An interview of Sam Gilliam conducted 1989 Nov. 4-11, by Ben Forgey for the Archives of American Art. Gilliam speaks of his decision to come to Washington, D.C., from Louisville, Ky.; his shift from figurative painting to abstract painting; meeting Washington painters Robert Gates and Tom Downing; the "stature" of Tom Downing in the Washington art scene in the 1960s and Walter Hopps' role; influential exhibitions at the Jefferson Place Gallery and the Washington Gallery of Modern Art; being a Washington artist and a black artist; artist/teachers at American University; the Johnson Avenue Workshop grant; his relationship with Rockne Krebs; the history of the Washington Coalition of Artists; the Corcoran Gallery and the Washington Project for the Arts' relationship to Washington artists; his involvement with the District of Columbia Art Center; teaching; and his working methods. Gilliam also discusses various paintings, processes, materials, ideas and experiments at length. He recalls Gene Davis, Howard Mehring, Ken Noland, Morris Louis, Nesta Dorrance, Alma Thomas, Lou Stovall, Al Nodal, Jock Reynolds, Michael Botwinick, Willem de Looper, Paul Reed, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Sam Gilliam (1933-2022) was a painter in Washington, D.C.
These interviews are 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 others.
By-laws, notes and minutes of board meetings; correspondence files; administrative records; exhibitions and other program files; clippings, press releases, exhibition catalogs and announcements, and other printed material; and miscellany. Included are 8 ft. of records related to the exhibition, "War and Memory: in the Aftermath of Vietnam."
Biographical / Historical:
Visual and performing art organization; Washington, D.C. Opened in 1975.
Donated by the Washington Project for the Arts via Program Director Richard Powell, 1988. "War and Memory" records donated 1991 by the WPA via Philip Brookman.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Washington Project for the Arts (D.C.). "Politics of memory" panel discussion, 1987 November 5. Washington Project for the Arts records, [ca. 1975-1990.]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Washington Project for the Arts (D.C.). "The Vietnam war and popular music" panel discussion, 1987 November 14. Washington Project for the Arts records, [ca. 1975-1990.]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The papers of Washington, D.C. painter and printmaker Kevin MacDonald measure 8 linear feet, and date from 1958-2006. The collection contains correspondence with friends and colleagues; journals, notebooks, and other writings; printed material; artwork by MacDonald and others; 29 sketchbooks; sound and video recordings; and home movies. Of note are several files regarding his work with the Washington Project for the Arts.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Washington, D.C. painter and printmaker Kevin MacDonald measure 8 linear feet, and date from 1958-2006. The collection contains correspondence with friends and colleagues; journals, notebooks, and other writings; printed material; artwork by MacDonald and others; 29 sketchbooks; sound and video recordings;, and home movies. Of note are several files regarding his work with the Washington Project for the Arts.
This collection is arranged as 8 series.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1968-2006 (1.9 linear feet:; Boxes 1-2)
Series 2: Notebooks and Journals, 1968-2005 (1.3 linear feet; Boxes 2-4)
Series 3: Writings, 1970s-1999 (0.3 linear feet; Box 4)
Series 4: Project Files, 1958-2005 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 4-5, 9)
Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1970-2004 (1.0 linear foot; Boxes 5-6, 9)
Series 6: Artwork, 1960s-2000s (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 6, 9)
Series 7: Sketchbooks, circa 1969-2006 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 9)
Series 8: Sound Recordings and Moving Images, circa 1970s-1990s (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, FC 10-12)
Biographical / Historical:
Kevin MacDonald (1946-2006) was a painter and printmaker in Washington, D.C. He received a BFA from George Washington University in 1969, and also took courses at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. From 1967 to 1977 he worked at the Phillips Collection. After leaving the Phillips he worked full-time as an artist, taking an active role in the D.C. arts community. He was co-curator of "The Washington Show" at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1986, and served on the Board of Directors for both the Washington Project for the Arts (1986-1992) and Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (1991-1997). MacDonald regularly exhibited his work at the Lunn Gallery and David Adamson Gallery, and had artist residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (1995) and Oglebay Institute (1993). MacDonald also had an interest in music, and served as art director of a short-lived music fanzine called "Infiltrator." He was in Twisted Teenage Plot, a band organized by fellow artist Michael Clark, and worked with artist and musician Robin Rose on a collaboration called "Scriptronics." He lived most of his life in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of D.C., and was married to art consultant Robin Moore.
Donated in 2012 by Robin Moore, Kevin MacDonald's widow.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. research facility. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.