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Ralph Rinzler Oral History Interview

Topic:
Smithsonian Folklife Studies (Serial)
Creator::
Rinzler, Ralph, interviewee  Search this
Extent:
2 videotapes (Reference copies).
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videotapes
Audiotapes
Transcripts
Date:
1993
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program staff conduct interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Rinzler was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of his distinguished career as the founder of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, as well as a Smithsonian administrator. Additional information about Rinzler can be found in the the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections in the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Descriptive Entry:
The interview of Rinzler, with friend and colleague Roger D. Abrahams, by Marc Pachter, Acting Assistant Secretary for External Affairs, covers his early life and interest in music; involvement in the folk music scene at Swarthmore and organization of the festival there; time spent in London after graduate courses; life on the road with Joan Baez; work with Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, and others; field work for the Newport Foundation; beginnings of the Folklife Festival at the Smithsonian and his subsequent career at the Institution. It also includes reminiscences of many individuals at the Smithsonian and in the larger folklife community, including S. Dillon Ripley, Frank A. Taylor, Charles Blitzer, David Challinor, Robert McC. Adams, Michael Seeger, Peggy Seeger, and Alan Lomax; and discusses the rise of the folklife movement including the political and ethnological forces behind the movement. The interview consist of 2.5 hours of videotape and 94 pages of transcript.
Historical Note:
Ralph Carter Rinzler (1934-1994) was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and was interested in music at an early age. He was given a collection of ethnographic recordings from the Archive of Folk Song of the Library of Congress by his uncle, Harvard University ballad scholar George Lyman Kittredge, and they soon became his favorites. He became actively involved in folk music while attending Swarthmore College, organizing an annual folk festival on campus. He received his B.A. in 1956, and did graduate work at Middlebury College and the Sorbonne in French literature and language. Upon his return to the United States, he played mandolin for four years with the Greenbriar Boys, touring with singer Joan Baez. During the 1960s, he also studied and worked with performers of traditional music, such as Doc Watson and Bill Monroe, both of whom gained international recognition, in part through his efforts. In 1964, Rinzler accepted the position of Director of Field Programs at the Newport Folk Foundation. Rinzler came to the Smithsonian in 1967 as the founding Director of what is now the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, then in the Division of Performing Arts, to establish a center for research, publication, and presentation of programs in American subcultures. As Director, he also developed the annual Festival of American Folklife. After the summer-long festival of 1976, he initiated Smithsonian Folklife Studies, a publication series, and did research for the Celebration exhibit, which opened at the Renwick Gallery in 1982. Rinzler was appointed Assistant Secretary for Public Service in 1983 and Assistant Secretary Emeritus in 1990.
Topic:
Art  Search this
Folklife studies  Search this
Music  Search this
Performing arts  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Oral history  Search this
Mandolin  Search this
Folk music  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes
Audiotapes
Transcripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9569, Ralph Rinzler Oral History Interview
Identifier:
Record Unit 9569
See more items in:
Ralph Rinzler Oral History Interview
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9569

Japanese American Incarceration: Anne Shimojima (Interview)

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-02-02T14:59:16.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Education  Search this
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Japanese Doll Maker: Anne Cox (Interview)

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-02-02T13:36:23.000Z
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Education  Search this
Topic:
Education  Search this
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Kikuyuki Dancers of America (Interview)

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Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-02-02T12:56:31.000Z
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Education  Search this
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Education  Search this
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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Family Day 2010 (Overview)

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-02-02T13:53:52.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
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Education  Search this
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Origami Artist Marcia Mau: Interview

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-06-17T12:05:01.000Z
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Education  Search this
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Education  Search this
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How to Make an Origami Paper Wallet: Marcia Mau (Demonstration)

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-02-02T14:07:25.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
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Education  Search this
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How to Make a Japanese Paper Doll: Anne Cox (Demonstration)

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2012-10-10T17:18:12.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Education  Search this
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Smithsonian American Art Museum - Renwick Gallery - Student Orientation Video

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2008-12-29T18:36:04.000Z
YouTube Category:
Travel & Events  Search this
Topic:
Education  Search this
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Anne Shimojima: Hidden Memory: Japanese American Incarceration (Storytelling Performance)

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2011-02-02T16:20:51.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
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Education  Search this
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Conversations with Smithsonian Craft Artists: Eric Serritella

Creator:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Type:
Conversations and talks
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2016-01-06T16:29:23.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
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SmithsonianVideos
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Smithsonian Institution
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SmithsonianVideos
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edanmdm:yt_u9mCR8CM100

Opening the Renwick Gallery

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-10-08T23:56:37.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
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americanartmuseum
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
americanartmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_-SUKjmQlaaM

Handi-hour Crafting: Embroidery on Paper

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-08-27T16:18:04.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
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americanartmuseum
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
americanartmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_-iCRlClxEO4

Jennifer Angus Interview for WONDER at the Renwick Gallery

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Interviews
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-11-23T15:13:23.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
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americanartmuseum
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Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
americanartmuseum
EDAN-URL:
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The Craft Museum: Ideals and Practice - Keynote (1 of 4)

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Symposia
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-03-24T13:49:34.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
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Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
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Renwick Opening: Explore ‘WONDER’

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-11-02T19:40:25.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
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40 under 40: Jenny Hart

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2012-06-08T18:36:07.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
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Smithsonian American Art Museum
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Chakaia Booker Interview for WONDER at the Renwick Gallery

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-11-23T15:12:43.000Z
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Education  Search this
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Art, American  Search this
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40 under 40 Exhibition Trailer

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2012-07-17T20:33:43.000Z
YouTube Category:
Howto & Style  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
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Smithsonian American Art Museum
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Gabriel Dawe Interview for WONDER at the Renwick Gallery

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Interviews
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-11-23T15:12:51.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
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