1 Item (Ink / Silver gelatin on paper., 8 1/2 x 5 1/2".)
Scope and Contents:
Cover has illustration of Walt Whitman and title of article inside, "The Mystery of Walt Whitman."
AC1146-0000012.tif (AC Scan No.: cover)
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An interview of Peter Agostini conducted in 1968, by Colette Roberts, for the Archives of American Art at 151 Avenue B, New York, New York.
Mr. Agostini speaks of his childhood spent living throughout the five boroughs of New York; his interactions with clients of his father's acting employment agency; his early education in Catholic school and the creative freedom allotted by the nuns; his first feelings of isolation as an artist at the age of seven; the development of a sense of communication as the result of the loss of his mother at the age of three and time spent at a school for orphans; his early realization and vision of artistic destiny; his religious interests which lead to mysticism in his earlier work; his time spent working freely in the DaVinci Studio with Spaventa; the discovery by Hess of his works in Gallerie Grimaud; his attainment of the Longview Grant; his working experience throughout the Depression as part of the WPA casting plaster mannequins while working indirectly with Pollack as well as Marca Relli; his subsequent move to designing department store windows (use of Mondrian-like forms and lines); his feelings of his position as an observer; the importance of communication through art (communication without words); his rejection of the Abstract Expressionist group and choice of independence; the influence of the sculpture of Kolbe and Bache in the thirties; Clement Greenberg's distaste for his work; his feelings about the relative failure to sell his work due its unusual edginess and mystery; his role in the introduction of the work of contemporary European artists (Chausserian, Gauthier, Modrian) to the American group; his description of his own work as "traditionless"; his feelings of self-importance as one of the most original sculptors in the art world; his influence on the younger generation, particularly Marisol; the enslavement to originality that the younger generation faces; his attitudes towards American Art forms and their lack of rebellious spirit; the virtues of the American writers, such as Poe, Whitman, and Melville as American "knapsack" writers; his personal technique which places an emphasis on the "skin" or volume of something; his attempt to create quiet art, or art that merely indicates features; his frustration with teaching and the problems of regurgitated knowledge; the role of Meyer Shapiro in his teaching career at Columbia; the formation of the Club and its similarity to the Cubist's café scene; his opinions on the relationship of sex and sensuality in American art; his personal struggles, including the loss of his second wife and two of his brothers, in addition to the estrangement of his only daughter by his first wife; his feelings on the role of psycho analysis and personal history in a work of art; his present works which feature the "swell." For the majority of the second half of the interview Ms. Roberts asks Mr. Agostini to express his opinions on the work of: Kline; DeKooning; Duchamp; Oldenburg; La Tour; DeChirico; Maillol; Pompon; Rothko; Chardin; Cezanne; Giacometti; Reinhardt; Chryssa; Tony Smith; Segal; Lachaise; Zorach; Manship; Flannagan; Kelly; Lassaw; David Smith; Hare; Lipton; Ferber; Lippold; Roszak; Nakian; Noguchi; Hague; Kohn; di Suvero; Chamberlain; Kaprow; Sugarman; Stankiewicz; Bontecou; Scarpitta; Cornell; Keinholz; Rivera; Judd; Robert Morris; O'Keeffe; Samaras; Mark Tobey; Marin; Pollock; Hartley; Dove; Macdonald-Wright; Demuth; Sheeler; Hopper; Mirot; Matisse; DuBuffet.
Biographical / Historical:
Peter Agostini (1913-1993) was a sculptor from New York, New York.
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 28 digital wav files. Duration is 10 hrs., 37 min.
Transferred from 4 3" reels.
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.
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
29 photographs of Flanagan's sculptures, reliefs, and medallions, taken by New York art photographers, DeWitt Ward, C. Ording, and Peter A. Juley and Son; five photographs of Flanagan; and one photogravure of Walt Whitman by George C. Cox.
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor and medalist (New York, N.Y.). Studied with Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Transferred 1980 by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design to the Archives of American Art.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Search this
Biographical material, professional and personal correspondence, subject files, financial records, artwork, printed material and an audio cassette.
Biographical information includes a résumé and award. Business correspondence, 1964-1984, regards the opening of The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Block's teaching position at California State University, Northridge, and personal correspondence includes 5 illustrated letters by Block to his wife and two printed cards from Fritz Faiss. Subject files regard the WPA, 1938-1983, film animation, 1957-1976, and book illustration, 1978-1984. Financial records relate to Block's association with the Ankrum Gallery, 1936-1981. Photographs are of Block, his friends, family and works of art.
Artwork includes 2 sketches, 1962, and approximately 60 pencil figurative drawings and studies done during weekly life drawing sessions established by Block and Hans Burkhardt at the Studio Club on the MGM lot from the 1950s to mid-1970s (among them is a pastel by Burkhardt of Block drawing the nude model); and 16 drawings and one print and one poster, most of which were executed by Irving Block for Santa Susana Press, California State University, Northridge's 1986 broadside of John Updike's poem, A Pear Like a Potato. Printed material, 1941-1982, includes exhibition catalogs and clippings. An audio cassette contains Block's reminiscences of his friendship with Burkhardt and a recording of Block delivering a lecture to a senior seminar class on Walt Whitman.
Biographical / Historical:
Irving Block (1910-1986) was a painter and educator in Los Angeles, California. Block was born in New York City. He was involved in the Works Projects Administration's Federal Art Project in the 1930s, and worked as a matte shot artist at 20th Century Fox during the 1940s and 50s. He taught for many years at California State University, Northridge (1963-1980). Block co-authored with Alan Adler the original story for the science fiction film Forbidden Planet, for which he designed Robbie the Robot.
Donated 1984 by Block and in 1996 by Jill Block, the widow of Irving Block. Additional drawings, print and poster donated 2015 by Virginia Elwood-Akers, a former librarian at California State University, Northbridge who received the drawings from colleague Dean Norman Tanis, head of the Santa Susana Press.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
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