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Oral history interview with Elisabeth Wildenhain, 1995 August 22

Oral history interview with Elisabeth Wildenhain, 1995 August 22

Wildenhain, Elisabeth, 1919-2004

Art teacher, Fiber artist

Collection Information

Size: 1 sound cassette (75 min.) : analog.

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 3 min.

Summary: An interview of Elisabeth (Lili) Wildenhain conducted 1995 August 22, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art, in Wildenhain's home, Pittsford, N.Y.

Wildenhain talks about her childhood in a wealthy, cosmopolitan German-speaking family in Bohemia; her early interests and schooling; her work at the American Fine Arts and Monuments service; designing costumes and clothes in Kansas City following her first marriage; studying with Oskar Kokoschka; meeting Frans Wildenhain (who she subsequently married), travelling with him to Japan, and coming with him to Rochester, N.Y. where he taught at the School for American Craftsmen; and her problematic financial and health situation.

Biographical/Historical Note

Elisabeth Wildenhain (1919-2004) is a fiber artist and teacher from Rochester, N.Y. Elizabeth Wildenhain is the third wife of ceramist Frans Wildenhain.


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 administrators.


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

Use requires an appointment.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Elisabeth Wildenhain, 1995 August 22. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.