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Oral history interview with Reed Kay

Interviewee:
Kay, Reed  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School -- Faculty  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School -- Students  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture -- Faculty  Search this
Kokoschka, Oskar, 1886-  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
54 Slides
232 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1995 December 22-1996 October 4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Reed Kay conducted 1995 December 22-1996 October 4, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art over seven sessions, in Kay's home, in Brookline, Massachusetts.
The cassettes are accompanied by 54 color slides of Kay's artwork executed between 1941 and 1993, including sketches, watercolors, and paintings.
Kay talks about his childhood in an immigrant Jewish community in Boston and the great encouragement he received from teachers and librarians; his entry into the difficult Boston Latin School at age 11; and his early entry into the art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Kay continues discussion about the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston School; life-long friendships there with Jason Berger, Jack Kramer, and David Aronson; and instructors, including Karl Zerbe, head of painting.
Kay talks about his service in World War II; completion of education at MFA School; his marriage in 1946; his first teaching position at the MFA School's summer sessions under Mitchell Siporin and Leonard Baskin in 1948 and Oskar Kokoschka in 1949. He discusses Kokoschka and Zerbe as teachers and colleagues; and his travelling fellowship to Paris, Italy, and Spain, 1949-1950.
Kay continues his discussion of Karl Zerbe as a teacher; talks about the difficulty of beginning a painting career and teaching, especially in a university as Kay did from 1956 until 1989; and about various teaching colleagues at the MFA School.
Kay talks about the superb teaching of anatomy by Ture Bengtz and of perspective by Peter Dubaniewicz at MFA School in the early 1940s; on the precocious abilities of upperclassmen such as Conger Metcalf and John Wilson, and the stimulation their accomplishment gave Kay; on his work, from student drawings to his cityscape paintings of the late 1950s, which he continues to make, abandoning figural, narrative, and studio subjects.
Teaching materials and methods of painting at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (summers of 1952 and 1954-1960) and the high quality of instruction and students and his decision to leave; the pluses and minuses of teaching and the toll it took on his own work; his long tenure at the School of Visual Arts, Boston University (1956-1989).
On his writings, principally, "The Painter's Companion: a Basic Guide to Studio Methods and Material," (1961) [revised editions, titled, "Painter's Guide," (1972, 1983)], which was an outgrowth of the emphasis put on craftsmanship, permanence, and mastery of media at MFA School under Karl Zerbe; on his growing concern, expressed in writings and lectures, with the toxicity of some modern artists' materials; and his relationship with art conservators. He discusses his work, from 1959 into the early 1990s while viewing slides.
Biographical / Historical:
Reed Kay (1925- ) is a painter and teacher from Brookline, Massachusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 9 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 17 digital wav files. Duration is 12 hrs., 56 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:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kay95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kay95

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston records, 1876-1962

Creator:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6581
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215881
AAA_collcode_museof
Theme:
Art Materials, Techniques, and Studio Art Education
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215881

Oral history interview with Elizabeth Saltonstall

Interviewee:
Saltonstall, Elizabeth, 1900-1990  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Boston Society of Independent Artists  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Institute of Modern Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Milton Academy (Milton, Mass.) -- Faculty  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Windsor School (Boston, Mass.) -- Faculty  Search this
Windsor School (Boston, Mass.) -- Students  Search this
Benson, Frank Weston, 1862-1951  Search this
Bosley, Frederick A., 1881-1942  Search this
Chase, Frank Swift, 1886-1958  Search this
Clark, Henry Hunt  Search this
Cross, Anson K., 1862-1944  Search this
Hale, Philip Leslie, 1865-1931  Search this
James, Alexander, 1890-1946  Search this
Miller, George Charles, b. 1894  Search this
Presser, Josef, 1909-1967  Search this
Saltonstall, Nathaniel, 1903-1968  Search this
Thompson, Leslie P.  Search this
Wengenroth, Stow, 1906-1978  Search this
Extent:
34 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1981 November 18
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Elizabeth Saltonstall conducted 1981 November 18, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Saltonstall discusses her experiences with art as a child in Boston (mentioning Frank Weston Benson as an influence) and her subsequent art education at the Winsor School, the art school of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and independent study in Paris. She remembers the various teaching styles of the Museum School faculty (Frederick A. Bosley, Henry Hunt Clark, Anson K. Cross, Philip Leslie Hale, Alexander James, and Leslie P. Thompson), especially as they contrasted with French teaching methods. She also speaks of her teachers in France and on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (including Frank Swift Chase), and recalls some of her co-students (including Josef Presser). Particular mention is made of a lithography workshop taught by Stow Wengenroth, and of George C. Miller, who printed her lithography stones. Her cousin, Nathaniel Saltonstall, is discussed as a patron of the arts, especially his contributions to the establishment of the Institute of Modern Art [Institute of Contemporary Art] in Boston. She touches also on her own teaching career at Winsor School and Milton Academy, and her involvement with the Boston Society of Independent Artists and the Grace Horn Gallery.
Biographical / Historical:
Elizabeth Saltonstall (1900-1990) was a painter, printmaker, and instructor of Chestnut Hill, Mass.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 25 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:
Art patrons -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching -- France -- Paris  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts  Search this
Art teachers -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Printmakers -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.salton81
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-salton81

Oral history interview with Robert O. Preusser

Interviewee:
Preusser, Robert O. (Robert Ormerod), 1919-1992  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Art Center School (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Boris Mirski Gallery (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Center for Advanced Visual Studies  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Joan Peterson Gallery  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Newcomb College. School of Art  Search this
University of Houston  Search this
Davidson, Ola McNeill  Search this
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Extent:
106 Pages (Transcipt)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1991 January-October
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert O. Preusser conducted 1991 January-October, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Preusser discusses the establishment of an art department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his involvement with it first as a visiting lecturer and then as a professor of visual design. He speaks often of Gyorgy Kepes, whom he had known at the Institute of Design, Chicago, in the early 1940s, and who recruited him to M.I.T; he also discusses other faculty members, like Minor White, professor of photography. He gives attention to his courses at M.I.T., 1954-1985; early computer design projects by students; his writings on the importance of visual arts to technology; and his supervision of educational programs at M.I.T.'s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, 1974-85. An extensive part of the interview is held in an exhibition of Preusser's work at the M.I.T. Museum (April 4, 1991), discussing in particular his incorporation of various plastic and metallic materials in his works from the 1960s and 1970s. He speaks as well of the importance of his inclusion in group exhibitions at the Downtown Gallery, New York, ("Newcomers," 1951, and "Recent Arrivals, 1952) and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston ("Collectors Exhibition," 1954), and of his exhibitions at the Boris Mirski Gallery and the Joan Peterson Gallery, Boston, during the 1950s and 1960s, and at various galleries in Houston during the 1980s. Other topics of discussion are his early art instruction in his native Houston, Texas, by the painter Ola McNeill Davidson, 1930-39; further training in painting and design at the Institute of Design, Chicago, 1930-39, 1941-42; Newcomb School of Art at Tulane University, 1940-41; service with a camouflage unit in the U.S. Army, 1942-45; classes at the Art Center School, Los Angeles, 1946-47; his teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1947-54, and at the University of Houston, 1951-54, and his role as co-director of the Houston Contemporary Arts Association, 1948-50.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Preusser (1919-1992) was a painter and art instructor from Houston, Texas and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
General:
Poor sound quality. The first 35 minutes of the interview have been lost.
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 18 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:
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- Texas -- Houston  Search this
Camouflage (Military science)  Search this
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- Texas -- Houston -- Interviews  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.preuss91
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-preuss91

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston records

Creator:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Extent:
38 Volumes ((on 7 microfilm reels))
1 Reel (Index cards on 1 microfilm reel)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Volumes
Reels
Date:
1876-1962
Scope and Contents:
Records and indexes to the records of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1837-1962, consisting primarily of meeting minutes of the governing committees and Secretary, early student registration records, annual reports and catalogs, scrapbooks of school and student activities and exhibitions.
Included are: Records of the Permanent Committee, 1876-1901 (3 v.), containing minutes, a statement on the founding of the School, and a petitition to the MFA Trustees about the relation of the School to the Museum; School of Drawing and Painting, Secretary's Record, 1888-1902 (1 v.), containing minutes of the Permanent Committee, the Managing Committee, and various sub-committees; Records of the School Council, 1902-1954 (5 v.), containing minutes, actions, and inserts of notes, lists, and letters; Registers of Pupils, ca. 1882-1927 (3 v.); School Annual Reports, 1877-1930, and School Annual Catalogs, 1931-1957, bound together in six volumes; Alumni Association By-Laws, 1924 (1 v.); Paige Scholarship Rules, 1900-1913; and a file of correspondence with architect Guy Lowell regarding the School building, 1924-1928.
There are eighteen volumes of scrapbooks, 1880-1962, chronologically documenting student, teacher, and school activities and containing clippings, catalogs, brochures, flyers, photographs, and scattered letters, announcements, and reports, as well as other ephemera; a scrapbook of exhibitions, 1927-1953 (1 v.) containing exhibition announcements, entry forms, and invitations; several photographs, 1877-1920s, depicting 19th century students and teachers, including one photograph possibly of William Morris Hunt teaching in a studio in the late 1870s, snapshots of students in the 1920s, and photographs of the School Building upon completion of construction in 1927.
REEL 5050: Card indexes, including: an alphabetical index to the Registers of Pupils indicating dates of entrance and courses taken, including summer and evening schools and a cross reference to married names; a name index to student names in the scrapbooks; and a subject index to the Records of the School Council, with summaries of actions.
Biographical / Historical:
Art school. From 1877-1901 was called the School of Drawing and Painting of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Managing body from its founding until 1902 was the Permanent Committee, followed by the Council of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts into the 1950s, with the chairman serving as the head of the School and a Manager in charge of day-to-day management. In the 1950s, a member of the faculty was made the first Head of the School. The School functioned until 1909 in the first Museum building on Copley Square, moving to a temporary space adjacent to the Museum's present site on Huntington Avenue until the permanent structure opened in 1927.
Provenance:
The records were lent for microfilming in 1995, and the card indices in 1996 by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Microfilming of the records made possible through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. William B. Osgood.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Art students  Search this
Function:
Art Schools -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Museum buildings -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Identifier:
AAA.museof
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-museof

Oral history interview with Jason Berger

Interviewee:
Berger, Jason, 1924-2010  Search this
Interviewer:
Brown, Robert F.  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Boston (Boston, Mass.) -- Faculty  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School  Search this
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School -- Faculty  Search this
State University of New York at Buffalo -- Faculty  Search this
United States. Army  Search this
Benda, Clemens E. (Clemens Ernst), 1898-  Search this
Bengtz, Ture, 1907-1973  Search this
Bloom, Hyman, 1913-  Search this
Fiedler, Leslie A.  Search this
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010  Search this
Powers, Marilyn, 1925-1976  Search this
Swetzoff, Hyman Wulf, 1920-1968  Search this
Zadkine, Ossip  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
2 Items (Sound recording: 2 sound files (2 hr., 5 min.), digital, wav file)
47 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
France -- description and travel
Date:
1979 January 12-1980 February 1
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Jason Berger, conducted 1979 January 12 and 1980 February 1, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Berger speaks of growing up in Massachusetts; serving in the Army during World War II; studying and teaching at the Museum School in Boston; marrying his wife, Marilyn Powers; studying sculpture in France; exhibiting at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and other galleries; the art collective Direct Vision; being fired from the Museum School; and teaching at SUNY Buffalo and the Art Institute of Boston. Berger also recalls Karl Zerbe, Ture Bengtz, Hyman Bloom, Hyman Swetzoff, Jack Levine, Leslie Fiedler, Clemens Benda, Ossip Zadkine, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Jason Berger (1924-2010) is a painter and printmaker from Brookline, Massachusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 5 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are 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 others.
Topic:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Printmakers -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Interviews  Search this
Sculpture -- Study and teaching  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.berger79
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-berger79

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