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Oral history interview with Ramona Solberg

Interviewee:
Solberg, Ramona  Search this
Interviewer:
Halper, Vicki  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
American Craft Council  Search this
Bellevue Art Museum (Wash.)  Search this
Central Washington State College -- Faculty  Search this
Edison Vocational School -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Washington -- Students  Search this
Day, Russell  Search this
Hall, Laurie  Search this
Harrington, LaMar, 1917-2005  Search this
Ho, Ron  Search this
Hu, Mary Lee, 1943-  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor  Search this
Lipofsky, Marvin, 1938-2016  Search this
Maloof, Frieda  Search this
Maloof, Sam  Search this
Marshall, John, 1936-  Search this
Pence, Coralyn  Search this
Penington, Ruth, b. 1905  Search this
Slemmons, Kiff  Search this
Tompkins, Don  Search this
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Worden, Nancy  Search this
Extent:
35 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 March 23
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ramona Solberg conducted 2001 March 23, by Vicki Halper, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Solberg's apartment, Seattle, Washington.
Solberg speaks of her family background and childhood in Seattle; her jewelry studies with Ruth Pennington at the University of Washington in Seattle and her use of found objects; her service in the Unites States Army; attending the Edison Vocational School on the GI Bill and pursuing a masters degree in jewelry at the University of Washington; studies with Coralyn Pence; her travels to Mexico and her fascination with pre-Columbian objects; enameling in Norway; collecting beads from around the world; her book, "Inventive Jewelry-Making" (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1972); leading tours for a Seattle-based group, "Friends of the Crafts," to the Middle East, Asia, Antarctica, and elsewhere for 16 or 17 years; teaching at Central Washington State College and creating her first bead and found object pieces there in 1956; her fondness for turquoise, lapis, and coral; inviting Don Tompkins to teach at Central Washington State College; Tompkins's "tongue-in-cheek" use of metals; her desire to make jewelry that can "shake, rattle, and roll"; teaching and workshops; her use of preliminary sketches; her soldering technique; fasteners; the weight of her jewelry; the "restraints of jewelry"; her lack of interest in making matched sets and bracelets and rings; the lack of social commentary in her work; her series of pieces inspired by the book, "Watership Down;" the influence of Fred Woell and his use of "American throw-aways"; her involvement with the Northwest region of the American Craft Council; her association with a group of jewelers in the Northwest including Ron Ho, Laurie Hall, Nancy Worden, and Kiff Slemmons; making beaded fibulas; curating exhibitions such as Ubiquitous Bead (1987) and Ubiquitous Bead II (1998) at the Bellevue Art Museum in Seattle; exhibitions at Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery in Seattle and the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle; working in small spaces; getting into the exhibition Objects: USA "through the back door"; her status as an international artist; pricing her work; her pieces in museum collections; and her health. She recalls Russell Day, Jack Lenor Larsen, Sam and Frieda Maloof, John Marshall, Marvin Lipofsky, LaMar Harrington, Mary Lee Hu, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Ramona Solberg (1921-2005) was a jeweler from Seattle, Washington. Vicki Halper is a curator at the Seattle Art Museum.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 13 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.
Topic:
Art -- Technique  Search this
Jewelers -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.solber01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-solber01

Oral history interview with Bruce Metcalf

Interviewee:
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Colorado State University -- Faculty  Search this
Kent State University -- Faculty  Search this
Montana State University (Bozeman, Mont.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
State University of New York at New Paltz -- Students  Search this
Syracuse University -- Students  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
University of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.) -- Faculty  Search this
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Arneson, Robert, 1930-1992  Search this
Bauer, Fred  Search this
Bennett, Jamie, 1948-  Search this
Burns, Mark, 1950-  Search this
Church, Sharon, 1948-  Search this
Clark, Garth, 1947-  Search this
Craig, Gabriel  Search this
Cummins, Susan  Search this
Daley, William, 1925-  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Eidelberg, Martin P.  Search this
Flynn, Pat, 1954-  Search this
Getty, Nilda  Search this
Gill, John, 1949-  Search this
Griffin, Gary, 1945-  Search this
Halem, Henry  Search this
Hammer, Wayne  Search this
Hash, Arthur, 1976-  Search this
Jerry, Michael John, 1937-  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Koplos, Janet  Search this
Koss, Gene  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Long, Randy  Search this
Matzdorf, Kurt  Search this
Mawdsley, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Morris, William H., 1834-1896  Search this
Pritchard, Marian  Search this
Rogers, Harriet  Search this
Rogers, Steve  Search this
Ruskin, John, 1819-1900  Search this
Schaechter, Judith, 1961-  Search this
Shaw, Richard, 1941 Sept. 12-  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Slosberg, Jill  Search this
Wilson, Anne, 1949-  Search this
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Extent:
96 Pages (Transcript)
5 Items (Sound recording: 5 sound files (4 hr., 10 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
California -- description and travel
Seoul (Korea) -- Description and Travel
Date:
2009 June 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Bruce Metcalf conducted 2009 June 10, by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Metcalf's home, in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Mr. Metcalf discusses his early years in Amherst, Massachusetts; beginnings as a maker with modeling clay and plastic airplane models; undergraduate years at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York in the late 1960s; early interest in architecture; early disenchantment with modernist discourse and theory; introduction to Marxist theory and idealism of the 1960s; summer trip to California in 1970; return to the East Coast upon the death of his father; return to college, transferring into jewelry in his senior year; influence of his teacher Michael Jerry; seeing the work in "Objects: USA" exhibition (1969) and influence of the work of J. Fred Woell, Richard Mawdsley, L. Brent Kington; rejection of current trends in art, including conceptual art and formalism; his affinity for the medium of metal, and hammersmithing; influence of funk ceramics, including work by Fred Bauer and Richard Shaw; brief stint at Montana State University, Bozeman; working in cardboard and wood; graduate school at the State University of New York, New Paltz; working with Robert Ebendorf and Kurt Matzdorf at New Paltz; work as a production artist/craftsperson; attending Rhinebeck, New York, craft fair in the mid-1970s; the influence of writings by William Morris and John Ruskin and the notion of "dignified labor"; graduate school at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; formulating his aesthetic of narrative symbolism; publication of his first article in 1977 as a response to review of the exhibition "Forms in Metal: 275 Years of Metalsmithing in America" (1975); yearlong teaching position at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; taking a teaching position at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (1986-1991); publication of his article "Crafts: Second-Class Citizens?" in the first issue of Metalsmith, 1980; growing involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths; development of his notion of "social utility" and the role and function of crafts and making; expansion of his writing on craft; rejection of the deconstructivist school of thought in the 1980s; abandonment of sculptural objects for jewelry in the early 1990s; return to Philadelphia in 1991; early teaching of history of craft, first at Kent, then on a Fulbright scholarship in Seoul, South Korea (1990), later at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, in the early 1990s; influence of Martin Eidelberg; development of his vision for a history of craft course; collaboration with Janet Koplos on "Makers: A History of American Studio Craft"; use of his medium and craft to explore issues of nurturing and anxiety; the psychological/social effect and aesthetic importance of wearing jewelry (for the wearer and the artist); the pros and cons of craft collectors; the problematics of installation work by craft artists; recent trends in craft, including Anne Wilson's notion of "sloppy craft" and an "anti-craft" attitude; recent artists, including Arthur Hash and Gabriel Craig; lack of exhibition opportunities for younger/emerging artists; influential recent texts, including "Shards," by Garth Clark. He also recalls Robert Arneson, Randy Long, Carol Kumata, Jamie Bennett, Steve and Harriet Rogers, Wayne Hammer, Stanley Lechtzin, Gene Koss, Henry Halem, Mark Burns, Rose Slivka, Nilda Getty, Jill Slosberg, Sharon Church, John Gill, David La Plantz, Lois Moran; Gary Griffin; William Daley, Marian Pritchard, Glenn Adamson, Pat Flynn, Susan Cummins, and Judith Schaechter.
The following oral history transcript is the result of a recorded interview with Bruce Metcalf on June 10, 2009. The interview took place in Bala Cynwyd, Penn., and was conducted by Edward S. Cooke, Jr. for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This interview is part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Bruce Metcalf has reviewed the transcript. His corrections and emendations appear below in brackets with initials. This transcript has been lightly edited for readability by the Archives of American Art. The reader should bear in mind that they are reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.
Biographical / Historical:
Bruce Metcalf (1949- ) is a jeweler and writer in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded as 5 sound files. Duration is 4 hr., 10 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:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Communism  Search this
Deconstructivism (Architecture)  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Formalism (Art)  Search this
Jewelers -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.metcal09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-metcal09

Oral history interview with J. Fred Woell

Interviewee:
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Boy Scouts of America  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of Wisconsin--Madison -- Students  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Extent:
75 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 June 6-2002 January 19
Scope and Contents:
An interview of J. Fred Woell conducted 2001 June 6-2002 January 19, by Donna Gold, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in the artist's home and studio, Deer Isle, Maine.
Woell speaks of his childhood and the impact of many moves; his affiliation with the Presbyterian Church; his experiences at Park College and the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, studying economics and political science; and the influence of jewelry teacher Robert Von Neumann. Woell describes his experience in the masters program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and refers again to his early childhood noting his participation in Boy Scouts and how it engendered his respect for the environment. He also mentions collecting baseball cards and rocks; the absence of a peer group; and his lack of confidence. He discusses his affinity for open space and unpopulated places; his enjoyment of camping, kayaking with his wife Pat; and notes that his views of nature mirror those of Taoists. He cites effective teaching techniques and comments on secondary school curricula. He discusses a cover story about his work in Metalsmith and his mother's response; his early art classes and interest in drawing cartoons; his tendency to be a clown; his participation in an American-Legion-sponsored event called Boys State; artists as purveyors of culture; and the premise for a workshop titled "Art by Accident." Woell speaks of influence of a John Cage performance at University of Illinois and subsequently contacting Cage; and teaching at Boston University, Haystack, and elsewhere. Woell also provides thoughtful commentary on the teaching style and learning process at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He discusses in some detail the strong influence of Vincent Campanella and Frank Gallo on his work; sharing a workbench with Bob von Neumann; recording and saving ideas; drawing preliminary sketches for jewelry; and his early sculptures of helmets and spoons. He describes and interprets his piece, "Come Alive, You're in the Pepsi Generation," and he comments on found-object pieces that were inspired by Scouting and cartooning. Woell explains how his environmental concerns inform his work and argues that art has a healing function. He remarks on meeting and marrying Kathleen, his first wife; his one-man show at Garth Clark Gallery; and how his work is part of an American, rather than international, tradition. Woell discusses his relationship with galleries including Helen Drutt in Philadelphia, Sybaris Gallery in Royal Oak, Michigan, Connell Gallery in Atlanta, and Mobilia in Cambridge, Massachusetts He points out the value of being included in publications such as, "Metalsmith," "Jewelers Circular Keystone," "Ornament," "American Craft," "Craft Horizon," and "Craft Report." He speaks about commissions for institutions and individuals and describes his current obligation to Haystack and his plans for his retirement, which includes exploring photography and making videos. Woell also describes his typical workday and his symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and dyslexia. He recalls Peter Voulkos, Jennifer Burton, Francis Sumner Merritt, Ronald Pearson, Georg Jensen, Audrey Handler, Jerry Brown, Jon Wilson, and others.
On January 19, 2002 Woell added an addendum to the interview which included remarks about September 11, 2001 acts of terrorism in the U.S.
Biographical / Historical:
J. Fred Woell (1934-) is a jeweler and metalsmith from Deer Isle, Maine. Donna Gold (1953-) is an art critic from Stockton Springs, Maine.
General:
Originally recorded on 6 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 43 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.
Topic:
Jewelers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.woell01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woell01

J. Fred Woell papers

Creator:
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Interviewer:
Renshaw, Wendy  Search this
Extent:
24.5 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Date:
1943-2016
Scope and Contents:
The papers of jeweler and metalsmith J. Fred Woell measure 24.5 linear feet and date from 1943-2016. Included are biographical material; personal and professional correspondence; writings by Woell; teaching and worskshop files; gallery, exhibition and commission files; artists' files; printed material; photographs and a photograph album; a VHS video recording and a digital hard drive.
Biographical / Historical:
J. Fred Woell (1934-2015) was a metalsmith and jeweler on Deer Isle, Maine.
Provenance:
A majority of the collection donated 2018 by Patricia Wheeler, Woell's widow and executor. An interview, printed material, writings, and a photograph (0.2 linear feet) donated 2003 by J. Fred Woell as a part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of audio visual recordings and born digital records with no duplicate copy requires advance notice.
Occupation:
Metal-workers -- Maine  Search this
Jewelers -- Maine  Search this
Topic:
Poetry  Search this
Caricatures and cartoons  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.woelj
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woelj

Oral history interview with J. Fred Woell, 2001 June 6-2002 January 19

Interviewee:
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Interviewer:
Gold, Donna, 1953-  Search this
Subject:
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Boy Scouts of America  Search this
Cranbrook Academy of Art  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts  Search this
University of Wisconsin--Madison  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Jewelers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-workers -- Maine -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)11914
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)227021
AAA_collcode_woell01
Theme:
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_227021
Online Media:

J. Fred Woell papers, 1943-2016

Creator:
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Subject:
Renshaw, Wendy  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Topic:
Poetry  Search this
Caricatures and cartoons  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)13422
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)246684
AAA_collcode_woelj
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Craft
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_246684

J. Fred Woell : art is an accident

Title:
Art is an accident
Author:
Woell, J. Fred 1934-  Search this
Metal Museum (Memphis, Tenn.)  Search this
Subject:
Woell, J. Fred 1934-  Search this
Physical description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations, 22 x 22 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
2015
Topic:
Art metal-work  Search this
Found objects (Art)  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1069577

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