An interview of Robert Adams conducted 2010 July 20, by Toby Jurovics, for the Archives of American Art, at Adams' home, in Astoria, Oregon.
Robert Adams speaks of compensating his early struggles with polio with activity outdoors; his close relationship with his father through outdoor expeditions; visiting the Denver Art Museum as a teenager; years of study and experimentation with photography on his own and under the direction of Myron Wood; the financial struggle of transitioning from an English professor to a full-time photographer; the outcome of his work under the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundation Fellowships; his first sale of photographs to the Museum of Modern Art; the role of spirituality and morality in art; environmental and societal concerns such as deforestation, climate change, and overpopulation that inform much of his work; the foreboding change in landscape he has observed in the American West since the 1970s; his concern that future generations of landscape photographers may not share the same connection with the land as he has experienced; the need to change society's domineering view of the wilderness; the working relationship he shares with his wife, Kerstin; the process of publishing his photographs and the importance of quality materials and printing in these publications; the sequence of the books he has published as a reflection of his life experiences. Adams also recalls Michael Hoffman, John Szarkowski, Myron Wood, Lewis Baltz, Leo Castelli, Beaumont Newhall, Emmet Gowin, Ansel Adams, Timothy O'Sullivan, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Adams (1937- ) is a photographer in Astoria, Oregon. Toby Jurovics (1965- ) is curator of photography at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
Originally recorded on 3 memory cards. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 57 min.
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.
Audio: ACCESS RESTRICTED; use requires written permission. Contact Archives Reference Services for information.
Use of the audio of this interview, with permission, requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives of American Art reading rooms.
This series consists of the business and personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert and the Downtown Gallery. For the most part, this series is general business correspondence concerning routine activities of the Downtown Gallery, including the American Folk Art Gallery and the Daylight Gallery, both operated by the Downtown Gallery on the same premises. Included are correspondence with clients, employees, other galleries, and colleagues concerning sales, loans, purchases, appraisals, and so forth; arrangements for shipping, framing, photography, reproduction permissions, and insurance; and gallery housekeeping and improvements, ordering of supplies, and other administrative concerns.
Also included is personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert. There are letters and greeting cards from nieces, nephews, and other relatives; correspondence with longtime friends, including some who were art collectors, museum curators, or museum directors; and correspondence concerning upkeep and improvement of her Newtown, Connecticut, country home and entertaining there.
See Appendix A for a list of selected correspondents from Series 1
Letters (with enclosures) are arranged chronologically, with those of the same date alphabetized by name of correspondent; undated material is arranged alphabetically, followed by unidentified correspondents and letters bearing illegible signatures.
Box numbers provided in the Container Listing are approximate.
Appendix A: List of Selected Correspondents in Series 1:
Names and titles indicated in this list are those that appear on the letters. Where appropriate, terms have been standardized and cross-referencing provided. Because filing is not always consistent, researchers are advised to check both the name of an individual and the institution that he or she represented.
Abate Associates, Inc., 1956
Abbot and Land, 1965
Abbot, B. Vincent, 1944
Abbot, Bernice, 1957
Abbot, John E., 1945, 1948
Abbot Laboratories, 1950, 1952
ABC Employment Agency, 1951
Richard Abel and Co., Inc., 1968
Abendroth, Robert W., 1966-1967
Abercrombie and Fitch Co., 1962
Abilene Museum of Fine Arts, undated, 1949, 1954
Abingdon Square Painters, 1965
Abraham and Straus, 1930, 1960, 1965-1966, 1968
Abraham, Mae C., 1965
Abrahamsen, Mrs. David, 1962
Abramowitz, M., 1958
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1958-1960, 1965-1966, 1968-1969
[incomplete; without signature], undated, 1953, 1961, 1967, 1968
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
The Downtown Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Prior to publishing information regarding sales transactions, researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from both artist and purchaser involved. If it cannot be established after a reasonable search whether an artist or purchaser is living, it can be assumed that the information may be published sixty years after the date of sale.
Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing, microfilming and digitization of the microfilm of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.