organizations; curators he's enjoyed working with; his ex-wife Harriet Goodwin and how their collaboration was important to his work. Cohen also recalls Francis Merritt, Bernard Leach, Peter Voulkos, Ron Burke, John Glick, Bob Sedestrom, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Michael Cohen (1936-) is a ceramist from Amherst, Massachusetts. Gerry Williams (1926-) is the editor of Studio Potter from Goffstown, New Hampshire.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr.; 6 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:
For more information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- Massachusetts -- Interview  Search this
Topic:
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramics. -- Economic aspects  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cohen01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cohen01

Oral history interview with Warren MacKenzie

Interviewee:
MacKenzie, Warren, 1924-2018  Search this
Interviewer:
Silberman, Robert B. (Robert Bruce), 1950-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago -- Student  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Minnesota -- Faculty  Search this
Hamada, Shōji, 1894-1978  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
MacKenzie, Alixandra Kolesky, d. 1962  Search this
Extent:
44 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2002 October 29
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Warren MacKenzie conducted 2002 October 29, by Robert Silberman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Stillwater, Minnesota.
MacKenzie speaks of his early childhood and eagerness to become a painter; being drafted in 1943; returning from active duty in the Army to find all the painting classes full and registering for a ceramic class; the significance of Bernard Leach's, "A Potter's Book" to his early ceramic education, and fellow classmates; his studies at the Chicago Art Institute; museums in Chicago; his first wife, potter, Alix MacKenzie; traveling to England to receive further training from Leach, first being rejected and then returning a year later to work 2 1/2 years at Leach Pottery at St. Ives; contacts such as Shoji Hamada, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, and others; his lack of interest in sculptural ceramics; the good remnants of Leach pottery pots in his pottery today; Korean and Japanese influences; the International Potters and Weavers Conference in 1952 and returning to the U.S.; Alix's role in arranging Hamada's tour of the U.S. and exhibition in St. Paul; building their first pottery; exhibitions at the Walker Arts Center; purchasing the best Hamada pot at the St. Paul exhibit; teaching at the University of Minnesota; his experiences at craft schools; his involvement with NCECA [National Council on Education in Ceramic Art] and the Minnesota Craft Council; his travels; the self-service showroom on his property; changes in the field of ceramics; the 1968 fire that destroyed his barn studio; his working process; his experience with a salt kiln; experimenting in each firing; and his monthly work schedule. MacKenzie also recalls Kathleen Blackshear, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Soetsu Yanagi, Jerry Liebling, Allen Downs, Walter Quirt, Phil Morton, Curt Heuer, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Josef Albers, Kenneth Ferguson, Rudy Autio, Peter Voulkos, Tatsuzo Shimaoka, David Lewis, Michael Cardew, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Warren MacKenzie (1924-2018) was a ceramist from Stillwater, Minnesota.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 33 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:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Ceramicists -- Minnesota -- Interviews  Search this
Ceramics. -- Economic aspects  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Ceramics -- Japan  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.macken02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-macken02

Mark Tobey papers

Creator:
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Names:
Willard Gallery  Search this
Ashton, Dore  Search this
Dahl, Arthur L., 1942-  Search this
Elmhirst, Dorothy Payne Whitney Straight  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Hallsten, Pehr, d. 1965  Search this
Hauberg, Anne Gould  Search this
Hauberg, John H. (John Henry), 1916-  Search this
Hillman, Kay  Search this
Holty, Carl, 1900-1973  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Ritter, Mark  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Seliger, Charles, 1926-2009  Search this
Willard, Marian, 1904-  Search this
Extent:
11 Microfilm reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Date:
[ca. 1920]-1977
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material; correspondence; financial records; Baha'i material; music; writings; art works; printed material; and photographs.
Biographical material includes diaries with sporadic entries, undated and 1958-1959; address books; membership cards, and honorary titles. Correspondents include Stephen Andrus, Dore Ashton, Arthur G. Barnett, John and Betty Bowen, Adelyn Breeskin, Cliffa Carson (niece), Thomas A. Chew, Lillian Clark, Paul Cummings, Arthur Dahl, Shoghi B. Effendi, Dorothy Elmhirst, Claire Falkenstein, Lyonel Feininger, Janet Flanner, John Ford,Miriam Gabo, Colin Graham, Pehr Hallsten, Pamela Harkins, Nina Harwood, John and Anne Hauberg, Kay Hillman, Joseph Hirshhorn, David Hofman, Carl Holty, Herbert Hoover, Leroy and Silvia Ioas, Berthe P. and Claire Jacobson, Nina Kandinsky, Helen Kendall, Carolyn Kizer, Katharine Kuh,Rene Lauby, Bernard Leach, Gerald Lieberman, Andre Masson, Marjory Masten, George Mathieu, N. Richard Miller, Joan Miro, Axel Mondell, Alfred Neumeyer, Ben Nicholson, Vincent Price, Mark Ritter, Diego Rivera, Nancy W. Ross, John Russell, Henry Seldis, Charles Seliger, Otto Seligman, Art Smith, James Speyer, Michel Tapie, Miriam Terry, Roland Terry, Juliet Thompson, Kenneth Tyler, Charmion Von Wiegand, Heloise Wardall, Ulfert Wilke, and Marian Willard of the Willard Gallery.
Also found are: notes taken while studying French; financial, legal and medical records; material relating to Baha'i, including credential for Tobey for the Baha'i World Congress, 1963, class notes, photographs, prayer books, and printed material; music, including sheet music by Tobey, recital program, and music by Harold Budd, John Sundsten,and Debussey; writings and poetry by Tobey and Dahl; writings on Tobey; a transcript of an interview of Tobey conducted by William Seitz; sketches and sketchbooks by Tobey and by others, including Bernard Leach; printed material on Tobey, including reproductions of work, exhibition catalogs and announcements, magazine articles, and clippings; and printed material on others, including Hallsten, Leach, Seliger, Feininger, Abraham Walkowitz, Alberto Burri, and Jules Pascin.
Also included are photographs of: Tobey, Tobey with family and friends, exhibition installations, works of art, an album containing photos, sketches and notes, ca. 1920-1950, an album of photos of Tobey's Seattle studio taken after his death by Kenneth Tomlinson, 1976, and miscellaneous photographs.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; Abstract Expressionist. Also worked as fashion illustrator, portrait painter. Born in Wisconsin, December 11, 1892. Died 1976. Worked in Chicago, Seattle, Basel, Switzerland; New York, N.Y., Dartington Hall, Devonshire, England, and Paris. Convert to Baha'i religion.
Provenance:
Lent for microfilming 1984 by the Seattle Art Museum.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- History  Search this
Bahai Faith  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.tobemark2
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tobemark2

Oral history interview with Ruth Duckworth

Interviewee:
Duckworth, Ruth, 1919-2009  Search this
Interviewer:
Trapp, Kenneth R.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Central School of Arts and Crafts (Birmingham, England)  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Chicago -- Faculty  Search this
DeVore, Richard, 1933-2006  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor, 1927-2020  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
McKinnell, James  Search this
McKinnell, Nan  Search this
Moore, Henry, 1898-1986  Search this
Rie, Lucie  Search this
Vergette, Nicholas, 1923-1974  Search this
Westphal, Alice  Search this
Extent:
67 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 April 27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ruth Duckworth conducted 2001 April 27, by Kenneth R. Trapp, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the studios of Smithsonian Productions, Washington, D.C.
Duckworth speaks of her early life and the time prior to her family leaving Germany; the decision to leave Germany in 1936 due to Hitler and the War; acclimating herself to England; attending Liverpool School of Art; WWII in England and the psychological effects of working in munitions factories; her nervous breakdown and seven years of therapy; her beginning to sculpt; her first exhibition of sculpture in London; her marriage and life with Aidron; difficulties in being an outsider in the world of art, specifically speaking about being a woman in sculpture; her first meeting with Lucie Rie; the devastation she felt after her brother died; attendance at the Hammersmith School of Art and not feeling her place there; switching to Central School of Arts and Crafts; her first job teaching ceramics at the Central School; learning the technique of glazing; visiting museums in London; how poetry nourished her during those early years, specifically the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke; the selling of her first pieces, "pieces that wouldn't sell"; the art scene in London; how the opportunity at the University of Chicago arose; her experience at the University of Chicago, an academic institution rather than a fine arts school; her first big show in the U.S. at the University in 1965; her graduate and undergraduate students; life as a foreigner in the U.S.; the opportunity to teach at the University of Iowa but becoming an associate professor at the University of Chicago instead; the cultural movement and ceramics movement in the U.S. during the 1960's; how her work changed from European influences to American influences; departments in art that were very unfriendly to women; her association with James and Nan McKinnell; her excursions and teaching trips across the U.S. as well as in Canada and Israel; her trip with Aidron across the U.S. and then their eventual separation; her friendship with Alice Westphal and the creation of the gallery Exhibit A; the unconscious changes in her work; her views on stoneware versus porcelain; Jack Lenor Larsen's summer show and the artists she met through that; her relationship with American museums versus European; unfortunate events at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; her continued feelings as an outsider but acceptance in later life as an artist, more so from the ceramic community than from the museum community; publications and catalogues of her work; the influences other artists have had upon her work; the limited use of color in her work; her collection of bones; her love of gardening; her sketches; the therapy coiling clay does for her; her projects at the moment; where she gets her ideas from; how she sees herself fitting in versus not fitting in; her speech at an international symposium in Amsterdam; what she would include in a retrospective of her artwork; her hopes to have her work be therapeutic to viewers and cause them to contemplate it; more thoughts on color; American culture; what matters most to her right now and that is saving the Earth; wishing to continue with her work and have a better relationship with museums. Ruth Duckworth recalls, Henry Moore, Bernard Leach, Nellie Barr, Virginia Ferrari, Hardy Schlick, Richard DeVore, Nicholas Vergette, Jane Goodall and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Ruth Duckworth (1919-2009) was a sculptor and clay artist from Chicago, Illinois. Kenneth Trapp (1943- ) is curator-in-charge at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 DAT tapes. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 29 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:
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramicists -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Mental illness -- Treatment  Search this
Sculptors -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews  Search this
Women potters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Women sculptors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.duckwo01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-duckwo01

Elizabeth Gordon Papers

Creator:
Gordon, Elizabeth, 1906-2000  Search this
Names:
Claiborne, Craig  Search this
Gordon, Elizabeth, 1906-2000  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Extent:
3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Periodicals
Photographs
Correspondence
Personal papers
Place:
Japan
Date:
1958-1987
Summary:
Papers, 1959-1987, of Elizabeth Gordon, editor of the periodical, House Beautiful from 1941-1964, mostly related to her research for the August and September 1960 issues of House Beautiful regarding the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui", and the subsequent travelling "shibui exhibition" from 1961-1964. Included are correspondence, some photocopies, 1959-1963; notes; drafts for articles and lectures; printed material including magazine and newspaper clippings, 1959-1987; 2 books, and exhibition announcements; drawings of paper and foil art; a photo album containing photos of exhibition installations; and photographs, slides, color transparencies, and lantern slides depicting people, sites, and objects reflecting the "shibui" aesthetic.
Scope and Contents:
The Elizabeth Gordon Papers measure 4.5 linear feet and span the years 1959-1987. The collection mainly documents Ms. Gordon's research for the August and September 1960 issues of House Beautiful regarding the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui", and the subsequent travelling "shibui exhibition" from 1961-1964. Included are correspondence, some photocopies, 1959-1963; research notes and materials; articles; lectures; printed material including magazine and newspaper clippings, 1959-1987; 2 books, and exhibition announcements; article materials; a photo album containing photos of exhibition installations; and photographs, slides, color transparencies, and lantern slides depicting people, sites, and objects reflecting the "shibui" aesthetic.
Arrangement note:
This collection is organized into eight series. 1. Biographical data, 2. Shibui research, 3. Shibui issues of, House Beautiful, 4. Correspondence, 5. Shibui promotion, 6. Exhibition files, 7. Printed materials, and 8. Photographs.
Biographical Information:
Born in Logansport, Indiana in 1906, Elizabeth Gordon served as editor of House Beautiful magazine 1941 to 1964. Ms. Gordon first became interested in Japanese aesthetics during the mid-1950s. As a result she began to read and study Japanese art, history and culture. In 1959, Gordon travelled to Japan with three staff people from, House Beautiful. In Kyoto she met Eiko Yuasa, a young woman then employed by the City of Kyoto to handle foreign V.I.P.s, who was assigned to assist Gordon during her stay there. It was Ms. Yuasa who, in the course of discussions of Japanese aesthetics, introduced the term "shibui." Around that term and its related concepts ("iki", "jimi", "hade") the theme for the issue began to crystallize. In August and September, 1960, House Beautiful, under the editorial control of Ms. Gordon, published two extremely popular issues devoted to the subject of "shibui". Due to the popularity of the issues, museum exhibits devoted to the concept of "shibui" travelled around the United States. Ms. Gordon died in Adamstown, Maryland in 2000.

Biographical Overview

1906 -- Born in Logansport, Indiana

1920s -- Attended the University of Chicago

1930s -- Moved to New York to work as a promotional copywriter for several newspapers

1930s -- Syndicated columnist on home maintenance for The New York Herald Tribune

1930s -- Editor at Good Housekeeping (here for 8 years)

1937 -- More House for your Money by Elizabeth Gordon and Dorothy Ducas published by W. Morrow and Company: New York.

1937 -- Married Carl Hafey Norcross

1939 -- Appointed editor of House Beautiful

1964 -- Left the magazine world

1972 -- Published a special issue on Scandinavian design and awarded the insignia of a knight, first class, in the Finnish Order of the Lion

1987 -- American Institute of Architects made her an honorary member

1988 -- Carl Hafey Norcross died

September 3, 2000 -- Died in Adamstown, MD

(The following biography of Elizabeth Gordon comes courtesy of curator Louise Cort. Written in consultation with Elizabeth Gordon, October 23, 1987)

The research papers, memoranda, magazines, books, photographs and color transparencies and other materials in this archives are related to the publication by Elizabeth Gordon (Mrs. Carl Norcross), editor of House Beautiful from 1941 to 1964 and creator of the August, 1960 issue of the magazine on the special theme of the Japanese aesthetic concept of "shibui". The "shibui issue" was followed by the September, 1960, issue of the same publication on the theme, "How to be shibui with American things." As a by-product of the issues, a "Shibui Exhibition" travelled to eleven museums in the United States during 1961-1964. Each exhibition was opened with a slide lecture by Elizabeth Gordon.

Miss Gordon first became curious about Japanese aesthetics in the mid-1950s when she began to see Japanese objects being displayed and used in the homes of Americans who had spent time in Japan during the Occupation and Japanese influence began to appear in wholesale showrooms of home furnishings manufacturers. It was clear that the time had come: she HAD to go to Japan!

She read for five years before going to Japan - history, social mores, art history. (Many of the books on Japan that she collected during this time have been presented to the library at the University of Maryland, College Park.)

An important bit of advice came from Alice Spaulding Bowen, owner of Pacifica, the highest quality shop of Asian antiquities in Honolulu, who told her, "Be sure to read, The Tale of Genji - then you'll understand everything."

She made her first trip to Japan in April, 1959, accompanied by three staff people from, House Beautiful. In Kyoto she met Eiko Yuasa, a young woman then employed by the City of Kyoto to handle foreign V.I.P.s, who was assigned to assist Miss Gordon during her stay there. It was Ms. Yuasa who, in the course of discussions of Japanese aesthetics, introduced the term "shibui." Around that term and its related concepts ("iki", "jimi", "hade") the theme for the issue began to crystallize.

Miss Gordon came home, planning to spend the summer researching "shibui" with the aid of the Japan Society. But she found virtually nothing written in English on the concept. So she returned to Japan in December, 1959 together with staff member Marion Gough, to dig deeper and to work out details and get better educated with Eiko Yuasa. One of their devices was to walk through department stores and discuss with sales personnel whether objects for sale were "shibui", or were "jimi" or "hade", and why. Between themselves, they did the same for the costumes of women they saw on the streets.

Lacking printed sources for information on "shibui", Miss Gordon sought out and interviewed experts, including Douglas Overton, head of the Japan Society in New York. In Japan in December, 1959, she met Yanagi Soetsu, founder of Japan's Folk Craft Movement and head of the Craft Museum in Tokyo (with an introduction from Tonomura Kichinosuke, head of the Craft Museum in Kurashiki). She met the chef Tsuji Kaichi, who was commissioned to write an article on "kaiseki" (that could not be used because of an inadequate English translation) and Frances Blakemore. She met several times with Bernard Leach and attended his lecture at Bonnier's while he was in New York in March, 1960. (He would later write a "fan letter" for the issue)

As the concept of "the shibui issue" began to take shape, a third trip in the spring of 1960 focused on photography - to produce the shooting script decided on the preceding December. This was executed by the noted photographer Ezra Stoller of Rye, New York, and John DeKoven Hill, House Beautiful's Editorial Director. (Mr. Hill worked with Frank Lloyd Wright except for the ten years that he was a member of the House Beautiful editorial staff)

Miss Gordon was back in Japan in Mid-August 1960 as the "shibui issue" was causing a sensation. Altogether she spent sixteen months in Japan.

As one of the experiences that influenced her strong interest in Japanese costumes and textiles, Miss Gordon remembers a spectacularly thorough exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno on, 1200 Years of Japanese Costume. She saw it on the last day of its exhibition (possibly 1964).

The August 1960 issue sold out quickly. Copies of the magazine, which sold for fifty cents, were sold on the "black market" for ten dollars.

The publication of the August 1960 issue was followed by an unprecedented avalanche of "fan mail". Many department heads in colleges and universities, including the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (where Miss Gordon had worked as an undergraduate) wrote to comment on the issue. Many people in other fields of endeavor wrote: heads of firms concerned with interior design, landscape architecture, and related areas expressed their interest in the concept of "shibui" Other writers include Bernard Leach, Gertrude Natzler, Laura Gilpin, Mainbocher, the architect Yoshimura Junzo, the textile artist Marianne Strengell, Walter Kerr, Craig Claiborne, and Oliver Statler.

The "shibui issue" was followed immediately by the September issue dealing with the use of non-Japanese objects to express the concept of "shibui." (Miss Gordon convinced her advertisers, who had been skeptical about the potential success of the August issue, by promising the September issue dealing with American products.) Four American firms were involved in the production of an integrated line of paints, wallpaper, furniture and carpets expressive of the concept. Products were designed by the firms' designers following the clues offered by objects and fabrics purchased by Miss Gordon in Japan in December 1959 and spring 1960. Miss Gordon has expressed her dissatisfaction with the September issue, although public opinion was positive. She feels that some of the firms failed in the "shibui" project, though some "caught" the message: namely the paint company and the fabric/wallpaper company.

In response to strong public interest, the House Beautiful staff prepared a travelling exhibition to introduce the concept of "shibui" through a series of vignettes, mixing fabrics and objects, colors and textures. The museum installation was designed by John Hill of House Beautiful. Japan Air Lines underwrote shipping costs.

The exhibition began in Philadelphia in late 1961. Ezra Stoller was sent to photograph the installation in considerable detail at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in January, 1962, so that his photographs cold serve as guidelines for installations at the other museums, which included the San Francisco Museum of Art (April 1962), the Newark Pubic Library, and the Honolulu Academy of Art. Miss Gordon presented a lecture on "shibui" at each of the museum installations.

In appreciation of her work to introduce Americans to the concept of "shibui", the city of Kyoto presented a bolt of especially "shibui" kimono fabric executed by a Living National Treasure textile artist. Miss Gordon eventually tailored the fabric into a dress and jacket. She received the 1961 Trail Blazer Award from the New York Chapter of the National Home Fashions League, Inc. In June, 1987, Miss Gordon was named an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, with her introduction of the concept of "shibui" and her promotion of an understanding of other culture cited as her major contributions to American architecture.
Provenance:
Elizabeth Gordon donated her papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1988.
Elizabeth Gordon donated her papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1988.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
No restrictions on use.
Topic:
Interior decoration -- Periodicals  Search this
Landscape gardening  Search this
Art, Japanese  Search this
Aesthetics, Japanese  Search this
House funishings  Search this
Interior decoration  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Interior decorators  Search this
Gardens -- Japan  Search this
Genre/Form:
Periodicals -- 1940-1970
Photographs
Correspondence
Personal papers -- 1950-2000
Citation:
The Elizabeth Gordon Papers. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Gift of Elizabeth Gordon, 1988
Identifier:
FSA.A1988.03
See more items in:
Elizabeth Gordon Papers
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-fsa-a1988-03
Online Media:

The Leach legacy : the St. Ives Pottery and its influence / Marion Whybrow

Author:
Whybrow, Marion  Search this
Subject:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979 Influence  Search this
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
St. Ives Pottery  Search this
Leach Pottery History  Search this
Physical description:
192 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
England
St. Ives (Cornwall)
Date:
1996
20th century
Topic:
Pottery, English  Search this
Influence (Literary, artistic, etc.)  Search this
Call number:
NK4087.S35 W49 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_522045

Bānādo Rīchi ten = Exhibition of Bernard Leach / [henshū Seibu Hyakkaten Shōhinbu Bijutsubu]

Title:
バ-ナ-ド・リ-チ展 = Exhibition of Bernard Leach / [編集西武百貨店商品部美術部]
Exhibition of Bernard Leach
Author:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Seibu Hyakkaten  Search this
JAC Project  Search this
Subject:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. (some col.) ; 24 x 25 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1977
[1977]
Topic:
Pottery, American--Japanese influences  Search this
Call number:
NK4210.L4 A4 1977b
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_845538

Eikoku no daihyōsaku ni miru Bānādo Rīchi ten : Higashi to Nishi no deai = An exhibition of the art of Bernard Leach : his masterpieces loaned by British Museums and collectors : meeting of East and West / shusai Ōhara Bijutsukan, Asahi Shinbunsha

Title:
英国の代表作にみるハーナート・リーチ展 : 東と西の出会い = An exhibition of the art of Bernard Leach : his masterpieces loaned by British Museums and collectors : meeting of East and West / 主催大原美術館, 朝日新聞社
Bānādo Rīchi ten
ハーナート・リーチ展
Exhibition of the art of Bernard Leach
Author:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Ōhara Bijutsukan  Search this
Asahi Shinbunsha  Search this
Hankyū Hyakkaten  Search this
JAC Project  Search this
Subject:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
British Museum  Search this
Physical description:
192 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), ; 24 x 25 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
England
Date:
1980
C1980
20th century
Topic:
Pottery  Search this
Call number:
NK4210.L35 A4 1980
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_845582

Mingeiha no meishōtachi : Kawai, Hamada, Rīchi ra to tomo ni : Yamamoto Tamesaburō korekushon kara / [shusai Asahi Shinbunsha ; henshū Asahi Shinbunsha Bunka Kikakukyoku Tōkyō Kikakubu]

Title:
民藝派の名匠たち : 河井, 濱田, リ-チらと共に : 山本為三朗コレクションから / [主催朝日新聞社 ; 編集朝日新聞社文化企画局東京企画部]
Author:
Kawai, Kanjirō 1890-1966  Search this
Hamada, Shōji 1894-1978  Search this
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Asahi Shinbunsha  Search this
Asahi Shinbunsha Bunka Kikakukyoku  Search this
Daimaru, Kabushiki Kaisha  Search this
Daimaru Myūjiamu (Tokyo, Japan)  Search this
Subject:
Yamamoto, Tamesaburō 1893-1966 Art collections  Search this
Kawai, Kanjirō 1890-1966  Search this
Hamada, Shōji 1894-1978  Search this
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Physical description:
84 p. : ill (some col.), port. ; 24 x 25cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Place:
Japan
Date:
1996
[1996]
20th century
Topic:
Pottery, Japanese  Search this
Handicraft  Search this
Call number:
NK4167.7 .M5 1996
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_846152

Bānādo Rīchi ten = Bernard Leach, potter and artist / [henshū Tochigi Kenritsu Bijutsukan, Kimura Rieko ; tekisuto Orivā Watoson, Kimura Rieko]

Title:
バ-ナ-ド・リ-チ展 = Bernard Leach, potter and artist / [編集栃木県立美術館, 木村理恵子 ; テキストオリヴァ-・ワトソン, 木村理恵子]
Bernard Leach, potter and artist
Author:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Watson, Oliver  Search this
Kimura, Rieko  Search this
Tochigi Kenritsu Bijutsukan  Search this
Odakyū Bijutsukan  Search this
JAC Project  Search this
Subject:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Physical description:
169 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), ports. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1997
C1997
Call number:
NK4210.L4 A4 1997
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_846754

The art of Bernard Leach : a loan retrospective exhibition, March to May 1977 / Victoria and Albert Museum

Author:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Victoria and Albert Museum  Search this
Subject:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Physical description:
29 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1977
Topic:
Pottery, English  Search this
Call number:
NK4210.L4 A4 1977
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_854846

Bernard Leach : fifty years a potter

Author:
Hodin, J. P (Josef Paul)  Search this
Arts Council of Great Britain  Search this
Subject:
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Physical description:
42 p., [1], viii p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 22 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1961
Topic:
Pottery, English--Japanese influences  Search this
Call number:
NK4210.L35 B38 1961
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_854847

The unknown craftsman : a Japanese insight into beauty / [by] Sōetsu Yanagi. Adapted by Bernard Leach. Foreword by Shōji Hamada

Author:
Yanagi, Muneyoshi 1889-1961  Search this
Leach, Bernard 1887-1979  Search this
Physical description:
230 p. illus. (some col.) 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Japan
Date:
1972
[1972]
Topic:
Decoration and ornament  Search this
Design  Search this
Call number:
745.4 .Y1
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_859066

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