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Oral history interview with Tommy Simpson

Interviewee:
Simpson, Tommy  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Boston University. Program in Artisanry -- Faculty  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Northern Illinois University -- Students  Search this
University of Hartford -- Faculty  Search this
Castle, Wendell, 1932-2018  Search this
Maloof, Sam  Search this
Maruyama, Wendy, 1952-  Search this
McKie, Judy Kensley, 1944-  Search this
Newman, Richard, (Artist)  Search this
Sepeshy, Zoltan, 1898-1974  Search this
Smith, Paul J., 1931-  Search this
Zucca, Edward  Search this
Extent:
6 Items (Sound recording: 6 sound files (3 hr., 54 min.), digital, wav)
89 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
China -- Description and Travel
Europe -- description and travel
Date:
2004 May 6-July 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Tommy Simpson conducted 2004 May 6-July 2, by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Simpson speaks of growing up in rural Illinois; making things as a child; discovering his interest in art at Northern Illinois University; getting an MFA in painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art; using the wood shop at Cranbrook; exhibiting at various galleries in New York City and moving to Connecticut; showing work in the "Fantasy Furniture" exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Design; visiting Europe; the New York studio furniture market in the 1960s; writing the book, "Fantasy Furniture"; exhibiting in "Objects USA;" working as artist in residence at the Fairtree Gallery; teaching at the University of Hartford; his work ethic and productivity; living and working in Greenwich, Connecticut; the constraints of being classified as a furniture maker; teaching briefly at the Program In Artisanry and other schools; the increased public interest in fine woodworking in the 1980s; changes in the craft market; writing the book, "Two Looks to Home"; the influence of events on his work; his current interest in making whole interiors; working on commission; the current public interest in craft; expressing themes in his work; his working process in his studio; the future of fine woodworking; the difficulties of working with galleries; designing rugs; and visiting China. Simpson also recalls Zoltan Sepeshy, Wendell Castle, Paul Smith, Sam Maloof, Edward Zucca, Wendy Maruyama, Richard Newman, Judy McKie, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Tommy Simpson (1939- ) is a furniture maker and sculptor from Washington Depot, Connecticut. Edward S. Cooke, Jr. is a professor from Newtonville, Massachusetts.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 54 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:
Cabinetmakers  Search this
Sculptors -- Connecticut  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.simpso04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw95d21c644-be78-4a66-83ff-e67f648199b8
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-simpso04
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Tommy Simpson, 2004 May 6-July 2

Interviewee:
Simpson, Tommy, 1939-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Subject:
Castle, Wendell  Search this
Maloof, Sam  Search this
Maruyama, Wendy  Search this
McKie, Judy Kensley  Search this
Newman, Richard, (Artist)  Search this
Sepeshy, Zoltan  Search this
Smith, Paul J.  Search this
Zucca, Edward  Search this
Boston University. Program in Artisanry  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Northern Illinois University  Search this
University of Hartford  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
China -- description and travel
Europe -- description and travel
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Theme:
Craft  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11632
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)248743
AAA_collcode_simpso04
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_248743
Online Media:

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  • Archival materials
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  • Archival materials
  • Collection descriptions
  • Interviews
  • Sound recordings
  • Boston University. Program in Artisanry
  • Castle, Wendell
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art
  • Maloof, Sam
  • Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.)
  • Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
  • Newman, Richard, (Artist)
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Sepeshy, Zoltan
  • Simpson, Tommy
  • Boston University. Program in Artisanry
  • Castle, Wendell
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art
  • Maloof, Sam
  • Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.)
  • Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
  • Newman, Richard, (Artist)
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Sepeshy, Zoltan
  • Simpson, Tommy
  • Archives of American Art