An interview with Robert Pincus-Witten, conducted 2016 March 23-24, by Francis M. Naumann for the Archives of American Art at Pincus-Witten's home in New York, New York.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Pincus-Witten (1935-2018) was a professor of art history emeritus at CUNY in New York, New York. Interviewer Francis M. Naumann (1948- ) is an art historian and art dealer in Yorktown Heights, New York.
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.
Audiovisual materials relating to the documentary Beatrice Wood: Mama of Dada measure 11 linear feet and date from 1990 to 1993. Records include sound recordings, motion picture film outtakes, transcripts, production notes, lab records of the film production, and video recordings of the completed documentary.
Scope and Contents:
Audiovisual materials relating to the documentary Beatrice Wood: Mama of Dada measure 11 linear feet and date from 1990 to 1993. Records include sound recordings, motion picture film outtakes, transcripts, production notes, lab records, and video recordings of the completed documentary.
Original sound recordings and transcripts include two recorded public appearances by Wood, as well as multiple interviews with Beatrice Wood and with others about Wood; interviewed are Francis Nauman, John Perrault, Garth Clark, Mark Del Vecchio, Anne D'Harnoncourt, Steve Watson, Rupert Pole, R.P. Singh, Henry Huglin, and Lee Waisler. Partial transcripts are found for most recordings. Records created by the sound recordist, referred to in this finding aid as sound roll logs, are found with several of the sound reels and document general content and the camera roll numbers of corresponding film footage.
Production notes and lab records include script notes, shot lists, editing notes, detailed editing logs, camera reports, and lab records including work orders for dailies, effects such as titles and superimpositions, and documentation of the final print. Many of the sound recordings were shot synchronously with the motion picture film found in the collection, and while the documentation does not always make the link between picture and soundtrack explicit, the link can be investigated via sound roll logs, camera reports, negative logs, and shot lists.
Moving images include three video copies of the finished documentary and 153 rolls of 16mm motion picture film negative, which are outtakes from 166 original camera negative rolls. The content of outtakes consists of three general types: film shot during several of the interviews and one of Wood's public appearances found in Series 1; silent footage of locations and Wood working in her studio; and footage of historical photographs and artworks. All of the film found in the collection consists of outtakes; footage that was used in the documentary was not donated, although complete sound recordings exist in series 1.
The collection is arranged as three series:
Series 1: Original Sound Recordings and Transcripts, 1990-1991 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 2: Production Notes and Lab Reports, 1990-1992 (0.3 linear feet; Box 2)
Series 3: Moving Images, 1990-1993 (12.1 linear feet; Box 2, FC 3-122)
Biographical / Historical:
Beatrice Wood: Mama of Dada was written and directed by Tom Neff and released by Wild Wolf Productions in 1993 to correspond with Wood's 100th birthday. Tom Neff is a filmmaker, producer, and television executive who was born in 1953 in Chicago, Illinois and received his MFA from the University of Southern California in 1981. Neff founded the production company Wild Wolf Productions with Diandra Douglas in the early 1990s, and Mama of Dada was the company's first production and was written and directed by Neff, and produced by Neff, Diandra Douglas, and Amie Knox.
Neff has produced, written, and directed over a dozen documentaries on historical and cultural subjects since the mid-1980s. In addition to his work on Wood, Neff's filmography includes several documentaries about American artists, including Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Frederic Remington, and Red Grooms. His short documentary Red Grooms: Sunflower in a Hot House earned him an Oscar with Madeline Bell in 1987. He currently teaches at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The Archives of American Art holds multiple oral histories and collections of archival material related to Beatrice Wood, including the Beatrice Wood papers, the Beatrice Wood letters to Elizabeth Stein, and the Belle M. Deitch papers concerning Beatrice Wood.
Oral histories include two interviews with Wood conducted by Paul Karlstrom, one on August 26, 1976, and another on March 2, 1992.
The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona holds a collection of material collected and created by Tom Neff for his 1999 documentary "Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Painting with Light."
Donated 1992 by Wild Wolf Productions via writer, director, and producer Tom Neff.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings records with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Outtakes, reels and transcripts: Authorization to quote or reproduce for purposes of publication requires written permission from WILD WOLF PRODUCTIONS via Tom Neff, producer. Contact Reference Services for more information.