The Oral History Program

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  • The Smithsonian Institution

    The Oral History ProgramAuthor(s): Paul CummingsSource: Archives of American Art Journal, Vol. 18, No. 1 (1978), p. 21Published by: The Smithsonian InstitutionStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1557215 .Accessed: 14/06/2014 16:03

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  • The Curator's

    Report

    Arthur Breton

    During the period January-March 1978, papers or microfilms of the following persons or organizations were received in the Washington office of the Archives. This list includes both gifts and loans. Paolo Abbate Edmond R. Amateis Architectural League of N.Y. David Aronson Dennis Beall Leonid Berman Denis Bunker Robert Winthrop Chanler Michael Church William Dole Gaines Ruger Donoho Kenneth Friedman Howard Gibbs Walter Griffin Ethel Weiner Guttman Milton Horn Blanche Phillips Howard John Langley Howard William M. Ivins, Jr. John L. Jones Philip Kappel Karl Kasten Ethel Katz Louis Keila Gaston Lachaise Hedy B. Landman Richard Lippold Louisiana Purchase Exposition John McLaughlin Peppino Mangravite Michael Mazur Joseph Meierhans Our Gallery, Inc. Carl E. Pickhardt Louisa Robins Hugo Robus Mitchell Siporin Betty Thomson George Godfrey Thorp Dwight W. Tryon Jonn W. Venable Harold Weston Charlotte Willard

    During the same period microfilms of papers of the following persons or orga- nizations were distributed to all branch offices of the Archives. Paolo Abbate John Angel David Barr Donald Bear Leonid Berman California School of Design Antonio Cirino Harold C. Davies

    Dorothy Dehner James F. Earley John Joseph Earley Francis William Edmonds Amold Geissbuhler Sid Gottcliffe Gump's Gallery Ethel Weiner Guttman Milton Horn Blanche Phillips Howard John Langley Howard William Morris Hunt Joseph Meierhans William Milliken Violet Oakley Irene Rice Pereira Fairfield Porter Alvin Ross Aaron Siskind George Godfrey Thorp Aloysius G. Weimer Cady Wells Charles H. Woodbury

    21

    The Oral

    History Program Paul Cummings

    During this quarter, four interviews in process were concluded and three new ones begun. The four completed inter- views were with painters Wolf Kahn and Buffie Johnson, critic Nicolas Calas, and historian Marshall Davidson.

    The first of the three new interview- ees was Archives trustee Mrs. Eliza Bliss Parkinson, who reflected on the life and cultural activities of her aunt, Mrs. Lillie P. Bliss, a founder of the Museum of Modem Art. Public support of modem art in the early part of this century, her own collection, and her interest in litera- ture and music were lifelong concerns to which Mrs. Bliss devoted much of her time and energy. Mrs. Parkinson's mem- oir of her aunt manifests the cultural in- fluence Mrs. Bliss had on her neice.

    In February, a series of interview sessions was begun with Mrs. J. M. Kap- lan, once a student of Cecelia Beaux' and Robert Henri's. Alice Kaplan, a major patron of many social, political, and cul- tural institutions, has served as both trustee and president of the American Federation of Arts. She founded West- beth, a project designed to provide hous- ing for artists, and supported not only numerous organizations, such as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and the Henry Street Settlement, but the fiftieth anni- versary reconstruction of the Armory Show as well. Her own collection con- tains the art of many cultures with a special emphasis on master drawings.

    Richard Artschwager, a painter and sculptor whose strong but subtle influ- ence on the American art scene contin- ues, was interviewed in March. Born into a family with scientific interests, he brought to the visual arts many of the thought processes utilized by scien- tists. The contrast of the pure form of his sculpture with the gray tonal values of his paintings posits concepts of reality that, paradoxically, reinforce each other. His use of the photographic image and its subsequent negation by transforma- tion in his gray, textured paintings sug- gest possibilities as yet unexplored in many popular forms of realism. This is the first lengthy interview given by this artist.

    Regional Office Reports

    Boston

    Robert F. Brown

    This quarter the Archives received the papers of Russell Smith, a Scottish-bom portrait and landscape painter, and those of his son, Zanthus, a marine and his- torical painter best known for his eye- witness series of paintings of the battle of Mobile Bay. The collection consists of about 150 letters to and from Russell, manuscript autobiographies, and notes on art and travel.

    Nelson C. White has donated the manuscripts for his books on J. Frank Currier, Abbott Thayer, and Dwight Tryon. He has also loaned for micro- filming the autobiographical notes Tryon prepared shortly before his death in 1925 for White's father, Henry, a close friend.

    The papers of Thomas Kirby, direc- tor from 1883 to 1923 of the American Art Association, predecessor of Sotheby Parke-Bemet, Inc., have been presented to the Archives. Kirby's business cor- respondence, notes on collections, and 203 of the association's account books, all previously on loan, are now part of our permanent collection.

    A group of miscellaneous records, donated by Boston's Doll and Richards Gallery, includes the extensive recol- lections of a long-time associate, Wen- dell F. Zoehler. Among the documents, which date from the 1860s, are the gal- lery's file on Winslow Homer, whom it represented during much of his career, and its lengthy contract of 1875 with George Inness.

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    Article Contentsp. 21

    Issue Table of ContentsArchives of American Art Journal, Vol. 18, No. 1 (1978), pp. 1-32Front Matter [pp. 1-1]The Impact of Stanley William Hayter on Post-War American Art [pp. 2-11]Interview: Leon Golub Talks with Irving Sandler [pp. 11-18]Graduate Research Projects in American Art 1978-1979 [pp. 19-20]The Curator's Report [p. 21]The Oral History Program [p. 21]Regional Office Reports [pp. 21-25]Acquisitions [pp. 25-32]Back Matter