An interview of Charles Henry Sawyer conducted in 1964, by Heyward Ehrlich, for the Archives of American Art.
Sawyer speaks of how he first got involved in art after being offered a job teaching art and operating a museum in Andover by a family friend; how he became involved with the Federal Art Project; the early stages of the Project, and the difficulties they encountered, including the primary motivation of the Project, deciding where the work was to be assigned, and other administrative problems; the changes that occurred as the Federal Arts Project developed; the artists involved with the Project, such as Karl Knaths and Jack Levine; the shows that were put on by the Project; the end of the Federal Art Project; and his thoughts on the project in retrospect. Sawyer recalls Francis Taylor, Karl Knaths, Jack Levine, Howard Gibbs, John Stuart Curry, Herbert Waters, Karl Zerbe, Howard Cook, Hail Woodworth, and many others.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Henry Sawyer (1906-2005) was a museum director in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 1 hr., 3 min.
Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.