Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project

Funded by the A G Foundation

About the Project

Elizabeth Murray

Elizabeth Murray (photograph provided by
PaceWildenstein Gallery)

In 2007 and 2009 the Oral History Research Office at Columbia University and the Archives of American Art received substantial gifts from Agnes Gund, philanthropist and president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, through her A G Foundation, to produce oral history interviews of women artists, art historians, and curators who have had a lasting and significant influence on the American art world. An advisory committee led by Agnes Gund selected the interviewees. The project, named “The Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts,” honors the memory of the painter and printmaker Elizabeth Murray (1940–2007). These oral histories are primarily audio interviews, but many are supplemented with video recordings.

The Oral History Research Office at Columbia University conducted the first thirteen interviews with Grace Glueck, former art writer, critic and reviewer for the New York Times, as the lead interviewer. The Archives of American Art followed with twenty oral history interviews and interviewers including Avis Berman, Judith Olch Richards, James McElhinney, George Sampson, Sue Heinemann, Julia K. Brown, and Charles F. Stuckey.

“It seems so right to honor Elizabeth Murray by archiving the lives, the thoughts, the dreams and goals of other women who—like herself—persisted in the visual arts, extending and enriching the world through their work,” said Agnes Gund.

A painter’s painter, Elizabeth Murray was one of the most respected artists of her generation. She became well known for her large and boisterous paintings, often executed on shaped or three-dimensional canvases and for her depictions of everyday objects such as coffee cups or shoes. Her colorful and energetic work infused cubism with a Pop sensibility to play with the pure possibilities of form. In 1995 Murray curated the exhibition, “Elizabeth Murray: Modern Women,” at the Museum of Modern Art as part of their Artist’s Choice series. In her statement Murray thanked the women artists whose work she selected, writing, “Each one of them has opened the door into art-making a little further for us to walk through—they have widened our consciousness of what art can be, and who can be an artist, a real artist.” The same can be said of the women chosen for this oral history project. Each has made significant contributions to the history of art.

For further information about this project, contact:

Liza Kirwin
Deputy Director, Archives of American Art
KirwinL@si.edu

Elizabeth Pope
Assistant Director, Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
egp2007@columbia.edu

Transcripts of Interviews

Dore Ashton (b. 1928)
Art Historian, art critic, New York City
Interview of Dore Ashton conducted by George Sampson, November 21, 2010 and March 9, 2011
Transcribed, 74 pages.

Jo Baer (b. 1929)
Painter, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interview of Jo Baer conducted by Avis Berman, October 5-7, 2010
Transcribed, 205 pages.

Jennifer Bartlett (b. 1941)
Painter, Brooklyn, New York
Interview of Jennifer Bartlett conducted by James McElhinney, June 3 and 4, 2011
Transcribed, 134 pages.

Clara Diamant Sujo (b. 1921)
Art dealer, New York City
Interview of Clara Diamant Sujo conducted by Avis Berman, June 8, 11 and 16, 2010
Transcribed, 107 pages.

Virginia Dwan
Art dealer, New York City
Interview of Virginia Dwan conducted by Charles F. Stuckey, July 14, 2010 and March 16 and 21, 2011
Transcribed, 131 pages.

Susanne Ghez
Arts administrator, Chicago, Illinois
Interview of Susanne Ghez conducted by Judith Olch Richards, January 25 and 26, 2011
Transcribed, 84 pages.

Alanna Heiss (b. 1943)
Arts administrator, curator, New York City
Interview of Alanna Heiss conducted by James McElhinney, June 15 and October 28, 2010
Transcribed, 79 pages.

Shirley Jaffe (b. 1923)
Painter, Paris, France
Interview of Shirley Jaffe conducted by Avis Berman, September 27 and 28, 2010
Transcribed, 101 pages.

Yvonne Jacquette (b. 1934)
Painter, New York City
Interview of Yvonne Jacquette conducted by James McElhinney, June 9, 2010
Transcribed, 98 pages.

Alison Knowles
Artist, New York City
Interview of Alison Knowles conducted by Judith Olch Richards, June 1 and 2, 2011
Transcribed, 91 pages.

Joyce Kozloff (b. 1942)
Mixed media artist, New York City
Interview of Joyce Kozloff conducted by Judith Olch Richards, July 12 and 13, 2011
Transcribed, 161 pages.

Lucy R. Lippard
Art historian, curator, Galisteo, New Mexico
Interview of Lucy R. Lippard conducted by Sue Heinemann, March 15 and 16, 2011
Transcribed, 115 pages.

Linda Nochlin (b. 1931)
Art historian, New York City
Interview of Linda Nochlin conducted by James McElhinney, June 9, 24, and 30, 2010
Transcribed, 96 pages.

Brenda Richardson (b. 1943)
Curator, Baltimore, Maryland
Interview of Brenda Richardson conducted by James McElhinney, July 30, 2011
Transcribed, 114 pages.

Dorothea Rockburne (1932)
Artist, New York City
Interview of Dorothea Rockburne conducted by Julia K. Brown, February 20, 2010
Transcribed, 50 pages.

Anne Rorimer
Art historian, curator, Chicago, Illinois
Interview of Anne Rorimer conducted by Judith Olch Richards, November 15 and 16, 2010
Transcribed, 139 pages.

Barbara Rose (b. 1938)
Art historian, art critic, New York City
Interview of Barbara Rose conducted by James McElhinney, June 25 and September 22, 2010
Transcribed, 129 pages.

Nan Rosenthal (b. 1937)
Art historian, consultant, New York City
Interview of Nan Rosenthal conducted by Judith Olch Richards, June 28 and 30 and July 12, 2010
Transcribed, 119 pages.

Moira Roth (1933)
Art historian, Berkeley, California
Interview of Moira Roth conducted by Sue Heinemann, 22 and 24 April 2011
Transcribed, 87 pages.

Lowery Stokes Sims (b. 1949)
Curator, New York City
Interview of Lowery Simms conducted by Judith Olch Richards, July 15 and 22, 2010
Transcribed, 115 pages.

Diane Waldman (b. 1936)
Curator, New York City
Interview of Diane Waldman conducted by Judith Olch Richards, June 8 and 9, 2010
Transcribed, 108 pages.