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Oral history interview with Balcomb Greene, 1972 Mar. 13

Greene, Balcomb, 1904-1990

Painter, Author


Collection Information

Size: 2 Sound tape reels, Sound recording (3 hours 30 min.), 5 in.; 56 Pages, Transcript

Format: Sound quality is poor.

Summary: An interview of Balcomb Greene conducted 1972 Mar. 13, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Greene speaks of his background as the son of a minister and growing up in various parish towns in Iowa; attending Syracuse University as a psychology major; beginning to draw and write; teaching at Dartmouth College; going to Paris in 1930-1931; his involvement with the Federal Art Project; getting his Master's at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; teaching at Carnegie Institute; the American Abstract Artists group; working with models and photographs; the development of his own painting; collages;
color theory; his change from abstract to representational painting; figure and landscape painting; working with a spray gun; his painting technique and his use of light; his dislike for acrylics; style and personalization in art; exhibitions at New Art Circle, Bertha Schaefer Gallery, the Saidenberg Gallery, the Forum Gallery and others; going to Paris in 1960; and the contemporary art scene. He recalls J.W. Swinden, J.B. Neumann and Bertha Schaefer.

Biographical/Historical Note

Balcomb Greene (1904-1990) was a painter from New York, N.Y.


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 with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Transcript: 35mm microfilm reel 4210 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Balcomb Greene, 1972 Mar. 13. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.