Painter, Muralist, Sculptor
Active in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Size: Transcript: 261 pages
Format: Originally recorded 3 sound tape reels. Reformated in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 13 hr., 56 min.
Collection Summary: An interview of George Biddle conducted in 1963, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.
Biddle speaks of his background in Philadelphia; his Harvard education in preparation for a law career; literary acquaintances; travel; the beginning of his art career; his preoccupation with portraiture; his tragic and pleasant works; the importance of mood; his drawing techniques; drawing from nature; color experimentation; Stieglitz's circle; the susceptibility of artists to change during the 1930s; his involvement with the Public Works of Art Project; government censorship of his murals; his involvement with artists overseas during World War II; and his aesthetic philosophy. He recalls Max Weber, Maurice Sterne, George Grosz, William Zorach, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Peggy Bacon, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Edith Halpert, Boardman Robinson, Reginald Marsh, Thomas Hart Benton, Henry Billings, Ned Bruce, Holger Cahill, Philip Evergood, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo.
Biographical/Historical Note: George Biddle (1885-1973) was a painter and sculptor, in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
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.