Size: 179 Pages, Transcript
Format: Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 36 min.
Summary: An interview of Abram Lerner conducted 1975 Dec. 9-1976 Jan. 27, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Lerner speaks of his childhood and youth in New York City; his education; going to museums and developing an interest in art; his painting career; getting on the WPA mural project; artists' unions and their importance; the gallery scene in New York City in the 1930s; going to work at the A.C.A. Gallery; meeting Joseph Hirshhorn, becoming friends and going to work for him; Hirshhorn's style of collecting; vainly trying to keep track of Hirshhorn's acquisitions; early exhibitions of Hirshhorn's collection, and their effect on the art market; Hirshhorn's involvement with the Smithsonian Institution and the beginning of the Hirshhorn Museum; the development of the Museum and its interaction with the Smithsonian; early exhibitions there; problems of museum administration and security; public response to the Hirshhorn Museum.
Lerner recalls Philip Evergood, Burgoyne Diller, Max Weber, and Douglas MacAgy.