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Charles Rivers Photographs

Creator:
Rivers, Charles, 1904-1993  Search this
Names:
Chrysler Building (New York, N.Y.) -- Pictorial works  Search this
Empire State Building (New York, N.Y.) -- Construction--1929-1930  Search this
Pathe News  Search this
Bates, Ruby  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (4 boxes )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Albums
Place:
New York (N.Y.) -- 1920-1930
Washington (D.C.) -- 1960-1970
Date:
1929-1963
bulk 1929-1930
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains: twenty-nine silver gelatin photoprints mounted on Fome-Core, Masonite, and cardboard, ranging in size from 5-1/2" x 9-1/4" to 10-11/16" x 13-13/16"; three 5" x 7" unmounted silver gelatin photoprints; a scrapbook which originally contained 56 silver gelatin photoprints, ranging in size from 2" x 3" to 7-1/2" x 9-1/2"; and silver gelatin film negatives (presumably acetate) for the prints. The scrapbook includes a New York Daily News clipping about Rivers: "Builds a Bridge to Students" by Anthony Burton (dated May 12, 1970 by Rivers) with a photograph showing him speaking to a crowd, Most of the photographs depict the construction of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings--iron workers on the job and relaxing during breaks, and pictures of the buildings at various stages of completion. Other subjects are: a demonstration to prevent World War II (1935), a color photoprint of the Civil Rights March and Demonstration in Washington, D.C. (1963), and two magazine clippings from a Soviet publication, New Times, in which Rivers's prize-winning "Self Portrait" (1930) was reproduced.

Most of these prints were made by Charles Rivers many years after the creation of the original negatives, probably ca.1970s 1980s. The collection is in generally good condition, except that many of the print surfaces are scratched.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Rivers created a certain amount of confusion about his origins, whether accidentally or intentionally. Born Constantinos Kapornaros[1] (or Kostandinos Kapernaros)[2] in the small town of Vahos in Mani, an isolated area in the southern Peloponnesian region of Greece, on May 20, 1904, he emigrated to the United States as a child of five or six with his parents. His school record showed that he was enrolled in 1911 at the age of seven.[3] The family lived in Maine or New Hampshire, then Massachusetts, and later other locations in New York state. It is believed that his new name was derived from the Charles River in Boston.[4] The change may have been occasioned by a need to conceal his deep involvement in left-wing political and union activities.[5] Mr. Rivers settled in New York City in 1950 and resided there until 1993.[6] He sometimes identified his birthplace as Denver, Colorado,[7] but this may have been a fabrication or simplification, based on the fact that Greek church baptismal records were kept in Denver.[8] His sons James and Ronald believe that he never became an official American citizen. Late in life, in order to visit his birthplace, he was issued a passport, based on his school records, which stated that he was born in Denver. Rivers photographed the construction of the Chrysler Building (1929) and the Empire State Building (1930) in New York City. He was inspired to take up photography by seeing the work of the influential documentary photographer Lewis Hine, whose famous images of working children helped win passage of protective child labor laws. Rivers and Hine both photographed the Empire State Building and the men building it, yet Rivers apparently was unaware until years later that his idol had been present. Employed as an iron worker, Rivers traded his pail of tools for a Zeiss Ikon[9] camera during his lunch hour or when photographic opportunities arose. While the workers depicted in some of the photographs clearly are aware of the photographer's presence, Rivers's project presumably was conducted more or less surreptitiously. It is not known for certain if the paths of Rivers and Hine ever crossed, but his son Ron considers it unlikely: Hine photographed only the Empire State Building in connection with his "Men at Work" project,[10] not the earlier Chrysler Building, and Rivers did not work on the Empire State Building for a very long period. His self-portrait on the Empire State Building, "The Bolter-Up," may have been intended as a memento during one of his last days on that job.[11]

Rivers became unemployed in the Depression and consequently became involved in national efforts to create Social Security, unemployment insurance, and housing programs. These experiences apparently encouraged his active participation in politically leftist activities, as coverage about him in Soviet publications attests. A pacifist, in 1935 he was involved in demonstrations aimed at preventing World War II, and in the 1960s he took part in anti-Vietnam demonstrations and encouraged young people to continue such resistance.

In the 1950s Rivers worked in steel fabrication, in a chemistry lab as a technician, and briefly as a legislative aide for a New York state senator.

In 1986 Rivers submitted his 1930 self-portrait, posed on the Chrysler Building, to the International Year of Peace art contest sponsored by the New Times, published in Moscow: it was awarded a prize and diploma.

Mr. Rivers died in 1993, only two weeks after moving to Arlington, Texas to enter a nursing home near his sons' homes.

1. The page on Rivers in New York University=s Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives web site (http://laborarts.org/collections/item.cfm?itemid=82) --noted 5 June 2002), claims Rivers was born in 1905 and changed his name Ato resemble those of the Mohawk Indians working on the high steel of New York City=s skyscrapers and bridges".

2. This spelling is given in an e-mail from James Rivers to Helen Plummer, Aug. 19, 2002.

3. Ibid.

4. Telephone conversation between Ron Rivers and the author, 6 June 2002. Additional information was provided by Ron Rivers in electronic mail messages, 5 June and 12 June 2002.

5. James Rivers, op. cit.

6. Telephone conversation with Ron Rivers, 6 June 2002.

7. In a biographical statement for the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art (copy supplied by Helen Plummer), Charles Rivers called Denver his birthplace. The George Eastman House photographer database also included this apparently erroneous information, probably derived from the Amon Carter statement (telephone conversation with Helen Plummer, 3 June 2002).

8. Ron Rivers, telephone conversation, 6 June 2002.

9. Identified by Charles Rivers as the camera used in the skyscraper photographs: interview by Carol Sewell, "Photographer looked at U.S. from high view," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 27, 1986. Rivers also used a Rolleiflex, according to Ron Rivers (see note above), but the folding Zeiss Ikon camera would have been a more convenient addition to a lunchbox than the bulkier Rolleiflex. The collection negatives are not in the Rolleiflex square format, moreover.

10. See Judith Mara Gutman, Lewis W. Hine and the American social conscience. New York: Walker, 1967.

11. Ron Rivers, telephone conversation, 6 June 2002.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Smithsonian Institution

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Included Rivers's self-portrait, "The Bolter Up," in its summer 2002 exhibition, "Metropolis in the Machine Age," in the form of a new print made from a digital copy of the Archives Center's original negative. The author discussed the new print from the Rivers negative and other photographs in this exhibition in an invited gallery lecture, "The Skyscraper Photographs of Lewis Hine and Charles Rivers," Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, June 6, 2002.

Materials at Other Organizations

Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

See Barbara McCandless and John Rohrbach, Singular moments: photographs from the Amon Carter Museum, with select entries by Helen Plummer. Reproduction of a Rivers photograph, with description and analysis, p. 30. Additional information has been generously supplied by Ms. Plummer, curatorial associate, and Barbara McCandless, curator of photography, Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth Texas.

Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University

Museum of the City of New York

Some of his photographs were included in the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art exhibition, "Looking at America: Documentary Photographs of the 1930s and 1940s," December 1986.
Provenance:
The collection is a gift from Mr. Charles Rivers, 1989.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Archives Center claims copyright. Rights were conveyed to the Archives Center through a Deed of Gift signed by the donor.
Topic:
Self-portraits, American  Search this
Iron and steel workers -- 1920-1930 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Construction workers -- 1900-1950 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Structural steel workers -- 1920-1930 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Labor unions  Search this
Civil rights demonstrations -- 1960-1970  Search this
Skyscrapers -- 1920-1930 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Civil rights  Search this
Peace movements -- 1960-1970  Search this
Peace movements -- 1930-1940  Search this
Scottsoro boys case  Search this
Fires  Search this
Scottsboro Trial, Scottsboro, Ala., 1931  Search this
Self-portraits  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Albums
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1970-1990
Citation:
Charles Rivers Photographs, 1929-1963, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0360
See more items in:
Charles Rivers Photographs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0360
Online Media:

The Road to Negro Liberation

Published by:
Workers Library Publishers, Inc., American, founded 1930  Search this
Written by:
Harry Haywood, American, 1898 - 1985  Search this
Subject of:
Communist Party of the United States of America, American, founded 1919  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W: 7 1/16 x 4 15/16 in. (18 x 12.5 cm)
Type:
pamphlets
Place depicted:
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1934
Topic:
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Political organizations  Search this
Politics (Practical)  Search this
United States--History--1933-1945  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the family of Dr. Maurice Jackson and Laura Ginsburg
Object number:
2010.55.22
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Memorabilia and Ephemera-Political and Activist Ephemera
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd52fc77e90-db9c-4454-99d4-ab8888c4a046
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2010.55.22
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Representatives of the Indochina Peace Campaign

Depicted (sitter); referenced:
Fonda, Jane  Search this
Referenced:
Hayden, Tom  Search this
Near, Holly  Search this
Physical Description:
cardboard (overall material)
black; red; white (overall color)
Measurements:
overall: 16 1/2 in x 10 1/2 in; 41.91 cm x 26.67 cm
Object Name:
poster
Subject:
Vietnam War  Search this
Anti-War Movement  Search this
Peace  Search this
Student protest  Search this
Related event:
Vietnam War  Search this
Credit Line:
Brian Leber
ID Number:
2015.0066.09
Accession number:
2015.0066
Catalog number:
2015.0066.09
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Political History, Reform Movements Collection
Princeton Posters
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b0-e239-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1693744

button

Object Name:
Button
Subject:
History, Reform Movements, Peace/Anti-War  Search this
Credit Line:
Carole An Cullum
ID Number:
1977.0674.071
Accession number:
1977.0674
Catalog number:
1977.0674.071
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Political History, Womens History/Reform Movements Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a3-60cc-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_529933

button

Object Name:
Button
Associated date:
1971
Subject:
History, Reform Movements, Peace/Anti-War  Search this
Credit Line:
Carole An Cullum
ID Number:
1977.0674.024
Accession number:
1977.0674
Catalog number:
1977.0674.024
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Political History, Womens History/Reform Movements Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a3-6272-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_529950

button

Object Name:
Button
Subject:
History, Reform Movements, Peace/Anti-War  Search this
Credit Line:
Carole An Cullum
ID Number:
1977.0674.115
Accession number:
1977.0674
Catalog number:
1977.0674.115
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Political History, Womens History/Reform Movements Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a3-66de-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_529982

button

Object Name:
Button
Associated date:
1969 11 15
Subject:
History, Reform Movements, Peace/Anti-War  Search this
ID Number:
ZZ.RSN81780Y16
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Political History, Womens History/Reform Movements Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a3-04ae-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_503360

An Account of the Sufferings of Friends

Object Name:
Pamphlet
Date made:
1868
Subject:
History, Reform Movements, Peace/Anti-War  Search this
ID Number:
ZZ.RSN81764Y24
See more items in:
Political and Military History: Political History, Womens History/Reform Movements Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a3-01c2-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_503178

Nancy Spero papers, 1940s-2009

Creator:
Spero, Nancy, 1926-2009  Search this
Subject:
Golub, Leon  Search this
A.I.R. Gallery  Search this
Type:
Slides
Sound recordings
Interviews
Transcripts
Photographs
Video recordings
Topic:
Art -- Political aspects  Search this
Feminism  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Peace movements  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8559
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)210738
AAA_collcode_spernanc
Theme:
Women
Audio - Visual
Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_210738
Online Media:

Dorothea A. Dreier papers, 1881-1941, bulk 1887-1923

Creator:
Dreier, Dorothea A. (Dorothea Adelheid), 1870-1923  Search this
Subject:
Bartlett, Agnes Willard  Search this
Bartlett, Mary F.  Search this
Bartlett, Maud W.  Search this
Davis, Charles H. (Charles Harold)  Search this
Forbes, Rebecca  Search this
Dreier, Mary E. (Mary Elisabeth)  Search this
Dreier, Katherine Sophie  Search this
Dreier, Ethyl Eyre Valentine  Search this
Robins, Margaret Dreier  Search this
Mahan, Ellen Kuhn  Search this
Gogh, Elisabeth du Quesne van  Search this
Shirlaw, Walter  Search this
Schetter, Charlotte  Search this
Robins, Raymond  Search this
Kuhn, Walt  Search this
Cooperative Mural Workshop  Search this
Women's Trade Union League of America  Search this
Type:
Pamphlets
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Broadsides
Topic:
Women -- Suffrage  Search this
Suffragists  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7597
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209759
AAA_collcode_dreidoro
Theme:
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209759
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Online Media:

Negative Log Book Number 18, (86-5143 to 88-15270)

Creator:
Smithsonian Institution Archives Smithsonian Photographic Services  Search this
Physical description:
Ink on paper
Type:
Logs (records)
Collection descriptions
Date:
1986
1986-1988
Topic:
Photography--History  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 10-001 [SIA_10-001_NLB18]
Restrictions & Rights:
No restrictions. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Contact SIA Reference Staff for further information (email photos@si.edu)
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_367115
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Frederick Seitz (1911-2008), Ava Helen Miller Pauling (1903-1981), Detlev Wulf Bronk (1897-1975), and Paul Weiss

Creator:
Davis, Fremont 1915-1977  Search this
Subject:
Bronk, Detlev W (Detlev Wulf) 1897-1975  Search this
Pauling, Ava Helen  Search this
Seitz, Frederick 1911-2008  Search this
Weiss, Paul A. 1898-1989  Search this
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom  Search this
American Civil Liberties Union  Search this
Women Strike for Peace  Search this
Physical description:
Gelatin silver prints
Type:
Black-and-white photographs
Date:
1963
Topic:
Biophysics  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 90-105 [SIA2007-0396]
Restrictions & Rights:
No access restrictions Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at osiaref@si.edu
Copyright Not Evaluated
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_367632

Peace Movement

Series Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Series Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Series Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Peace, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Peace
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0060-s01-01-peace-ref17

Joan and Robert K. Morrison Collection

Creator:
Morrison, Joan, -2010  Search this
Morrison, Robert K.  Search this
Beirne, Barbara T.  Search this
Names:
Gold Star Mothers, Inc.  Search this
Peace Corps (U.S.) -- 1960-1970  Search this
Moore, Harold (Gold Star parent)  Search this
Moore, Irma (Gold Star parent)  Search this
Extent:
6 Cubic feet (20 boxes )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiocassettes
Transcripts
Photographs
Oral history
Audiotapes
Date:
1985 - 1987
Scope and Contents:
The collection is comprised of 139 audiocassettes (original copies only), 80 transcripts and tape summaries, and photographs (including some negatives). The transcripts and photographs also exist in single copies only, but they may be used with care by researchers.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in four series.

Series 1: Original Audio Cassette Tapes, 1983-1986

Series 2: Transcripts/Tape Summaries, 1984-1986

Series 3: Photographs, 1984-1986

Series 4: Reference Tapes and CDs, undated
Biographical / Historical:
In 1985, Joan and Robert Morrison conducted approximately 100 oral history interviews with a wide variety of Americans about their experiences during the 1960s. They also collected photographs of each of their interviewees—one taken during the 1960s and the other taken at the time of the interview. Portions of fifty-nine of those interviews were published in their 1987 book, From Camelot to Kent State: The Sixties Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It (Times Books). Some of the new photographs, which were taken by Barbara Beirne, also were exhibited at The New School in 1989.

The interviewees include civil rights activists, anti-war activists, Vietnam War soldiers, Gold Star mothers, Peace Corps members, Weathermen, black leaders, and counter culture figures. Some of the narrators are members of the rank-and-file, others played leading roles. The in-depth interviews focus on three main questions: 1) What motivated you to act as you did in the Sixties? 2) What actions did you take and what were the results? 3) How did your experiences in the Sixties affect the way your life has developed since then?

Source Information taken from memo to National Museum of American History Collections Committee.
Provenance:
The Morrison's donated this collection of audiocassettes, transcripts, and photographs to the National Museum of American History Archives Center in 1989.
Restrictions:
Tape recordings not available for playback until researcher copies are made; researchers must use transcripts until then.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Some original interviews have restrictions; these have been withheld by the Morrisons' until they can get clearances from the interviewees.
Topic:
African Americans -- Civil rights  Search this
United States -- History -- 1960-1990  Search this
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- Protest Movements  Search this
Peace movements -- 1960-1970  Search this
Soldiers -- 1960-1970  Search this
Civil rights  Search this
Portraits -- 1960-1970  Search this
Civil rights workers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiocassettes
Transcripts
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Oral history
Audiotapes
Citation:
Joan and Robert K. Morrison Collection, 1983-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0359
See more items in:
Joan and Robert K. Morrison Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0359
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Howard Ben Tré, 2007 July 7

Interviewee:
Ben Tré, Howard, 1949-2020  Search this
Interviewer:
Shea, Josephine, 1958-  Search this
Subject:
Aycock, Alice  Search this
Brychtová, Jaroslava  Search this
Chihuly, Dale  Search this
Dailey, Dan  Search this
Hampson, Ferdinand  Search this
Labino, Dominick  Search this
LaMonte, Karen  Search this
Libenský, Stanislav  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Onorato, Ronald J.  Search this
Parker, Anthony  Search this
Polander, Steve  Search this
Scanga, Italo  Search this
Appalachian Center for Craft  Search this
Brooklyn College  Search this
Brooklyn Technical High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cristallerie Daum  Search this
Hadler/Rodriguez Gallery  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Missouri Valley College  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Pilchuck School  Search this
Portland State University  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Venceremos Brigade  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Art commissions  Search this
Civil rights -- United States  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art -- Technique  Search this
Peace movements  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13647
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)272881
AAA_collcode_bentre07
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_272881
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Ad Reinhardt, circa 1964

Interviewee:
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington),, 1920-  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12891
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213746
AAA_collcode_reinha64
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213746

Oral history interview with Victoria Barr, 1977 January 11-February 18

Interviewee:
Barr, Victoria, 1937-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul, 1933-  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12929
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212530
AAA_collcode_barr77
Theme:
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_212530
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Howard Ben Tré

Interviewee:
Ben Tré, Howard, 1949-2020  Search this
Interviewer:
Shea, Josephine, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Appalachian Center for Craft  Search this
Brooklyn College -- Students  Search this
Brooklyn Technical High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cristallerie Daum  Search this
Hadler/Rodriguez Gallery  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Missouri Valley College -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Pilchuck School  Search this
Portland State University -- Students  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Students  Search this
Venceremos Brigade  Search this
Aycock, Alice  Search this
Brychtová, Jaroslava, 1924-  Search this
Chihuly, Dale, 1941-  Search this
Dailey, Dan, 1947-  Search this
Hampson, Ferdinand  Search this
LaMonte, Karen, 1967-  Search this
Labino, Dominick  Search this
Libenský, Stanislav, 1921-2002  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Onorato, Ronald J.  Search this
Parker, Anthony  Search this
Polander, Steve  Search this
Scanga, Italo, 1932-2001  Search this
Extent:
63 Pages (Transcript)
3 Sound discs (Sound recording (4 hr., 3 min.), digital, 2 5/8 in.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound discs
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Cuba -- Description and Travel
Europe -- description and travel
Date:
2007 July 7
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Howard Ben Tré conducted 2007 July 7, by Josephine Shea, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's studio, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Ben Tré speaks of his childhood in Rockaway Park, New York; his Polish immigrant father who was a woodworker and artist; inheriting a particular aesthetic and sense of hard work from his father; attending Brooklyn Technical High School to play football but not graduating; moving to Marshall, Missouri to attend Missouri Valley College for one year; attending Brooklyn College; becoming involved in Students for a Democratic Society, the antiwar movement and civil rights movement of the 1960s; traveling to Cuba as part of the first Venceremos Brigade to cut sugarcane in 1969; meeting his first wife, Gay, in Cuba and returning to New York with her; organizing a food co-op and community events in Brooklyn; moving to Portland, Oregon; working in construction for the city before going back to school to study veterinarian medicine at Portland State University; discovering the glass studio in a garage at Portland State; meeting Dale Chihuly and working at Pilchuck Glass School; utilizing the foundry skills learned from Brooklyn Technical High to work with glass in casting and cope and drag methods; his series Burial Boxes and the influence of ancient architecture and ceremonial Chinese bronzes; the rise of the studio glass movement as symptomatic of socio-political-economic times, not just the pioneering efforts of Harvey Littleton and Dominic Labino; traveling throughout Europe with Gay; visiting Stanislav Libenský and Jaraslava Brychtová in Czechoslovakia; visiting Dan Dailey at Cristallerie Daum in France; attending Rhode Island School of Design [RISD]; his first show at Hadler/Rodriguez Gallery in 1980; teaching experiences at Haystack Mountain School of Craft and Appalachian Center for Craft; building and installing an oven at Blenko Glass in Milton, West Virginia and at Super Glass in Brooklyn; working with Mold Melted Glass Studio in Pelechov, Czech Republic; the history of glass and early glass-working techniques; his many commissions, including sited public projects such as Post Office Square in Boston; the adoption of his name, Ben Tré; return visits to Cuba; working with RISD to create a winter study session in Havana; and his view of artists as artists, not defined by medium. Ben Tré also recalls Anthony Parker, Italo Scanga, Ron Onorato, Alice Aycock, Ferdinand Hampson, Steven Polander, Karen LaMonte, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Howard Ben Tré (1949- 2020) was a glass artist from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Josephine Shea is a curator from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan.
General:
Originally recorded 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 3 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Glass artists  Search this
Topic:
Art commissions  Search this
Civil rights -- United States  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art -- Technique  Search this
Peace movements  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.bentre07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bentre07

Oral history interview with Ad Reinhardt

Interviewee:
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Interviewer:
Phillips, Harlan B. (Harlan Buddington), 1920-  Search this
Extent:
53 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Date:
circa 1964
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ad Reinhardt conducted circa 1964, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Reinhardt speaks of his time spent working for the easel division of the WPA; his involvement with the American Abstract Artists (AAA); his admiration for Stuart Davis (despite his lack of involvement with the AAA; his time with the New York School in the forties; his desire for an objective Art History; the under-recognition of the abstract artists during their formative period; his feelings towards political cartoons and the social power/potential of art; his role as editor of the Columbia Jester; his unique position in the art world as an alumni of a liberal arts college rather than arts school; his time spent at the Institute of Fine Art studying under Alfred Salmony; the changing image of the artist as an intellectual (Motherwell, Rothko, Holty, Greene); de Kooning and Pollock's attempts to be the romantic artist; his bad feelings toward German and Italian Expressionists; futurists and some of the Fauve painters; his belief in collage as an anti-art; the position of art as the 'non-useful;' the exploration of meaninglessness by Kierkegaard, Kulick, and Sartre; his writing "Twelve Rules for the New Academy", "The Artist in Search of an Academy", "Art is Art Dogma", "Ten Rules for a Code of Ethics;" the importance of an aesthetic Morality; the Student Peace Movement (James Wexler, Thomas Merton); Artists' Union, American Artists' Congress, and the WPA; disapproval for the art market of the fifties and his preference towards artists with a salary making art for museums; the debate on the part of the Artists' Congress as to whether or not to support the Russian invasion of Finland; his dislike for the Bauhaus and the American carry-overs (Brooklyn Art scene); the article "ABC Art" in Art in America which claimed that he belongs to a whole new geometric ethic of imageless painting; his disapproval of Clement Greenberg's exploitation of the artist; his time spent studying with Francis Kriss; his year in the National Academy; his interest in Islamic art; his disconnect with Hofmann; his association with the Club and the Waldorf Cafeteria; his ideological opposition to de Kooning; the problems of treating art as a living; his feelings towards "The Shape of Time"; the recent mistake of art historians documenting the thirties without fulling embracing the abstract artists; the confusion of fine art and cultural pieces; the idea that Abstract Art is not a vase that you pour meaning into; his belief that the three most important artistic statements in recent years have come from Clive Bell, Focillon, Kubler; the relationship between religion and art; the importance of perseverance despite lack of praise; and his speech at the Club "What's Wrong." The interview is conducted in a way that facilitates more of an artistic statement, rather than a historical/ personal question and answer session.
Biographical / Historical:
Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967) was a painter from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 52 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.
Identifier:
AAA.reinha64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-reinha64

Woman's Building records

Creator:
Woman's Building (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Names:
Feminist Studio Workshop  Search this
Women's Graphic Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Chicago, Judy, 1939-  Search this
Raven, Arlene  Search this
de Bretteville, Sheila Levant  Search this
Extent:
33.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides
Artists' books
Date:
1970-1992
Summary:
The records of the Woman's Building feminist arts organization in Los Angeles measure 33.5 linear feet and date from 1970-1992. Originally founded by artist Judy Chicago, graphic designer Sheila Levant de Bretteville, and art historian Arlene Raven in 1973, the Woman's Building served as an education center and public gallery space for women artists in southern California. The records document both the educational and exhibition activities and consist of administrative records, financial and legal records, publications, curriculum files, exhibition files, grant funding records and artist's works of arts and prints. A significant portion of the collection documents the Women's Graphic Center, a typesetting, design, and printing service operated by The Woman's Building.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Woman's Building measure 33.5 linear feet and date from 1970 to 1992. The organization played a key role as an alternative space for women artists energized by the feminist movement in the 1970s. The records document the ways in which feminist theory shaped the Building's founding core mission and goals. During its eighteen year history, the Building served as an education center and a public gallery space for women artists in Los Angeles and southern California; the records reflect both functions of the Building's activities.

The Administrative Files series documents the daily operations of the Building, with particular emphasis on management policies, budget planning, history, cooperative relationships with outside art organizations and galleries, special building-wide programs, and relocation planning. Included in this series are the complete minutes from most Building committees from 1974 through closing, including the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council. The General Publicity and Outreach series is particularly complete, containing publicity notices from most events, exhibits, and programs held at the Woman's Building, including brochures, announcements, programs, invitations, press releases, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles.

The Woman's Building's educational programs centered on courses offered by the Feminist Studio Workshop and the Extension Program. While the Workshop provided a two-year program for women interested in fully developing their artistic talent, the Extension Program offered a broad range of classes, specifically oriented to working women interested in art and art vocations. The records fully document both programs, focusing on the course development and descriptions, teacher contracts, class evaluations, budget planning, and scholarship programs. Although the Archives does not have the entire slide library, there are files concerning the establishment and administration of the library, as well as a few folders of slides.

The Gallery Programs series houses the records of the visual, performing, literary and video arts events held at the Woman's Building. Administrative files detail the daily operation of the gallery spaces. The files in the remaining subseries are primarily arranged by event and contain proposals, announcements, publicity, and artist biographies.

The Women's Graphic Center became a profit-making arm of the Woman's Building in 1981 but the typesetting and design equipment had been used by staff and students since 1975. The records in this series focus on the work produced at the Center, including general projects and artist designs and art prints. Many of the design and printing examples were produced for Woman's Building events and programs.

The Artist's Works of Art series includes artist books, resumes, correspondence, postcards, and samples of art in the form of sketches, drawings, and prints. There is also material related to Woman's Building projects. Especially noteworthy is the "What is Feminist Art?" project where artists gave their responses in various formats and mediums from text to pieces of artwork.

The Printed Materials series contains feminist and art publications not produced by or for the Woman's Building.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series.

Series 1: Administrative Files, circa 1970-1991 (Box 1-9, 32; 9 linear feet)

Series 2: Educational Programs, 1971-1991 (Box 10-14; 4.9 linear feet)

Series 3: Gallery Programs, 1973-1991 (Box 14-20, OV 54; 5.7 linear feet)

Series 4: Women's Graphic Center, circa 1976-1989 (Box 20-23, 32, OV 33-50; 5.6 linear feet)

Series 5: Artists' Works of Art, circa 1972-1990 (Box 24-25, OV 51-53; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Grants, 1974-1992 (Box 25-30; 5.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material (Not Woman's Building), 1970-1983 (Box 30-31; 1.3 linear feet)
Historical Note:
In 1973, artist Judy Chicago, graphic designer Sheila Levant de Bretteville, and art historian Arlene Raven founded the Feminist Studio Workshop (FSW), one of the first independent schools for women artists. The founders established the workshop as a non-profit alternative education center committed to developing art based on women's experiences. The FSW focused not only on the development of art skills, but also on the development of women's experiences and the incorporation of those experiences into their artwork. Central to this vision was the idea that art should not be separated from other activities related to the developing women's movement. In November of 1973 the founders rented workshop space in a vacated building in downtown Los Angeles and called it The Woman's Building, taking the name from the structure created for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The FSW shared space with other organizations and enterprises including several performance groups, Womanspace Gallery, Sisterhood Bookstore, the National Organization of Women, and the Women's Liberation Union.

When the building they were renting was sold in 1975, the FSW and a few other tenants moved to a three-story brick structure, originally designed to be the administrative offices of the Standard Oil Company in the 1920s. In the 1940s, it had been converted into a warehouse and consisted of three floors of open space, conducive to publically available extension classes and exhibitions offered by the Woman's Building staff and students. By 1977, the majority of the outside tenants had left the Woman's Building, primarily because they were unable to sustain business in the new location. The new building was more expensive to maintain and the FSW staff decided to hire an administrator and to create a board structure to assume the financial, legal, and administrative responsibility for the Building. The funds to operate came from FSW tuition, memberships, fund-raising events, and grant monies.

In 1981, the Feminist Studio Workshop closed, as the demand for alternative education diminished. The education programs of the Building were restructured to better accommodate the needs of working women. The Woman's Building also began to generate its own artistic programming with outside artists, including visual arts exhibits, performance art, readings, and video productions. That same year, the Woman's Building founded the Women's Graphic Center Typesetting and Design, a profit-making enterprises designed to strengthen its financial base. Income generated from the phototypesetting, design, production, and printing services was used to support the educational and art making activities of the Building.

When the graphics business closed in 1988, the Woman's Building suffered a financial crisis from which it never fully recovered. The Building closed its gallery and performance space in 1991.
Related Material:
Among the other resources relating to the Woman's Building in the Archives of American Art is an oral history with Suzanne Lacy on March 16, 1990, March 24, 1990, and September 24, 1990. While not credited as a founding member, Lacy was among the first group of staff of the Woman's Building which she discusses in her interview.

The Getty Research Institute also holds a large collection on the Woman's Building which includes a wide range of material relating to its exhibitions, activities, and projects.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art donated 5 boxes of video tape from the collection to the Long Beach Museum of Art, Video Annex in 1994. According to documentation, this was the desire of Sandra Golvin and the Board of Directors of the Woman's Building.
Provenance:
The Woman's Building records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1991 by Sandra Golvin, President of the Board of Directors. An small addition of a set of "Cross Pollination" posters was donated in 2019 by by ONE Archives at University of Southern California Libraries via Loni Shibuyama, Archives Librarian.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Women artists -- California  Search this
Feminism and art  Search this
Arts organizations -- California -- Los Angeles  Search this
Function:
Nonprofit organizations -- California -- Los Angeles
Genre/Form:
Slides
Artists' books
Citation:
Woman's Building records, 1970-1992. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.womabuil
See more items in:
Woman's Building records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-womabuil
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