An interview of Clinton Adams conducted 1995 August 2-3, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at his home, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Adams discusses his family background; involvement in Hollywood "industry"; teaching at University of California, Los Angeles; service during WWII; first contact with New York's Museum of Modern Art; his decision to return to California; teaching painting at UCLA from 1946-1954, and friends and colleagues at that time including Lorser Feitelson, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Lynton R. Kistler and Annita Delano; the difficult political situation at UCLA and the "modernist" conflicts; his views on modernist and conservative groups; Stanton Macdonald-Wright; Adams' own work; his relationship to the ideas and nature of modernism; the Sanity in Art group and other art groups in Los Angeles; his opinion on which artists should have been included in the exhibition/catalogue "Turning the Tide: Early Los Angeles Modernists"; his observations on art historical constructs; the history of New Mexican art; the idea of regionalism; the mythology of Santa Fe, New Mexico.; Southwestern art; the Tamarind Lithography Workshop during its New Mexico phase, its background and changes after the move from Los Angeles to the University of New Mexico, his fifteen years as director, major artists involved, and his desire to publish overlooked artists. Adams recalls Fritz Scholder, John Altoon, Leonard Edmondson, Ynez Johnston, Vincent Price, Jules Langsner, and Rico Lebrun.
Biographical / Historical:
Clinton Adams (1918-2002) was a printmaker, painter, and art administrator of Los Angeles, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 16 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 28 min.
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 others. Funding for the transcription provided by the Pasadena Art Alliance.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Arts administrators -- New Mexico -- Albuquerque -- Interviews Search this
The papers of Los Angeles Abstract Classicist painter and educator Frederick Hammersley measure 35.05 linear feet and date from circa 1860-2009, bulk 1940-2009. The papers contain biographical materials, 32 diaries, family and professional correspondence, personal business and financial records, estate records, writings, graphic design projects, teaching files, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, and works of art. There is a 0.3 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2020 that includes photographs of Hammersley's family, and most significantly for research, a study in pencil and a "model for making cubes," a paper document that can be stored flat and folded into a cube shape.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Los Angeles Abstract Classicist painter and educator Frederick Hammersley measure 34.75 linear feet and date from circa 1860-2009, bulk 1940-2009. The papers contain biographical materials, 32 diaries, family and professional correspondence, personal business and financial records, estate records, writings, graphic design projects, teaching files, printed materials, scrapbooks, photographs, and works of art. 2015 and 2018 additions include a diary possibly written by Hammersley's mother, photograph albums and photographs, sketches and block prints, computer printouts, and hand painted grid color boxes used by Hammersley in teaching color theory. There is a 0.3 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2020 that includes photographs of Hammersley's family, and most significantly for research, a study in pencil and a "model for making cubes," a paper document that can be stored flat and folded into a cube shape.
Biographical materials include resumes and biographies, calendars, military records, family genealogies, school records, high school and college yearbooks, and awards. There are also sound and video recordings of talks, interviews, and television appearances. Scattered materials relating to Hammersley's parents, Anna Westberg Hammersley and Harold Hammersley, are also found in the series.
Correspondence consists of letters from family and close friends as well as business correspondence with collectors and professional art associations. Family correspondents include Hammersley's immediate family and aunts and cousins. Additional noteworthy correspondents include fellow artists Karl Benjamin, William Brice, Robert Chuey, Rico Lebrun, and John McLaughlin, among others.
There are 23 diaries written by Frederick Hammersley dating from 1935-2008, with a gap spanning 1954-1972. Also found are six diaries written by Harold Hammersley dating from 1940-1959 and three by Anna Hammersley from 1909-1965.
Hammersley's writings include college class notes, essays, poetry, lecture notes, grant applications, and proposals. There are also sound recordings of lectures and talks as well as drafts and a final copy of an article published in the journal Leonardo in 1970.
Teaching files consist of class lecture notes, student evaluations, and grade books for classes likely taught at Pomona University and the Chouinard Art Institute.
Graphic design projects contain materials from Hammersley's company Handsome Cards for which he designed greeting and holiday cards. Also included are various freelance designs and draft designs for exhibition catalogs. General financial and business records focus on Hammersley business relationships and transactions with galleries and museums and his efforts to promote his art. Galleries and museums represented in the files include Modernism Gallery (San Francisco), L.A. Louver Gallery (Venice, California), and Hoshour Gallery (Albuquerque). This series also contains tax returns and expense ledgers. Also found are scattered materials from the household of Anna and Harold Hammersley.
Estate records are found for Frederick Hammersley, Susie Hammersley Stone, Anna and Harold Hammersley, Frederick Hammersley Sr., Mrs. E. Hammersley, Maude Eliza Hammersley, Dorothy Hutchinson Hammersley, and Basil Edward Pratt. These files include wills and yearly financial reports.
Printed material consists of newspaper and magazine clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and printed copies of Hammersley's graphic designs. The series is extensive and contains clippings and exhibition material that represents Hammersley's entire career as an artist. Also found are packets of printed materials created by Hammersley to represent the careers of his friends and colleagues.
Scrapbooks consist of eleven "scrapfiles," postcard albums, and clippings scrapbooks created by Frederick Hammersley and Anna Hammersley. Scrapfiles refers to the original title created by the Hammersleys. Frederick's scrapbooks contain clippings of art, criticisms of his work, and news mentions of his career. Anna's scrapbooks contain one postcard album and 4 scrapbooks and scrapfiles of news clippings relating to subjects of her personal interest.
Photographs include snapshots of Hammersley; images of Hammersley with family and friends; travel photographs, many of them taken in Europe during World War II; photographs of exhibitions; and photographs of Hammersley's artwork. Most of the photographs were labeled and dated by Hammersley. There are six photo albums created by Frederick Hammersley and four albums compiled by his parents Harold and Anna Hammersley.
Artwork consists of Hammersley's sketchbooks, drawings, and paintings from high school and college classes, designs for exhibition catalogs, and cards and printouts for his computer drawings series. Also included are geometric color studies on panel and artwork for a bank mural proposal from 1977. Drawings and design work by Susie Stone, Hammersley's sister are also included, as well as two works by Lu Nowels.
The collection is arranged as 13 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1919-2008 (2.5 linear feet; Box 1-3, 31, 33, 37)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1900-2009 (3.1 linear feet; Box 3-6, 37)
Series 3: Diaries, 1909-2008 (2.1 linear feet; Box 6-8, 37)
Series 4: Writings, Lectures, and Notes, circa 1940-2009 (0.6 linear feet; Box 8-9, 37)
Series 5: Teaching Files, circa 1950-1993 (0.2 linear feet; Box 9)
Series 6: Graphic Design Projects, circa 1945-1980 (0.4 linear feet; Box 9-10, 31)
Series 7: Personal Business and Financial Records, 1897-2008 (3.2 linear feet; Box 10-13, 24, 33, 35, 37)
Series 8: Estate Records, 1898-2001 (0.7 linear feet; Box 13, 24, 37)
Series 9: Printed Material, 1945, 2011 (3.6 linear feet; Box 13-17, 31, 37, 42, OV45)
Series 10: Scrapbooks, circa 1890-1960s (3.3 linear feet; Box 17-18, 25-29)
Series 11: Photographs, circa 1860s-2007 (10.7 linear feet; Box 18-23, 29-31, 37-43)
Series 12: Artwork and Artifacts, 1934-2009 (3.2 linear feet; Box 22, 31-32, 35, 38, 42, 44, OV46-56)
Series 13:Unprocessed Addition, undated (0.3 linear feet; Box 66)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, graphic designer, and educator Frederick Hammersley (1919-2009) spent most of his career in Los Angeles and New Mexico. He is closely associated with the hard-edge abstraction painting style of the Abstract Classicists of Southern California.
Hammersley was born on January 5, 1919 to Anna Westberg and Harold Hammersley in Salt Lake City, where his father worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior. The family lived in Utah and Idaho before finally settling in San Francisco. Hammersley attended the University of Idaho and later enrolled in the Academy of Advertising Art in San Francisco. In 1940, Hammersley began taking classes at the Chouinard Art Institution in Los Angeles.
Hammersley's studies were interrupted by World War II military service from 1942 to 1946. He was stationed first in Paris as a draftsman in the Signal Corp and was eventually promoted to Army sargeant in the Office of Military Government in Berlin. While in Paris, he visited Picasso's studio several times and also took classes at the Ècole des Beaux Arts at the end of the war. When he returned home in 1946, the GI Bill subsidized his final year of study at Chouinard, now the California Institute of Arts, and three years at the Jepson Art Institute in Los Angeles.
Hammersley made his living as an art professor in California for twenty years, where he taught at the Jepson Art Institute and Pomona College in Claremont. He moved to Albuquerque after accepting a teaching position at the University of New Mexico in 1968. In 1971, Hammersley resigned his teaching position and devoted himself to painting.
Hammersley's reputaton as a painter began in 1948 when one of his small paintings was accepted in an annual exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 1958, several of his works were included in the seminal exhibition Four Abstract Classicists, organized by Jules Langsner and Peter Selz and shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Hammersley, and fellow painters Lorser Feitelson, Karl Benjamin, and John McLaughlin, were dubbed the "hard-edged painters," whose style consisted of flat, colored geometric shapes that were a sharp contrast to the more popular Abstract Expressionism. The label stuck and in the mid 1970s, Hammersley submitted several works of art for a show called L.A. Hard Edge, a show that featured art from the 1950s and 1970s.
During the late 1970s and 1980s, Hammersley exhibited in several one-man shows, including at L.A. Louver in Venice, California, the Hoshour Gallery in Albuquerque, and the Corcoran in Washington, D.C. In 2000, the Laguna Art Museum presented a traveling exhibition organized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Sante Fe, and the Pomona College Museum of Art organized a retrospective in 2007. His work is in museum collections across the country, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Hammersley died in 2009 at the age of 90. He was survived by his sister, Susie Hammersley Stone.
The Archives of American Art also holds the Tamara Webster papers relating to Frederick Hammersley.
Frederick Hammersley donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in nine accessions from 1974 to 2008. The Frederick Hammersley Foundation donated additional papers in 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2020 via Executive Director, Kathleen Shields.
This collection is temporarily closed to researchers due to archival processing and digitization of the 2015 and 2018 additions. Contact Reference Services for more information.
An interview of Pablita Velarde conducted 1965 September 29, by Sylvia Loomis, for the Archives of American Art New Deal and the Arts Project.
Biographical / Historical:
Pablita Velarde (1918-2006) was a painter and illustrator from Albuquerque, N.M.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 46 min.
Sound quality is poor.
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.
An interview of Raymond Jonson conducted 1980 Aug. 9, by Susan Platt, for the Archives of American Art.
Jonson speaks of his early work in theater design; the art scene in the 1920s; the inspiration of the Southwestern landscape; the importance of lighting in his work; the transition in his work from figurative to abstract; spirituality in his work; Santa Fe as an artistic community; arts critics; arts publications; and the social realist painters.
Biographical / Historical:
Raymond Jonson (1891-1982) was a painter from Albuquerque, N.M. During the Depression he painted murals for several New Deal art programs. He taught at the University of New Mexico where the Jonson Gallery was erected in his honor. It houses the most complete permanent collection of Jonson's work.
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.
10 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 13 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Photographs, correspondence, exhibition materials, sketchbooks, diaries, scrapbooks, slides, and an untranscribed interview.
REEL NDA 14: Photographs of Jonson's murals for the Public Works of Art Project in Albuquerque, N.M. and a chart showing the relative sizes of the murals.
REELS RJ 1-RJ 10: Biographical data; correspondence with family members, artists, and others, including Josef Albers, Emil Bisttram, Albert Bloch, Sheldon Cheney, Andrew Dasburg, Elaine de Kooning, Hilaire Hiler, Beatrice S. Levy, B.J.O. Nordfeldt, Eliot O'Hara, Georgia O'Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Cady Wells, Jean Xceron, and others; diaries, 1919-1926, with sketches; notebooks; scrapbooks; lectures; photographs; and exhibition records.
REEL 76: Catalogs; photographs; slides and schedule of exhibits, 1922-1962, of the Jonson Gallery, University of New Mexico; and photographs of Jonson.
UNMICROFILMED: Photocopies of correspondence with administrators of the WPA Federal Art Project in New Mexico and the Treasury Section of Fine Arts regarding the design and execution of murals by Jonson and Willard Nash for the Library of the University of New Mexico; an untranscribed tape of an interview of Jonson conducted by Ed Garman, undated; and two color charts, one a color circle and the other showing the main colors Jonson used, both used by Jonson to illustrate a lecture delivered at the Chili Club, December 6, 1948 [lecture is on reel RJ 9, fr. 6343-6346.]
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; Albuquerque, N.M. Painted murals for the WPA Federal Art Project and other New Deal art programs. He taught at the University of New Mexico where the Jonson Gallery was erected in his honor, housing the most complete permanent collection of Jonson's work.
Raymond Jonson papers also at Syracuse University.
Material on reels RJ 1-10 was lent for microilming by Jonson c/o the Jonson Gallery, 1964-1965; all other material donated, 1966-1975, by Jonson and his brother Arthur, through the gallery.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
An interview of Raymond Jonson conducted 1964 Apr. 23, by Sylvia Loomis, for the Archives of American Art New Deal in the Arts Project.
Biographical / Historical:
Raymond Jonson (1891-1982) was a painter and gallery director from Albuquerque, N.M.
An interview of Kenneth Adams conducted by S. Loomis is also on this tape.
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.
An interview of Ed Garman conducted 1998 Mar. 25-30, by Derrick Cartwright, for the Archives of American Art, at Garman's studio, Imperial Beach, Calif.
Garman recalls his early childhood; experiences in rural Pennsylvania; studying theater design at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; coming in contact with Raymond Johnson, Emil Bisttram, and William Lumpkins, they eventually inviting him to join them in the Transcendental Painting Group. A second session dealt with Garman's activity in California where he has lived since about 1946. He provides insights into the context of Southern California art activity in Post-World War II years, and his role as an independently-minded artist who has painted in a non-objective manner for more than fifty years.
Biographical / Historical:
Ed Garman (1914-2004) was a painter in New Mexico and California. Garman became one of the chief spokespersons for the Transcendental Painting Group and has written a historical art study of member Raymond Jonson's work.
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.