An interview of John Roloff conducted 2009 August 17-18, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Roloff's studio, in Oakland, California.
Roloff speaks primarily about the intersection of art and science; his desire to look at these disciplines from multiple perspectives in his work; the relationship between materials and their geological histories; his exploration and exposure of the physical processes associated with the making of art objects; Roloff talks at length about ceramics; the chemical properties of the clays and glazes; their connection to geological landscapes; and their transformation through the firing process; moreover, he discusses site specific works; the importance of location in giving context to a piece; as well as referencing a site through site based materials; furthermore, he expounds his theory of anthroturbation; discusses the parallels between man-made and natural structures; and ruminates about his work's visual engagement with ecological systems; Additionally, Roloff converses about several formative childhood experiences; how they shaped his later artistic interest and evolved into thematic elements in his work; studying marine geology at University of California-Davis; taking a ceramics class with Robert Arneson; becoming a dual art and science major; the spirit of experimentation at UC-Davis, which led to his early ceramic discoveries; pursuing graduate work at Humboldt University; teaching at the University of Kentucky-Lexington; developing his Exile and Rower series; showing his sculptures at Lester Gallery and Fuller Goldeen Gallery in California; his shift from studio work to landscape/installations; the development of his Ship and Kiln series; as well as his later photographic work; Roloff also recalls Stephen Kaltenbach, Deborah Butterfield, Peter Voulkos, Jim Melchert, Dennis Oppenheim, Joseph Beuys, Kenneth Baker, in addition to the following galleries: Lance Fang, Paule Anglim and Reese Paley.
Biographical / Historical:
John S. Roloff (1947- ) is a sculptor and ceramicist and lives and works in Oakland, California. Roloff also taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and Mills College.
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 13 digital wav files. Duration is 8 hr., 50 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.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
The main body of the collection consists of Kellogg's personal incoming and outgoing correspondence with fellow zoologists and geologists regarding research in zoology
and marine geologic formations. A significant amount of correspondence with institutions also exists, notably with the Bureau of Biological Survey, the Carnegie Institution
of Washington, and the National Research Council. For other institutional correspondence, material may be found with that of specific individuals in the employ of an institution.
The remainder of the collection consists of a personal information file; a collection of photographs documenting exhibit openings, Smithsonian staff retirement functions,
and Kellogg's membership in various organizations; and divisional histories of the National Museum of Natural History prepared for the Smithsonian Centennial.
Correspondents include: Clinton G. Abbott, Othenio Abel, Charles Christopher Adams, Theodor G. Ahrens, Glover Morrill Allen, American Society of Mammalogists, Copley Amory,
Rudolph Martin Anderson, Harold Elmer Anthony, Arctic Research Laboratory Advisory Board, Merle Fowler Bancroft, Thomas Barbour, F. J. F. Barrington, Seth Bertram Benson,
Fritz Berckhemer, Edward Wilber Berry, Edward Willard Berry, Clarence Birdseye, Else Bostelmann, Karl Brandt, James C. Brash, Barnum Brown, William Alanson Bryan, Charles
Dean Bunker, Bureau of Biological Survey, William Henry Burt, Angel Cabrera, Charles L. Camp, Leonard Carmichael, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Clifford N. Carver, Ermine
Cowles Case, E. Burnham Chamberlain, Bruce Lawrence Clark, Robert Ervin Coker, Charles Wythe Cooke, Harold J. Coolidge, Jr., Ira E. Cornwall, Luther Sheeleigh Cressman, Giorgio
Dal Piaz, Pirie Davidson, William B. Davis, Herbert Girton Deignan, A. B. Van Deinse, Donald Ryder Dickey, W. O. Dietrich, Alban T. A. Dobson, Abraham Lincoln Dryden, Emmett
Reid Dunn, Lucius R. Eastman, Maxim Kondradovich Elias, Robert Kendall Enders, William Louis Engels, Barton Warren Evermann, Francis Charles Fraser, Eustace L. Furlong, Eugene
Maximilian Karl Geiling, Charles W. Gilmore, Raymond Maurice Gilmore, Walter Granger, Madison Grant, William King Gregory, Robert Fiske Griggs, Joseph Grinnell, Melville Bell
Grosvenor, Herman Gunter, Eugene Raymond Hall, William John Hamilton, Jr., G. Dallas Hanna, Sidney Frederic Harmer, Francis Harper, Robert Torrens Hatt, Curtis J. Hesse, F.
Gilbert Hindsdale, Arthur T. Hopwood, William Temple Hornaday, Edgar Billings Howard, Alfred Brazier Howell, International Whaling Commission, David Starr Jordon, Journal
of Mammalogy, Theodor Just, A. Remington Kellogg, Henry Higgins Lane, Frederic Augustus Lucas, Marcus Ward Lyon, Jr., Alfredo Augusto de Oliveira Machado e Costa, William
D. Matthew, C. Hart Merriam, Charles Warren Merriam, John Campbell Merriam, Franklin Metcalf, Gerrit Smith Miller, Jr., Roy L. Moodie, Charles Morrice, Robert Cushman Murphy,
National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Gladwyn Kingsley Noble, Walter Collins O'Kane, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Wilfred Hudson Osgood, A. P. Ousdal, Earl Leroy
Packard, Evgenii Nikanorovich Pavlovsky, John Charles Phillips, Edward Alexander Preble, Sydney Prentice, Henry Cushier Raven, Alfred S. Romer, Carlos Rusconi, Wilford Edwin
Sanderson, Hurbert G. Schneck, George Gaylord Simpson, Earle Sloan, Hans Winge Sorensen, Herman Augustus Spoehr, Eberhard Stechow, Henryk Bronislaw Stenzel, Ruben Arthur Stirton,
Chester Stock, George Linius Streeter, Ernst Stromer Von Reichenbach, J. Magruder Sullivan, Edward H. Taylor, Charles Haskins Townsend, T. Wayland Vaughan, Charles D. Walcott,
Lewis Hill Weed, Alexander Wetmore, George Bernays Wislocki, Howard I. Wordell.
Born in 1892, A. Remington Kellogg entered the University of Kansas in 1911 intending a concentration in entomology. His change to mammalogy was largely a result of
the influence of Charles Dean Bunker, curator of birds and mammals in the Museum of Natural History at the University. Kellogg served as a taxonomic assistant under Bunker
from 1913 to 1916. During his undergraduate summers Kellogg was employed by the Bureau of Biological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, to conduct field surveys of plant
and animal life. He received his A.B. in January 1915, and his M.A. in 1916 from the University of Kansas at Lawrence.
In the fall of 1916 Kellogg decided to continue his studies in zoology at the University of California at Berkeley with the aid of a teaching fellowship. By this time Kellogg
had become interested in the study of the evolution of marine mammals. At Berkeley he became acquainted with Dr. John Campbell Merriam, who fostered Kellogg's interest in
the Pacific Coast Tertiary formations and their marine fossil remains. The association with Merriam was a close and lasting one that had a profound effect on Kellogg's career.
After brief service in World War I (1918-1919), Kellogg resumed his teaching fellowship for one semester. However, in January 1920 he accepted a position in Washington,
D.C., as an assistant biologist for the Bureau of Biological Survey; he remained with the Biological Survey until 1928. His projects for the Biological Survey did not include
marine mammalogy. Fortunately, Dr. Merriam was appointed president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and arranged for Kellogg to become a research associate of that
institution in 1921. Although the Carnegie Institution research had to be carried on after official hours at the Biological Survey, research grants from the Institution allowed
Kellogg to continue his study of marine mammals, and he remained in that capacity until 1943. Drawing from his own original studies as well as current literature, he wrote
"The History of Whales--Their Adaptation to Life in the Water" in 1928, for which he was awarded his Ph.D. by the University of California.
Kellogg's association with the United States National Museum (USNM) originated with his after hours research with the extensive collection of marine mammals while still
in the employ of the Bureau of Biological Survey. The affiliation proved valuable, and in 1928 he was named assistant curator of mammals under Gerrit Smith Miller, Jr. He
served as assistant curator until Miller's retirement, when he became curator of the Division of Mammals, a position he held from 1941 to 1948. In 1948 he was named director,
United States National Museum. Kellogg held the directorship until his retirement in 1962. From May 1958 to 1962 he also served as an assistant secretary of the Smithsonian
Institution. After retirement he intensified his study of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian and continued publication of his findings until his death in May 1969.
The international regulation of whaling was another subject of great importance to Remington Kellogg. Recognized as an authority in the field of cetology, he was sent to
Berlin in 1930 as a delegate to a conference of experts on whaling matters held under the auspices of the League of Nations. In 1937 Kellogg was appointed as the State Department's
representative to the International Conference on Whaling at London, and in 1946 he chaired the Washington Conference, which formulated the International Convention providing
for the establishment of the International Whaling Commission. He was United States Commissioner on the International Whaling Commission from 1947 to 1967, and chairperson
from 1952 to 1954.
98.7 cu. ft. (96 record storage boxes) (1 document box) (5 oversize tube boxes) (6 globes)
Motion pictures (visual works)
North Atlantic Ocean
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
The papers of Bruce C. Heezen primarily document his oceanographic and geological research and his career as a faculty member and scientist at Columbia University.
To a lesser extent, they concern his personal affairs. They include incoming and outgoing correspondence with geologists, oceanographers, Columbia University colleagues, publishers
and professional organizations; personal correspondence, memorabilia, and records from his college career; files on Heezen's professional activities including meetings, conferences,
symposia, and lectures; correspondence, reports, proposals and related materials concerning contracts and grants received by Heezen; manuscripts and reprints of his published
and unpublished scientific papers; classroom materials and teaching records; written and audio logs from oceanographic cruises and submersible dives; photographs, 35mm slides,
videotapes, and motion pictures from research cruises and dives, including many underwater images; manuscripts, notes, and research materials from his book, The Face of
the Deep; and maps of the ocean floor prepared by Heezen and Marie Tharp. Related Heezen material, including data, worksheets and research maps are located at the Library
Bruce C. Heezen (1924-1977), oceanographer and geologist, received the B.A. degree from Iowa State University in 1948 and his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University
in 1952. Heezen's entire professional career was spent on the geology department faculty of Columbia University and as a scientist at the University's Lamont-Doherty Geological
Observatory. He was Research Associate, 1955-1957; Senior Research Scientist, 1957-1960; Assistant Professor, 1960-1964; and Associate Professor, 1964-1977. Heezen was also
a consultant with the United States Naval Oceanographic Office from 1968 until his death.
Heezen's interest in oceanography began in 1947 when as an undergraduate he was invited to join Maurice W. Ewing's expedition to study the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. His career
was marked by constant seagoing voyages and submersible dives to support research on turbidity currents, abyssal plains, continental drift, and other aspects of the ocean
floor. He was the author of over 300 scientific papers and several books including The Face of the Deep, with Charles D. Hollister in 1971. With his colleague Marie
Tharp, Heezen created many maps and panoramas of the ocean floor. Several of the maps were published in National Geographic magazine. Heezen died in 1977 while working in
the submersible NR-1 on the Reykjanes Ridge in the North Atlantic.
Heezen was a member and officer of numerous national and international organizations. He was the recipient of the Henry Bryant Bigelow Medal of the Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution, 1964; the Cullum Geographic Medal of the American Geographical Society, 1973; and the Gardiner Greene Hubbard Medal of the National Geographic Society, awarded
posthumously in 1978.