Oral history interview with Mansfield Bascom and Ruth Esherick Bascom about Wharton Esherick, 1990 July 13

Bascom, Mansfield
Architect, Engineer
Active in Philadelphia, Pa.

Size: Transcript: 78 pages

Format: Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformated in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 15 min.

Collection Summary: An interview of Ruth and Mansfield Bascom concerning artist Wharton Esherick, conducted 1990 July 13, by Richard Polsky, for the Archives of American Art Philadelphia Project.

Wharton Esherick was the father of Ruth Bascom. The Bascoms discuss Esherick's childhood sketching; studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; professional life including painting, printmaking, frame carving, sculpture and furniture making; stylistic development, working methods, clients, materials, and exhibitions; his stays in Fairhope, Alabama; his "organic" life style; and the establishment of the Wharton Esherick Museum.

Biographical/Historical Note: Mansfield Bascom married Ruth Esherick and is the son-in-law of Wharton Esherick (1887-1970), who was a sculptor, painter, printmaker, wood-carver and furniture maker from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This interview is 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 of artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

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

  • Transcript: microfilm reel 4777 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
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