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Oral History interview with Carlos Villa

Interviewee:
Villa, Carlos, 1936-2013  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
Park Place Gallery Art Research, Inc.  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
Bischoff, Elmer, 1916-1991  Search this
Brown, Joan, 1938-1990  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993  Search this
Garcia, Rupert, 1941-  Search this
Hudson, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Neri, Manuel, 1930-  Search this
Valledor, Leo, 1936-1989  Search this
Wiley, William T., 1937-  Search this
Extent:
134 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1995 June 20-July 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Carlos Villa conducted 1995 June 20-July 10, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Villa discusses his "progress" from Filipino background to his art world identity; the phenomena and individuals who contributed to the new awareness in the mid-1970s: "El Movimiento," Chicano "Rasquache," Rupert Garcia, Amalia Mesa-Baines; the idea of "recuperation," and the sense of Asian-American identity and community as a basis for his art. Villa recalls growing up in San Francisco; his early life; living in the Tenderloin district and his exposure to racism; the influence of his cousin, artist Leo Valledor; growing up Filipino in California and the difficulties that accompanied it. Villa discusses popular (black) culture, jazz "guapo," zoot-suit style as role models and basis for aesthetic/art; his admiration for black self-esteem; his aesthetics; viewing art as a way out of the ghetto and an escape from racism.
Villa discusses his introduction to the California School of Fine Arts (soon thereafter the San Francisco Art Institute); his need to be part of the artist community; CSFA and other students and teachers; and his self-conception as a modernist. He discusses the technical aspects of his art; the influence of various Bay Area artists on his work; his investigation of Filipino art history and his role models; the role of the women at the CSFA and women as role models. Villa recalls his first show at Pointdexter in New York; his associations with minimalists and the Park Place Gallery group; his New York minimalist phase and his need to escape the New York environment after six years. He discusses his return to the Bay Area and his use of identity/politics as subjects for his art.
Villa recalls or mentions Rupert Garcia, Leo Valledor, Manuel Neri, Joan Brown, Bill Morehouse, David Stone Martin, Wallace Berman, William Wiley, Bob and Dona Hudson, Bill Allen, Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, Ralph DuCass, Walter Kuhlman, Wally Hedrick, Bruce Conner, Alvin Light, Claire Falkenstein, Bob McFarlane, Hayter, Tapies, Fred Martin, Nathan Oliveira, Jennifer Bartlett, Dick Maclean, Elizabeth Murray, Alfred Neumeyer, Mark Rothko, Kenneth Noland, Sol Lewitt, Mark di Suvero, Robert Grovesnor, Tom Seligman, Kurt Schwitters, Robert Rauschenberg, Angela Davis, and Moira Roth.
Biographical / Historical:
Carlos Villa (1936-2013) was a painter, curator, and educator in San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 8 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr., 40 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:
Modernism (Art) -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Sculptors -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Asian American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Filipino American artists  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.villa95
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-villa95

Oral history interview with Leo Holub

Interviewee:
Holub, Leo, 1916-2010  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Creator:
Art Schools in California Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Art Schools in California Oral History Project  Search this
Golden Gate International Exposition (1939-1940 : San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (Calif.)  Search this
Stanford University. Dept. of Art  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts -- Faculty  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts -- Students  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Arnautoff, Victor Mikhail, 1896-1979  Search this
Barnes, Matthew Rackham, 1880-1951  Search this
Corbett, Edward, 1919-  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Gaw, William A., 1891-1973  Search this
Hackett, Dick  Search this
Holub, Florence  Search this
Mackey, Spencer, 1880-1958  Search this
Mondale, Walter F., 1928-  Search this
Oldfield, Otis, 1890-1969  Search this
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998  Search this
Piazzoni, Gottardo, 1872-1945  Search this
Randolph, Lee F., b. 1880  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Sinel, Joseph Claude, 1889-1975  Search this
Smith, Hassel, 1915-2007  Search this
Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957  Search this
Weston, Edward, 1886-1958  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Wilson, Charis, 1914-2009  Search this
Extent:
2 Sound cassettes (Sound recording (90 min), analog)
34 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound cassettes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1997 July 3
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Leo Holub conducted 1997 July 3, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in San Francisco, Calif.
Holub discusses his background, being born in Arkansas, moving to New Mexico, and then to Oakland, Calif. (1923); early educational experiences in Oakland, and later at the Art Institute of Chicago; seeing Edward Weston's photographic work at an exhibition in Chicago, and admiring Weston's nude studies of Charis Wilson; his return to the Bay Area; his studio on Montgomery St. (Monkey Block); meeting painter Matthew Barnes, who had assisted Diego Rivera with his murals at the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA), 1931-1932; his experiences as a student at CSFA- its program and instructors which included Maurice Sterne, Gottardo Piazzoni, Lee Randolph, Dick Hackett, Otis Oldfield, William Gaw, Spencer Mackey, and Victor Arnautoff; fellow students including Hassel Smith, Ed Corbett, and Florence Michelson (his future wife); and his beginning awareness of modernism.
Holub discusses his involvement with the Golden Gate International Exposition (1939); apprenticeship with industrial designer Joe Sinel and the advent of the product design era; his founding of Design Development Associates, and staying only a year before moving to Grass Valley, Calif. for his son's health; his return to the Bay Area, succeeding Emmy Lou Packard at the San Francisco Planning Office graphic arts dept.; working at the housing agency and redevelopment agency and as chief designer for the Bay Area Rapid Transit report.
He recalls his encounter with Ansel Adams at the 1955 Yosemite workshop where Holub produced a pictorial map of Yosemite; Adam's "zone system" of exposing for shadows and developing for highlights; going on to teach at CSFA (1955-1957), where Imogen Cunningham was a guest instructor; Minor White replacing him; his ten years at Stanford University's planning office (1960-1970); his campus views "Stanford Scene" that were used by the university to appeal for more space for the art dept., and his shows at Stanford's art gallery in 1964 and at the Washington, D.C. home of Vice President Walter Mondale in 1980.
Biographical / Historical:
Leo Holub (1916-2010) was a photographer, lithographer, and teacher from San Francisco, Calif.
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. Other interviewees in the Art Schools in California Oral History Project include: Emerson Woelffer, Charles Linder, Paul Carey (1993), and Paul Carey and Stephanie Caloia (1997), with funding provided by the Bente and Gerald E. Buck Collection.
Topic:
Photographers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- California  Search this
Photography  Search this
Photography -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Function:
Art Schools -- California
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.holub97
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-holub97

Oral History interview with Carlos Villa, 1995 June 20-July 10

Interviewee:
Villa, Carlos, 1936-2013  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Valledor, Leo  Search this
Garcia, Rupert  Search this
Neri, Manuel  Search this
Brown, Joan  Search this
Berman, Wallace  Search this
Wiley, William T.  Search this
Hudson, Robert  Search this
Bischoff, Elmer  Search this
Diebenkorn, Richard  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Park Place Gallery Art Research, Inc.  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Topic:
Modernism (Art) -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Sculptors -- United States -- Interviews  Search this
Painters -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Asian American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Filipino American artists  Search this
Hispanic American artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)5561
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215877
AAA_collcode_villa95
Theme:
Latino and Latin American
Asian American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215877
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Colescott, 1999 April 14

Interviewee:
Colescott, Robert, 1925-2009  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Cézanne, Paul  Search this
Loran, Erle  Search this
Ryder, Worth  Search this
Saar, Betye  Search this
San Francisco State University  Search this
University of California, Berkeley  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11502
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216607
AAA_collcode_colesc99
Theme:
African American
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216607
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Colescott

Interviewee:
Colescott, Robert, 1925-2009  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
San Francisco State University -- Students  Search this
University of California, Berkeley -- Students  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906  Search this
Loran, Erle, 1905-1999  Search this
Ryder, Worth, 1884-1960  Search this
Saar, Betye  Search this
Extent:
23 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1999 April 14
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert Colescott conducted 1999 April 14, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at his studio, in Tucson, Arizona.
Colescott discusses his early years growing up in Oakland; his education; military service; his experiences as a student at San Francisco State University and University of California, Berkeley; the influences at University of California, Berkeley, and of Paul Cézanne on the teaching by professors Erle Loran and Worth Ryder; working at the California School of Fine Arts; issues of race in art; views on the African-American community's desire to control visual statements by black artists, and why his work is viewed as stereotyping; political views; the work of artist Betye Saar; and his work, "George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware."
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Colescott (1925-2009) was a painter from San Francisco, California and Tuscon, Arizona. Colescott was raised in Oakland, California. He attended San Francisco State University and University of California at Berkeley (B.A. 1949; M.A., 1952). After receiving his bachelor's degree, he studied in Paris with abstract painter Fernand Léger. From 1976-1985 he taught at the California School of Fine Arts, and was named Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona, Tucson in 1985.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 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. Funding for the transcription of this interview is provided by Richard Baker Fund.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Painters -- Arizona -- Tucson  Search this
Painters -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.colesc99
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-colesc99

Oral history interview with Elmer Bischoff, 1977 August 10-September 1

Interviewee:
Bischoff, Elmer Nelson, 1916-1991  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Brown, Joan  Search this
Brown, William Theo  Search this
Geis, Bill  Search this
Hudson, Robert  Search this
MacAgy, Douglas  Search this
Neri, Manuel  Search this
Park, David  Search this
Smith, Hassel  Search this
Spohn, Clay Edgar  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
Wiley, William T.  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Abstract expressionism -- California  Search this
Figurative art -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11991
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)213307
AAA_collcode_bischo77
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_213307

Oral history interview with Leo Holub, 1997 July 3

Interviewee:
Holub, Leo, 1916-2010  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J  Search this
Subject:
Adams, Ansel  Search this
Arnautoff, Victor Mikhail  Search this
Barnes, Matthew Rackham  Search this
Corbett, Edward  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen  Search this
Gaw, William A.  Search this
Hackett, Dick  Search this
Holub, Florence  Search this
Mackey, Spencer  Search this
Mondale, Walter F.  Search this
Oldfield, Otis  Search this
Packard, Emmy Lou  Search this
Piazzoni, Gottardo  Search this
Randolph, Lee F.  Search this
Rivera, Diego  Search this
Sinel, Joseph Claude  Search this
Smith, Hassel  Search this
Sterne, Maurice  Search this
Weston, Edward  Search this
White, Minor  Search this
Wilson, Charis  Search this
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (Calif.)  Search this
Stanford University  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Art Schools in California Oral History Project  Search this
Golden Gate International Exposition  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Photographers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- California  Search this
Photography  Search this
Photography -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12356
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216329
AAA_collcode_holub97
Theme:
Photography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_216329
Online Media:

Clay Spohn papers, circa 1862-1985, bulk 1890-1985

Creator:
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Subject:
Rothko, Mark  Search this
Corbett, Rosamond Walling Tirana  Search this
Fryworth, Teressa  Search this
Corbett, Edward  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Sievan, Maurice  Search this
Sihvonen, Oli  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne  Search this
Ribak, Louis  Search this
McChesney, Mary Fuller  Search this
Neininger, Urban  Search this
Still, Clyfford  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
School of Visual Arts (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Account books
Ambrotypes
Photographs
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- France -- Paris  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9468
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211666
AAA_collcode_spohclay
Theme:
Diaries
Sketches & Sketchbooks
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211666
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Elmer Bischoff

Interviewee:
Bischoff, Elmer, 1916-1991  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Names:
San Francisco Art Institute  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Brown, Joan, 1938-1990  Search this
Brown, William Theo, 1919-2012  Search this
Geis, Bill  Search this
Hudson, Robert, 1938-  Search this
MacAgy, Douglas, 1913-  Search this
Neri, Manuel, 1930-  Search this
Park, David, 1911-1960  Search this
Smith, Hassel, 1915-2007  Search this
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980  Search this
Wiley, William T., 1937-  Search this
Extent:
82 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1977 August 10-September 1
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Elmer Bischoff conducted 1977 August 10-September 1, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Bischoff speaks of his family background; the influence of art teachers and attitudes at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1930s; his years of teaching at the California School of Fine Arts (San Francisco Art Institute), first under the directorship of Douglas MacAgy and then under Ernst Mundt and Gurdon Woods; his fellow faculty members Clyfford Still, David Park, Clay Spohn and Hassel Smith, and their work in abstract expressionism. He recalls some of his most successful students, including Joan Brown, Manuel Neri, and William T. Wiley.
Bischoff explains his turning away from abstract expressionism toward figurative painting, and cites the influence of David Park. He credits George Staempfli as the first New York art dealer to be interested in Bay Area figurative painting. He discusses the origins of the Bay Area funk movement. He speaks of teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, and reflects on the differences between teaching in a university environment and an art school. He discusses his move away from the figure to large scale abstraction.
Biographical / Historical:
Elmer Bischoff (1916-1991) was a painter and educator from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 24 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' 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 others.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Abstract expressionism -- California  Search this
Figurative art -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Painters -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.bischo77
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bischo77

Oral history interview with Barbara Carrasco

Interviewee:
Carrasco, Barbara, 1955-  Search this
Interviewer:
Rangel, Jeffrey J.  Search this
Names:
Asco (Group of artists)  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles -- Faculty  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles -- Students  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts -- Students  Search this
Almaraz, Carlos  Search this
Chavez, Cesar, 1927-  Search this
Gamboa, Harry  Search this
Lomas Garza, Carmen  Search this
Valadez, John, 1951-  Search this
Extent:
87 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1999 April 13-26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Barbara Carrasco conducted 1999 April 13 and 26, by Jeffrey Rangel, in two sessions, for the Archives of American Art.
Carrasco speaks of the roles played by her parents in her career as an artist, her experiences as a light-skinned Chicana, and the marginalization of women artists within the Chicano art movement; her relationship and marriage to fellow artist, Harry Gamboa, Jr., who has supported women artists; and her perception of Asco ("nausea" in Spanish), a group of artists and performers who joined together during the Chicano civil rights movement. She also discusses the influence of the art professors at UCLA and the quality of the training she received there; working with Carlos Almaraz and John Valadez on the "Zoot Suit" mural in Hollywood; meeting César Chávez and how he in part shaped her identity as a cultural worker; attending California School of Fine Arts, Valencia, California, and receiving her MFA there; other Chicana artists such as Carmen Lomas Garza; and the changes in her most recent work.
Biographical / Historical:
Barbara Carrasco (1955-) is a painter and muralist from Los Angeles, California. Carrasco was born in El Paso, Texas, and a resident of the Los Angeles area since 1956. She is best known for her work inspired by the United Farm Workers Union, by her experiences as a Chicana, by historical events, and by personal issues.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 4 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. Funding for the interview and transcription provided by the Smithsonian Institution Latino Initiatives Fund.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Hispanic American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Mexican American artists -- Interviews  Search this
Hispanic American women artists -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.carras99
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-carras99

Oral history interview with Dorothy Cravath

Creator:
Cravath, Dorothy, 1901-1974  Search this
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
Interviewer:
Martin, Minette  Search this
Names:
New Deal and the Arts Oral History Project  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Extent:
11 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1964 May 13-27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Dorothy Cravath conducted 1964 May 13 - 27, by Minette Martin for the Archives of American Art.
Interview conducted at the home of Leota Molten in Berkeley, California. Cravath speaks of her youth and art education at the California School of Fine Arts; painting murals for the Federal Art Project; and restoring the murals at Coit Tower. She recalls Diego Rivera and discusses his influence on muralists.
Biographical / Historical:
Dorothy Cravath (1901-1974) was a mural painter in San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 55 min.
Provenance:
This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Art students -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Coit Memorial Tower (San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Muralists -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.cravat64
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-cravat64

Clay Spohn papers

Creator:
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977  Search this
Names:
School of Visual Arts (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
University of California, San Francisco. School of Fine Arts  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Corbett, Edward, 1919-  Search this
Corbett, Rosamond Walling Tirana, 1910-1999  Search this
Fryworth, Teressa, 1906-1981  Search this
McChesney, Mary Fuller  Search this
Neininger, Urban  Search this
Reynal, Jeanne, 1903-  Search this
Ribak, Louis, 1902-1979  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Sievan, Maurice  Search this
Sihvonen, Oli, 1921-  Search this
Still, Clyfford, 1904-  Search this
Extent:
20.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Account books
Ambrotypes
Photographs
Date:
circa 1862-1985
bulk 1890-1985
Summary:
The Clay Spohn papers measure 20.4 linear feet and date from circa 1862 to 1985 with the bulk of the material dating from 1890 to 1985. The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence, business records, notes and writings, art work, printed material, and photographs which reflect the life and career of painter and educator Clay Spohn.
Scope and Content Note:
The Clay Spohn papers measure 20.4 linear feet and date from circa 1862 to 1985 with the bulk of the material dating from 1890 to 1985. The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence, business records, notes and writings, artwork, printed material, and photographs reflecting the life and career of painter and educator Clay Spohn.

Part 1 includes sketchbooks with annotated drawings by Spohn, writings including reminiscensces by Spohn, letters, clippings, and photographs of Spohn's artwork.

Part 2 includes biographical material; correspondence between Spohn and his colleagues; business records such as Spohn's general accounting records; Spohn's notes and writings on a variety of subjects; drawings and sketchbooks; printed material such as exhibition announcements and catalogs; and photographs of subjects such as Spohn, his family and colleagues, his house, and his artwork.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into three parts. Part 1 was lent to the Archives of American Art in 1964 by Clay Spohn, and was microfilmed and returned to Spohn. Part 2 was donated to the Archives of American Art by Urban Neininger in 1978 and was partially microfilmed. Because material from part 2 was not processed until over three decades after filming Part 1, the overall organization is inconsistent. In general, material within folders is arranged chronologically.

Part 1: Clay Spohn Papers, 1926-1963

Part 2: Clay Spohn Papers, circa 1862-1985 (boxes 1-22, OV 23, 19.9 linear ft.)

Part 3: Addition to the Clay Spohn Papers, 1958-1977 (box 24; 0.4 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Clay Edgar Spohn was born November 24, 1898, in San Francisco, to Lena (Schaefer) and John Henry Spohn. From 1919 to 1921, Spohn studied at the University of California at Berkeley, and from 1922 to 1924, he studied at the Art Students League in New York under Kenneth Hayes Miller, Boardman Robinson, George Luks and Guy Pene Du Bois. He also became acquainted with Alexander Calder at the Art Students League. In 1924, Spohn was employed as an assitant designer to muralist Ezra Winter. From 1926 to 1927 he studied in Paris at the Academie Modern, a school run by Fernand Leger and Orthon Fireze.

Returning to San Francisco in 1927, Spohn became an active member in the Bay Area art scene. The Treasury Department commissioned him, in 1938, to execute a mural for the Montebello, California post office, and in 1939, he completed another mural under the sponsorship of the WPA for Los Gatos Union High School in Los Gatos, California.

In 1942, the San Francisco Museum of Art mounted Spohn's solo exhibition "Fantastic War Machines and Guerragraphs", consisting of a series of drawings inspired by dreams of World War II. From 1945 until his resignation in 1950, Spohn was employed as instructor of drawing and painting at the California School of Fine Arts, where he befriended Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko. In 1949, at the California School, he organized a group exhibition entitled "The Museum of Unknown and Little Known Objects", in which Spohn's extraordinarily-constructed objects were a focal point.

Spohn moved to Taos, New Mexico in 1952, and participated in several national exhibitions. He was Visiting Lecturer at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, in 1958, after which he moved to New York City where he executed a series of paintings under the sponsorship of the collector J. Patrick Lannan. From 1964 to 1969, he taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

After a two year move to Taos, Spohn returned to New York in 1971. In 1974, the Oakland Museum sponsored a retrospective of Spohn's work.

Clay Spohn died in New York City on December 19, 1977.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (D169) including sketchbooks, writings, correspondence, and related material. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are described in the first series of the finding aid.
Provenance:
The material on reel D169 was lent for filming by Clay Spohn in 1964. The material on reel 5461-5474 was donated by Spohn's friend and the executor of his estate, Urban Neininger, in 1978. An additional 0.4 linear feet of papers were donated by Spohn's biographer, David Beasley, in 2008.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use of unfilmed material requires an appointment.
Rights:
Part 1 of the Clay Spohn papers was loaned to the Archives of American Art for microfilming and is subject to all copyright laws. Part 2 is owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. Part 2 is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painting, Abstract -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Sketchbooks
Account books
Ambrotypes
Photographs
Citation:
Clay Spohn Papers, circa 1862-1985, bulk 1890-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.spohclay
See more items in:
Clay Spohn papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spohclay

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