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Oral history interview with William Cumming, 1965 April 3

Cumming, William
Painter
Active in Seattle, Wash.

Size: Transcript: 35 pages

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 29 min.

Collection Summary: An interview of William Cumming conducted by Dorothy Bestor on 1965 April 3 for the Archives of American Art.

Cumming speaks of getting on the Federal Art Project; meeting Morris Graves; problems with the way the project was administered and supervised; destruction of some of the art work produced by the project; his feelings about federal support for the arts; his existential philosophy on life; and his views on current trends in painting. He recalls Jacob Elshin, Robert Bruce Inverarity, Mark Tobey, Denise Farwell, Guy Anderson.

Biographical/Historical Note: William Cumming is a painter from Seattle, Washington.

This interview 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.

How to Use this Interview

  • Transcript: microfilm reel 3418 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.
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