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Oral history interview with Robert Levin

Interviewee:
Levin, Robert, 1948-  Search this
Interviewer:
Byrd, Joan Falconer  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Denison University -- Students  Search this
Glass Art Society  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Pilchuck School -- Students  Search this
Southern Illinois University (System) -- Students  Search this
Bernstein, William, 1945-  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Handler, Audrey  Search this
Levin, Robert, 1948-  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Peiser, Mark, 1938-  Search this
Ritter, Richard Q.  Search this
Extent:
32 Pages (Transcript)
3 Items (Sound recordings: 3 sound files (3 hr., 14 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2004 December 11
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert Levin conducted 2004 December 11, by Joan Byrd, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Burnsville, North Carolina.
Levin speaks of growing up in Dundalk, Maryland; participating in theater in high school; attending Denison University; becoming interested in ceramics and glass; attending graduate school at Southern Illinois University; working as an assistant to Fritz Dreisbach at Pilchuck Glass School; teaching at Penland School of Crafts; becoming resident glass artist at Penland; influential artists; moving to Celo; the North Carolina craft community; the element of play in his work; mixing glass colors; keeping variety in his work; the process of making sculptural and functional pieces; the influence of nature and other cultures on his work; including political and social statements in his work; making mixed-media pieces; working on commission; making Judaica pieces; the glass blowing process; being part of an international glass tradition; participating in the Glass Art Society; the reasons he enjoys teaching; attending GAS conferences; participating in regional art organizations; his home studio and the equipment he uses; how his working process has changed; designing a series of awards; his interest in music and guitar; the qualities of glass; and the importance of intuitiveness in creating his pieces. Levin also recalls Audrey Handler, Bill Boysen, Bill Brown, Richard Ritter, Bill Bernstein, Mark Peiser, Harvey Littleton, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Levin (1948- ) is a glass artist from Burnsville, North Carolina. Joan Falconer Byrd (1939- ) is a professor in the art department, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 14 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.
Topic:
Art -- North Carolina  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Glass art -- Technique  Search this
Glass artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Glass blowing and working -- Technique  Search this
Jewish art  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.levin04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-levin04

Oral history interview with Paul Soldner, 2003 April 27-28

Interviewee:
Soldner, Paul Edmund, 1921-2011  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Subject:
Voulkos, Peter  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Pottery -- Technique  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Pottery -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12457
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)242172
AAA_collcode_soldne03
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_242172
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Marjorie Schick, 2004 April 4-6

Interviewee:
Schick, Marjorie, 1941-2017  Search this
Interviewer:
Rosolowski, Tacey A.  Search this
Subject:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Jewelers -- Kansas -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry -- Design  Search this
Jewelry making -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Jewelry making -- Technique  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Jewelry making -- Economic aspects  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11818
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)247256
AAA_collcode_schick04
Theme:
Craft
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_247256
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Jere Osgood, 2001 September 19-October 8

Interviewee:
Osgood, Jere, 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Subject:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Furniture design  Search this
Furniture making -- Technique  Search this
Furniture making -- Denmark  Search this
Furniture making -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Woodworkers -- New Hampshire -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13109
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)228159
AAA_collcode_osgood01
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_228159
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Levin, 2004 December 11

Interviewee:
Levin, Rob, 1948-  Search this
Interviewer:
Byrd, Joan Falconer, 1939-  Search this
Subject:
Bernstein, William  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph)  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Handler, Audrey  Search this
Levin, Robert  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Peiser, Mark  Search this
Ritter, Richard Q.  Search this
Denison University  Search this
Glass Art Society  Search this
Penland School of Crafts  Search this
Pilchuck School  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Southern Illinois University (System)  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Art -- North Carolina  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Glass art -- Technique  Search this
Glass artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Glass blowing and working -- Technique  Search this
Jewish art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11702
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)249435
AAA_collcode_levin04
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_249435
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Val Cushing, 2001 April 16

Interviewee:
Cushing, Val M., 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Carney, Margaret, 1949-  Search this
Subject:
Wildenhain, Marguerite  Search this
Archie Bray Foundation  Search this
Alfred University  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Glazing (Ceramics)  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12255
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)226929
AAA_collcode_cushin01
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_226929
Online Media:

Oral history interview with J.B. Blunk, 2002 May 16

Interviewee:
Blunk, J.B. (James B.), 1926-2002  Search this
Interviewer:
Adamson, Glenn, 1972-  Search this
Subject:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Woodworkers -- California -- Interviews.  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Woodwork -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Woodwork -- Technique  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13312
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)237758
AAA_collcode_blunk02
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_237758
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Roy De Forest, 2004 April 7-June 30

Interviewee:
De Forest, Roy, 1930-2007  Search this
Interviewer:
Matteson, Lynn Robert, 1939-  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painting -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13232
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)248953
AAA_collcode_defore04
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_248953
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Michael Cohen

Interviewee:
Cohen, Michael, 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
Williams, Gerald, 1926-2014  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
Massachusetts College of Art  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Burke, Ron  Search this
Glick, John Parker, 1938-  Search this
Goodwin, Harriet  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Merritt, Francis Sumner, 1913-2000  Search this
Sedestrom, Bob  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Wyman, William, 1922-1980  Search this
Extent:
37 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 August 11
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Michael Cohen conducted 2001 August 11, by Gerry Williams, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at his home, in Pelham, Massachusetts.
Cohen speaks of his childhood, living outside of Boston, Massachusetts; his first adventures in art; attending Mass Art; his attraction to clay; his mentors; his first job with Bill Wyman; joining the Army; his travels; his unhappy experience at Cranbrook Academy of Art; his first studio in his mother's basement; enjoying his first summer at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the other schools of craft; how his pottery is meant to be functional; his fear of dying at 59 and the great sculptural work he did in that year; exhibition shows and how they have changed over the course of his career; why he's moved to primarily making tiles; apprenticeship and the benefits of paying your apprentices; how expensive being in the pottery business has become; various teaching and workshop experiences; local pottery guilds he is a part of; the creation and design of his studio space; technological advances in the field and the distinctive tools he loves to use; specialized periodicals that he reads or looks at; what makes a pot beautiful; limitations in clay; commissions and the lack of benefits involved with commissions; the permanent collections of museums that he is a part of; how he thinks he will be remembered; his most memorable exhibitions; where he gets his ideas from; social and political issues he's involved in and how he does not include them in his work; the craft organizations; curators he's enjoyed working with; his ex-wife Harriet Goodwin and how their collaboration was important to his work. Cohen also recalls Francis Merritt, Bernard Leach, Peter Voulkos, Ron Burke, John Glick, Bob Sedestrom, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Michael Cohen (1936-) is a ceramist from Amherst, Massachusetts. Gerry Williams (1926-) is the editor of Studio Potter from Goffstown, New Hampshire.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr.; 6 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:
For more information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.
Occupation:
Ceramicists -- Massachusetts -- Interview  Search this
Topic:
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramics. -- Economic aspects  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cohen01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cohen01

Oral history interview with Paul Soldner

Creator:
Soldner, Paul  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Extent:
77 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2003 April 27-28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Paul Soldner conducted 2003 April 27-28, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Claremont, California.
Soldner describes his "wonderful" childhood; learning early in life that critiques hinder creativity; early interest in photography, including building his own enlargers; making a pottery wheel in high school; he recalls the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago and a wheel throwing demonstration by an "Appalachian potter"; his studies at Bluffton College in Ohio; teaching art in Ohio; his art studies at University of Colorado; working with Peter Voulkos at the Los Angeles County Art Institute [now Otis College of Art and Design] and constructing a studio with Voulkos; the importance of accidents, intuition, and invention in his work; how art movements and Eastern artists have influenced him; clay's durability and expressive qualities; he discusses his teaching philosophy and grading system; for beginners, the importance of producing quantity over quality; his role as the "godfather" of Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, Colorado; how he transformed the Scripps Annual ceramics show; he describes the evolution of his work in ten-year cycles, including his tall pots, raku, and "low-salt fuming" periods; his low-tech inventions; traveling and workshops; his definition of a craftsman; his evolution from pottery to sculpture; encouraging his students to "go farther" and experiment; dealers, galleries, and collectors; his aversion to art criticism; the impact of Eastern and Western religion on art; the importance of "surprise," "playfulness," and "energy" in the work; he compares his work to music; commissions and collaborations; subconscious and environmental influences on his work; and the future direction for contemporary ceramics. Soldner also recalls Katie Horsman, Kenneth Price, Jun Kaneko, Millard Sheets, Kaneshige, Cheever Meaders, Robert Arneson, John Mason, Fred Marer, Louana Lackey, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Interviewee Paul Soldner (1921- ) is a ceramist of Aspen, Colorado. Interviewer Mija Riedel is a curator, writer of San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 1 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.
Topic:
Pottery -- Technique  Search this
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Pottery -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.soldne03
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-soldne03

Oral history interview with Marjorie Schick

Interviewee:
Schick, Marjorie, 1941-2017  Search this
Interviewer:
Rosolowski, Tacey A.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Extent:
79 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2004 April 4-6
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Marjorie Schick conducted 2004 April 4-6, by Tacey A. Rosolowski, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Schick speaks of her aesthetic goals; making "body sculpture" as opposed to jewelry; being raised by her mother, a teacher and artist; taking art classes in high school; studying art education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; marrying James Schick; getting an MFA in jewelry at Indiana University; being mentored by Alma Eikerman; transitioning her works from metal to papier-mâché; working with alternative materials; making costume pieces for dancers; being represented by Galerie Ra in Amsterdam; studying metalwork while on sabbatical in London; the importance of change and experimentation in her work; making companion pieces; traveling to Europe and Mexico; creating "teapot jewelry"; and being part of the international jewelry community. Schick also speaks of how collectors and the art market react to her pieces; exhibiting in galleries; being a member of the Kansas Artist Craftsman Association; teaching; giving workshops; working on pieces while traveling; her autobiographical pieces; hiring student helpers; paying attention to craftsmanship; the challenges of being a craft artist and making "unwearable" jewelry; and her current project. Schick also recalls David Smith, Paul Smith, Harry Bertoia, Tom Joyce, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Marjorie Schick (1941-2017) is a jeweler of Pittsburg, Kansas. Tacey A. Rosolowski is an art historian from Washington, D.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 53 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.
Topic:
Jewelers -- Kansas -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry -- Design  Search this
Jewelry making -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Jewelry making -- Technique  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Jewelry making -- Economic aspects  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.schick04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-schick04

Oral history interview with David Ellsworth

Interviewee:
Ellsworth, David, 1944-  Search this
Interviewer:
Shea, Josephine, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Anderson Ranch Arts Center  Search this
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Belles Artes Gallery  Search this
Cooper-Lynn Gallery  Search this
Del Mano Gallery  Search this
Gargoyle Gallery  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.) -- Students  Search this
Oberlin College  Search this
United States. Army  Search this
University of Colorado -- Students  Search this
Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.).. Gallery of Art -- Students  Search this
Woodstock School of Painting  Search this
Bressler, Charlie  Search this
Bressler, Fleur  Search this
Dodson, Virginia  Search this
Foster, Clay  Search this
Gibson, Giles  Search this
Hogbin, Stephen  Search this
Holzapfel, Michelle, 1951-  Search this
Klein, Bonnie  Search this
LeCoff, Albert B., 1950-  Search this
Lindquist, Mark, 1949-  Search this
Lindquist, Melvin  Search this
Lipton, Irving  Search this
Mason, Arthur K.  Search this
Mason, Jane S.  Search this
Mastelli, Rick, 1949-  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Moulthrop, Ed, 1916-2003  Search this
Prestini, James, 1908-  Search this
Rapp, Joanne  Search this
Scarpino, Betty  Search this
Sfirri, Mark  Search this
Extent:
5 Items (Sound recording: 5 sound files (2 hr., 41 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Colorado -- description and travel
Iowa -- Description and Travel
Date:
2007 July 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of David Ellsworth conducted 2007 July 16, by Josephine Shea, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Ellsworth's home, in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.
Ellsworth speaks of living and growing up in Iowa for the first fourteen years of his life; moving to Boulder, Colorado when his father became the director of libraries; being the youngest of two boys; his parents meeting at Oberlin College; his early interest and skill in leatherwork and woodwork as a child; spending time with the family at their cabin up in the mountains in Colorado; his experiences with music, vocals, and woodshop in junior high; attending a preparatory high school that had a very strong art program; singing in the Army for the Army Air Defense Command; traveling around with the band; being sent to the headquarters of United States Army of Europe in Heidelberg as a speed typist; studying and learning German while abroad; getting admitted into the architecture department at Washington University in St. Louis; flunking out after three semesters; going to New York City to follow a love interest as well as to study art; attending The New School for Social Research; moving back to the Midwest due of the heavy toll of city life; enrolling in the sculpture department at the University of Colorado and receiving both a bachelor of fine arts and a master of fine arts; his first independent show at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado; working as a designer for a stainless steel food services equipment company called Green Brothers; working at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado; opening up a private studio in Boulder; partaking in various craft shows; working with the Belles Artes Gallery in New York City and Santa Fe, the Del Mano Gallery in Los Angeles, The Hand and the Spirit Gallery in Scottsdale which became Materia Gallery, the Gargoyle Gallery in Aspen; and the Cooper-Lynn Gallery in New York City; working as a teacher at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg; his experiences working with resin; his past experiences working with various kinds of wood; his past divorce; the influence of Native American and Southwest architecture and landscape on his work; the lack of reviews on woodturners and woodturning exhibitions; the difficulty of writing about craft art because of the lack of language; turning down commission work because of the limitations it imposes on the artist or creator; the direction in which he believes the craft of woodturning is going; woodturning as predominantly a hobby for retirees seeking to satisfy a need for creative energy; woodturning as a male-dominated craft; the surprisingly large number of well-known men in the fiber field today; designing and making his own line of tools; creating tutorial videos; holding woodturning classes at his home studio; his working process and how it has changed over time; how he and his wife Wendy ended up in Quakertown, Pennsylvania; and how he came up with his various series and how each developed. Ellsworth also recalls Ed Moulthroup, Melvin and Mark Lindquist, JoAnn Rapp; Steven Hogbin, Lois Moran, James Prestini, Irving Lipton, Albert LeCoff, Rick Mastelli, Clay Foster, Michelle Holzapfel, Mark Sfirri, Virginia Dodson, Betty Scarpino, Bonnie Klein, Arthur and Jane Mason, Fleur and Charlie Bressler, Giles Gibson, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
David Ellsworth (1944- ) is a studio woodworker from Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Josephine Shea (1958- ) is a curator from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan.
General:
Originally recorded 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 41 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.
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Woodwork -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Woodworkers -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.ellswo07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-ellswo07

Oral history interview with Roy De Forest

Creator:
De Forest, Roy, 1930-2007  Search this
Interviewer:
Matteson, Lynn Robert  Search this
Extent:
80 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2004 April 7-June 30
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Roy De Forest conducted 2004 April 7-June 30, by Lynn Robert Matteson, for the Archives of American Art, in Port Costa, California.
De Forest speaks of an early interest in painting and drawing; acceptance to California School of Fine Arts; his time spent in San Francisco; working at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; studying and teaching at Junior College in Yakima, California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco State, and the University of California, Davis; his relationship with other artists including Allan Stone, Allan Frumkin, Jim Newman; gallery shows at Dilexi Gallery, King Ubu Gallery, Six Gallery; time spent in the army; teaching at San Quentin State Prison; his opinions on and influence of Abstract Expressionism in his work; the influence of Paolo Uccello, Guieseppe Acrimboldo, and Piet Mondrian in his work; having a traveling show through the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; West Coast versus East Coast artists; artists' interest in history of art; techniques in art; types of paint and motives of use, specifically between water-based paint over oil; paint technology; the durability of pieces as a result of using particular types of paint; art restoration; sculpture and frame constructions; the history of his casting period; pieces he was working on at the time of the interview; his work with tile and ceramics; his book, "Journey to the Canine Territory"; his period in scroll painting; references and iconography in his work and influences from previous artists, pieces, and periods; opinions on artists including Agnes Martin, Eva Hesse, Cy Twombly, and Joan Brown; poetical influences and his poetic preferences; Surrealist elements in pieces; his use of animals in paintings; philosophical influences; the influences of technology such as television and computers; his printmaking career; scale and size in his pieces; painting "streaks"; the creation of characters and figures in his paintings; the influence of travel on his art; the nature and attitude of contemporary artists; modern architecture and museum spaces; architects including Frank Gehry and Richard Meier; his hobbies of model creation and woodworking; and his perception of himself. De Forest recalls Hassel Smith, Richard Crozier, Robert Duncan, John Guttman, George Adams, Robert Arneson, Lucian Pompili, John Humphrey, Peter Saul, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Interviewee Roy De Forest (1930-2007) was a painter and sculptor from Port Costa, California. Interviewer Lynn Robert Matteson (1939- ) is an art historian from Santa Barbara, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs and 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 17 min.
Microphone was not working during last session, 2004 June 30. Interview equipment was replaced with an analog recorder and the sound for the last forty-five minutes is not as clear as the rest of the interview. It is difficult to hear the interviewer during this session.
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.
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Painting -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.defore04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-defore04

Oral history interview with Jere Osgood

Interviewee:
Osgood, Jere, 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Extent:
64 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 September 19-October 8
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Jere Osgood conducted 2001 September 19 and Oct. 8, by Donna Gold, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Osgood's home, in Wilton, N.H.
Osgood describes his early childhood years in Staten Island, N.Y.; the influence of his architect grandfather and handyman father; his early interest in architecture; visiting museums with his mother and aunt; Vermont vacations; high school; and reading "Popular Science," "Popular Mechanics," and "Wildlife Magazine." He describes his architecture studies at the University of Illinois and the subsequent use of parabolic and catenary curves when making bowls; attending the School for American Craftsmen in the 1960s when it was "thriving"; selling bookends at America House; exhibiting in "Young Americans" (Museum of Contemporary Crafts, 1962); teaching at Boston University; studying bookbinding and weaving in a folk art school in Denmark in 1960; the distinction between "furniture makers" and "furniture designers" in Denmark; working in his father's basement workshop; setting-up a workshop in Connecticut; the appeal of root forms; developing lamination techniques; making curved forms; and experimenting with various woods. Teaching at the Philadelphia College of Art, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Boston University are discussed in detail, as are his typical workday, his design process and means of evaluating form, the growing craft industry, and sculptural furniture. Osgood recalls his teacher Tage Frid.
He also discusses his works of art including Elliptical Shell Desks, a walnut Semainaire, Writing Desk (1986), Angels in the Snow (1986), and Cylinder Front Desk (1989). He comments on selling his work at Pritam & Eames (East Hampton, N.Y.); the influence of Wharton Esherick on his career in the late 1950s; commissions; furniture making at RIT and the North Bennett School in Boston; his experiences teaching at Penland, Haystack, Arrowmont, and Peters Valley Craft Center; his involvement with organizations such as the New Hampshire Furniture Masters' Association, American Craft Council, and The Furniture Society; the importance of good photography; the economics of the craft business; and his appreciation of pure form.
Biographical / Historical:
Jere Osgood (1936- ) is a woodworker from Wilton, N.H. Donna Gold (1953- ) is an art writer from Stockton Springs, Maine.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 12 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 46 min.
Related Materials:
Oral history: Renimiscenses of Jere Osgood; Columbia University. Oral History Research Office, Box 20, Room 801 Butler Library, New York, NY 10027.
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.
Topic:
Furniture design  Search this
Furniture making -- Technique  Search this
Furniture making -- Denmark  Search this
Furniture making -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Woodworkers -- New Hampshire -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.osgood01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-osgood01

Oral history interview with Ed Moulthrop

Interviewee:
Moulthrop, Ed, 1916-2003  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Case Western Reserve University -- Students  Search this
Georgia Designer-Craftsmen  Search this
Georgia Institute of Technology -- Faculty  Search this
Library of Congress -- Buildings.  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Princeton University -- Students  Search this
Chappell, Jerry  Search this
Noffke, Gary  Search this
Ruffner, Ginny  Search this
Schreckengost, Viktor, 1906-2008  Search this
Stocksdale, Bob, 1913-2003  Search this
Extent:
39 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 April 2-3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ed Moulthrop conducted 2001 April 2-3, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Moulthrop's home and studio, Atlanta, Georgia.
Moulthrop speaks of his childhood in Cleveland; his introduction to woodcarving at age 8; buying his first wood lathe in 1932 at age 16; studying architecture at Western Reserve University and sculpture with Victor Schreckengost; his architecture studies in graduate school at Princeton University; the rejection of crafts or "handmade things" in the 1930s; the use of craft in architecture; the beginning of the craft movement in 1965; the government invention of polyethylene glycol which allowed wood to dry without cracking; his process of soaking wood in polyethylene glycol; teaching architecture at Georgia Tech for ten years; his work with architectural firms in Atlanta and designing an addition to the Library of Congress; selling his first pieces at The Signature Shop & Gallery, in Atlanta, in 1970; the progression of the craft movement from clay, to glass, metal, then wood; the importance of the Albert LeCoff woodturning shop in Philadelphia and conferences sponsored by Coff in the mid-1970s; his full-time pursuit of woodturning in 1975; craft exhibitions at the Mint Museum, High Museum, and American Craft Museum; his exhibitions at Arrowmont; teaching woodturning to his son Philip; his scholarship to make watercolors at Fontainbleu; and his interest in design over technique. He also talks about the work of Bob Stocksdale; the qualities of different woods; major woodturning exhibitions at DIA, the Connell Gallery in Atlanta, and of the Mason collection; the necessity of dealers; galleries including The Hand and The Spirit, Heller Gallery, Gumps, and The Signature Shop & Gallery in Atlanta; woodturning as an American craft movement; the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Frank Gehry; and the Greene Brothers; the strengths and limitations of wood; commissions for museums and corporations; his preference for ellipsoids (squashed spheres) and other shapes; his search for unusual woods, such as American Chestnut, Yellowwood, American Mahogany, and Box Elder; making his own tools and lathe; developing his own polish; his involvement with the Georgia Designer-Craftsmen with Jerry Chappell, Gary Noffke, and Ginny Ruffner; and his invention of the "Saturn Bowl" (a bowl with rings).
Biographical / Historical:
Ed Moulthrop (1916-2003) is a wood turner from Atlanta, Georgia. Mary Douglas (1956- ) is the curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, N.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 39 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.
Topic:
Architecture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Sculpture -- Study and teaching  Search this
Woodworkers -- Georgia -- Interviews.  Search this
Turning  Search this
Turning -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Turning -- Technique  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.moulth01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-moulth01

Oral history interview with Warren MacKenzie

Interviewee:
MacKenzie, Warren, 1924-2018  Search this
Interviewer:
Silberman, Robert B. (Robert Bruce), 1950-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago -- Student  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Minnesota -- Faculty  Search this
Hamada, Shōji, 1894-1978  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
MacKenzie, Alixandra Kolesky, d. 1962  Search this
Extent:
44 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2002 October 29
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Warren MacKenzie conducted 2002 October 29, by Robert Silberman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Stillwater, Minnesota.
MacKenzie speaks of his early childhood and eagerness to become a painter; being drafted in 1943; returning from active duty in the Army to find all the painting classes full and registering for a ceramic class; the significance of Bernard Leach's, "A Potter's Book" to his early ceramic education, and fellow classmates; his studies at the Chicago Art Institute; museums in Chicago; his first wife, potter, Alix MacKenzie; traveling to England to receive further training from Leach, first being rejected and then returning a year later to work 2 1/2 years at Leach Pottery at St. Ives; contacts such as Shoji Hamada, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, and others; his lack of interest in sculptural ceramics; the good remnants of Leach pottery pots in his pottery today; Korean and Japanese influences; the International Potters and Weavers Conference in 1952 and returning to the U.S.; Alix's role in arranging Hamada's tour of the U.S. and exhibition in St. Paul; building their first pottery; exhibitions at the Walker Arts Center; purchasing the best Hamada pot at the St. Paul exhibit; teaching at the University of Minnesota; his experiences at craft schools; his involvement with NCECA [National Council on Education in Ceramic Art] and the Minnesota Craft Council; his travels; the self-service showroom on his property; changes in the field of ceramics; the 1968 fire that destroyed his barn studio; his working process; his experience with a salt kiln; experimenting in each firing; and his monthly work schedule. MacKenzie also recalls Kathleen Blackshear, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Soetsu Yanagi, Jerry Liebling, Allen Downs, Walter Quirt, Phil Morton, Curt Heuer, Karen Karnes, David Weinrib, Josef Albers, Kenneth Ferguson, Rudy Autio, Peter Voulkos, Tatsuzo Shimaoka, David Lewis, Michael Cardew, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Warren MacKenzie (1924-2018) was a ceramist from Stillwater, Minnesota.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 33 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.
Topic:
Ceramicists -- Minnesota -- Interviews  Search this
Ceramics. -- Economic aspects  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Ceramics -- Japan  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.macken02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-macken02

Oral history interview with Val Cushing

Interviewee:
Cushing, Val M.  Search this
Interviewer:
Carney, Margaret, 1949-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Alfred University -- Faculty  Search this
Alfred University -- Students  Search this
Archie Bray Foundation  Search this
Archie Bray Foundation -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Wildenhain, Marguerite  Search this
Extent:
46 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 April 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Val Cushing conducted 2001 April 16, by Margaret Carney, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Cushing's studio, Alfred Station, New York.
Cushing speaks of his early interest in drawing; applying to Alfred University without a portfolio and being accepted on an athletic scholarship to play football; his teachers at Alfred including Katherine Nelson, Charles Harder, Marion Fosdick, Kurt Ekdahl, and Dan Rhodes; his classmates at Alfred including Herb Cohen, Marty Moskof, Marty Chodos, Luis Mendez, Ed Pettengill, and Richard Homer; the influence of Marguerite Wildenhain, who came to Alfred to teach for two weeks in 1952 (Cushing's senior year); his first job making pots at Santa's Workshop in Adirondack Mountains in New York in 1951, and the value of throwing every day; learning that "technique is not enough"; his travels; serving in the military police in Fort Dix, New Jersey, during the Korean War; visiting the Metropolitan Museum to sketch pots; meeting his wife Elsie Brown, who was private-duty nurse in New York; Charles Harder as an administrator and teacher; attending graduate school at Alfred on the G.I. Bill from 1954 to 1956; his decision to become teacher rather than full-time potter at the suggestion of Charles Harder; teaching at University of Illinois in 1956 and then Alfred University in 1957; the "famous" dialogues between Charles Harder and Bernard Leach; the importance of designing functional handmade objects; the evolution of the American craft market; his work for Andover China; exhibitions; his close-knit ceramics community in the 1950s and 1960s; his relationships with galleries including American Hand and The Farrell Collection in Washington, D.C., Helen Drutt Gallery and the Works Gallery in Philadelphia, The Signature Shop & Gallery in Atlanta, Martha Schneider Gallery in Chicago, and Cedar Creek Gallery in Creedmoor, North Carolina; teaching at Penland, Haystack, Arrowmont, Archie Bray, and Anderson Ranch; "the Alfred connection at Archie Bray" and his grant to study at Archie Bray in 1968; the importance of Alfred's summer school to the history of contemporary clay in America; the value of university training; Bob Turner's and Ted Randal's influence on his work through their "philosophic stance" and "presence as artists"; his working space and his 1983 NEA grant to adapt an existing barn for use as a studio; the influence of nature on his work; working with kick wheel, Soldner wheel, Venco Pug Mill, natural gas and electric kilns; his glaze expertise; opportunities for experimentation; his love of jazz music and its influence on his working methods; pricing his pots; commissions; ceramic workshops as theatrical "performances" and an American phenomenon; the role of specialized periodicals in the craft field; the difference between craft critics and painting and sculpture critics; and the place of ceramics in museum collections in the United States and abroad.
Cushing also talks about his involvement with NCECA [The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts], the American Craft Council, and the American Ceramics Society; the lack of political and social commentary in his work; his teaching experiences in Europe and Asia; his participation in the opening of The Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan; and the importance of ceramic history for the contemporary ceramist. He also recalls Susan Peterson, Bill Pitney, Marv Rickel, Don Frith, Winslow Anderson, Ken Deavers, Joan Mondale, Joan Farrell, Don Reitz, Gerry Williams, Bill Parry, Ken Ferguson, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Val Cushing (1931- ) is a ceramic artist and potter from Alfred Station, New York. Margaret Carney (1949- ) is the director of the Schein Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art in Alfred, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr.
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:
Ceramicists -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramics -- Technique  Search this
Ceramics -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Glazing (Ceramics)  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cushin01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cushin01

Oral history interview with J.B. Blunk

Interviewee:
Blunk, J. B., 1926-2002  Search this
Interviewer:
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Extent:
61 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2002 May 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of J.B. Blunk conducted 2002 May 16, by Glenn Adamson, in Inverness, California, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Blunk speaks about his childhood in Kansas; his studies at UCLA; classes with ceramic artist Laura Andreson; Andreson taking her students to see an exhibition of Japanese potters; Japanese influence and his desire to go to Japan; his service in the United States Army during the Korean War and being stationed in Japan at the end of the war; meeting Isamu Noguchi for the first time at a Mingei ceramic shop; meeting potter Kitaoji Rosanjin through Noguchi's wife, Yoshiko; his apprenticeship with Rosanjin; wedging clay for Rosanjin; his living arrangements at Rosinjin's house; his work for potter Toyo Kaneshige and traveling with him to Bizen, Japan; Blunk's return to California; building a kiln; teaching pottery at a small art school near Santa Monica; meeting his wife and working with her at a children's camp; his work on a sheep ranch and making metal jewelry; his move to Inverness and the abundance of wood there; learning how to use a chain saw while constructing a roof for Gordon Onslow-Ford's home (designed by Warren Callister); the wood he sculpted for his own home; his travels in 1969 and 1970 to Mexico and Macchu Picchu; his bench, "Seating Sculpture, 1968-69," in the exhibition Objects: USA; his Redwood bench sculpture in the California Design exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum; his exhibition at the Bolinas Museum; his method of making an arch sculpture out of cypress wood, including chiseling the wood with a gouge; his sculpture, "Six Stones," at Stanford University; his use of shoe dye to blacken his sculptures; the personality and tactile qualities in his work; sculpting wet wood; the difficulties of sculpting with eucalyptus and his fondness for redwood; his piece at the Tassajara Mountain Zen Center in Carmel Valley, California; a commission from the Orientation Center for the Blind, Albany, California; and the 1994 forest fire that threatened his house. Blunk also recalls Bruce Mitchell and Warren Callister.
Biographical / Historical:
J.B. Blunk (1926-2002) was a woodworker from Inverness, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 34 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.
Topic:
Woodworkers -- California -- Interviews.  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Woodwork -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Woodwork -- Technique  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.blunk02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-blunk02

Chester Beach papers, 1846-1999, bulk 1895-1999

Creator:
Beach, Chester, 1881-1956  Search this
Subject:
Winter, Ezra  Search this
Olmsted, Frederick Law  Search this
MacMonnies, Frederick William  Search this
Allen, Mary Jester  Search this
Beach, Eleanor Murdock  Search this
Piexotto, Jessica B.  Search this
Couper, William  Search this
Käsebier, Gertrude  Search this
Carrington, Fitz Roy  Search this
Blumenschein, Ernest Leonard  Search this
Greacen, Edmund W.  Search this
Fitchen, Eleanor Beach  Search this
French, Daniel Chester  Search this
Kuhn, Brenda  Search this
Jackson, Hazel Brill  Search this
Jennewein, Carl Paul  Search this
Hancock, Walker Kirtland  Search this
Mora, F. Luis (Francis Luis)  Search this
Leibig, Bonnie  Search this
Nelson, Laurence  Search this
Nisbet, Robert H.  Search this
Kuhn, Walt  Search this
Salmagundi Club  Search this
American Academy in Rome  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
Frontier Art Colony  Search this
Architectural League of New York  Search this
Cleveland Museum of Art  Search this
Salon d'automne  Search this
Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France)  Search this
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915: San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
National Sculpture Society (U.S.)  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sketchbooks
Topic:
Sculptors, American -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Eclecticism in architecture  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculpture -- Technique  Search this
Sculpture -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Sculpture -- Economic aspects  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)8873
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211058
AAA_collcode_beacches
Theme:
Diaries
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211058
Online Media:

Chester Beach papers

Creator:
Beach, Chester, 1881-1956  Search this
Names:
American Academy in Rome  Search this
Architectural League of New York  Search this
Cleveland Museum of Art  Search this
Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (France)  Search this
Frontier Art Colony  Search this
Mark Hopkins Institute of Art  Search this
National Academy of Design (U.S.)  Search this
National Sculpture Society (U.S.)  Search this
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915: San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Salmagundi Club  Search this
Salon d'automne  Search this
Allen, Mary Jester  Search this
Beach, Eleanor Murdock  Search this
Blumenschein, Ernest Leonard, 1874-1960  Search this
Carrington, Fitz Roy, 1869-1954  Search this
Couper, William, 1853-1942  Search this
Fitchen, Eleanor Beach  Search this
French, Daniel Chester, 1850-1931  Search this
Greacen, Edmund W., 1876-1949  Search this
Hancock, Walker Kirtland, 1901-1998  Search this
Jackson, Hazel Brill  Search this
Jennewein, Carl Paul, 1890-  Search this
Kuhn, Brenda, 1911-  Search this
Kuhn, Walt, 1877-1949  Search this
Käsebier, Gertrude, 1852-1934  Search this
Leibig, Bonnie  Search this
MacMonnies, Frederick William, 1863-1937  Search this
Mora, F. Luis (Francis Luis), 1874-1940  Search this
Nelson, Laurence, 1887-1978  Search this
Nisbet, Robert H., 1879-1961  Search this
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903  Search this
Piexotto, Jessica B.  Search this
Winter, Ezra, 1886-1949  Search this
Extent:
7.32 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sketchbooks
Date:
1846-1999
bulk 1895-1999
Summary:
The Chester Beach papers measure 7.32 linear feet and date from 1846 to 1999, with the bulk ot the material dating from circa 1900 to 1999. The work and professional activities of Beaux Arts sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) and his family's efforts to exhibit and sell work from the estate are documented by project files, business records, correspondence, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also include many artist-designed Christmas cards sent and received by the Beach family, and artwork by Chester Beach and others.
Scope and Contents:
The Chester Beach papers measure 7.32 linear feet and date from 1846 to 1999, with the bulk ot the material dating from circa 1900 to 1999. The work and professional activities of Beaux Arts sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) and his family's efforts to exhibit and sell work from the estate are documented by project files, business records, correspondence, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs. The papers also include many artist-designed Christmas cards sent and received by the Beach family, and artwork by Chester Beach and others.

Biographical material consists of biographical notes, identification cards, and a membership certificate.

Project files contain correspondence, financial records, notes, drawings and plans, research materials, printed matter, and photographs that document commissions for sculpture, medals and coins, monuments, and Beach's own projects. Among the most thoroughly documented projects are a fountain sculpture for the grounds of the Cleveland Museum of Art (Sun, Earth, Fountain of the Waters, and Zodiac) and the Edward W. Bok Memorial in Mountain Lake, Florida; both commissions were executed in conjunction with the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted.

Business records include Chester Beach's general business correspondence and correspondence concerning consignments. An address book records names, addresses, and occasionally indicates prices of services and supplies used by the sculptor. Other record books detail expenses and income of the studio building Beach owned, with a list of the effects of the former owner, sculptor William Couper; bronzes cast; sales, with titles, prices, and buyers; names and addresses of clients, dealers, and suppliers; and instructions for cleaning and bronzing plaster.

Family correspondence consists mainly of letters, many mentioning Chester Beach, and addressed to Mrs. Chester Beach and daughter Eleanor Beach Fitchen. Estate correspondence and related documents concern efforts to exhibit, sell, and research Beach's remaining work. These records, for the most part, were created by Mrs. Fitchen who acted as sales agent, ran the Chester Beach Memorial Studio, and maintained the Beach archive. Of particular interest is a series of letters from Brenda Kuhn that relate what she learned from handling the estate of her father, Walt Kuhn; in addition, she offered ideas and advice about exhibitions, the Memorial Studio, and the Beach Centennial.

Beach designed his family's annual Christmas cards, most of which incorporate images of their three daughters. A complete set, preserved in an album, includes a few later cards that reproduce artwork by his widow. Many of the cards received - some with original artwork - are from artist friends, among them: Ernest Blumenschein, Edward W. Greacen, Hazel Brill Jackson, Paul Jennewein, Bonnie Leibig, F. Luis Mora, Robert Nisbet, and Ezra Winter. Also of note are a card from Walker Hancock bearing a photograph of his studio; a painting of Beach's Sylvan at Brookgreen Gardens, reproduced on Anna Hyatt Huntington's card; and a card from Beach patron Mary Jester Allen containing a brief note about the Frontier Art Colony she had established near Cody, Wyoming.

Among the drawings and sketches by Chester Beach are student work, designs for some of his Christmas cards, and a sketchbook containing drawings of sculpture. Work by other artists consists of prints, including one by Ezra Winter.

Three scrapbooks, largely comprised of newspaper clippings and other printed material, contain a variety of other items, including: letters from the American Academy in Rome, Architectural League of New York, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Daniel Chester French, Hazel Brill Jackson, Frederick MacMonnies, National Academy of Design, National Sculpture Society, Jessica B. Piexotto, and Salon d'Autome. There are also awards and certificates from the National Academy of Design, Panama-Pacific International Exposition; bookplates and a place card Beach etched for Mr. and Mrs. George Davison; and an unfinished poem by FitzRoy Carrington. Photographs within the scrapbooks are of a night school class Beach attended at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco, Beach at work in his studio, and a portrait of him painted by G. Laurance Nelson.

Printed material includes Panama-Pacific International Exposition guide books, brochures about the Chester Beach Memorial Studio in Brewster, New York, and catalogs for solo and group exhibitions.

Photographs and glass plate negatives of artwork are mainly of Chester Beach's sculpture and include views of work in progress. Also found are photographs of drawings and sculpture from his student years in California and Paris. Pictures of work by other artists are portraits of Chester Beach painted by G. Laurance Nelson and by his daughter, Natalie Beach McLaury. Among the photographs of Chester Beach are several by Gertrude Kasebier, circa 1910. Other pictures show Beach in his studio, Beach with family and friends, and a "Dinner tendered to Edmund W. Greacen by Samuel T. Shaw, Salmagundi Club, March 2, 1922." Places documented are Beach's boyhood home in San Francisco, the interiors of his studios, and Brookgreen Gardens. Miscellaneous subjects are nude models.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 10 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1910-1947 (4 folders; Box 1)

Series 2: Project Files, 1846-1999 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2, 11, OV 12-13)

Series 3: Business Records, circa 1900-1958 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 4: Writings, 1913-1935 (2 folders; Box 3)

Series 5: Correspondence, 1875, 1933-1996 (0.5 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Christmas Cards, 1909-1961 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 3-4)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1900-1955 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 4, 11)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1903-1972 (0.3 linear feet; Box 10)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1910-1997 (0.4 linear feet; Box 4)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1885-circa 1960s (3.1 linear feet; Boxes 4-9, 11, 14)
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor Chester Beach (1881-1956) was known for portrait busts, allegorical and mythological figures, coins and medallic art in the Beaux-Arts tradition. He lived and worked in New York City and Brewster, New York.

Chester Beach, son of Chilion Beach and Elizabeth Ferris Beach, was born in San Francisco on May 23, 1881. Beach initially studied at the California School of Mechanical Arts in 1899. He remained in San Francisco and between 1900 and 1902 continued his art training at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art while working as a jewelry designer. To further his career and exposure to artistic trends, Beach moved to New York City in 1903. The following year, he went to Paris, enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and also studied with Raoul Verlet at the Académie Julian.

Upon his return to New York in 1907, Beach established a studio on Tenth Street. He won the National Academy of Design's Barnett Prize for sculpture in 1907 and the Academy elected him an Associate Artist the following year. His increased stature resulted in numerous portrait commissions and eventually led to commissions for monuments and architectural sculpture. In 1910, Chester Beach married Eleanor Hollis Murdock, a painter he met when both were art students in Paris. The couple spent the next two years in Rome; for several years after returning, Beach continued to spend time in Italy and maintained a studio in Rome.

Solo exhibitions of Beach's work were presented at Macbeth Gallery (1912), Pratt Institute (1913), Cincinnati Art Museum (1916), John Herron Art Institute (1916), and Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester (1917). In addition to frequent participation in annual exhibitions at the National Academy of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Beach was represented in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915), and in group shows at venues including: Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Art Club, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and National Arts Club.

The gold medal presented by Académie Julian (1905), Beach's first award, was followed by many other prizes, among them: American Numismatic Society prize for a medal commemorating the Peace of Versailles (1919) and its Saltus Medal for distinguished medallic art (1946); Architectural League of New York gold medal (1924); National Academy of Design Barnett Prize (1907) and Watrous gold medal (1926); National Arts Club medal and prizes (1923, 1926, 1932); and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition silver medal (1915).

Beach was an Academician of the National Academy of Design, a member of the American Numismatic Society, Architectural League of New York, National Arts Club, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Sculpture Society (President, 1927-1928).

For more than 40 years, Beach lived and worked at 207 East 17th Street. The brownstone, purchased in 1913, was large enough for the family's home, his studio, and additional studios that were rented to other artists. Through barter, Beach acquired land in Brewster, New York, and in 1917 hired Italian stonemasons to build a studio. Later, they erected a summer house for the family. Many old stone walls on the site provided material for both buildings and Beach named the property Oldwalls.

After a long illness, Chester Beach died at Oldwalls on August 6, 1956. The funeral service was held at his Brewster, New York, studio and he is buried in Cold Spring Cemetery, Cold Spring, New York.
Separated Materials:
Also in the Archives of American Art is microfilm of papers lent for microfilming (reels N727-N729 and N68-11) including passports, genealogical materials, photograph albums, travel sketches, travel diaries of Mrs. Beach, and business and family correspondence. While the obituary letters on reel N68-11 are referenced in a scrapbook in Series 8, all other loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Chester Beach's daughter, Eleanor Beach Fitchen, lent materials for microfilming in 1967 and 1967. Subsequent papers were donated in 2009 by the estate of Eleanor Beach Fitchen, through her grandson and executor, John Fitchen.
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. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
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.
Topic:
Sculptors, American -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Eclecticism in architecture  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculpture -- Technique  Search this
Sculpture -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Sculpture -- Economic aspects  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Christmas cards
Drawings
Photographs
Prints
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Chester Beach papers, 1846-1999, bulk circa 1900-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.beacches
See more items in:
Chester Beach papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-beacches
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