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Oral history interview with Jay DeFeo

Interviewee:
DeFeo, Jay, 1929-1989  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
University of California, Berkeley -- Students  Search this
Conner, Bruce, 1933-2008  Search this
Francis, Sam, 1923-1994  Search this
Gechtoff, Sonia, 1926-2018  Search this
Hopps, Walter  Search this
Martin, Fred, 1927-  Search this
Extent:
83 Pages (Transcript)
1 Item (sound file (10 min. 21 sec.) Audio excerpt, digital)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1975 June 3-1976 January 23
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Jay DeFeo conducted 1975 June 3-1976 January 23, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
The interviews took place at DeFeo's home, in Larkspur, California. DeFeo speaks of her family background; the influences of her teachers; her education at the University of California at Berkeley; her friendships with Sam Francis and Fred Martin; working in Italy; jewelry making; the San Francisco arts community in the 1950s; her exhibitions; and her painting, "The Rose". She recalls Bruce Conner, Sonia Gechtoff, and Walter Hopps.
Biographical / Historical:
Jay DeFeo (1929-1989) was a painter and photographer from the San Francisco Bay area, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav file. Duration is 6 hr., 7 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:
Jewelry making  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.defeo75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-defeo75

Oral history interview with Charles W. White, 1965 March 9

Interviewee:
White, Charles, 1918-1979  Search this
Interviewer:
McGlynn, Betty Lochrie Hoag, 1914-2002  Search this
Subject:
Federal Art Project  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- United States  Search this
African American artists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Educators -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11484
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213975
AAA_collcode_white65
Theme:
African American
New Deal
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213975

Oral history interview with Fred Martin, 1980 Aug. 27-Sept. 19

Interviewee:
Martin, Fred, 1927-  Search this
Interviewer:
St. John, Terry  Search this
Subject:
Rothko, Mark  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Abstract expressionism -- California  Search this
Collagists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12046
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212016
AAA_collcode_martin80
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212016

Oral history interview with Richard Shaw [videorecording], 1998 April 3 and 6

Interviewee:
Shaw, Richard Blake, 1941 Sept. 12-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Braunstein, Ruth  Search this
Chanco, Pauletta  Search this
Hudson, Robert  Search this
Melchert, Jim  Search this
Braunstein/Quay Gallery  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Archives of American Art  Search this
Type:
Video recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Ceramicists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Pottery  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13046
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216429
AAA_collcode_shaw98
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216429

Oral history interview with Elmer Bischoff, 1977 August 10-September 1

Interviewee:
Bischoff, Elmer Nelson, 1916-1991  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Brown, Joan  Search this
Brown, William Theo  Search this
Geis, Bill  Search this
Hudson, Robert  Search this
MacAgy, Douglas  Search this
Neri, Manuel  Search this
Park, David  Search this
Smith, Hassel  Search this
Spohn, Clay Edgar  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
Wiley, William T.  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Abstract expressionism -- California  Search this
Figurative art -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11991
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213307
AAA_collcode_bischo77
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213307

Oral history interview with Carlos Almaraz, 1986 February 6-1987 January 29

Interviewee:
Almaraz, Carlos, 1941-1989  Search this
Interviewer:
Nieto, Margarita  Search this
Subject:
Flores, Elsa  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Mexican American art  Search this
Hispanic American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Mexican American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Street art -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5409
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216420
AAA_collcode_almara86
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216420
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Elsa Flores, 1997 Feb. 18-Apr. 30

Interviewee:
Flores, Elsa, 1955-  Search this
Interviewer:
Rangel, Jeffrey J.  Search this
Subject:
Almaraz, Carlos  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Women painters -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Mexican American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Hispanic American women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13559
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216421
AAA_collcode_flores97
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216421
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Eleanor Dickinson, 2000 October 25

Interviewee:
Dickinson, Eleanor Creekmore, 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Painters -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13340
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)229431
AAA_collcode_dickin00
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_229431
Online Media:

Eleanor Dickinson papers, 1951-2011

Creator:
Dickinson, Eleanor Creekmore, 1931-  Search this
Subject:
Artists Equity Association  Search this
College Art Association of America  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
California College of Arts and Crafts  Search this
Women's Caucus for Art  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Video recordings
Drawings
Sound recordings
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6477
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215664
AAA_collcode_dickelea
Theme:
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215664

Oral history interview with Fred Martin

Interviewee:
Martin, Fred, 1927-  Search this
Interviewer:
St. John, Terry  Search this
Names:
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Extent:
202 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1980 Aug. 27-Sept. 19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Fred Martin conducted 1980 Aug. 27-Sept. 19, by Terry St. John, for the Archives of American Art.
Martin speaks of his childhood and early artistic influences; his education at the University of California, Berkeley; his rebellion as a student; studying under Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still; teaching art in elementary and high schools; going to work for the Oakland Art Museum; his lack of an identifiable style and its negative impact on his early career; teaching at and becoming director of the San Francisco Art Institute; leaving there and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley; the influence of abstract expressionism on his work; his work in collage; his travels; the influence of "dynamic symmetry"; the current art market.
Biographical / Historical:
Fred Martin (1927- ) is a painter, teacher, and collagist from Oakland, Calif.
General:
Originally recorded on 8 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hrs., 9 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript: Use requires an appointment.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism -- California  Search this
Collagists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.martin80
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-martin80

Erle Loran papers

Creator:
Loran, Erle, 1905-1999  Search this
Names:
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco  Search this
Friends of Ethnic Art  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
University of California, Berkeley -- Faculty  Search this
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
Dasburg, Andrew, 1887-1979  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Haley, John, 1905-1991  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hatfield, Dalzell, 1893-1963  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Levinson, Harry  Search this
Sabean, Samuel  Search this
Schaefer, Bertha, 1895-1971  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Wilke, Ulfert, 1907-1987  Search this
Extent:
12.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Watercolors
Sketches
Photographs
Writings
Date:
1912-1999
Summary:
The papers of California painter, writer, and teacher Erle Loran measure 12.6 linear feet and date from 1912 to 1991. Found are biographical materials; two linear feet of personal and professional correspondence; personal business records; writings which include extensive drafts and notes for Loran's book Cezanne's Composition; over 400 items of artwork that include watercolors, drawings, charcoal, and pastel studies; printed materials; photographs of Loran, family, and friends, and artwork; and one audio recording of a lecture by Loran on Cezanne.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of California painter and teacher Erle Loran measure 12.6 linear feet and date from 1912 to 1991. Found are biographical materials; two linear feet of personal and professional correspondence; personal business records; writings which include extensive drafts and notes for Loran's book Cezanne's Composition; over 400 items of artwork that include watercolors, drawings, charcoal, and pastel studies; printed materials; photographs of Loran, family, and friends, and artwork; and one audio recording of a lecture by Loran on Cezanne.

Biographical materials include biographical sketches, curriculum vita, a will, notes and a notebook, and an appointment book for 1987. Also found is an anniversary invitation, a certificate from the University of California, and the Pepsi-Cola award for 1948.

Two linear feet of correspondence is with artists, critics, galleries, and universities. Correspondents inlcude Romare Bearden, Andrew Dasburg, Clement Greenberg, John Haley, Dalzell Hatfield, Hans Hofmann, Harry Levinson (president of Permanent Pigments), Sam Sabean, Bertha Schaefer, Clyfford Still, and Ulfert Wilke. There is also correspondence with the University of California.

Personal business records include exhibition files, price and consignment lists, teaching materials, University of California Press records, and records relating to the publication of his book on Cézanne. Some of these records also document Loran's involvement with the Fine Arts Museum, Friends of Ethnic Arts, and the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition, there are records related to Loran's role in a donation of forty-five paintings by Hans Hofmann to the University Art Center. Also found are materials related to Loran's activities as an art collector including sales receipts, auction catalogs, and photographs of artwork owned by Loran.

Writings by Loran include a complete manuscript version of Cézanne's Composition along with additional notes and drafts, and numerous other short essays on Cézanne's life and art. Loran's other writings include essays about Hans Hofmann, Marsden Hartley, symbology in abstract art, and contemporary art.

Loran's career as an artist is extensively documented by four linear feet of original artwork, mostly preliminary sketches. The work demonstrates a variety of techniques including watercolor, pastel, pencil, pen, gouache, and oil sketches. Content includes landscapes, portraits, fantasy scenes, urban scenes, and rural scenes.

Printed materials include extensive newsclippings from seven decades, exhibition announcements, and exhibition catalogs. Photographs are of Loran, his second wife Clyta, the Loran family, friends and colleagues, artwork, and source materials. Also found within the papers is an audio recording on cassette of a lecture by Loran on Cézanne.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1930s-1990s (Box 1; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1912-1992 (Boxes 1-3; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1930s-1992 (Box 3; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1921-1999 (Boxes 3-4; 1.25 linear feet)

Series 5: Artwork, 1920s-1980s (Boxes 4-8, 13-14; 4.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1925-1999 (Boxes 8-10, 14; 2.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, 1910s-1990s (Boxes 10-12, 14; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 8: Audio Recording, 1982 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
California painter, writer, and teacher Erle Loran was born on October 2, 1905 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended the Minneapolis School of Art and graduated in 1926. That same year, Loran won the Paris Prize from the Chaloner Foundation which enabled him to study in France for the next three years. Here, he immersed himself into the world of Paul Cezanne. He lived for two years in Cézanne's studio, meeting many who knew Cezanne, including painter Emile Bernard, and art dealer Ambroise Vollard. This experience was critical to the development of Loran's artistic vision and his later writings and lectures about Cézanne.

In 1929, Loran returned to the United States, and published the article "Cézanne's Country" in The Arts in 1930. He then spent the early 1930s in Minnesota, after returning to Minneapolis to be treated for tuberculosis. There, Loran began to paint in a regionalist style, producing landscapes and scenes of life in rural Minnesota. In 1931, Loran was given his first one-man show at the Kraushaar Gallery in New York. During the depression, Loran began teaching art and was given painting commissions as part of the federal arts programs of the WPA.

Loran moved to California in 1937 and accepted a position as professor in the art department at the University of California, Berkeley. There he taught until retiring in 1973, serving as the department's chair in the 1950s. He established a program to invite east coast artists to teach at the university, and participants included Conrad Marca-Relli and Milton Resnick. Loran's students included Jay DeFeo, Richard Diebenkorn, and Sam Francis. In 1941 Loran began to write the synthesis of his research and interpretations about Cézanne's work, culminating in his pioneering book Cézanne's Composition published in 1943 by the University of California Press.

During this period Loran associated himself with modernist Hans Hofmann. Loran's early paintings were lyrical abstractions in primary colors; however, his style constantly changed with the times. Watercolor was Loran's medium of choice because it lent itself to his often-remote plein air locations, such as the ghost towns of California and Nevada. With John Haley and Worth Ryder he formed the "Berkeley Group," whose paintings consisted of scenes of the California and southwestern landscape painted in flat, open areas of color. During the war, painting in the open became increasingly difficult and Loran transitioned from plein-air painting to studio work. Shortly thereafter he began to focus his painting on abstraction.

Loran's artwork during the 1950s consisted primarily of abstractions based on natural forms like crystal and driftwood. In 1955, he spent six weeks studying with Hans Hofmann, whom he later called, along with Cézanne, a second "great father figure." In 1960, he was instrumental in securing a gift of forty-five paintings by Hans Hofmann for Berkeley's University Art Center. In the late 1960s, his work became a fusing of Op, Pop, and Hard Edge. From this he moved to figurative painting and later to geometric designs and symbols.

Loran continued to paint throughout the rest of his life in a variety of styles, including nudes, abstractions, and landscapes. Besides being an artist and a teacher, Loran was also a lifelong collector of ethnic art who specialized in African, Asian, Native American, and pre-Columbian tribal art. Many works from his collection are presently housed at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Loran died in 1999 in Berkeley, at the age of 93.
Related Material:
Found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Erle Loran conducted by Herschel Chipp, June 18, 1981, and a 1981 interview with Erle and Clyta Loran in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Interviews With Artists collection. Also found is a letter from Loran to Richard Wattenmaker, 1975.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel 906) including photographs of artwork by Erle Loran and two clippings of reproductions of Loran's artwork. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Erle Loran lent the Archives of American Art materials for microfilming and donated papers in 1975. In 1999 Mrs. Ruth Schora-Loran, Loran's widow, donated additional material, including artworks.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Erle Loran papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art, Abstract  Search this
Art teachers -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Painters -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Watercolors
Sketches
Photographs
Writings
Citation:
Erle Loran Papers, 1912-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.loraerle
See more items in:
Erle Loran papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-loraerle
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Richard Shaw [videorecording]

Interviewee:
Shaw, Richard, 1941 Sept. 12-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
Archives of American Art  Search this
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 ceramist 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.
Topic:
Ceramicists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Pottery  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.shaw98
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-shaw98

Hassel Smith papers

Creator:
Smith, Hassel, 1915-2007  Search this
Names:
Gimpel Fils  Search this
New Arts (Art gallery)  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute -- Faculty  Search this
Anglim, Paule  Search this
Bischoff, Elmer, 1916-1991  Search this
Butterfield, Jan  Search this
Emmerich, André  Search this
Fitz Gibbon, John  Search this
Gimpel, Charles  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Still, Patricia  Search this
Swanson, Kathryn  Search this
Thiebaud, Wayne  Search this
Wollard, Robert  Search this
Extent:
4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Sound recordings
Sketches
Transcripts
Christmas cards
Photographs
Date:
circa 1900-2004
bulk 1930-1995
Summary:
The papers of Southern California painter and instructor Hassel Smith measure 4 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 2004 with the bulk of the materials dating from 1930-1995. Found within the papers are correspondence, a transcript of an interview conducted by Jan Butterfield in the 1980s, personal business files, teaching files, writings by Smith and others, sketches, printed materials, and photographs of Smith, his family and friends, and his artwork. There are audio recordings of a lecture series organized by Smith and of reviews of Smith's work. Correspondents include Paule Anglim, Elmer Bischoff, Andre Emmerich, Clyfford Still, Wayne Thiebaud, and many others.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Southern California painter and instructor Hassel Smith measure 4 linear feet and date from circa 1900 to 2004 with the bulk of the materials dating from 1930-1995. Found within the papers are correspondence, a transcript of an interview conducted by Jan Butterfield in the 1980s, personal business files, teaching files, writings by Smith and others, sketches, printed materials, and photographs of Smith, his family and friends, and his artwork. There are audio recordings of a lecture series organized by Smith and of reviews of Smith's work. Correspondents include Paule Anglim, Elmer Bischoff, Andre Emmerich, Clyfford Still, Wayne Thiebaud, and many others.

Biographical materials include biographical sketches, curriculum vitae, genealogical materials, ephemera, and personal appointment books from the mid to late 1970s. Also found here is a transcript of an in-depth interview of Smith conducted by Jan Butterfield in the 1980s.

There is personal and professional correspondence with Paule Anglim, Elmer Bischoff, Andre Emmerich, Charles Gimpel of Gimpel Fils, Clyfford and Patricia Still, Kathryn Swanson of the New Arts Gallery, Wayne Thiebaud, family members, and many others.

Personal business records include art sales records, exhibition checklists, conservation and condition reports, and personal finance records. Teaching materials include class schedules, student lists, and syllabi. Also found are notes on topics such as American art and literature, artistic traits and forms, illusion, and women artists.

Writings by Smith include artist statements, creative writings, his thoughts on the art market and art institutions, the San Francisco art community, and social criticism. Writings by others consist primarily of essays about Smith and his work. There are also writings by Smith's friend Robert Wollard. Artwork includes sketches, doodles, and Christmas cards done by Smith, and a handful of artwork by others.

Printed materials include clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, and posters. Also found here are printed materials about other artists, schools where Smith enrolled or taught, Smith's general interests, and collages and flyers by Robert Wollard. There is a printed copy of the pictorial edition of the Communist Manifesto edited by Smith and other artists.

Photographic materials are of Smith, family members, artwork, his studio, exhibition openings and other art events, and friends and colleagues. A family photograph dates from circa 1900 and negatives date from 1920. Most of the photographs date from the 1940s through the 1990s.

Sound recordings include 1 sound tape reel of the radio show, Art Review, with host John Fitz Gibbon reviewing Smith's artwork, and nine sound cassettes of student critiques overseen by Smith at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1930-2004 (0.25 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1930s-2003 (1.0 linear foot; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Personal Business Materials, 1953-2003 (0.25 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Teaching Materials, 1960s-1980s (18 folders; Box 2)

Series 5: Writings, 1940s-1994 (0.25 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 6: Artwork, 1928-1995 (8 folders; Box 2)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1928-2003 (1.25 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 8: Photographic Materials, 1900s-2004 (0.5 linear feet; Box 4)

Series 9: Sound Recordings, 1965-1980 (10 items; Box 4)
Biographical Note:
Hassel Smith (1915-2007) was a California Bay area abstract expressionist painter, painting instructor at the California School of Fine Arts, and a lecturer at the University of California. His students included Roy De Forest, Sonia Gechtoff, and Frank Lobdell. Smith was also associated with the famed Los Angeles Ferus Gallery.

Hassel Smith was born on April 27, 1915, in Sturgis, Michigan, settling later with his family in San Mateo, California. He attended Northwestern University with the intention of becoming a chemist, but switched his majors to English and Art History and graduated in 1936. Returning to California, Smith enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA), and studied with the painter Maurice Sterne.

In 1937, he left school and shared housing with his adopted brother Lewis in the Haight-Ashbury district, where he maintained a studio on Steiner Street. At the same time, as a social worker for the California Relief State Administration, he worked with men on "skid row" in San Francisco. Declared 4F by the draft board, Smith served various government agencies during World War II, including the Farm Security Administration and the U.S. Forest Service. During this period, he met and married June Meyers. He later described his government service and social work as having a strong influence on his art and politics.

In 1941, Smith was awarded the Abraham Rosenberg Fellowship from the University of California, Berkeley, which allowed him to travel and paint outdoors at Angel's Camp in the Mother Lode of the Sierra foothills, along with Richard Hackett.

At the end of the war, Smith began teaching at the CSFA, joining faculty members Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, and Clyfford Still. Smith taught there until 1952. His students included Roy De Forest, Sonia Gechtoff, and Frank Lobdell. Smith continued to paint and exhibit work throughout the 1950s, and in 1958 became affiliated with the Ferus Gallery founded by Walter Hopps and Ed Kienholz. His wife June passed away in 1958. One year later, Smith remarried Donna Rafferty Harrington, and they had their son Bruce in 1960.

After an exhibition at the New Arts Gallery in Houston, London-based dealer Charles Gimpel invited Smith to exhibit his work in England. As a result of this, Smith moved to England in 1962, and spent a year living in Mousehole, a fishing village in Cornwall. He moved back to California and between 1963 to 1966 was a visiting lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1966, Smith accepted a position as Senior Lecturer at the West England College of Art in Bristol, England where he stayed until 1978. He finished his teaching career as a Principal Lecturer at the Cardiff College of Arts in Wales from 1978 to 1979.

Smith spent most of the next two decades painting and exhibiting, which included exhibitions at the Oakland Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art. In 1991, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the San Francisco Art Institute (formerly the California School of Fine Arts). Due to failing health, Smith was forced to stop painting in 1997. Smith died in 2007 in Warminster, England, at the age of 91.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Hassel Smith conducted by Paul Karlstrom, September 5, 1978 and a video interview with Hassel Smith conducted by Paul Karlstrom, January 15, 1986.
Provenance:
Hassel Smith donated most of his papers in several increments between 1980 and 1998. His son Joseph donated audio recordings in 1980, and Hassel Smith's widow Donna donated additional materials in 2004.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Hassel Smith papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Educators -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Art -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Art teachers -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Painters -- California  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Sketches
Transcripts
Christmas cards
Photographs
Citation:
Hassel Smith papers, circa 1900-2004, bulk 1930-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.smithass
See more items in:
Hassel Smith papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-smithass
Online Media:

Alan R. Solomon papers

Creator:
Solomon, Alan R., 1920-1970  Search this
Names:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery  Search this
Amsterdam (Netherlands). Stedelijk Museum  Search this
Art Gallery of Ontario  Search this
Artforum  Search this
Biennale di Venezia  Search this
Centro de Artes Visuales (Asunción, Paraguay)  Search this
Cornell University. -- Faculty  Search this
Expo 67 (Montréal, Québec)  Search this
Harvard University -- Students  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Leo Castelli Gallery  Search this
Los Once (Artists' group)  Search this
Pasadena Art Museum  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
University of California (System)  Search this
Velvet Underground (Musical group)  Search this
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011  Search this
Childs, Lucinda  Search this
Dine, Jim, 1935-  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Dunn, Judith  Search this
Fahlström, Öyvind, 1928-1976  Search this
Finkelstein, Nat  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
Greenberg, Jeanine  Search this
Grisi, Laura  Search this
Hay, Alex  Search this
Hay, Deborah  Search this
Johns, Jasper, 1930-  Search this
Kron, Joan  Search this
Lichtenstein, Roy, 1923-1997  Search this
Louis, Morris, 1912-1962  Search this
MacElroy, Robert R.  Search this
Moore, Peter  Search this
Morris, Robert  Search this
Mulas, Ugo  Search this
Namuth, Hans  Search this
Newman, Barnett, 1905-1970  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Novick, Elizabeth  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Oldenburg, Patty  Search this
Paxton, Steve  Search this
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973  Search this
Poons, Larry  Search this
Provinciali, Michele  Search this
Rainier, Yvonne  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Redon, Odilon, 1840-1916  Search this
Reed, Lou  Search this
Rosenquist, James, 1933-  Search this
Sabol, Audrey, 1922-  Search this
Schute, Terry  Search this
Scull, Ethel  Search this
Scull, Robert C.  Search this
Segal, George, 1924-2000  Search this
Sisler, Mary  Search this
Sonnabend, Ileana  Search this
Stella, Frank  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-  Search this
Whitman, Robert  Search this
Extent:
9.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Lithographs
Place:
Italy -- Venice
Date:
1907-1970
bulk 1944-1970
Summary:
The papers of New York art historian, museum director, curator, writer, and educator, Alan R. Solomon, measure 9.9 linear feet and date from 1907-1970, with the bulk of the material dating from 1944-1970. Through biographical material, correspondence, interview transcripts, writings and notes, teaching and study files, subject files, exhibition files, business records, printed material, and photographs, the collection documents Solomon's education, his early teaching appointments at Cornell University, and his subsequent direction of many diverse curatorial and research projects relating to contemporary American art, particularly the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements, and the thriving New York City art scene.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York art historian, museum director, curator, writer, and educator, Alan R. Solomon, measure 9.9 linear feet and date from 1907-1970, with the bulk of the material dating from 1944-1970. Through biographical material, correspondence, interview transcripts, writings and notes, teaching and study files, subject files, exhibition files, business records, printed material, and photographs, the collection documents Solomon's education, his early teaching appointments at Cornell University, and his subsequent direction of many diverse curatorial and research projects relating to contemporary American art, particularly the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements, and the thriving New York City art scene.

Biographical material includes résumés, an engagement book, and a monthly planning book from 1965, identification cards, and educational transcripts.

Correspondence documents Solomon's education at Harvard College and Harvard University, and his teaching appointments at Cornell University. Correspondence also provides some documentation of his involvement with museums and arts organizations, including the Jewish Museum, Stedlijk Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, the University of California, and Centro de Artes Visuales; his submission of writings for publications including Artforum, Art International, and Konstrevy; and his relationships with artists and colleagues including Jim Dine, Joan Kron, Audrey Sabol, and Ileana Sonnabend. Also found is correspondence related to Solomon's work for Mary Sisler, who employed Solomon to sell her collection of artwork by Marcel Duchamp in the late 1960s.

One series comprises transcripts of interviews with many of the artists who were central to the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements that occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, such as Neo-Dada and Pop art. Artists represented in the interviews include Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol.

Solomon's writings include many of his essays for exhibition catalogs, magazines, and journals, and are in a combination of annotated manuscript and published formats. There are writings on Jim Dine, Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, and on the new movements in theater and performance art of the 1960s. His writings also document the art history education which informed all of his later work, with the inclusion of papers written as a student and teacher, his honors thesis on Odilon Redon, and his dissertation on Pablo Picasso. This material is supplemented by notes, and teaching and study files, documenting courses taken and taught at Harvard and Cornell universities. Also found is the manuscript of the text for New York: The New Art Scene, accompanied by a partial published copy of the book and photographs by Ugo Mulas.

Solomon's subject files augment several of the other series, comprising material on various art related subjects and individual painters and sculptors, arranged alphabetically. Material found here includes printed matter documenting exhibitions and other events, scattered letters from artists, related writings, and photographs.

One series documents Solomon's involvement with the First New York Theater Rally, which he co-produced with Steve Paxton in 1965. This material includes a drawing each by Jim Dine and Alex Hay, pieces of a combine by Robert Rauschenberg, and photographs of the group including Dine, Hay, and Rauschenberg, as well as Lucinda Childs, Judith Dunn, Deborah Hay, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, the Once Group, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainier, Alan Solomon, and Robert Whitman. The series includes multiple contact sheets of photos of First New York Theater Rally events, by Peter Moore, Elizabeth Novick, and Terry Schute.

Exhibition files document Solomon's role as an organizer and curator for some of his most well-known exhibitions, including American Painting Now (1967) for Expo '67 in Montreal; Andy Warhol (1966) at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; Dine-Oldenburg-Segal (1967) at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Albright-Knox Gallery; the American exhibition at the 1964 Venice Biennale; Young Italians (1968) at the Institute of Contemporary Art; and Painting in New York 1944-1969, a major retrospective installed for the opening of the new Pasadena Art Museum in fall, 1969. Records include correspondence, lists and notes, financial records, printed material, and photographs of artists and installations, including a series by Ugo Mulas taken at the Venice Biennale.

Solomon's business records include lists, notes, contracts, expense forms, vouchers, purchase orders, and receipts. They provide scattered documentation of exhibition-related expenses and purchases of artwork, as well as Solomon's income from teaching appointments, lectures, honorariums, and writings. Amongst Solomon's general business records is an American Federation of Musicians agreement between the Institute of Contemporary Art and "Louis Reed," with booking agent Andy Warhol, for a performance by the Velvet Underground and Nico, performing as The Exploding Plastic Inevitable on October 29, 1966. This seemingly mundane item documents an event that accompanied Solomon's landmark Warhol exhibition of nearly forty iconic works, and the accompanying show by The Exploding Plastic Inevitable was hailed by the Boston Phoenix newspaper as one of the greatest concerts in Boston history.

Printed material includes announcements, catalogs, and posters for exhibitions and art related events, including two Jasper Johns lithographs for a 1960 exhibition at Galerie Rive Droite, and a 1963 exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery. Also found are news clippings, press releases, and other publications.

Photographs are of Solomon, artists, friends and colleagues, exhibitions and other events, and artwork. They include snapshots of Solomon, and a series of photographs of him at various events and parties, many taken by Ugo Mulas, as well as a photo taken by Robert Rauschenberg of Ugo Mulas, Michele Provinciali, and Solomon. Additional photos by Ugo Mulas include some which were probably taken for New York: The New Art Scene, and a series of photos of Robert Rauschenberg and others at the Venice Biennale. Photos of artists include Lee Bontecou, John Chamberlain, Jim Dine, Marcel Duchamp, Öyvind Fahlström, Laura Grisi, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Morris Louis, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Claes and Patty Oldenburg, Larry Poons, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol and The Factory. Photos of others include Leo Castelli, Clement and Jeanine Greenberg, and Ethel and Robert Scull. Also found are photos of the exhibition Toward a New Abstraction (1963), at The Jewish Museum, photos of Venice, and photos of artwork by many of the above named, and other, artists. In addition to Ugo Mulas, photographers represented in this series include Nat Finkelstein, Robert R. McElroy, and Hans Namuth.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as eleven series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-1968 (5 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1930-1970 (0.66 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 3: Interviews, 1965-1969 (0.25 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, 1945-1969 (1.35 linear feet; Boxes 1-3, 11)

Series 5: Teaching and Study Files, 1944-1958 (0.25 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Subject Files, 1907-1969 (2.92 linear feet; Boxes 3-6, 1, OV 12)

Series 7: First New York Theater Rally, 1963-1965 (0.15 linear feet; Boxes 6, 11)

Series 8: Exhibition Files, 1954-1969 (1.42 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 12)

Series 9: Business Records, 1945-1970 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8)

Series 10: Printed Material, 1914-1970 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 8-9, OV 12)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1951-circa 1970 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 9-11, OV 13)
Biographical / Historical:
New York art historian, museum director, art consultant, educator, writer, and curator, Alan R. Solomon (1920-1970), organized over two hundred exhibitions in the course of his career. He was known for his skill in exhibition design, and for bringing the perception and understanding of an art historian to the field of contemporary art.

Solomon was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, and educated at Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School. In 1953, during his 1952-1962 tenure with the Cornell University department of art history, he established the Andrew Dickson White Museum of art. Solomon served as the museum's first director until 1961, whilst simultaneously pursuing his doctorate, which he received from Harvard University in 1962.

In 1962 Solomon was hired by the Jewish Museum in New York, New York, and immediately began to take the institution in a more contemporary direction, mounting Robert Rauschenberg's first retrospective in 1963, and a major Jasper Johns retrospective in 1964. Also, in 1963, Solomon was appointed the United States Commissioner for the 1964 Venice Biennale. He was determined to show "the major new indigenous tendencies, the peculiarly America spirt of the art" in works by two consecutive generations of artists, including Jasper Johns, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Robert Rauschenberg. With this in mind, and given the inadequacy of the existing space to house the installation he envisaged, Solomon secured a verbal agreement from Biennale officials to approve additional space for the American exhibition in an annex at the former American Consulate. The agreement was never formalized, however, and a series of administrative problems and controversies over the eligibility of the American submissions threatened to undermine Solomon's efforts. Nevertheless, Robert Rauschenberg became the first American to take the Grand Prize for foreign artist, and the attention garnered by the American exhibition monopolized press coverage of the Biennale. In response, Solomon stated publicly that "it is acknowledged on every hand that New York has replaced Paris as the world art capital."

Solomon subsequently left the Jewish Museum, having engendered resistance to leading the museum in a more experimental direction, away from the traditional Jewish educational aspects of its mission. In the mid-sixties he worked as a consultant and writer for a National Educational Television series entitled "U. S. A. Artists," which drew on artist interviews, many conducted by Solomon. He also wrote the text for Ugo Mulas's classic photographic study, New York: The New Art Scene (1967: Holt Rinehart and Winston).

In 1966 Solomon was hired by the United States Information Agency to organize the United States contribution to the Canadian World Exhibition in Montreal, known as Expo '67. His stunning American Painting Now installation placed large scale paintings by twenty-three artists, including Jim Dine, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Barnett Newman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and James Rosenquist, inside Buckminster Fuller's twenty-story Biosphere of Montreal.

Other important exhibitions organized by Solomon included Andy Warhol (1966) at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, which was only the second of two exhibitions dedicated to the artist; Dine-Oldenburg-Segal (1967) at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and Young Italians (1968) at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Solomon was also interested in contemporary theater and organized the First New York Theater Rally with Steve Paxton in 1965, a series of performances which combined new dance and a revival of the Happenings of the early 1960s, in which Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine and others were involved.

Following a six-week appointment as a senior lecturer at the University of California, Irvine, in spring 1968, Solomon became chairman of the University's art department and director of the art gallery. His last exhibition, Painting in New York, 1944-1969 (1969-1970), was held at the Pasadena Art Museum and closed in January 1970, just a few weeks before Solomon's sudden death at the age of forty-nine.
Provenance:
The Leo Castelli Gallery served as executor of Solomon's estate, and donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in 1974 and 2007.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Alan R. Solomon papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art -- History -- Study and teaching  Search this
Performance art  Search this
Art, Abstract -- United States  Search this
Art -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Curators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Theater  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Museum directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Lithographs
Citation:
Alan R. Solomon papers, 1907-1970, bulk 1944-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.soloalan
See more items in:
Alan R. Solomon papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-soloalan
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Elmer Bischoff

Interviewee:
Bischoff, Elmer, 1916-1991  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Brown, Joan, 1938-1990  Search this
Brown, William Theo, 1919-2012  Search this
Geis, Bill  Search this
Hudson, Robert, 1938-  Search this
MacAgy, Douglas, 1913-  Search this
Neri, Manuel, 1930-  Search this
Park, David, 1911-1960  Search this
Smith, Hassel, 1915-2007  Search this
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Wiley, William T., 1937-  Search this
Extent:
82 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1977 August 10-September 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Elmer Bischoff conducted 1977 August 10-September 1, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Bischoff speaks of his family background; the influence of art teachers and attitudes at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1930s; his years of teaching at the California School of Fine Arts (San Francisco Art Institute), first under the directorship of Douglas MacAgy and then under Ernst Mundt and Gurdon Woods; his fellow faculty members Clyfford Still, David Park, Clay Spohn and Hassel Smith, and their work in abstract expressionism. He recalls some of his most successful students, including Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, and William T. Wiley.
Bischoff explains his turning away from abstract expressionism toward figurative painting, and cites the influence of David Park. He credits George Staempfli as the first New York art dealer to be interested in Bay Area figurative painting. He discusses the origins of the Bay Area funk movement. He speaks of teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, and reflects on the differences between teaching in a university environment and an art school. He discusses his move away from the figure to large scale abstraction.
Biographical / Historical:
Elmer Bischoff (1916-1991) was a painter and educator from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 24 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' 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:
Art, American  Search this
Abstract expressionism -- California  Search this
Figurative art -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.bischo77
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bischo77

Oral history interview with Eleanor Dickinson

Interviewee:
Dickinson, Eleanor, 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Extent:
22 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2000 October 25
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Eleanor Dickinson conducted 2000 October 25, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in Dickinson's studio/home, in San Francisco, California.
Dickinson discusses her relationship to and use of the human figure in her art. She explains her "interest in the ecstatic"; her identification with her subjects; being completely involved with the personality of the model and the "performance" in the studio; how her finished works often look more like the artist than like the model; her 1975 show at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in which the life-class was moved into a museum gallery to share the experience with museum visitors; her view that the artist participates in the lives and actions of her subjects through empathy and the artist's role as a mirror to society, reflecting and recording who and what we are.
Biographical / Historical:
Eleanor Dickinson (1931-2017 ) was a painter, graphic, video artist and instructor in San Francisco, Calif. Teacher of life drawing at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, for many years, Dickinson was known for her figurative drawing and involvement with her students and models as individuals.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 48 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:
Artists' models -- California  Search this
Topic:
Painters -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.dickin00
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dickin00

Oral history interview with Charles W. White

Interviewee:
White, Charles, 1918-1979  Search this
Interviewer:
McGlynn, Betty Hoag  Search this
Creator:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Extent:
27 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1965 March 9
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Charles Wilbert White conducted 1965 March 9, by Betty Hoag, for the Archives of American Art. White speaks of his youth in Chicago and early interest in art; early encounters with racism; his early training in art; working on the Federal Art Project; his U.S. Army service; going to Mexico; his ventures in graphic arts; subject matter which inspires him; coming to California; the politics of government subsidy of the arts; and mural projects he worked on. He recalls Harry Sternberg.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles W. (Wilbert) White (1918-1979) was a painter and educator from Los Angeles, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 17 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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- United States  Search this
African American artists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Educators -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.white65
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-white65

Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson

Creator:
White, Charles, 1918-1979  Search this
Williamson, Mel  Search this
Names:
White, Frances Barrett  Search this
Williamson, Lorraine, 1926-2018  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1956-1961
Summary:
The Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1956 to 1961. The collection includes twenty-eight letters written by Charles and Frances White to Melvin (Mel) and Lorraine Williamson shortly after their arrival in California. Approximately half of the letters are written by Charles, the other half by Frances, and two letters are written jointly. Most are signed from "Chas & Fran." Also included in the collection are photographs that Charles and Frances sent the Williamsons of their home and Charles' studio, and printed material including clippings and exhibition brochures.
Scope and Contents:
The Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1956 to 1961. The collection includes twenty-eight letters written by Charles and Frances White to Melvin (Mel) and Lorraine Williamson shortly after their arrival in California. The letters refer to financial and personal struggles, as well career triumphs and current events. In addition to their shared Chicago background, both the Whites and Williamsons were interracial couples. The letters include references to racial and social dynamics, especially comparing California to New York. Approximately half of the letters are written by Charles, the other half by Frances, and two letters are written jointly. Most are signed from "Chas & Fran."

The collection also contains photographs, negatives, and slides depicting Charles and Frances with friends, their home, and Charles' studio. Many photographs include explanatory notes. Also included are clippings and exhibition brochures for Charles White's 1958 exhibition at ACA Gallery, as well as Anton Refregier's Recent Paintings exhibition.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as one series.

Series 1: Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson, 1956-1961 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, printmaker, and educator, Charles W. White (1918-1979) was a prominent figure in the Chicago Black Renaissance and became one of the most celebrated and influential African American artists of the twentieth century. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, White lived and worked throughout the country, settling in California in 1956. He taught at the Otis Art Institute from 1965 until his death. White's artwork was primarily figurative and depicted African American history, socio-economic struggles, and human relationships.

Charles and Frances Barrett White (1926-2000) married in 1950. They relocated to Los Angeles in 1956. Frances Barrett White was a social worker and educator who spent her early years in New York City. In 1994, she published a book, Reaches of the Heart: A Biography of Charles White.

Melvin Williamson (1923-1995) was an artist, author, and the art director of Viking Press. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York.

Lorraine Rosen Williamson (1926-2018) was an educator and a docent at the Jewish Heritage Museum in New York City.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds the Charles W. White papers, the Lucinda H. Gedeon research material on Charles White, and an oral history interview with Charles W. White conducted by Betty Hoag, March 9, 1965.
Provenance:
The Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2019 by Lisa Rosenburg, Melvin and Lorraine Williamson's daughter.
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.
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:
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Printmakers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Educators  Search this
Art directors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
African American painters  Search this
Interracial marriage  Search this
Citation:
Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson, 1956-1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.willimel
See more items in:
Charles W. and Frances White letters and photographs to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-willimel

John Outterbridge papers

Creator:
Outterbridge, John, 1933-  Search this
Names:
Watts Towers Art Center  Search this
Angelou, Maya  Search this
Bradley, Tom, 1917-  Search this
Hines, Gregory  Search this
Marley, Bob  Search this
Otis, Johnny, 1921-  Search this
Simone, Nina, 1933-2003  Search this
White, Charles, 1918-1979  Search this
Extent:
4.8 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Transcripts
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Place:
Watts (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Date:
1953-1997
Summary:
The papers of Los Angeles African American painter, sculptor, and arts administrator John Outterbridge measure 4.8 linear feet and date from 1953 to 1997. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional and project files, Watts Towers Arts Center files, exhibition files, printed material, photographs, a scrapbook, and one motion picture film reel.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Los Angeles African American painter, sculptor, and arts administrator John Outterbridge measure 4.8 linear feet and date from 1953 to 1997. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, writings, professional and project files, Watts Towers Arts Center files, exhibition files, printed material, photographs, a scrapbook, and one motion picture film reel.

Biographical material includes life documents, awards, interview transcripts, a few sketches, teaching certificates, and a motion picture film reel entitled John Outterbridge: Black Artist.

The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters to John Outterbridge from family, artists, colleagues, museums, and universities. Notable correspondents include Maya Angelou, Johnny Otis, and Charles White.

Writings include teaching notes, an artist statement, nine typescript essays by Outterbridge, as well as papers written by students, and poems by various artists.

Professional and project files document Outterbridge's involvement in conferences, symposiums, membership records, and fellowships. There are grant and job applications, contracts, correspondence, project plans, and administrative records. There is documentation of the Metro Art for Rail Transit project and of his work as director of the Communicative Arts Academy. Outterbridge's directorship of the Watts Towers Arts Center (WTAC) are arranged in a separate series; files document administration, annual programs and events, and special projects.

Exhibition files are found for several exhibitions in which Outterbridge participated in the mid-1990s. Printed material includes clippings about John Outterbridge and the Watts Towers Arts Center, exhibition catalogs, announcements, books, and magazines.

There is one scrapbook that contains clippings, award certificates, and photographs of the Watts Towers Arts Center events. There are photographs of Johnny Otis, Nina Simone, and L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley.

Photographs are of John Outterbridge and his artwork, studio, family, friends, and events. Among those depicted in the photographs are Bob Marley and Gregory Hines.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 9 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1953-1997 (0.7 linear feet; Box 1, OV 6, FC 9)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1970-1997 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, OV 7)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1980-1996 (0.2 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Professional and Project Files, circa 1970-1997 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 2-3, OV 8)

Series 5: Watts Towers Arts Center, 1976-1997 (0.4 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Exhibition Files, 1992-1996 (0.2 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1968-1997 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 8: Scrapbook, 1968-1997 (0.5 linear feet; Box 5)

Series 9: Photographs, 1953-1995 (0.2 linear feet; Box 4-5)
Biographical / Historical:
John Outterbridge is an African American painter, sculptor and arts administrator in Los Angeles, California.

John Wilfred Outterbridge was born in Greenville, North Carolina in 1933. He attended Agricultural and Technical University in Greensboro, North Carolina and studied engineering for one year before joining the U.S. Army in 1953. He served two years in Europe where he started painting street scenes in his spare time. His paintings were liked and his Captain found a studio space for him, where he painted murals and artwork in offices, clubs, and American schools.

Outterbridge decided that he needed a formal education in art and after his discharge from the Army in 1955, he relocated to Chicago and enrolled first in the Chicago Academy of Art, and later in the American Academy of Art. He became active in the Chicago art scene and opened a gallery with artists John Pinkney, Elliot Hunter, and Jose Williams. While attending school, he also worked for a graphic arts firm running errands and as a Chicago Transit Authority bus driver.

Outterbridge married his wife Beverly in 1960 and they moved to Los Angeles in 1963. He worked at a production studio for a while and got an offer from another studio to become its art director. After a few years, Outterbridge took two years off and began experimenting with with other medium, such as found objects and sculpture.

Outterbridge then took a job in the art installation department of the Pasadena Art Museum where he met artists such as Peter Alexander, Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol while helping with their exhibits. In addition to working on installations, Outterbridge taught sculpture classes at the museum and at several colleges such as Pasadena City College, Claremont College, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and University of California at Irvine.

From 1969-1975, Outterbridge was the director of the Compton Communicative Arts Academy. From 1975-1993, Outterbridge was the director of the Watts Towers Arts Center, a focal point in Los Angesle for African American visual and theatrical arts and the sponsor of the Watts Towers Jazz Festival and Day of the Drum Festival. He retired in 1993 to dedicate more time to his art.

Outterbridge's art can be found at the California African American Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has received awards throughout his career including fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Getty Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He received an honorary doctorate from Otis College of Art and Design in 1994.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also has an oral history interview with John Outterbridge conducted by Allen Bassing in 1973.

A copy of the film John Outterbridge: Black Artist is available in the Samella Lewis papers, in the Rose Library at Emory University.
Provenance:
The John Outterbridge papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by John Outterbridge in 1997.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The John Outterbridge papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Sculptors -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Painters -- California  Search this
Arts administrators -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Towers -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Transcripts
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Citation:
John Outterbridge papers, 1953-1997. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.outtjohn
See more items in:
John Outterbridge papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-outtjohn
Online Media:

Lucinda H. Gedeon research material on Charles W. White

Extent:
1.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Date:
1940-1997
bulk 1980-1981
Summary:
The Lucinda H. Gedeon research materials on Charles W. White measure 1.4 linear feet and date from 1940 to 1997, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1980 to 1981. This research material was compiled for a catalogue raisonné at UCLA and includes correspondence with collectors and institutions; a card file catalogue of works by Charles White; photographs and negatives; printed material; transcripts of interviews; bibliographic information; and writings.
Scope and Contents:
The Lucinda H. Gedeon research materials on Charles W. White measure 1.4 linear feet and date from 1940 to 1997, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1980 to 1981. This research material was compiled for a catalogue raisonné at UCLA and includes correspondence with collectors and institutions regarding Charles White works in their collections; a card file catalogue of works by White; photographs and negatives of works by White; printed material including exhibition materials and magazine and newspaper clippings; transcripts of interviews with White and other individuals; bibliographic information; and writings about White.
Arrangement:
Due to the small size of this collection, the papers are arranged in one series.

Series 1: Lucinda H. Gedeon Research Material on Charles W. White, 1940-1997, bulk 1980-1981 (Boxes1-2; 1.4 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Lucinda H. Gedeon is a retired art historian in Vero Beach, Florida. Previously the director of the Neuberger Museum at the State University of New York, Purchase, and later of the Vero Beach Museum of Art, Gedeon earned both a master's degree and a doctorate at UCLA. She completed her master's thesis on the work of Charles White.

Charles W. White (1918-1979) was an African American painter. White was born in Chicago and attended the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked as an artist for the Works Progress Administration and later taught first at Dillard University, then at Otis Art Institute from 1965 until his death in 1979.

White exhibited widely and his work is held at a number of institutions. He was elected to the National Academy of design in 1972.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the Charles W. White papers, circa 1930-1982, and an oral history interview with Charles W. White conducted by Betty Hoag, March 9, 1965.
Provenance:
The Lucinda H. Gedeon research materials on Charles W. White were donated to the Archives of American Art by Lucinda H. Gedeon in 2007.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Occupation:
Art historians -- Florida  Search this
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Citation:
Lucinda H. Gedeon research material on Charles W. White, 1940-1997, bulk 1980-1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.gedeluci
See more items in:
Lucinda H. Gedeon research material on Charles W. White
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gedeluci

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