Interviews relating to American Abstract Artists, 1963-1965

Bowman, Ruth, b. 1923
Curator, Art historian
Active in New York, N.Y.

Collection Summary: Interviews conducted by Bowman (Ruth Gurin at the time of the interviews) with Ilya Bolotowsky, Rosalind Bengelsdorf Browne, Burgoyne Diller, John Ferren, Carl Robert Holty, Harry Holtzman, Ibram Lassaw, Jacques Lipchitz, Alice Trumbull Mason, George McNeil, George L.K. Morris, and Ad Reinhardt, as background for Gurin's M. A. thesis (NYU) on the American Abstract Artists (never completed).

Bolowtowsky speaks of the American Abstract Artists; the Concretionists; the attitudes of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in the 1930s; suprematism and neo-plasticism; color and texture; financing and installing AAA exhibitions; and WPA mural projects. He recalls Byron Browne, Willem de Kooning, Burgoyne Diller, Gertrude Greene, Harry Holtzman, George McNeil, George L.K. Morris, Albert Swinden and others.

In the Diller interview subjects include the formation of the American Abstract Artists, early exhibits, studying at the Art Students League, and his work on a WPA mural project. He recalls Katherine Dreier, Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Piet Mondrian.

Biographical/Historical Note: Ruth Gurin Bowman (1923- ) is an art historian from New York, N.Y. Bowman received her M.A. from NYU, and later worked as guest curator at the University's Grey Art Gallery and conducted art related interviews for the WNYU and for the Archives of American Art.

Purchased 1966 by the Archives of American Art from Ruth G. Bowman.

How to Use this Collection

  • Diller and Lipchitz transcripts: microfilm reels 3418 and 4210 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Also in the Archives