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James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021

Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Subject:
Voulkos, Peter  Search this
Tucker, Marcia  Search this
Cotton, Paul  Search this
National Endowment for the Arts  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Interviews  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Funk  Search this
Ceramics  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Lives of artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11162
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)249245
AAA_collcode_melcjim
Theme:
Craft
Lives of artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_249245
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Marilyn Levine

Interviewee:
Levine, Marilyn, 1935-2005  Search this
Interviewer:
Adamson, Glenn  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
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Extent:
54 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2002 May 15
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Marilyn Levine conducted 2002 May 15, by Glenn Adamson, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Oakland, California.
Levine speaks of growing up in Alberta, Canada; going to the University of Alberta for her undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry; being an analytical inorganic chemist; meeting her husband at the university; her husband's work at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan and how rules about nepotism prevented her from teaching; auditing a drawing and painting art class when she could not find a job; taking evening pottery classes taught by Beth Hone; teaching chemistry at Campion College during the school year and pottery during the summers at the University of Regina; meeting Jack Sures at the Western Potters' Association and his influence on her career; helping Sures get a pottery position at the University of Regina; teaching with him from 1966-1969; using a travel grant from the Canada Council to meet American artists such as Peter Voulkos, Ron Nagle, James Melchert, and Robert Arneson; applying to graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley and being rejected; a James Melchert workshop at Beth Hone's studio; getting into Berkeley's graduate program with Melchert's help; receiving an M.F.A.; separating from her husband; experimenting with Funk art; seeing a pair of worn down shoes and becoming inspired to specialize in super-realist ceramic sculptures; her work as "timeless" and not of a particular fashion; showing her art in a New York gallery and being ripped off; having her M.F.A., one person show, at the Hansen Fuller Gallery and at the University Art Museum; letting the galleries price her work; exhibiting at OK Harris in New York; the long, slow process of making pieces; her work being accepted in America, but not in Canada; teaching ceramics to non-art majors at the University of Utah; developing a studio building, The West Coast Macaroni Factory, with Peter Voulkos; her methods, techniques, and materials including her experiments with fiberglass, nylon, and Dacron; avoiding big conferences, such as the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts [NCECA]; her first museum retrospective in 1974 at the Norman McKenzie Art Gallery; her exhibition at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario, in conjunction with the University of Waterloo; her exhibition, "Sharp Focus Realism," at the Sidney Janis Gallery; her involvement in the exhibition, "Clayworks: 20 Americans," at the American Craft Museum; her work in museum collections; having a commission to make ceramic sculptures of sporting gear for Pacific Enterprises; her studio assistants and feeling a lack of privacy; titling her work with human names for identification purposes but not having specific references to anyone. Levine also recalls Robert Bechtle, Ruth Braunstein, Joan Brown, Stephen DeStaebler, Ivan Karp, Bella Feldman, Duane Hanson, Clay Jensen, John Mason, Joan Mondale, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Marilyn Levine (1935-2005) was a ceramist from Oakland, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound disc. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- California -- Oakland  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Oakland  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women ceramicists  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Ceramics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.levine02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b959aad3-2ab2-445a-a8f4-1671c87a6288
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-levine02
Online Media:

Oral history interview with John Roloff

Interviewee:
Roloff, John, 1947-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Fuller Goldeen Gallery  Search this
Gallery Paule Anglim  Search this
Gallery Reese Palley  Search this
George Lester Gallery (Rome, Italy)  Search this
Humboldt State University -- Students  Search this
Lance Fung Gallery  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of California, Davis -- Students  Search this
University of Kentucky -- Faculty  Search this
Arneson, Robert, 1930-1992  Search this
Beuys, Joseph  Search this
Butterfield, Deborah, 1949-  Search this
Kaltenbach, Stephen J.  Search this
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Oppenheim, Dennis, 1938-2011  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Extent:
13 Items (Sound recording: 13 sound files (8 hr., 50 min.), digital, wav file)
155 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2009 August 17-18
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Roloff conducted 2009 August 17-18, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Roloff's studio, in Oakland, California.
Roloff speaks primarily about the intersection of art and science; his desire to look at these disciplines from multiple perspectives in his work; the relationship between materials and their geological histories; his exploration and exposure of the physical processes associated with the making of art objects; Roloff talks at length about ceramics; the chemical properties of the clays and glazes; their connection to geological landscapes; and their transformation through the firing process; moreover, he discusses site specific works; the importance of location in giving context to a piece; as well as referencing a site through site based materials; furthermore, he expounds his theory of anthroturbation; discusses the parallels between man-made and natural structures; and ruminates about his work's visual engagement with ecological systems; Additionally, Roloff converses about several formative childhood experiences; how they shaped his later artistic interest and evolved into thematic elements in his work; studying marine geology at University of California-Davis; taking a ceramics class with Robert Arneson; becoming a dual art and science major; the spirit of experimentation at UC-Davis, which led to his early ceramic discoveries; pursuing graduate work at Humboldt University; teaching at the University of Kentucky-Lexington; developing his Exile and Rower series; showing his sculptures at Lester Gallery and Fuller Goldeen Gallery in California; his shift from studio work to landscape/installations; the development of his Ship and Kiln series; as well as his later photographic work; Roloff also recalls Stephen Kaltenbach, Deborah Butterfield, Peter Voulkos, Jim Melchert, Dennis Oppenheim, Joseph Beuys, Kenneth Baker, in addition to the following galleries: Lance Fang, Paule Anglim and Reese Paley.
Biographical / Historical:
John S. Roloff (1947- ) is a sculptor and ceramicist and lives and works in Oakland, California. Roloff also taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and Mills College.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 13 digital wav files. Duration is 8 hr., 50 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:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Ceramicists -- California -- Oakland -- Interviews  Search this
Science -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Oakland -- Interviews  Search this
Submarine geology  Search this
Ceramics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.roloff09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f4887af7-aabd-4e00-8143-9c793cab7f34
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-roloff09
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Richard Shaw [videorecording]

Interviewee:
Shaw, Richard, 1941 Sept. 12-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
Braunstein/Quay Gallery  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute -- Students.  Search this
Braunstein, Ruth, 1923-  Search this
Chanco, Pauletta, 1959-  Search this
Hudson, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Extent:
12 Items (Master: 12 videocassettes (Beta) (30 min. each), sd., col., 1/2 in.)
12 Items (Duplicate: 12 videocassettes (30 min. each) (VHS), sd., col., 1/2 in.)
1 Item (Edited version: "Richard Shaw : Love of the Common Object": 1 videocassette (60 min.) (Beta), sd., col., 1/2 in.)
1 Videocassettes (VHS) (Edited version: "Richard Shaw: Love of the Common Object" (10 min.), sd., col., 1/2 in.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videocassettes (vhs)
Video recordings
Interviews
Place:
San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)
Date:
1998 April 3 and 6
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Richard Shaw conducted 1998 April 3 and6, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at Shaw's home and studio, Fairfax, California, and at the Quay Gallery, San Francisco, California.
The interview covers the development of Shaw's career, life, and art. The first session took place in Shaw's studio and introduces his living and working environment. Shown is a step-by-step technical demonstration of Shaw creating his trompe l'oeil ceramic pieces. Shaw discusses his family background, values, his choice of a semi-rural environment of Marin County in which to live; bohemianism; connections with the counter-culture of northern California; relationships with other artists and friends and their importance to the development of his ideas and creativity; the differences in art communities of northern and southern California and the East and West coasts; experiences at the San Francisco Art Institute and instructors there which influenced him, as well as the influences of San Francisco in general. He described his illusionism, alchemy of technique, and his artistic philosophy and goals in his art. The second session took place at the Braunstein/Quay Gallery where a Shaw exhibit was then on display. The interview focused on his work, their meaning, and the evolution of ideas and expressions; his collaboration with Robert Hudson; the idea of a broader collaboration in the Bay Area over the years, especially in the 1960s, and the changes since then; and Shaw's reflections on the importance of ceramics in Bay Area art, his role, and direction for the future. The video was directed by David Bolt, the cameraman was Robert Boudreaux, and sound technician was William Steffanacci. In addition to Shaw, other participants include Shaw's wife, Martha; Ruth Braunstein, owner of the Braunstein/Quay Gallery; Pauletta Chanco, painter and former student; and James Melchert, sculptor and art administrator.
Biographical / Historical:
Richard Shaw (1941- ) is a ceramicist and sculptor from the San Francisco Bay Area, California.
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 information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.shaw98
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw982e72bf5-f6e7-469b-ab87-547ca0d4e70b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-shaw98

Oral history interview with John Mason

Interviewee:
Mason, John, 1927-2019  Search this
Interviewer:
Smith, Paul J.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Students  Search this
Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Otis Art Institute -- Students  Search this
Ballard, Richard  Search this
Coplans, John  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Kienholz, Edward, 1927-  Search this
Koshalek, Richard  Search this
Marer, Fred  Search this
McClain, Mac  Search this
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Peterson, Susan, 1925-2009  Search this
Price, Kenneth, 1935-2012  Search this
Sheets, Millard, 1907-1989  Search this
Soldner, Paul  Search this
Sullivan, Louis H., 1856-1924  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959  Search this
Extent:
47 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2006 August 28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Mason conducted 2006 August 28, by Paul Smith, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Smith's office, in New York, N.Y.
Mason speaks of his childhood in rural Nevada; early interests in photography and jazz; moving to Los Angeles to attend the Los Angeles County Art Institute, now Otis College of Art and Design; attending Chouinard Art Institute; experiences working at Vernon Kilns and with the head designer Elliot House; opening Glendale Boulevard Studio with Peter Voulkos; his association with Ferus Gallery; and teaching experiences at Pomona College, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Irvine, and Hunter College. He also discusses the development of the Hudson River series exhibition; solo exhibitions at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA Louver Gallery, Pasadena Art Museum, now Norton Simon Museum of Art, and others; participation in group exhibitions such as, "Sculpture Off the Pedestal" at Grand Rapids Museum of Art; imagery found in his work including the orbit, the figure, the torque, the spear form, the vertical form, the cross or X form, symmetry and the monolith; an interest in Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan; the architectural qualities in his work; the foresight of Buckminster Fuller; and the accelerating change in technology that has taken place over the course of his career. Mason recalls Susan Peterson, Kenneth Price, Paul Soldner, Mac McClain, Fred Marer, Millard Sheets, Edward Kienholz, Walter Hopps, James Melchert, John Coplans, Richard Ballard, Richard Koshalek, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
John Mason (1927-2019 ) was a ceramicist of Los Angeles, California. Paul Smith (1931- ) is Director Emeritus, American Craft Museum of New York City, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 26 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 audio recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Ceramicists -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.mason06
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93531d57a-bc1c-4053-908d-79bc55d3fcc1
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-mason06
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Richard Marquis

Interviewee:
Marquis, Richard, 1945-  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
Tasmanian School of Art  Search this
University of California, Berkeley -- Students  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles -- Faculty  Search this
University of Washington -- Faculty  Search this
Bauer, Fred  Search this
Blakebrough, Les, 1930-  Search this
Concannon, Bill  Search this
Eubanks, John  Search this
Fine, Jody  Search this
Lipofsky, Marvin, 1938-2016  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Marioni, Dante, 1964-  Search this
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Mount, Nick  Search this
Naess, Bob  Search this
Nagle, Ron  Search this
Pearson, John, 1940-  Search this
Price, Kenneth, 1935-2012  Search this
Spagnoli, Jerry  Search this
Statom, Therman, 1953-  Search this
Tagliapietra, Lino  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Wax, Jack  Search this
de Santillana, Ludovico  Search this
Extent:
9 Items (Sound recording: 9 sound files (4 hr., 57 min.), digital, wav)
81 Pages (Transcripts)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
Australia -- Description and Travel
Date:
2006 September 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Richard Marquis conducted 2006 September 16, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home and studio, in Freeland, Washington.
Marquis speaks of his childhood spent moving around Arizona, Colorado, and California; his lifelong affinity for collecting objects; attending University of California, Berkeley; the influence of seeing the shows "Abstract Expressionist Ceramics" at the University of California at Irvine in 1966 and "American Sculpture of the Sixties" at Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1967; receiving a Fulbright grant to study glassblowing in Murano, Italy; experiences at Venini Fabbrica Glass Factory in Murano; teaching experiences at University of Washington, Seattle and UCLA; traveling throughout Australia to set up glass workshops; working as artist-in-residence at Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia; establishing Marquis Deluxe Studios; large-scale installation collaborations with Therman Statom; the importance of teaching and sharing knowledge; the cyclical progression and diversity of his work; future plans to work less with glass and focus instead on daguerrotypes. Marquis also recalls Peter Voulkos, Ron Nagle, Marvin Lipofsky, James Melchert, Harvey K. Littleton, John Eubanks, John Pearson, Ludovico de Santillana, Lino Tagliapietra, Bob Naess, Fred Bauer, Nick Mount, Les Blakebrough, Jack Wax, Jody Fine, Therman Statom, Kenneth Price, Dante Marioni, Jerry Spagnoli, and Bill Concannon, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Richard Marquis (1945- ) is glass artist and educator from Freeland, Washington. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 57 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.
Occupation:
Educators -- Washington (State)  Search this
Glass artists -- Washington (State)  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.marqui06
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw91a952438-6124-4fa3-b37a-242d4c500b44
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-marqui06
Online Media:

Oral history interview with James Melchert, 2002 September 18-October 19

Interviewee:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Interviewer:
Pritikin, Renny  Search this
Subject:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with James Melchert, 2002 September 18-October 19. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Ceramicists -- California -- Oakland -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11926
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)237982
AAA_collcode_melche02
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_237982
Online Media:

Oral history interview with James Melchert

Interviewee:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Interviewer:
Pritikin, Renny  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
Extent:
46 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2002 September 18-October 19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of James Melchert conducted 2002 September 18-2002 October 19, by Renny Pritikin, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Oakland, California.
Melchert speaks of his decision to pursue painting instead of educational psychology; his introduction to ceramics while learning to teach it at a small college in Illinois; taking a summer course with Pete Voulkos; moving to California and working as Voulkos' studio assistant at the University of California, Berkeley; his friendship with John Mason, another potter; the difference between the philosophies of Mason and Voulkos; teaching at the Art Institute in San Francisco; and the book Exercises in Style [Raymond Queneau], upon which he based his series of "a"s.
Melchert also discusses several of the group exhibitions he has been involved with; John Cage and the influence of Silence; his interest in photography; the similarities and differences between his early work and more recent work; working with tiles; his teaching techniques and how he engaged his students; the is craft art question; the Milwaukee Art Museum; and the function of pottery. Blunk also recalls Steve DeStaebler, Manuel Neri, Nate Olivera, Joan Brown, Henry Takemoto, Michael Frimkiss, Richard Koshalek, Bob Irwin, Bob Arneson, Bruce Nauman, Russell Lynes, Garth Clark, Suzanne Foley, Richard Shaw, Marilyn Levine, Theresa Cha, Jim Pomeroy, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
James Melchert (1930- ) is a ceramist from Oakland, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 47 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 -- California -- Oakland -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.melche02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw97338dc84-f549-4143-920a-d418d6b9e5c6
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-melche02
Online Media:

Oral history interview with James Melchert, 1991 Apr. 4-5

Interviewee:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Interviewer:
Jones, Mady  Search this
Subject:
Voulkos, Peter  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
National Endowment for the Arts  Search this
American Academy in Rome  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with James Melchert, 1991 Apr. 4-5. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Arts administrators -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13062
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215586
AAA_collcode_melche91
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215586

James Melchert papers

Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
National Endowment for the Arts  Search this
Cotton, Paul, 1939-  Search this
Tucker, Marcia  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Extent:
7 Linear feet
12.28 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Date:
circa 1949-2021
Summary:
The papers of ceramicist, educator, and arts administrator James Melchert measure 7 linear feet and 12.28 Gigabytes, and date from circa 1949 to 2021. The collection documents Melchert's career through biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, professional files documenting Melchert's teaching, residences, exhibitions, and other professional activities, writings, printed material documenting exhibitions and more, photographic material including images of Melchert and his artwork, and artwork comprising slide projection works.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of ceramicist, educator, and arts administrator James Melchert measure 7 linear feet and 12.28 Gigabytes, and date from circa 1949 to 2021.

Biographical material includes biographies and résumés, travel documents, and student records. Correspondence is professional and personal in nature and includes letters from artists such as Lawrence Weiner, Adrian Piper, Sol Lewitt, Hetty Huisman, and Peter Voulkos; gallerists and curators including Holly Solomon, Paul Kotula, Marcia Tucker, Lucy Lippard, and Harald Szemann; and notable former students including Paul Cotton and Theresa Cha. Professional files include records and correspondence from Melchert's tenures at the American Academy in Rome, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of California Berkeley, in addition to documenting other professional activities.

The writings series includes interviews, talks, panels, symposia, notes, artist statements, and autobiographical texts. Printed material includes clippings and exhibition documentation. Photographic material includes images of Melchert and his artwork from various stages of his career. Artwork includes Melchert's slide projection works represented by slides, and an artist multiple by Nam June Paik.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in seven series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1949-2019 (0.1 Linear feet: Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1953-2021 (3.1 Linear feet: Boxes 1-4; 3.93 Gigabytes: ER01-ER02)

Series 3: Professional Files, circa 1965-2020 (0.8 Linear feet: Box 4)

Series 4: Writings, circa 1960s-2020 (0.7 Linear feet: Box 5; 8.35 Gigabytes: ER03-ER05)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1960s-2020 (1.4 Linear feet: Boxes 5-7)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1952-2017 (0.6 Linear feet: Box 7)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1968-1990 (0.3 Linear feet: Box 7)
Biographical / Historical:
James Melchert (1930-) is a ceramicist and educator living in Oakland, California, known for his uniquely conceptualist approach to ceramics which draws from other disciplines including painting and performance art.

Born in New Bremen, Ohio, Melchert's education followed an unorthodox path: upon finishing his undergraduate degree in Art History in 1952, he spent four years in Japan teaching English at a high school, during which time he met his wife to be, a missionary and collage artist named Mary Ann Hostetler, with whom he would have three children. Melchert received a first master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1957 in painting, followed by a second master's degree in ceramics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1961. He shifted his focus to ceramics while completing his painting degree and attended a five-day workshop with the highly innovative and influential Peter Voulkos, with whom he would study at Berkeley and for whom he would serve as studio assistant. Melchert's career as a ceramicist began with a close association to Voulkos and the California Funk art movement.

Melchert's evolving interests led to his work including performance art and slide projection works, one of which was exhibited at Documenta 5 curated by Harald Szeemann in Kassel, Germany. After a trip to Europe in the eighties, Melchert began his experimental investigations with ceramic tile, working with cracks and imperfections in tiles and painting on the resulting works, a theme that would be an occupation of his studio practice to this day. Melchert taught fairly steadily throughout the early stages of his career and is known as a dedicated instructor to artists of various disciplines, including Paul Cotton and Theresa Cha.

Notably Melchert served as a faculty member at University of California at Berkeley from 1964-1994, with a stint living in Washington D.C. serving as the Director of Visual Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1977 to 1981, and in Rome, Italy as the Director of American Academy, Rome from 1984 to 1988. As an artist, in addition to being exhibited around the world, Melchert's ceramic works including commissions are held in numerous collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Yale University Museum of Art.
Related Materials:
Related materials include Archives of American Art's Oral history interview with James Melchert, 1991 Apr. 4-5, and Oral history interview with James Melchert, 2002 September 18-October 19.
Provenance:
Donated 2004 and 2019-2021 by James Melchert as part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- California -- Oakland  Search this
Educators -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Arts administrators -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Topic:
Interviews  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Funk  Search this
Ceramics  Search this
Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.melcjim
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d190f8b8-f9b3-4b9f-a02a-e6c19fe8769b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-melcjim

Barry McCallion

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 34
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1971-1980
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ba263e83-e602-4b2a-bd8b-d63ff4091774
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref100

Paul McCarthy

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 35
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1975-1990
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f4bd27d1-100a-4201-a304-620b74bb4610
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref101

Vincent McGourty

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 36
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 2006
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ef72c081-508f-4038-b88d-9a1eed2fe695
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref102

Mary Ann Melchert (Faxes)

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 37
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1998
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9919c4375-46f9-424f-9856-b7d66fb9a9d5
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref103

Richard Merkin

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 38
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1963-1980s, 2017
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw96d82b2b5-a8f1-40ce-820e-6e6db685dceb
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref104

Sequoia Miller

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 39
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 2014-2015
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94f14eabe-d2f6-4913-a9d5-e529235f9187
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref105

Tatsuo Miura

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 40
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1954-2011
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw93ae6675b-0e29-439a-bed8-dfaeeaeedfc7
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref106

M

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 41
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1966-2015
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9213956f1-da79-4326-b385-47b11f358d85
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref107

Kazuo and Tomoko Nakamoto

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 42
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1996
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9b191b22f-6988-4361-bd21-508ae7b6eff0
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref108

Kimpei Nakamura

Collection Creator:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 43
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 2004
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
James Melchert papers, circa 1949-2021. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
James Melchert papers
James Melchert papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94f7c35b6-55ce-43b8-ac5e-2d9bbc4a2224
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-melcjim-ref109

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