Oral history interview with Joseph Liss, 1982 Aug. 10

Liss, Joseph
Active in East Hampton, N.Y.

Size: Transcript: 16 p.

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound cassettes. Reformated in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 43 min.

Collection Summary: An interview of Joseph Liss conducted 1982 Aug. 10, by Dore Ashton, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.

Liss relates anecdotes about Mark Rothko, including ones about a painting Liss bought, a fishing trip with Harold Rosenberg, a portrait of Liss painted by Rothko, and Rothko's visits with Liss in the country. He reads passages from his writings, including an account of why Rosenberg and Rothko ceased to be friends which incorporates Rosenberg's own words.

Biographical/Historical Note: Joseph Liss is a writer from East Hampton, Long Island. Friend of artist Mark Rothko and other Long Island artists.

This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation.
Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Katharine Kuh, Stanley Kunitz, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.

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

  • Microfilm reel 4937 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Transcript, p.15-16: Copyright retained by Liss.
  • Transcript: Use requires an appointment.
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