About the Oral History Program

Learn about the Archives' Oral History Program

The Archives of American Art has one of the oldest and most respected oral history collections in the country. Since 1958, our Oral History Program has preserved the distinct voices and human memory of the American art world in more than 2,300 interviews. The purpose of the Archives’ Oral History Program is to create unique, lengthy exchanges between interviewers and narrators, conversations that yield a richness of detail and a sense of character not available in other primary sources. These recordings chronicle the great diversity of the American art scene, augmenting and refining our perception of individual artists, dealers, critics, and curators and their social and professional worlds. Common themes, such as artists' educational backgrounds, working methods, sources of inspiration, technical innovations, and issues of patronage emerge across artistic mediums and across generations.

For more information about the Oral History Program, please contact Research and Reference Services.