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Oral history interview with John Weber, 2006 March 21-April 4

Interviewee:
Weber, John, 1932-2008  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Subject:
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with John Weber, 2006 March 21-April 4. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13562
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)257024
AAA_collcode_weber06
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_257024

Oral history interview with John Weber

Creator:
Weber, John, 1932-2008  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James Lancel, 1952-  Search this
Names:
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Martha Jackson Gallery  Search this
Extent:
62 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2006 March 21-April 4
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Weber conducted 2006 March 21 and April 4, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Weber's home, in Chatham, New York.
Weber discusses his education at St. Catherine's Military School in Anaheim, California, and Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida; attending the Citadel in South Carolina and then joining the Navy; attending Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, after getting out of the Navy; accepting a job at the Dayton Art Institute on the curatorial staff and working for the director, Thomas C. Colt; moving to New York and attending the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University; working at the Martha Jackson Gallery and his involvement in various influential shows there, including "Environments, Spaces, Situations," and "New Forms, New Media"; moving to Los Angeles in 1962 to work for the Dwan Gallery; getting involved with land artists, including Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, and Walter De Maria; moving back to New York to take on the directorship of the East Coast location of the Dwan Gallery, in SoHo, then the newest gallery neighborhood; opening his own gallery, the John Weber Gallery, on West Broadway in 1972; his involvement with the Fluxus Group and Arte Povera; the international nature of the art world in the 1960s and 70s; his business arrangements with artists, including the monthly stipends he gave them as advances on sales; his relationships with collectors, including Giuseppe Panza di Biumo and Emily and Burton Tremaine; his advocacy of Aboriginal art; the studios of Robert Smithson and Claes Oldenburg; his belief in the importance of originality; his adverse reaction when he first saw a piece by Dan Flavin; his interaction with art critics, including Irving Sandler and Grace Gluck; and his experience with art fairs. He also recalls Kirk Varnedoe, Jim Dine, Michael Goldberg, Jean Tinguely, Martial Raysse, Arman, Yves Klein, Franz Kline, Andre Emmerich, Mary Boone, Sol LeWitt, Andy Warhol, Gilberto Zorio, Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, Anina Nosei, Sven Lukin, Robert Ryman, Alighiero Boetti, Konrad Fischer, Ivan Karp, Paula Cooper, Angela Westwater, Jeff Koons, Joseph Beuys, Hans Haacke, Leo Castelli, Tom Otterness, Joyce Nereaux, Dorothea Rockburne, Eva Hesse, Lucas Samaras, and Joseph Hirshhorn, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
John Weber (1932-2008) is an art dealer from Chatham, New York. James McElhinney (1952- ) is a painter and educator of New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hrs., 11 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.
Occupation:
Art dealers -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.weber06
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw943361429-493e-483f-8c5d-59121b426dcf
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-weber06
Online Media:

Interview with John Weber

Creator:
Weiss, William L.  Search this
Weber, John, 1932-2008  Search this
Type:
Sound Recording
Date:
1994 December 20
Citation:
William L. Weiss and John Weber. Interview with John Weber, 1994 December 20. William L. Weiss interviews of artists and dealers, 1993-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Record number:
(DSI-AAA)18559
See more items in:
William L. Weiss interviews of artists and dealers, 1993-1995
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_item_18559

Dwan Gallery records

Creator:
Dwan, Virginia  Search this
Names:
Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.)  Search this
Dwan Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Anastasi, William, 1933-  Search this
Andre, Carl, 1935-  Search this
Arakawa, Shusaku, 1936-  Search this
Arman, 1928-2005  Search this
Flavin, Dan, 1933-  Search this
Goodnough, Robert, 1917-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Kienholz, Edward, 1927-  Search this
Klein, Yves, 1928-1962  Search this
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962  Search this
LeWitt, Sol, 1928-2007  Search this
Mitchell, Joan, 1926-1992  Search this
Morris, Robert, 1931-2018  Search this
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929-  Search this
Parker, Raymond, 1922-  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Raysse, Martial, 1936-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Richenburg, Robert  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-  Search this
Saint-Phalle, Niki de, 1930-  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-2007  Search this
Smithson, Robert  Search this
Snelson, Kenneth, 1927-2016  Search this
Weber, John, 1932-2008  Search this
Extent:
2.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1959-circa 1982
bulk 1959-1971
Summary:
The Dwan Gallery records measure 2.3 linear feet and consist primarily of files of exhibitions curated by Virginia Dwan at Dwan Galleries in Los Angeles (1959-1967) and New York (1965-1971). Found within this nearly comprehensive set of exhibition files may be lists of exhibited works, price lists, photographs, slides or color transparencies of installations, invitations, full-size posters, magazine and newspaper clippings and exhibition catalogs.
Scope and Contents:
The Dwan Gallery records measure 2.3 linear feet and consist primarily of files of exhibitions curated by Virginia Dwan at Dwan Galleries in Los Angeles (1959-1967) and New York (1965-1971). Found within this nearly comprehensive set of exhibition files may be lists of exhibited works, price lists, photographs, slides or color transparencies of installations, invitations, full-size posters, magazine and newspaper clippings and exhibition catalogs.

Artists that held exhibitions at the Dwan Gallery in New York and Los Angeles include: Robert Goodnough, Robert Richenburg, Larry Rivers, Philip Guston, Yves Klein, Salvatore Scarpitta, Arakawa, Martial Raysse, Ad Reinhardt, Arman, Franz Kline, Edward Kienholz, Claes Oldenburg, Niki de Sainte Phalle, Joan Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin, Raymond Parker, Kenneth Snelson, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson, and Anastasi. Also, the exhibition files are nearly comprehensive and include: Language to be Looked at and/or Things to be Read annual series (1967-1970), Boxes (1964), Earth Works (1968), My Country 'tis of Thee (1962) and 10 (1967 and 1968). Many of the multiple artist shows were created and organized by gallery director John Weber and/or Virginia Dwan. Many of these exhibition files include full-sized posters and panoramic photos showing installations.

Also found are records created by a consulting firm hired by the Dwan Gallery to inventory the exhibition files prior to donation to the Archives of American Art. These guides appear at the beginning of each series and outline a chronology of exhibitions held at each branch.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series:

Missing Title

Series 1: Los Angeles Exhibition Files, 1959-1967, after 1981 (Box 1-2, 5, OV6, OV8; 1.3 linear feet)

Series 2: New York Exhibition Files, 1965-1971, after 1982 (Box 2-4, OV7; 1.0 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
In 1959, Virginia Dwan opened her first gallery on 1091 Broxton Avenue in the Westwood Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Her independent wealth allowed her to open a gallery without worrying about business and sales. Three years after opening, the Dwan Gallery moved into a new Westwood Village space especially designed to express the gallery's contemporary aesthetic. In 1965, Virginia Dwan moved to New York City and founded an east coast branch of the Dwan Gallery at 29 West 57th Street.

Early exhibitions at the Dwan Gallery showed Abstract Expressionist artists and works of art from New York which Dwan consigned from other galleries. After traveling to New York and France, Virginia Dwan's interests and tastes manifested in exhibitions by 1961 with Yves Klein. Through Klein, Dwan made connections to other Nouveaux RĂ©alistes artists that the gallery featured in solo and group shows. Later exhibitions featured Land and Minimilist artists. Dwan recognized that many of her shows were not considered salable but continued to show the avant-garde. She saw the gallery as an opportunity to expose the public to different styles of art.

Virginia Dwan maintained a close and personal relationship with many of her artists. She allowed large stipends to gallery artists and invited them to spend time at her home in Malibu, California. When working with artists concentrating on found objects, Dwan would accompany them on scavenger hunts and shopping trips. In the case of Robert Smithson and other Land Art artists, she traveled to offsite locations to visit works of art in progress. Dwan relied on her longtime gallery director, John Weber to interact with collectors as she preferred to maintain her connection with the artists.

The Dwan Gallery Los Angeles closed in mid-1967 but the New York branch remained open. By 1971, Virginia Dwan felt pressure to support her thirteen artists through a period of economic insecurity. She decided to close the gallery secretly and only informed her artists at the last minute. The final exhibition at Dwan Gallery New York closed in June of 1971.
Related Materials:
Also found within the Archives of American Art is an interview with Virginia Dwan conducted March 21 through June 1, 1984 by Charles Stuckey.
Separated Materials:
Dwan Gallery exhibition catalogs that were donated to the Archives in 1989 were transferred to the Smithsonian Institution American Art and National Portrait Gallery Library.

Bard College's Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture holds Dwan Gallery materials related to exhibitions in the Library and Archives.
Provenance:
The Dwan Gallery records were donated in 1996 by Virginia Dwan, the former owner of the gallery.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
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:
Art -- New York (State) -- New York -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art -- California -- Los Angeles -- Exhibitions  Search this
Earthworks (Art)  Search this
Minimal art  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- California
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State)
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
Dwan Gallery records, 1959-circa 1982, bulk 1959-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dwangall
See more items in:
Dwan Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw94e337be1-1336-40b7-a8a2-03c8589bab03
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dwangall
Online Media:

Karin Sander : 16.03.01 - 29.04.01

Author:
Sander, Karin 1957-  Search this
Weber, John 1932-2008  Search this
i8 (Gallery)  Search this
Subject:
Sander, Karin 1957-  Search this
Physical description:
p. ; cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2001
C2001
Call number:
N6888.S245 A4 2001
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_978721

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