An interview of Leo Holub conducted 1997 July 3, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in San Francisco, Calif.
Holub discusses his background, being born in Arkansas, moving to New Mexico, and then to Oakland, Calif. (1923); early educational experiences in Oakland, and later at the Art Institute of Chicago; seeing Edward Weston's photographic work at an exhibition in Chicago, and admiring Weston's nude studies of Charis Wilson; his return to the Bay Area; his studio on Montgomery St. (Monkey Block); meeting painter Matthew Barnes, who had assisted Diego Rivera with his murals at the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA), 1931-1932; his experiences as a student at CSFA- its program and instructors which included Maurice Sterne, Gottardo Piazzoni, Lee Randolph, Dick Hackett, Otis Oldfield, William Gaw, Spencer Mackey, and Victor Arnautoff; fellow students including Hassel Smith, Ed Corbett, and Florence Michelson (his future wife); and his beginning awareness of modernism.
Holub discusses his involvement with the Golden Gate International Exposition (1939); apprenticeship with industrial designer Joe Sinel and the advent of the product design era; his founding of Design Development Associates, and staying only a year before moving to Grass Valley, Calif. for his son's health; his return to the Bay Area, succeeding Emmy Lou Packard at the San Francisco Planning Office graphic arts dept.; working at the housing agency and redevelopment agency and as chief designer for the Bay Area Rapid Transit report.
He recalls his encounter with Ansel Adams at the 1955 Yosemite workshop where Holub produced a pictorial map of Yosemite; Adam's "zone system" of exposing for shadows and developing for highlights; going on to teach at CSFA (1955-1957), where Imogen Cunningham was a guest instructor; Minor White replacing him; his ten years at Stanford University's planning office (1960-1970); his campus views "Stanford Scene" that were used by the university to appeal for more space for the art dept., and his shows at Stanford's art gallery in 1964 and at the Washington, D.C. home of Vice President Walter Mondale in 1980.
Biographical / Historical:
Leo Holub (1916-2010) was a photographer, lithographer, and teacher from San Francisco, Calif.
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.
Photographers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews Search this
United States -- Economic conditions -- 1918-1945 -- California -- San Francisco
United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945 -- California -- San Francisco
Scope and Contents:
Twenty volumes of the publication, CALIFORNIA ART RESEARCH, containing monographs on artists whose principal residence was San Francisco.
REEL NDA/Cal 1: Artists include Robert Aitken, Arthur Atkins, Albert Bierstadt, Ray Boynton, Anne Bremer, Henry J. Breuer, Giuseppe Cadenasso, Emil Carlsen, M. Earl Cummings, Rinaldo Cuneo, Charles Dickman, Maynard Dixon, Charles Grant, Armin Hansen, H. W. Hansen, Thomas Hill, Christian Jorgensen, Amedee Joullin, William Keith, Constance Macky, Xavier Martinez, Arthur Mathews, Francis McComas, Arthur C. Nahl, Charles C. Nahl, Hugo W. A. Nahl, Perham W. Nahl, Virgil T. Nahl, Ernest Peixotto, Charles R. Peters, Gottardo Piazzoni, Horatio Nelson Poole, Arthur Putnam, Joseph Raphael, Mary C. Richardson, Julian Rix, Charles D. Robinson, Toby Rosenthal, Will Sparks,Jules Tavernier, Douglas Tilden, Domenico Tojetti, Frank Van Sloun, Thaddeus Welch, Virgil Williams, Evelyn A. Withrow, and Theodore Wores.
REEL NDA/Cal 2: Artists include Rowena M. Abdy, Gertrude Albright, Hermann O. Albright, Maxine Albro, Victor Arnautoff, Matthew R. Barne s, Frank Bergman, Jane Berlandina, Ray Bethers, Beniamino Bufano, Margaret Bruton, Chee Chin, Ruth Cravath, Helen Forbes, Euphemia C. Fortune, William Gaw, Edith Hamlin, William Hesthal, Clark Hobart, Charles Howard, John G. Howard, John L. Howard, Robert Boardman Howard, Adaline Kent, Dong Kingman, Lucien Labaudt, Spencer Mackey, Jo Mora, Jose Moya del Pino, Chiura Obata, Otis Oldfield, Julius Pommer, George B. Post, Dorothy W. Puccinelli, Raimondo Puccinelli, Lee F. Randolph, Andree Rexroth, Matteo Sandona, Geneve R. Sargeant, Sergey J. Scherbakoff,Jacques Schnier, Yoshida Sekido, Joseph M. Sheridan,Ralph Stackpole, and Bernard Zakheim.
Biographical / Historical:
Publication of the Works Progress Administration; San Francisco, Calif. Sponsored by Dr. Walter Heil of the M.H. de Young Museum. Was originally a joint project of the WPA-Statistical projects division and the WPA-Federal Art Project in order to disseminate information about artists and art in the San Francisco region.
Publication, Distribution, Etc. (Imprint):
San Francisco, WPA Project 2874, 1936-1937.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.