An interview of John Marshall conducted 2001 April 5, by Lloyd Herman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Edmonds, Washington.
Marshall speaks of his childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; participating in an educational program with the Carnegie Museum; his exposure to art while in grade school and throughout his education; joining the army after high school; spending time in Germany with the army and experiencing the metalwork of that area; learning to work hard from his father; his family background; attending Grove City College, then working in construction during the day and going to classes at Carnegie Tech during the night; finally attending Cleveland Institute of Art; some of his teachers at the Institute, Kenneth Bates, Toshiko Takaezu, and John Clague; his first experiences with metal, Fred Miller, and learning how to design metal pieces; getting a job as head of the metals department at Syracuse and completing his MFA there; meeting Paul Smith and Lee Nordness, and participating in Objects: USA; his travels throughout Europe; the many commissions he has done for churches, everything from baptismal bowls, chalices, and crosses; Patrick Lannan, and how instrumental he was in Marshall's career, his collection of work that Lannan bought and where it all is now located; the different types of communities in the different areas he lived; commissions and how they were important to his career; how he challenges himself with new ideas and creations; the Handy and Harman Workshop; the difference between a university trained artist and one who has learned his/her craft outside academia; his students and how much satisfaction he has received from teaching; the decline in metal working programs at the university level; the influence of other faculty members on his work, such as Lee DuSell; the critics of metalwork, Bruce Metcalf and Gary Griffin; his involvement in the Society of North American Goldsmiths; and his two sons. Marshall also recalls John Paul Miller, Winifred Lutz, Ramona Solberg, Ruth Penington, Michael Scott, Don Bacorn, Annie Hauberg, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
John Marshall (1936- ) is a jeweler and metalsmith from Edmonds, Washington. Lloyd Herman (1936- ) is the former director of the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery from Seattle, Washington.
Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 2 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 administrators.