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Oral history interview with Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer

Interviewee:
Mayer, Ralph, 1895-1979  Search this
Mayer, Bena Frank, 1898-1991  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Names:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Extent:
63 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
circa 1964
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer conducted circa 1964, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Biographical / Historical:
Bena Frank Mayer (1898-1991) and her husband, Ralph (1895-1979) were painters and educators in New York, N.Y. Bena Frank Mayer was also a printmaker.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 8 min.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mayer64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9a23e29e8-1c5e-43b7-b4b6-b94f4bd7aedb
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mayer64
Online Media:

Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer papers

Creator:
Mayer, Ralph, 1895-1979  Search this
Names:
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988  Search this
Brook, Alexander, 1898-1980  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Florsheim, Richard A., 1916-1979  Search this
Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-  Search this
Hirsch, Stefan, 1899-1964  Search this
Hurd, Peter, 1904-1984  Search this
MacKendrick, Lilian  Search this
Mayer, Bena Frank, 1898-1991  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Sloan, John, 1871-1951  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Extent:
4.5 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 3 reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
[ca. 1920]-1964
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, writings, photographs, art work, subject files, scrapbooks, and printed material.
REELS D211-D213: Ralph Mayer's correspondence is with artists, conservators, museum directors, publishers, art organizations, and others. Notebooks contain data on 19th century canvas makers and dealers of artists' materials. Also included are correspondence and a ledger regarding restoration and conservation of paintings, 1929-1963; files on Columbia University, the National Academy of Design, the Newark Museum, The New York State Department of Commerce, the Whitney Museum of Art, subway murals, and other subjects; and correspondence with the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding standards for paints and pigments. Photographs are of Ralph Mayer's paintings. Correspondents include: George Biddle, Isabel Bishop, Alexander Brook, Charles Burchfield, Richard A. Florsheim, Victor Hammer, Stefan Hirsch, Peter Hurd, Lilian MacKendrick, Kenneth H. Miller, Walter Pach, Abraham Rattner, John Sloan, and David Smith.
Bena Frank Mayer's papers consist of biographical material, clippings, correspondence, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and photographs of her paintings. Two scrapbooks contain printed material, letters, and photographs regarding the Mayers' careers.
UNMICROFILMED: Correspondence includes Ralph Mayer's, 1930-1964, mainly concerning the use of artists' materials, Bena Frank correspondence, 1910-1977, and letters concerning Mayer's book, The Painter's Craft, 1948. Among his correspondents are Josef Albers, Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Georgia O'Keeffe, Walter Pach, Paul Sample, John Sloan, and Frederic Taubes. Subject files are on the Artists' Laboratory, the Art Students League, Gustav Berger, Huntington Hartford, the MacDowell Colony, the National Academy of Design, Diego Rivera murals, subway murals, and other subjects. Writings consist of papers on commercial standards of paint, a typescript of The Painter's Craft, and lecture notes from classes Mayer taught at the Art Students League and Columbia University.
Art work consists of sketchbooks and sketches. Photographs are of the Mayers, their studios, family, friends, and paintings. Printed material includes exhibition catalogs and announcements, brochures, clippings, and posters. There are also six scrapbooks, ca. 1930-1940, containing clippings, photographs, letters received, and printed material.
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph Mayer: conservator, restorer, painter. Died 1979. Bena Frank Mayer: painter. They lived in New York. Ralph Mayer was educated as a chemical engineer, and spent several years working in the manufacture of paints and varnishes. He also studied painting at the Art Students League. His work in conservation and artists' materials led him to found the Artists Technical Research Institute in 1959. Author of The Artists Handbook of Materials and Techniques (1940) and The Painter's Craft (1948), and numerous articles. Taught at Columbia University.
Provenance:
Material on reels D211-D213 was lent for microfilming in 1965 by Ralph Mayer. Portions were subsequently donated along with unmicrofilmed material, 1972-1979, by Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer.
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:
Art restorers  Search this
Conservators  Search this
Restorers  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Artists' materials  Search this
Art -- Conservation and restoration  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.mayeralp
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9dd9999e2-6a80-4d08-9531-d0f9c0ecb497
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mayeralp

Oral history interview with Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer, circa 1964

Interviewee:
Mayer, Ralph, 1895-1979  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington),, 1920-  Search this
Subject:
Mayer, Bena Frank, 1898-1991  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Theme:
New Deal  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13096
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213658
AAA_collcode_mayer64
Theme:
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213658

Glen, (painting)

Painter:
Mayer, Bena Frank 1898-1991  Search this
Medium:
Watercolor on paper
Type:
Paintings
Owner/Location:
Butler Institute of American Art 524 Wick Avenue Youngstown Ohio 44502 Accession Number: 978-W-112
Topic:
Landscape  Search this
Control number:
IAP 42832298
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_441696

Key West Coffee, (painting)

Painter:
Mayer, Bena Frank 1898-1991  Search this
Medium:
Watercolor on paper
Type:
Paintings
Date:
Ca. 1950
Topic:
Landscape--Florida--Key West  Search this
Landscape--Tree--Palm Tree  Search this
Architecture exterior--Commercial--Hotel  Search this
Architecture exterior--Detail--Patio  Search this
Figure female--Full length  Search this
Recreation--Leisure--Eating & Drinking  Search this
Dress--Accessory--Hat  Search this
Control number:
IAP 8F280104
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_464413

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