Oral history interview with Joan Brown, 1975 July 1-September 9

Brown, Joan , b. 1938 d. 1990
Painter, Educator
Active in San Francisco, Calif.

Size: Transcript: 152 pages

Format: Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 12 min.

Collection Summary: An interview of Joan Brown conducted 1975 July 1-September 9, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.

Brown speaks of her family background, childhood, and Catholic education; the influence of Egyptian art, Francis Bacon, Willem De Kooning, and others; her instructors at the California School of Fine Arts including Dorr Bothwell and Elmer Nelson Bischoff; her trips to Europe; abstract expressionism, figurative painting, funk art and regionalism; San Francisco's painters, poets and musicians in the late 1950s; women as professional artists; and her imagery. She recalls Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick, George Herms, Edward Kienholz, Michael McClure, Manuel Neri, George W. Staempfli, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note: Joan Brown (1938-1990) is a painter from San Francisco, California. Studied at the California School of Fine Arts 1955-1960 under Elmer Bischoff and others.

These interviews are 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 others.

Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use this Interview

  • A transcript of this interview appears below.
  • Transcript: microfilm reel 3196 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
  • The transcript of this interview is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Joan Brown, 1975 July 1-September 9, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
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Also in the Archives

Interview Transcript

This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Joan Brown, 1975 July 1-September 9, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Note: This typewritten transcript was scanned and run through optical character recognition software (OCR). However, the resulting OCR text has not been reviewed or edited for accuracy.



This transcript is in the public domain and may be used without permission. Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Joan Brown, 1975 July 1-September 9, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.