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Oral history interview with Franz Schulze, 2015 October 19-21

Schulze, Franz, 1927-2019

Author, Architectural historian, Educator, Art historian


Collection Information

Size: 4 sound files (3 hrs., 7 min.), digital, wav; 103 Pages, Transcript

Summary: An interview with Franz Schulze conducted 2015 October 19-21, by Lanny Silverman, for the Archives of American Art's Chicago Art and Artists: Oral History Project, at Schulze's home in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Schulze speaks of his early life near Pittsburgh, PA; studying at the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; working for Raymond Loewy after World War II; teaching at Purdue University and Lake Forest College; the artists he admires, including Lucien Freud, Masaccio, John Singleton Copley, Rembrandt, Georges Braque, and Max Beckmann; moving from primarily painting to writing and teaching; writing arts criticism in Chicago versus in New York; developing the terms Monster Roster and Chicago Imagists; writing a biography of Mies van der Rohe; the development of the artists' groups The Hairy Who and Momentum; the lack of interest in Abstract Expressionism in Chicago; Chicago arts publications, including The New Art Examiner; how he got interested in writing about architecture; his opinions on newer Chicago artists; the development of Art Brut; his interest in portraiture; and his love of music, especially Bach; Schulze also recalls Mies van der Rohe, Raymond Loewy, Leon Golub, Seymour Rosofsky, Alan Frumkin, John Canaday, Paul Carroll; Peter Selz; Kathleen Blackshear; Katherine Kuh; Vera Klement, Martin Hurtig, Larry Solomon, Alan Artner, Nancy Spero, Blair Kamin, Dennis Adrian, H.C. Westermann, Jim Nutt, Evelyn Statsinger, Studs Terkel, Don Baum, Phyllis Kind, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Franz Schulze (1927-2019 ) was an art historian, art critic, and educator in Lake Forest, Illinois. Lanny Silverman (1947- ) is a curator at the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, Illinois.


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.

Language Note

English .


Funding for this interview was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.



The following oral history transcript is the result of a recorded interview with Franz Schulze on 2015 October 19 and 21. The interview took place at Schulze's home in Lake Forrest, IL, and was conducted by Lanny Silverman for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This interview is part of the Chicago Art and Artists: An Oral History Project.

Franz Schulze and Luke Schulze, his son, have reviewed the transcript. Their corrections and emendations appear below in brackets with initials. This transcript has been lightly edited for readability by the Archives of American Art. The reader should bear in mind that they are reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.


LANNY SILVERMAN: This is Lanny Silverman on behalf of the Smithsonian Institute's Archives of American Art. It's October 19th, and I'm here in the Lake Forest home of Franz Schulze, and we're doing part one of an interview.

[END OF schulz15_1of2_sd_track01_r.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So, I guess the first question for me is where and when were you born? I assume you're a lifelong Chicagoan, but I—



FRANZ SCHULZE:  Pennsylvania.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I'm from Pennsylvania, too.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Uniontown, southwestern.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, that's a different part. I'm from the east.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Very, very close to Pittsburgh.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I have relatives there, yeah. When were you born?


LANNY SILVERMAN:  So you lived through the Depression?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Indeed I did. My family suffered from that, to a large extent.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And it must have colored your sense of profession and looking for work and things like that?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Not—I was a child at that time. What I do remember was my father was both a lawyer and an engineer.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  He was a lousy lawyer and a good engineer, so being an engineer, that got us out of the Depression.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But I think what I'm hinting at is that perhaps you were aware by way of your father living through it in terms of the availability of work, ending up as an aesthete must have been the furthest thing from your family's mind in terms of practicality.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But my mother was a pianist, a pretty serious one and that's where I—if, my interest in art probably goes back to that fact. My father was—had very little sense of that. I mean, he respected it, but it was not part of his soul. It was part of hers.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So that also may affect, genetically, you said—mentioned your son is a composer.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And you love music I know.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Precisely.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And that sort of influenced you from early on. But art, was there any art in the house or any sense of support for art?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  There was not that I think of—no, there was not, Lanny. That's something that just sort of came under itself. I went to the University of Chicago and I remember at that time—this is not particularly pertinent right now, but there was a guy in the faculty at the University of Chicago named Cecil Smith who was the music critic at the Tribune and I was talking to him one day of varying things. [00:02:00] And I said, "What's the greatest piece of music ever written?" And he said, "You can't do that—the answer is the Chaconne, Bach.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, I love Bach so I'm with you on terms of, that's kind of, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But I suppose going—taking my degree at the University of Chicago, and then wondering what I should do and I thought possibly I could do something in design. So I went to the school of the Art Institute and from that I got involved in painting, so—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, you're going fast. You're skipping over a life that's rich, because I found out far more by just looking online. You worked for Raymond Loewy for example, let's back up a step. I love art deco. I collect art deco among other things, so—let's go way back. Let's go back to the childhood. I want to back up a little bit to just sort of develop a few more details, because you mentioned your—you mentioned your dad being an engineer. As it turns out I was talking to Art Greene whose father was an engineer and that affected him in terms of that bridge that appears in a lot of his paintings. I'm sure you know. And in some other ways too, the structure of his paintings. He says he builds canvases. He can't leave anything floating. It's all got to be supported, so in terms of your intellectual growth. Should we do a pause? In terms of your intellectual growth I know that Mies van der Rohe and Phillip Johnson were big parts of—I know you did books on them. Your interest in architecture—do you think that comes out of your childhood or just coincidental?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, let me say first of all I was a pretty good student as a child, did very well. And went to high school and did well enough to move on to the University of Chicago. And there, as I say, I became interested in aesthetics—reading various people. The University of Chicago in my day had two bachelors' degrees, an AB and a PHB and as I remember it the AB was one, which the entire curriculum was prescribed.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  With the PHB you had something [00:04:00] called electives, and I remember getting involved in that sense with aesthetics, and then when I graduated from there I thought maybe I could go to the School of the Art Institute and learn enough about design by making money from it and then going on. And I did pretty well as a designer. There's a partner there, also at the School of the Art Institute who's very good at design also, by the name of Edward Bedno who still lives in Mundelein age 80-90. And, so—but gradually I got involved with painting. I met Leon Golub, and there was a group of people at the Art Institute including Leon and Dominick Di Meo, Seymour Rosofsky, and gradually I became a serious painter.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So you were—you were colleagues of those? Were you—you were studying painting with them. You've jumped from design—we'll skip over Raymond Loewy for a second—so you were fellow painters with—there's also Cosmo Campoli and George Cohen. There's a bunch of others, the so-called Monster Roster. So you were painting at the same time as them? This is when you were studying painting?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes, most of those people were older than I was.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's what I was going to ask. You were friends or they were a little older?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, remember this was—after the war, I didn't serve but they did. I mean, a number of them were actually in the Army, and that's how it all—you mentioned Raymond though. I know what happened there. When I graduated from the School of the Art Institute I did get a job at Raymond Loewy's, and I was sort of low man on the totem pole, and it was an eight-hour day. Along about four o'clock in the afternoon I was bored as hell. And then somebody told me, teaching, with teachers they—it was 18 hours a week. That's for me. And then somehow at that time [00:06:00]—this was 1950 I suppose, and I learned that there was a job opening at Purdue University and I got down there. And then I found out there's 18 hours of preparing.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, there's a lot behind—it's the iceberg, it's the tip. There's all the students and then the committee work and all that other stuff.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  However, I was involved in that. I had signed a contract with Purdue, and after a while you become accustomed to it. I liked doing it, I liked the people I was with and so that's how—I left Purdue after a couple of years. Went up to Lake Forest College. And the rest, as somebody—maybe it's Shakespeare—says, it's history?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Someone. I don't know where that quote is. So that's interesting because apparently design still, and architecture and all that, and engineering—kind of things that I was asking about, they still play a part in your life


LANNY SILVERMAN: —but you abandoned it pretty quickly. So you weren't passionate about design as a career. It was more like a job choice.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Correct, that's correct. Yeah. That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But did you ever—I know you've done a little bit of graphic design work as well, because I know I saw that you had done a design for Lake Forest College, the logo or something.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Oh yeah, as a matter of fact the—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So I'll look at it later, I'm kind of curious.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The college seal, right here. That's my design.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  The college seal. Oh that, there it is right behind you. That's really funny.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, I did—when I went, took the job here, there was nobody on the college faculty who was as interested in those things and I was so I used that as much as I possibly could, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Being at the right place at the right time?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Exactly. I did a number of things for the—I mean, a publication of the college. I was involved with—I was involved with those things to some extent, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Now we'll talk more about it probably tomorrow but maybe some today too, but you started—you said you were friends with Leon and those guys and they basically were—maybe they were role models in terms of painters. When you were younger did you see yourself as possibly becoming and artist, or it was always something else? Before you got to U of C. [00:08:00] I'm just wondering if your interest in art was just later.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  My mother. As a matter of fact, come to think of it, from my childhood I liked to draw, and the drawing was something which my folks encouraged me to do, and that led eventually to my going to the School of the Art Institute. So in that sense it's safe to say that the act of drawing, just the physical quality of the thing, was something that appealed to me and I also liked making things look like things they really were. One of the things that used to bother me about some of my colleagues who were doing teaching, they said, "Keep it simple." Leon Golub taught this way, you know? Don't over—don't overtax yourself. I had a lover who took a course from Leon and she said, "Teach me something." It's all within you. It's all within you. Find it. That's not the way I do things. I do believe when kids are trying to do something they like to make it look like something, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's one of the first things you want to do, that's what—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That pleases them.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, that's a different kind of art from a different era, which is a whole other story, which we'll talk about. When you grew up there were notions maybe at the U of C of the old school. I talked to Dennis about this some—Dennis Adrian that is of course—the idea of connoisseurship. Kenneth Clark and that kind of—Bernard Berenson. I grew up learning some of that, like, by way of Sherman Lee. This sense of appreciating fine things and the history, and nowadays it's not—it's, that's a long-gone art. Everyone sees themself as a curator and connoisseurship, I'm not even sure if that's in play. It's more like MBAs and people that know how to do the business.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, I still believe in a canon.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's what I'm going with, is I have the feeling that you're old school in even your own personal style. One of the reasons, I mean, I think it's—it's tricky that contemporary art is not, not even [00:10:00]—technique is not even so much an issue. There are movements that come back.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I'll tell you, Lanny, I'm no longer—I'm no longer writing any art criticism, and I am glad because the stuff that I would be involved with I hate. There's very, very few contemporary artists whose work I admire. Lucian Freud.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  To some extent Jasper Johns, and that's about it. People I like.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well those are already into the Modernists. They're already history.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's true.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And I've got to ask you some about contemporary things, and we'll get to that later because I had that in mind. But I guess that's what I'm seeing is very few people like to make beautiful objects anymore and that's the old school of appreciating beautiful things from wherever culture and that's—so the Art Institute was a real hot bed of—there's a story with, you mentioned with technique. Art Greene told me a story about Ray Yoshida's teaching. He wanted to learn the technique of silk screen, and Ray said—didn't want to teach him any of that. He wanted to first have them find their voice. What is it you want to make? What is it you want to do with this technique?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  As a matter of fact, I was already involved with—there was a teacher down at the Art Institute by the name of John Rogers Cox. A man, I had very, very low—appreciation for his work and so, "Mr. Cox, can I go into your class and have that corner to myself?" He says, "Go ahead." So I—that's when I—when I began to find my soul and as a matter of fact, by my way of thinking, there's a hell of a lot that I missed. There was a—Seymour Rosofsky used to tell a story about an artist down there by the name of Boris Anisfeld.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I haven't heard that name come up.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  He was a Russian, but he was an old school academician and the story had it that Boris Anisfeld was saying, "You want to paint? I teach you to paint. You want to doodle? Doodle. Doodle at home."

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [Laughs.] That's definitely old school. Well, a lot of doodling turned into a lot of, you know, Chicago art is a whole other story.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [00:12:00] But Seymour was very well trained in academic matters. Leon slightly but not so much so.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. It's interesting because he has a real classical sensibility but the technique is not classical.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Leon—keep in mind Leon went to the University of Chicago and I think I either knew him there or I had gotten involved at that time. And the School of the—University of Chicago had a very good art history department at that time, full of old Germans—Ulrich Middeldorf, [Ludwig] Bachhofer, a number of others. And Leon was aware of those people and so was I. And so—in that sense he did have a relationship to the classicals.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Now, like me—I didn't continue—we probably had this conversation off tape but—or off the record, but I was saying that I didn't do the usual art history route. You didn't either. You did it like Dennis in a way. He started out—I mean, he started out in a different fashion. You started out as a practicing artist before you got into teaching art history or writing actually, too. You taught yourself. You're sort of self-taught for lack of a better terminology. Did you know Dennis when you were at U of C?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, I did not. I met Dennis when he worked for Alan Frumkin.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's what you were saying.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I was fairly close to Alan. I never, I showed a couple of times at his galleries, but no one-man shows.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Right, and actually, he was kind of important. I didn't realize that he had shown Matta and Joseph Cornell, and reading about you I saw that the earlier galleries—I was appalled to find out from a number of people who had been here. I've only been in Chicago 30 years, but earlier on there were only like three or four galleries, and they were very important for what they were but it was—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  In that sense I think it's safe to say that Frumkin was something of a discovery. In other words, he came, he knew something—he'd come with University of Chicago, and the things that he was showing, [00:14:00] they were—I mean, for example, there was a gallery named Fairweather Hardin for a while. Nice people. Nice girls. But Alan stood for the whole world and he knew a good deal about New York and he again—let me tell you about my experience with The New York Times. May I?


FRANZ SCHULZE:  I was—John Canaday, at that time critic of The New York Times had given a talk at Michigan State University. I was up there listening to it and he said, "There's an opening at the Times." So I wrote him a letter, and I got together with Canaday and spent a good deal of time together and the Times hired me. And as a matter of fact, I remember having a physical examination there, and on the way back on the plane I decided it's not for me. For one thing, Canaday had tastes rather like mine. I was much—very, very Chicago, and one of the things that caused me to write a letter to him saying I don't want this—there was an exhibition of Mark Rothko had just opened at the Museum of Modern Art. And I didn't care for Rothko and I figured since Canaday and myself have pretty much the same tastes and since the New York art world, just like Canady found that they didn't like him at all because he was not Abstract Expressionist, I figure since I'm the low man on the totem pole I don't think that's going to be—going to be for me because I just don't fit the New York scene at that point. So I [inaudible] and the consequence of that was the Fantastic Images, which I did through—do you know the name Paul Carroll, the poet?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Sure, I know him, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, Paul Carroll said, [00:16:00] "You've got something you should put down on paper. Don't drown it, put it on paper." And that's when the Fantastic Images was produced as consequence of that.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually, going back a step, you mentioned—this is a big topic because we're going to talk about Chicago art versus New York, but the New York—and it may even have been John Canaday—had trashed the Chicago artists when they finally made it to New York, the Peter Selz show, the New Images of Man—they were pretty heavy. I think part of it is that Chicago just was a whole other realm to them. They didn't get it.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Part of the problem there was Peter Selz was at the Museum of Modern Art, came from Chicago, decided to put on an exhibition called New Images of Man, and he invited Golub, maybe Campoli, Cohen, a couple of other people. As you say, it didn't go over with the New York critics at all.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, that's a bigger topic that we'll talk about—the difference between Chicago and New York. Going back to your art career, I'm kind of curious. So you had—you sort of went an odd path. I find this amusing to me because I also persisted enough and ended up becoming a visual arts curator. I had a whole bunch of other notions when I started. But you started out just like Dennis. You started out with some practical notion of making art, getting your hands in it as he said. So you had an idea of technique. What do you think pushed you—the idea of figuring out a career? This is what I was thinking about the Depression. Were you trying to—just like me, were you trying to figure out a way to survive and still do what you loved and that's what led you to maybe teaching? Or what got you away from making art? Or did you just decide that you didn't have the skills or the fashion of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, I went back to art. Some of the stuff here, that big painting on the wall is mine. That's mine over there. I can show you some of the stuff around here. There's a painting downstairs. And for a while this—I gave this up after a while because I figured it wasn't going anywhere and again, what I wanted to do was not what everybody else was doing. [00:18:00]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's what I was getting at—the fads and fashions of art are kind of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Exactly. But the—I began doing paintings that were based upon other works. That painting for example on the wall—


FRANZ SCHULZE:—it's based upon Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus. The one that's in Milan, not the one that's in London. And downstairs there's another painting that was based upon a painting by a Neapolitan artist by the name of Traversi. And then a large painting down there, which is based upon a Canova, a sculpture of Theseus beating, like, a centaur. It's in the museum—the museum in Vienna. So I took just the centaur himself and pictured that. So I did maybe about four or five paintings based with an interesting technique, by the way, in which I would put down a lot of wet paint and then remove the paint. So the form was created by subtracting something.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's almost like Leon with his sort of scumbling and sort of stuff that he does.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, so in any case I did that. Some of the best things that I've done were done in that May, in the meantime I got involved with teaching, got involved with writing, and writing sort of took over painting after a while.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Interesting. Well, for me curating was a way to make it so that I could afford—it was the way that I could afford to be in the field that I loved, but at the same time have a house and do the normal things of—you know, I wasn't that bourgeois but I wanted to survive. So it was probably a survival instinct that led you to teaching and to—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, the writing doesn't pay very much and—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You've got to make a living. But as I say, as soon as I heard the teaching had 18 hours a week, you know the rest of the story. But then once involved, as I said a moment ago, you continue with these things and you find rewards, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, so back to the Art Institute. Did you take classes? Who did you take classes with?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Paul Wieghardt was the—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [00:20:00] He was the—yes, and I know Edith Altman had taken classes with him. I know a number of people have mentioned him.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  He was the jewel of all the young painters. See, there were a lot of painters like Anisfeld, Louis Ritman, [Edgar] Rupprecht, who were sort of old-fashioned teachers, but Rupprecht—I mean, Wieghart seemed to us to be class. Wieghart of course came from Europe. He was a—oddly enough he worked for the Bauhaus, although his work had nothing to do with the Bauhaus, it was basically very French. So rather like Matisse and so on, but at the same time he had this German accent so he must be very, very learned. He must know things. And, so—and I worked with him for a while and that's it. So that's how I got to know these various other artists.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So you were a little closer in generation to the Monster Roster more so than the Hairy Who and the younger ones?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That term, by the way, the Monster Roster, is mine.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yes, as is Imagism, I take it.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes, it is. And the—that goes back to the days, you know, when the painter, Irving Petlin?


FRANZ SCHULZE:  How did this go on—I was talking to him one time about this and he said, something about the monsters of the midway. Now those are the Chicago Bears. And so, it seemed to me at one point that it might be a nice idea to mix the words monster and roster, and do keep in mind, Lanny, at that time all of us were looking to make a name for ourselves, and if I could do something that's me and no one else—that's why Imagism—the people of Rosofsky. So there are a lot of good painters at that time whom I was not interested in because I wanted—I wanted my own—my own royal roster so to speak, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Roster, yes. It's like a baseball team. We will get into that later as a topic. But anyway—briefly. But, yeah, you wanted to have—you had a developed sensibility, which is what I was getting at with—when I talked with Dennis is where did that come from? [00:22:00] That sort of sense of connoisseurship or figuring out things that you liked. I mean, early on did you really have clear notions of what you liked or didn't like? You mentioned your mom being a pianist, so musically you probably had a developed, you know, background of stuff.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I probably started out in music before anything else. I took piano lessons, again, with my mother and I remember trying to compose things and when they—when my folks heard, "He's a composer? My god, we have a prodigy on our hands." [Laughs.] Didn't work out quite that way, but again, keep in mind that the Depression worked in to some—there was a teacher in Chicago, an old German whom I worked with for a while and then we left Chicago and had moved down state. But necessary because my father was an engineer. He worked on the Illinois River, and so that destroyed that. I tried to take some piano lessons down in Pekin, Illinois. It didn't work. So, what happened after that—I can't recall. I was just a high school student, graduated earlier than most and there again, by the way, Lanny, you must know what this is about. My father—my parents being very happy that I was doing very, very well. I was double promoted a couple of times which left me by the time I graduated at a bad age because my age group was not theirs, and this is not good for you.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, that changes. No, and actually that's—I didn't get into that with Dennis, but being an enfant terrible is exactly that, like Orson Welles and you get too much too early and a lot of bad stuff happens.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Absolutely.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  A lot of precedent for nightmares. You seem to have survived them very well. Maybe that's from the outside, I don't know. Maybe there's all sorts of turmoil and things I don't realize but I think one of the issues is just sort of the social—being an aesthete is already putting you on the outside in this culture. But being an aesthete who's with people who are older puts you probably socially in a very weird place. [00:24:00] I've been there, done that. I know what we're talking about.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You know what you're talking about.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, so that's a whole other topic. So when you were at the Art Institute, did you have contact with Kathleen Blackshear or a couple of—there's a couple other people's names come up again and again of course.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes. It was strange, she was the art historian and she gave lectures in Fulton Hall, I can still remember that, and most of us, we were not particularly interested in those days. I don't know who we were interested in. I was pretty good at playing hooky at that time and many of us—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and so the assignments were, take a painting and analyze it according to the visual elements, which were designed by Blackshear. There was color, texture, value, a couple other things. You did these—you produced these little images following her recipe. And that—so I learned art history by making drawings, and really it was not until I began teaching that I learned something about art history. The first class of students at the college that I took, there was a text book by the name—done by somebody named David Raub and the—what I did at that time to follow the standards, I stayed one chapter ahead of the students. So gradually that's something I did learn, but one of the things I learned from was you can learn a hell of a lot about history through painting, you know? And I remember telling my students, "I'm going to show you two pictures here. One of them is a—is a horse that's just been—had a collapse—has collapsed in the street and is over, with a bunch of people standing over him. And this particular painting there's a naked lady, [00:26:00] and she's lying there and there's a whole bunch of gold coins dropping and her servant lady is picking up the coins. What is this, I'd say to them?" " I have no idea." Well, it was Danae, you know? And it was a Titian painting. But that's—I don't know why I'm saying this except one of the things I learned—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Context—art is part of context. It has a history and it goes into a place. I was saying that with toys, you know, the fact that I collect toys is, I love the beauty and lithography but it also places their stories about where they come from, like from Weimar, Germany. Germany particularly—you know—plays a big part in toys and that's very interesting connection.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Spielzeug.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So yeah, there's always history. Yeah, blechspielzeug. [Laughs.] That's funny.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Also, I remember the—I remember being fascinated by the fact that you—Masaccio, you know? The vanishing point. First of all, in work by Donatello in sculpture, and then Masaccio comes along and it becomes more and more—the Renaissance and Baroque period, which I loved very much, with Rembrandt and Rubens and Velazquez and stuff like that. And remembering also that at one point, John Singleton Copley was painting contemporary scenes. Brook Watson and the shark [Watson and the Shark]—you don't go—you won't find that in the 16th century. So at that point, contemporary life becomes interesting to Americans and that's when the aristocracy begins to decline and you have the Impressionists coming along, and then the sin of modern art.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, because it was no longer done for monarchs. It wasn't meant to flatter them.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Exactly, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [00:28:00] Other people got into trouble but there was a whole way of making art that was meant to be, as you said, realistic and flattering.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And then eventually you self—you commission some for yourself. And if you do that cleverly enough, you wind up with somebody like Picasso.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, on the other hand, I think one of the things I'm sensing is that maybe your art career stalled out, because you were smart enough to realize you were not part of this—part of this whatever.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You got it, that's exactly true.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  These times and we—the people that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And in the meantime, keep in mind that writing had been—I had been pretty successful as a critic, and that's when I learned about—got involved with Mies van der Rohe. And that's sort of—Mies is the guy that saved me from that critic—taking the job in The New York Times.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Interesting. So, how did you come to do the Mies book? I don't know the story so I wondered how you shifted over to? Because you've been doing art—we'll get to, you know, your art writing, and that's a whole subject—writing about art in Chicago—but how did you shift over to architecture?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  At one—I had done the—it was writing—critics—the stuff was in Chicago, and I remember going into New York and talking to these people and saying, "This is what we're doing in Chicago." "That's what you're doing there? Don't you have some buildings out in Chicago? Isn't that guy Mies van der Rohe alive?" I thought, "Yes, as a matter of fact." So, again, eager to make some points for myself. I started paying attention to those things, began writing about that, and eventually he—there was a guy at the Museum of Modern Art—by the name of Ludwig Glaser, who said that, "It might be a good idea since I come—I come from Berlin and I was in New York and you come from Chicago, let's do a biography of Mies van der Rohe. You do the—I'll do the early stuff, you do the late stuff." I said, "Okay, that's a great idea and I do want to do it, but I do need to know something more about the early stuff in order to do the late stuff." In the meantime the Museum of Modern Art had fired this guy, and there was nothing I could do except to go to the Museum of Modern Art, hat in hand, to talk to Arthur Drexler about this thing. [00:30:00] I had no problem at all, so he said "Do it." This is in 1986, this is a centennial year. Do a book that will be done at that time, so that's how it happened. And then of course there's a revised addition of the Mies book with an architect in Chicago named Edward Windhorst, but that's what I've been doing ever since then.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, that's interesting and actually, I should tell you that Dennis told me a pretty funny story. He said he'd gone to a Mies building, and he hadn't met Mies. And he saw this guy screwing—old guy screwing a light bulb in, and it was Mies. He was acting like a maintenance person in his old building. Did you—you met Mies when he was alive?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes. One time. Very, very nice—decent. I mean, he could be a bastard with some people, but—first of all, he had an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1968. I think that's right, yeah. And so, I was working for the Tribune, the Daily News at that time, and they said, "Why don't you do an interview with Mies van der Rohe?" That's what I did, and that's how I got to know him, and one thing led to another. He said his grandson, Dirk Lohan, who is an architect in Chicago, helped me do that. So slowly as I said, I've been doing—I've been writing about architecture from Chicago and this eventually led to the time with Ludwig Glaser.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, it's interesting too, because let's open up a subject. We're obviously not following a strict chronology which is fine, but one of the things that interests me is that Chicago did have a lot of renown for architecture, and it actually is—in New York, which is, you know, the, you know, the signifier for what's accepted in the universe, God help us. But anyways, the architecture was very renowned and indeed you mention the Bauhaus that came here with the Institute of Design. But what's so fascinating is there's this strange dichotomy. And you mentioned this in Fantastic Images, you talk about this sort of strange division, like, the younger artists being sort of anti-rational to the point of perversity, [00:32:00] I believe is a quote pretty close to your quote, whereas the architecture is hyper rational and very minimalistic, at least the Miesian school. There's a lot of other things in town. But what do you make of that division, in the fact that the Miesian side of the architecture got—Chicago architecture got, you know, the signature of approval from New York, whereas the artists never really, completely—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, I believe that when Mies left Germany he was already very, very well known. He and Gropius and Corbusier. But I think that it was, again, it's a very interesting story. The New York—Harvard—Harvard wanted Mies. The Dean of Harvard had interviewed Mies in Germany, and said we would like to have you as a member of the faculty. So, Mies said, "That's fine." Keep this in mind, this is the 1930s and modern architecture is not particularly happy. Adolf Hitler did not like it very much.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No, no, no—classical. Speaking of classical, he liked—well, that's a whole other.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But in any case, Harvard told Mies that the job is his, just one little problem, we have to submit two names to the president. Mies said, [speaking German] "I'm not a candidate. You want me? You got me." Otherwise—as a matter of fact, Harvard took Gropius. Meantime, Mies is sitting there and he's—Chicago has heard that he's available and so some people down at Armour Tech decided to look him up. I'm shortening this story considerably, but let me tell you one thing. There is an architect—there's an architect around here by the name of David Adler. He does some very, very nice old-fashioned architecture. [00:34:00] He was a society architect. And there was a couple of people from IIT at that time. Holabird was one, and Holabird told this guy Adler, who had met him on the street, that he was looking for a modern architect to take over the school down there. And Adler said, "There's a guy in Germany by the name of Mies van der Rohe. Look him up. And that's how they did and he was an invited out here and there was a long song and dance there, but eventually Mies did accept the job in Chicago. So that's how Chicago got Mies van der Rohe and Harvard did not.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. that's interesting. Well, it's also interesting too because the Bauhaus school and the way of thinking, because I've talked to some people that have been—I've interviewed some people that have been—they were students there that were very influenced. Ken Josephson—people that were very influenced by that way of working. Speaking of design, it was a way of integrating art into everyday life and design.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  As a matter of fact, Moholy-Nagy, when it came here, they started to book a school called the New Bauhaus. Again, Arthur Siegel, one of the photographers was involved in that. Harry Callahan. These people were—these were the rationalists and the—there was a group of young artists by the name of—who put on an exhibition—a group called Momentum.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That was in response to the—it was like a Salon des Refusés.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Exactly. And so within that group, I can still remember there was—Bob Nickle had—was in—was part of the ID. And there was Leon on the other side. And so there was an argument between that very group of revolutionaries about which way to go, either toward rationality or toward the heart.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's the division we're talking about. Vera Klement, I think, was part of Momentum too, if I remember right. Talk with her. She told me a little bit about the sort of—every city has—this is something I wanted to get into too. The institutions in Chicago—I've had a number of discussions about this—[00:36:00] but the institutions of Chicago have a history of being euro-centered, either by way of Surrealist collections or being old school and not supporting their own. And the MCA was supposedly sort of a subdivision. That's a whole, long story.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's true.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And there was a Chicago room. There was a Chicago room in other museums I've worked at. It's usually considered to almost condescending when you segregate them.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And then of course there was Katherine Kuh and Daniel Catton Rich and they were lovers for a while, as you probably know. And there again, the Art Institute stood for the old stuff.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Old stuff as a matter of fact, I mean, that's one of the problems is that in terms of the Chicago art scene—which I guess we're opening up that topic—it's a sort of eat-your-own kind of place. When I came to Chicago, it was to be the director of N.A.M.E. Gallery, and once a year they did people like Tom Kapsalis or Michiko Itatani. They did shows of artists that didn't get the retrospectives or the mid-career shows that museums would give them in any, in New York they would have gotten if they were there.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Let me tell you my notion about the abbreviation MCA.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well you did this off the record, let's talk about why not Museum of Modern Art rather the M—Museum of Contemporary—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I'm mentioning this right now. At one point, I was writing criticism for the local papers, and I think it's safe to say that if I was not the only critic I was probably the best known critic, the one taken most seriously. And so when I started abbreviating these names instead of saying MOCA, I decided to say MCA. You don't need the O for you to understand it. So in my estimation, I believe that this is the case—the reason we all say MCA instead of MOCA is because of the things I was writing at that time. My versions—now, people may disagree and I'd be interested to know if they do disagree and why, but that's my own view of this thing.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's interesting too because [00:38:00] I've worked at places where they ended up changing names, and that's sort of like they go through logo changes and it's all identity. But the fact is that the Museum of Contemporary Art in town here as long as we're talking about art politics. We mentioned Momentum as being a response for the students, but it also brought in New York jurors, which I wanted to ask you about. Which, when I was in Cleveland, it was the Cleveland—it was the May show and they always had the same jurors. It was kind of rigged. Here, I don't know, the response to the Art Institute is New York-based.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Funny. That's—they had Alfred Barr, Jackson Pollack to be jurors, because at that time, since we were young, we knew where the capital of the world was, it was New York. So we'd get them there and we would kind of—Greenburg came out here one time. I remember sitting with him one time and he's talking to Chicago kids. And he says, "Let me tell you something, you won't believe this, but Raphael was a great painter." "We know that, sir."

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [Laughs.] Yeah, that's been established.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But the New Yorkers appreciated the fact that the colonies were aware of—were aware of them—aware of them—were aware of them.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But we rejected them. That's what I wanted to ask you about. One of the things that's so interesting about Chicago is AbEx, which you, you know, we're talking about Clement Greenberg—it was the established norm in the '50s and '60s and this is what made New York take over from Paris. Okay, that happened. And it seems like Chicago artists, mostly ignored that whole trend of AbEx or rejected it and did something that was much more image based—your term Imagism of course. [Inaudible] did that for you, he was very gracious. I thought maybe there was some contentious—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That term, let me tell you about this, Lanny. I reviewed—I did a column for the Daily News one time. It was called "The Image and the Dream." And that's where the—but I've never been able to find that column. [00:40:00] It was then—in 1963, that's what I remember. But in any case, couldn't find it. But from that point on, I decided to call them the Imagists. By the way, it's a school of poets—British poets if I'm not mistaken, called the Imagists.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's from Pound. That's from—yeah, because there were, yeah, and it came from Japanese. It was kind of a—yeah. It comes with a whole different context, but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  All together, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But yeah, totally different context. But, so the image-based started in Chicago is a real rejection and very sort of—it may have some Expressionist and other roots. It's a very raw and I call it—you call it like raw-id. You called it like anti-rationalist. It's perverse I guess is what we—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I suppose, but at the same time it was based upon real things. There were no—there were no genuinely abstract Imagists. In fact, I remember saying that there's a book called, which came out in the museum—some things, in Surrealism, you cannot dream abstractly. You have to dream either that's my mother, that's my father, that's my old girlfriend—there's always an image involved. That's one of the rationales.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, the thing is that the Imagists were not—there was Pop art in New York, but when the pop sort of love of commercial graphic design and wacky stuff in comics and all those things, it's not with irony. I think you could argue that the difference between Chicago and New York is Chicago people sort of loved their sources, and they're not really so critical of them as New York might be seen to be.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Absolutely, no, I remember talking to Suellen [Rocca], or maybe Gladys Nilsson these things that they picked up on the bottom of an old railroad station. We loved that stuff, you know? I thought everybody did.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So did you get any of that collecting bug [00:42:00] from Ray Yoshida or any of those guys at the Art Institute?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I knew Ray, and liked him very much but I was not particularly close to him. But otherwise, I knew these kids, and again, I was trying—I was older than they were and trying to make room for them in the art world. So any—but I do remember the Pop art was not—did not please us. I remember the first time I saw, I remember seeing this as a matter of fact, I was in New York one time and we saw the work of Roy Lichtenstein. And I said to myself, "Of course. Of course. It's got to come to this." And it had. Chicago never went—never went for that.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No, and it wasn't monumental like his work, it wasn't making it big or it wasn't making it ironic.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No. You mentioned Vera Klement a few minutes ago. I knew Vera. Again, at that point, there was a group called "the five"—Vera, Martin Hurtig, Larry Solomon, somebody else—they were, they regarded the Schultz School as enemies.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, and they wanted to—they wanted a place. So in that—I mean, I got along very well with Vera, but again, we represented two points of view. And by the time she came along, I think it's safe to say that the old Imagists—my generation—they were already old and they already left town.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, a lot of artists like Leon left town, and that's a whole thing too, and you mentioned Peter Selz. That's part of how some of the—I mean, it's really funny because Leon had a very tough time in New York being accepted. He was neither here nor there. He was too political probably for—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  He went to Paris too, for a while.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And he also, yes—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And Italy. Yeah, he also spent some time in Italy which I mentioned classical influences in his work. But I think one of the problems is that I guess we've opened up the subject of why Chicago—[00:44:00] we're touching on why Chicago never really had—it's like Rodney Dangerfield. Never really got the respect. Part of it if there wasn't that much—we had people writing. There was Alan Artner after you. There weren't that many writers. There was New Art Examiner and Dialogue but we didn't have the magazine base. Do you think that's part of it? That there wasn't like the—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I remember when they started the New Art Examiner, they realized that if you've got a publication people will take you seriously.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And as far as Artner is concerned, I didn't get along very well with him, but one of the things I would say about Alan—I think the Tribune gave him up as a critic because he himself had not worked enough to make a name for himself. I think it's one of the reasons—he really wanted to be a music critic.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He started out in music, I know that. He's a Francophile, so he has certain areas that he can sort of attach to and easily see.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, so Chicago in that sense never very much—despite the fact that he lived here.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. So one of the problems is that we never got the national or international press that New York artists would get by way of just being in New York. That's one issue. One is the institutions. We talked a little bit—you mentioned a little bit about Momentum which is a response to the Art Institute's sort of very limited view of contemporary art, and the MCA seems to be Euro-centric from the beginning and I'm not quite sure if they even changed over. Maybe some but they seem to be—they don't ignore contemporary art. And actually, the Art Institute now has a contemporary division that's grown. So, do you think one of the—I mean, there's now some shows in New York of Chicago Art Historical—from the Hairy Who, the Matthew Marks show that just showed up. There's starting to be some sort of reassessment. Do you think it's long overdue? Why do you—what do you think else made Chicago be so sort of—and there was this whole regional movement for a while too. Everyone was looking to the boondocks for inspiration. Do you think the fact—is it a second city mentality, because Chicago has that going on?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [00:46:00] Clearly, yes. I do remember—I don't know whether this fits in the conversation—but Peter Schjeldahl had written an article for somewhere called, "The Chicagoization of Art." ["Chicagoization," New Art Examiner, May 1985 –FS/LS]. He was aware of something that was coming from Chicago. I can't remember what that was, but what are we talking about right now?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, just it's—regional was an issue. This whole issue, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, there again. We—the sainted ones—we didn't think very much of Ivan Albright.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's a previous generation. That's even before Monster Roster, isn't it?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Right, and the—I do remember that at one point there was a guy—Chicago—New York critic by the name of Sam Hunter.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I remember him.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Who had written about John Steuart Curry, Grant Wood, a couple of people—they're regionalists. In other words, they're second-class citizens.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, that's a dirty term, yes. That's—regionalism was a—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's what regionalism was then. But in the meantime, it's my estimation, I think one of the very best paintings in the Art Institute is American Gothic. It's a wonderful painting.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  So, but—I don't know where we are right now, Lanny.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  In terms of just—there's the issue of regionalism and you're saying Schjeldahl had written the article on—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I—you know, I think—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Everything becoming—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  My impression has been that New York does not really think about Chicago as a place. It's out there. It's a colony.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's like that Saul Steinberg cartoon, it's off the edge of the Earth. I think they just brought that up, which I was thinking of too and it's very much the case. Having come from the east coast I'm very aware of that snooty attitude, that everything else you can forget about it, it's not worth anything.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, it's sort of like Paris and France. [00:48:00]


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Although again, you know, the—well, the place of these various cultures. French—in my estimation now, French painting hasn't been worth a nickel for years, and if anything the palm has been given over to the Germans. Kiefer, and the neo-Expressionists, things like that.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Definitely. But, yeah, it's funny the art world is very fickle in terms of—there's still people working in AbEx right now. People in Chicago area that have followed that path—Judy Geichman—I can just think of a couple. There's people that—it's—it hasn't completely been ignored, but what's in fashion today, that's why I mentioned Matthew Marks. Now all of a sudden because comic books and graphic novels have become very hot among kids and tribal arts, all that stuff—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —now all of sudden people are looking to Chicago art from the '60s, '70s, and '80s as being—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —oh, very exciting. Well, where were you when they needed—

[They laugh.]

—to make a living?

[They laugh.]


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Going back to Alan Artner, I have a question because I asked Dennis this story. There's certain things that, in Chicago history, that I've—that are sort of have been mythologized. And I've heard, you know, having come here only fairly recently I—20, 30 years ago, I've heard second- to thirdhand stories. One of them is the feud between Alan Artner and Roger Brown that shows up in one of his paintings. What can—what light can you throw on it? Dennis' view is that it was his homophobia that Roger was responding to; and I don't know more about the story.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I don't—I'm not sure about that. I do think—wait, I'm trying to think. I think the Artner—let me start it this way. Artner was never a—was never interested in Chicago as an art—as an art center; he wanted to be international. And you said Francophilic, I didn't even know that but that may have been true of him.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  When I wanted to get a good review I pointed him to the French aspects [laughs] of whatever was—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Could be that—

LANNY SILVERMAN: —in his show [laughs].

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But in any case—

LANNY SILVERMAN: —and I knew that. [00:50:00]

FRANZ SCHULZE: —he did not cut in the Chicago art. And it may be that somewhere in the line he may have seen something by Roger Brown which he found particularly unpleasant, not because of sexual characters, but that—which led Roger Brown to counter attack by bringing up the sexual aspect of things.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Whether Artner ever knew about Roger's sexuality I don't know.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  But Artner, I mean, Roger made it clear. And I was no friend of Roger myself.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  I remember there was a New Art Examiner that I did—there's a—an article that I did one time in which I put the knock on Roger Brown's stuff, saying that they look like shower curtains.

[They laugh.]

But now I can't recall anything now for the—more for the moment.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  In terms Artner—well, what's interesting too, because if you were going to take—I don't know, you know, Alan Artner thought of Jim Nutt. But if you're not liking the rude or crude aspect, Jim Nutt, who also has—it's kind of a weird dichotomy again, because as much as they're rude and crude, they're also gorgeous and beautifully painted; he's an exquisite painter.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  But the content is certainly ruder and cruder than Roger Brown who is—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —you mentioned like shower curtains, was actually fairly decorative and formal—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —very neat and tidy in terms of formalism.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So it's funny that he took more exception, it seems, to Alan Artner than maybe like Jim Nutt, who would be—if I was prudish or wanting or, you know, having a French sort of sensibility and wanting things to be neat and tidy too—I would probably respond more negatively to that.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  There was an argument between me and Dennis about Chicago. He said that Chicago artists like to be precise.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  I don't think that's true. That was my—I—that was my answer. I don't see anything particularly precise about Golub or—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —Rosofsky. Maybe in somebody like Cliff Westermann [00:52:00] but that's a totally different side to the story.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Totally different. That's another problem with—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —Chicago. I mean well let's get back to the Imagist thing, which—or Hairy Who. There's a certain kind of stereotyping that occurs of Chicago art. Chicago has abstraction, you know, as Miyoko Ito. There's a—well, we'll talk about maybe Evelyn Statsinger and Vera Klement who we mentioned that has abstraction, it has sculpture, it has organic kinds of sculpture, it has—or it has Richard Hunt. It has a lot of things other than the things that it's sort of being characterized for.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, the image, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And there's—yeah. And as far as the image stuff there's people that work sloppy, as I said. There's people that work off of, you know, Expressionist kind—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —painting styles. So I don't know if it's fair to even characterize it as—I think, when I came to town, I thought what I knew was, you know, the Imagists and the things that were the obvious. But beneath the surface there's even Conceptual artists, there always have been.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And there's been people doing things—and there's [inaudible] Gallery and Rhona who showed people that were probably closer to New York.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  So that's precise—I guess that argument for me is a little problematic, because I'm not sure it ever followed—I want to ask you a little bit in terms of abstraction and landscape. Bill Conger and I just mentioned—and Evelyn Statsinger, are a peculiar form of abstraction because they're based in images and they're sort of this dreamy kind of landscape-y thing too, often anyway.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I don't—I know Conger's work; I'm not sure I've ever met him personally but I—he's at Northwestern, he's a good guy.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He retired. Yeah, he was—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —he was there for many years.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The—Evelyn—back in the days when we were—when all of us were learning how to be—become saints—

[They laugh.]

—she was one of the very first people who we were interested in. There was a—it was a—there was a gallery on 55th Street in the University of Chicago called the Bordelon, Bordelon Gallery. Sam Bordelon had a gallery there and he showed some paintings—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  How do you spell that because I don't know if I'm going to be able to find that in Google?




LANNY SILVERMAN:  Okay, Bordelon.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I remember Evelyn had an exhibition there one time. [00:54:00] And we were fascinated by those things because they were—they had images—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —but they were—it was not Grant Wood [laughs].

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No. It was kind of dreamy and it—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —may have some sort of vague correlation—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —to Surrealism—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —but not really.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I know she's still working.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I exchange Christmas cards with her every year.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I interviewed her too and I saw her—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  She's a lovely—

LANNY SILVERMAN: —studio. She's—



FRANZ SCHULZE:  And Stan Cohen maybe—yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah I know him as well—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —of course. He sat in on the interview—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —actually. But the thing is that's a kind of whole sort of section of Chicago that's very important, and Bill's work in particular is very—based on Chicago architecture and views of the lake and of the city. And you can sense that in the work but it's not—it's not strictly narrative or illustrative. It's not that sort of realism that you were talking, that classical realism.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  We get back—here's the—here's the writer speaking, "What all of these people need—

[They laugh.]

—is an alliance with something other than themselves."


FRANZ SCHULZE:  There are very, very few artists who can do it strictly on their own. And in that sense, I must say Leon has done the—done very, very well for himself. And I have never—Nancy Spero, his wife, I have never thought of her as a serious artist. But she—I mean, I think to a large extent Leon, who did have a good deal of influence in New York, helped to make her important. And I've never liked her work, but I think largely due to his acting as the—as the—as the battering ram, that's what caused her to become appointed. So I'm—what I'm sitting here saying, you can't do without battering rams, even though there are all kinds of problems that come with them.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  This has to do with the business of art, which is a huge topic too, which is, again, I alluded to the faddishness and the fact that some things are in or out; who creates these—[00:56:00] who, I mean, who are the power brokers in town. I mean I had this conversation with Dennis, I suppose I'll have it with you. In town, the people at the Whitney, we all know who the two or three people—they may have retired—but the two or three people that everyone would go to for recommendations, the same ones. You know, the Ren [The Renaissance Society] and, you know, UIC. That's sort of—that's had a real lock on the—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —kind of art that gets outside of town—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —or it gets to the Venice Biennale, or gets recognition. What's your—what's been your sort of relationship to the power brokers in town or—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, do this.

[They laugh.]

And I'm not sure this is exactly what you're talking about. But there was the Guggenheim fellowships.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I remember trying for one of them one time and I got—I can't remember whom I got to recommend me. I—they were terrific people; I didn't get them.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I'm not sure why. Again, there are—there are [laughs]—there are battles between battering rams.

[They laugh.]


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And it sort of depends on whom you've got—there's a certain element of accident and luck in this manner—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

FRANZ SCHULZE: —you know?


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Where you are at the time, whom you're with. So in that sense—what was it Woody Allen said? "History is written by the victors."



LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually, I mean, tough for women too and not just in Chicago, but in general in the art world. I mean its—there's certain kinds of issues that have to do with—you mentioned art representing the culture too. But there's things that in terms of success—I mean someone like Lee Bontecou who gets rediscovered, but she had quit just because she was sick of the art game. And it sounds like you, perhaps, one of the reasons that you maybe were figuring that a career in art wasn't going to work is that there aren't too many places that look for classically—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —influenced work. Although there are—I mean every now and then there are people that [laughs] make it big in some weird way that you wonder [00:58:00] why now, why is this happening?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But in my case, what happened was that the fact that I was doing—I was writing about art.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  I was writing, not just making it; but I was writing about it, and that's what led to the contact between me and the critics in New York who said, "Don't you have—don't you have some buildings out in Chicago?" So in a sense it was—it was—it was writing that saved my life.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually, so it started out, it was earlier. So the architecture writing—well that wasn't that—you were—you had already been writing for the Daily News which is no longer. And you worked for the, probably for the Trib too, right?


LANNY SILVERMAN:  You didn't write for the Trib.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The Daily News and the Sun Times.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Daily News and that's—oh Sun Times


LANNY SILVERMAN: —that's what it was, the Sun Times. But you also had done some writing for New York, Art in America and Art News.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah, that's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So but those were art pieces that you were doing, not architecture at that point.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That strictly, it was strictly, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And then that gave you a platform to help Chicago art—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —get recognition?

FRANZ SCHULZE: —that part of the reason for being interested in architecture was the, again, the quality of ambition. But also the fact that art—you know, I had a decent and not enough; I could see buildings can be very beautiful, you know?


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And there—it was something very, very attractive about the way Mies Van Der Rohe worked; and Frank Lloyd Wright, all these things. These are all Midwesterners, you know.



LANNY SILVERMAN: —and actually Chicago has amazing town for—you—it really is a visual education. And now I think architecture, just like photography, is seen much differently than it was when you—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —started. It's given much more, I don't know, cache of being an art form rather—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —than just functional—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, this biennial that's going on right now—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh I was going to ask you about if you'd—have you seen it yet? You haven't—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No I have not. See I have—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —a hard time walking around.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I could see that, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But nonetheless—and I think Blair Kamin has done a great deal to help this along. Kamin, again, has—Kamin's the—is the architecture critic.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And that's important. And I think he's done a great deal to deserve that. Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And I think that's one of the roles of the critic is, [01:00:00] just like a curator, has the ability to sort of—and we'll have to talk about Don Baum too. The ability to bring things to the forefront and get them recognition.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So—as does a writer; it's a very—it's a—it's—you're in—you're empowered with an important role—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I mean the one—

LANNY SILVERMAN: —in terms of—

FRANZ SCHULZE: —term we—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —do not have in our—in our conversation right now is promoter. But that's what they are, many of them.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Dennis hated that term. I let that slide; it's funny I haven't used that term, maybe deliberately, because he threw me off on that. I said something about we had the ability to promote these artists—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —in the stable of—I, you know, and he took offense at that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —which is interesting because it was the commercial side. And you mentioned, of course, that he did start with Alan Frumkin—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —so he well knows the business of art. But he didn't really like to dwell in that area; it was curious.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  So let's talk about promoting art. I guess that's—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's what, as I said, is a sort of a—is a—it's a movement. You begin with the artist, then the artist has to have somebody who likes his work and who can tell people about it. That's the guys—or that's the dealer.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And then the dealer—the critic goes to the dealer and then the critic brings it to the—to the attention of the institutions, the museums, and so on. So understand that's my sort of—the line of attack, starting with the artists and ending up with the—with the museum. Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And then there's also the buyers too, the collectors—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —because they buy off into—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The collector is very much involved in that. But, again, the collector is listening very carefully to what the critic is saying.



LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually some of it now—nowadays everything is online and it's changed.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  There's—and there's a much faster—fads and fashions come and go much—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —faster because things are scutted about.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually what you're talking about, this promotion, maybe the reason why Dennis didn't like it is this whole Kim Kardashian sort of nature of our culture. There's so much more about promotion; someone sees a Damien Hirst or a, you know, the—whoever the young Turk of the moment is, and then everyone is like all excited—or Jeff Koons; that whole notion taking Warhol to Nth. The idea of fame—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [Laughs.] Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —and being a star—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —is more important than the actual art. [01:02:00]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  It's a religion.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's a religion—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —yeah. So you have nothing positive to say about that [laughs] I would imagine [laughs].

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No although I admit that it's there, you know. I mean—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Can't ignore it.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —I can't stop Koons.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Every—all—if I were—if I were—if I were in a position of trying to stop him I couldn't do it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. Well it says—and you mentioned the context for art, so let's have that conversation. It says something about the culture, you know, just like the Renaissance says something about that culture. What do you think the future will see in this sort of stark fame sort of thing that we've got going here? It's kind of a very weird—I don't know it's just—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I don't know. By this time, I suppose I'm prepared to see anything.

[They laugh.]

I mean the—who is in now? Koons is hot stuff? Who else is—tell—you tell me who—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, it's even beyond that. I was going to ask you about this but what—I guess we're jumping ahead. But I was going to ask you if you're aware of some of the current trends in art are things that we saw in the '60s too. Social activism and social actions have become art, not just performance art like Abramovic, but Theaster Gates is hot in town right now.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's—Theaster Gates. He takes buildings and does social activism and changes the social structures and makes—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You know, you don't—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —you know a good deal more about him than I do. I really—how I got to know him, I got an honorary doctorate degree from the School of the Art Institute, and on the—for the—for the ceremony that honors us, he was the chief person and I got to know him. I'd never heard him before, I've heard about him since then—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and he seemed to be a nice guy. But what he—his position is I think you're way ahead of me at this point now.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well that's interesting, because I asked Dennis this question to see if he followed, because he's actually now, you know, in Seaside, Oregon; it's a little hard to even follow Chicago art. But I think he sort of dropped off and wasn't so interested in current things going on. But part of it is not just lack of interest; part of it is because it's a conscious choice. A lot of this stuff is offensive to us because we come out of a background of connoisseurship liking—well, you know, Theaster makes beautiful objects. [01:04:00] Similar to like Schwitters, it's beautiful decay, it's about—but there's subjects that are—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —that's kind of what I was getting at with Jim Nutt is that there's a beauty to even perversity in a way—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —or to decay. So they're not—they're not ahistorical or—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —lacking in a—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —sense of beautiful objects. But they're so much more about, you know, social—I mean there's Adam Brooks, Industry of the Ordinary. There's people—we did a big thing at the Cultural Center; a show that was as much about involving community organizations and a sense of the art community, as well as the community at large; trying to bridge those gaps. That's what the art world has turned to more I think.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Speaking of schools, there was a time—you probably remember this yourself—when bad painting was the big deal.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, of course. Yeah.



[They laugh.]

—I remember that.

[They laugh.]

We threatened to do a show that—we always—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —threatened to do that because we saw so much bad painting that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But, you know—

LANNY SILVERMAN: —was really just bad.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —I'll tell you Lanny, as we're sitting here, the things that I'm interested in mostly, and that's why I'm involved in biography.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Zero and one thing, and you do have to be aware of the context.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  But at the same time, you do have it—there's a central point there that provides—that gives you something to talk about, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well I think a lot of the art—the other thing I'd say about younger art because—to see if you have a response to it, is it's not so much about pursuing that obsessive kind of quality that we all love of taking something to the Nth—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —degree. And even someone like Leon, who may seem like a loose painter, was very obsessed and very much about that technical—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —obsession. But now it's more—it's not so much about technique, you know, and kids these days will hand you a disc and say, "You make it." I know there were fabricators in the, you know, early Conceptual and not just Conceptual but Minimalist phase like Donald Judd. But now it's not so much about the technique, it's a spray approach, it doesn't even—they're not concentrating on painting. It can be whatever medium is—befits them or it could be social media, which is another kind of art. There's people doing things on the internet—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —that becomes art. [01:06:00] It's not—it's not anything like—we're sounding pretty curmudgeonly—but it's not anything like what it was. And I think Dennis is shutting down from that, or shutting off to that, is probably a conscious choice, just because it's not the stuff he loves. And I can tell you love old school painting and technique. And I see some people that there is revisions of that. They always say painting is dead, just like that bad painting thing you're saying. And just like the novel, and the novel is outdated.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  There's still people working in those formats but it's really changed quite a bit. And I don't know—so you don't follow—you, I mean that's—you should get to see the architecture thing it is quite fascinating.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And it is a real attempt to completely change the whole building—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and the experience of the building, which I think is—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I'll plan to see that, yeah, I will.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No, that's an important show. But, you know, one of the things—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  At the Cultural Center, right?



LANNY SILVERMAN: —the Cultural Center. And actually, I guess, like you, I find that I'm less [laughs]—I've retired, but I'm finding less interest in going to shows unless it's something I—I'm jaded, I find very few—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —things that I find wonderful. And that's rare for—it's always been rare there's a lot of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Lanny, how old are you?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I'm—I just turned 68. So I'm a lot younger, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You're a kid. You're a kid.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I'm a kid. I knew you were going to say that [laughs].


LANNY SILVERMAN:  But I'm just old enough to have seen a lot of stuff and feel like, you know, 40 years in the art world, after a while you get jaded for, you know, seeing all the shtick, and tricks, and bags of tricks that people pull out. But so you're open to new stuff, but you're pretty much not enthusiastic about what you're hearing.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah, that's correct.



LANNY SILVERMAN: —shut down from it but it's also an ability.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No I—put it this way, the drive of ambition is not with me right now. Because my summation that's back—I have these things to be proud of, things I've done nicely, and I—the future? Yes I have the—the future is vital to me.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  I hate sitting around doing nothing at all. But at the same time I want to be able to define it.



LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well you want focus. That's something that you mentioned.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Exactly. Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And I think that's really important. And I think there's a certain spray on, fuzzy spray approach and fuzziness that's out there in the contemporary world. [01:08:00] Well, do you still follow art journals and look and see magazines in terms of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I do. I—Art in America, I'm still on the—on the masthead for there.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  I do very, very little for it anymore. I was much closer to Betsy Baker when she was in charge of this magazine than I am now. And she and I got along very, very well even though she was a New Yorker and—but she was a—she appreciated—I think Betsy was somebody, in my estimation, who could appreciate all kinds of points of view. I remember driving her out to the Farnsworth House one time, which she was fascinated by. But she's no longer—she's now—they—she—she's in charge of special projects.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well there are none, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, that's a polite way of saying—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —bye bye [laughs].

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah. Exactly.

[They laugh.]

The—[inaudible] what else I want to say.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Hang on one second. There's something that I meant to ask. Oh yeah, go ahead.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  One story about Dennis.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh yeah, sure.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And this is true. I remember there was a, I think it was some sort of a sculpture show going on, it was sculptures being around town. And I got together with Dennis one time in town to have a—to have breakfast or lunch or something like that. And at that point I said to him, "Do you have any siblings?" He says, "No." "Why don't you have?" And he says, "My mother and father when they saw what I was like—

[They laugh.]

—at the age of 2, that was enough for them."

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's funny that you say that. That was one of the topics I never—I asked him about his family and he never mentioned any brothers or sisters. And I meant to ask him that but he never even said anything—

[They laugh.]

—which is funny. He didn't tell me that line but that—thank you for following up—

[They laugh.]

—it's a—

[They laugh.]

—week too late but it [laughs]—but it answers my question because he never—he talked—because I asked him he moved back to Portland for family. He said they've either, you know, dead or fled, I think, was his term. But I didn't know who they were other than his mom and dad [laughs] but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Has he always been gay?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He didn't ever—he talked about his childhood. He said he—his parents didn't know he was gay, but I think he did. [01:10:00] And I don't know at what age that was. He was a little vague about that but I think he probably was.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Now [Richard A.] Born is his lover, am I right?



LANNY SILVERMAN:  Has been for many years—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and I assume they're—I assume Richard's going to come to Seaside to live with him.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, but the story I was going to tell you about Cliff Westermann. One day—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —in—it was in the gallery on Superior Street.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And Dennis was—Frumkin's Gallery; he was holding it down by himself. So some guy comes by, I can't—some sort of a salesman or something of this. He was trying to sell Dennis on something, and Dennis was not interested, and he was trying to let him know that he couldn't do that. The guy kept pressing him. All of a sudden Cliff Westermann shows up, he happened to be in the neighborhood. And he walks in and he goes like this, "Cliff, come over here," And Cliff decked him.

[They laugh.]

And you don't mess around with Cliff.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I imagine he was quite a character, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And a remarkable character. And in a certain sense—I mean right now I think that probably, if you look this up in the New York art world, among Chicago artists Cliff is probably the best known, more than Golub.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's funny that you say that too. Well and Cliff Westermann made it—I mean I—you saw the retrospective that was at the MCA speaking of—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, that was an amazing show. You know, he was an amazing artist, as was Leon, and I worked with Leon before he died and that was kind of an amazing experience too. But it's interesting what seeps out of Chicago too. I guess we're returning to that theme; what things Chicago gets known for. I mean the architecture, I think, gets, you know, world-class reputation and I think people know that. When people think of Chicago art, so you're thinking Westermann is probably better—and Ivan Albright, I think, is pretty well known although maybe to a layperson that's probably an unknown name.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well the—yeah but, again, Ivan is somewhat older.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  There was a guy, I think, at the School of the Art—Lake Forest College who did some work on Ivan Albright. [01:12:00] There's a book on Ivan Albright as a matter of fact. I know, think about right now—. Literature, there is a Chicago School of Literature.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And some people figure very heavily in it. Saul Bellow is one.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Of course. This is U of C, this is—there's a—there's a whole—yeah I think Upton Sinclair, wasn't that Chicago as well?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, there's a whole sort of—yes.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Sensibility.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —Robert—the black guy, Richard Wright.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Richard Wright—



FRANZ SCHULZE:  And H.L. Mencken did some time in Chicago. And some of that stuff is very, very good.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. And that was very socially conscious, which is a—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —different kind of sensibility than—I don't think of the Chicago art—other than Leon, I don't think of too many people as being socially conscious in their art. It was more about personal—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  There was—there's a woman down at DePaul University who, I think, when she opened a gallery down there, DePaul Gallery, she went to me and she said, "Can you think of an artist who is not very well known and associated with Chicago whom we can look up?" And I said, yes. What the hell's the guy's name? He did some stuff for the Newberry Library. He was a portrait painter. I can't remember the name. I should do—it'll come to me when we're talking the next time.

But this man has done portraits of John Tyler, the Presidents, Otto Von Bismarck, Napoleon III, and these for—these portraits are very well known. And you could argue that this man is a—is a Chicago artist, his work is known more by more people in the world than anybody else.  

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, that's funny too in terms of, yeah, what gets out. [01:14:00] People that see it at the—at the library.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  That relates to your own work because you've done a lot of portraits. That's something—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —I want to bring up—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and I—the subject of portraiture, because I know that that's near and dear to you.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And that's something that, I mean, Jim Nutt is amazing at too. I mean I love some of the—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You must know the name Peter Saul.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Peter Saul did a portrait of me one time.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And [laughs]—and, of course, it was—it's important if you're going to have something done by Peter Saul, it involves something sexual.


[They laugh.]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But Peter's still—he's still around, isn't he?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I think. I'm not sure I may have met him. He may have come to the Jim Nutt opening. I think—I think Karl may have—Karl Wirsum may have introduced me or—I think so because I—he's somebody that I always wondered about, curious. And also an influence in terms of Chicago art, the sort of perversity and the sort of the rudeness and crudeness of the work, which in the art world is always funny. Because the art world, maybe New York took exception to this, because even Abstract Expressionism was deemed a sort of ugly or just sort of a mess.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But there was a certain attempt at beauty, as opposed to just sort of ugly nastiness [laughs].

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But Peter Saul—and also he's fairly political too, or was.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I believe he's still around.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I can't remember where he is but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And, of course, nobody was more political Leon.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well Leon, I concede and I think I would say—view as one of the most successful political artists. I did see a show at the MCA that I rather loved, Darcell Saydo [ph] who is a political artist too. There are people working in politics that can pull that off, but it's a difficult field to do in the art world because—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —you don't want to be a message bearer necessarily. I view Leon's work as successful because it's about power and about things that get beyond the—it can be—it can be, you know, El Salvador, it can be—but it could be anywhere.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And in Leon's case, and I knew him well enough to say this, the—it was a—it was a—it was a—it was always about Leon.

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's interesting.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The subject was Leon. I mean, of course, he—he's very much concerned about these people who are being [01:16:00] herded together and—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Tortured, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But he is the—it's the message bearer.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's interesting. So I always maintain that portraiture, this is—as I said, this is something that in your own art is very important to you. That portraiture is so much—there's so much content, I guess I'm a psychologist at heart, so much content. And you mentioned Lucian Freud but this is—this is true of Francis Bacon too. There's so much in the human face, hands less though, but face in particular, so much content.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Layers of content, not just historical context but psychological and—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's why my favorite artist is Rembrandt.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. There's so much—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —stuff there and portraiture is just really something that reveals so much. And I think one of the sad parts is that, I don't know, I think contemporary art doesn't seem to be—I'm trying to think if there are any counter examples. Doesn't seem to be—I mean you mentioned Lucian Freud but that's still historical—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But he's not a psychologist.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No, although—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well the early stuff—



LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, ironically given his—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —grandfather, I agree [laughs] that's—

[They laugh.]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's true [laughs].

LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's a little hard to say that there wouldn't be a little of that seeping through.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Clearly, that's clearly, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  On the other hand, I mean, I would say that there's stuff in there. I'm thinking more of the earlier things. But so portraiture is really important to you. And in terms of Chicago, who comes to mind for you in terms of—other than I'm thinking of Jim Nutt—portraiture what portraiture is there in Chicago? Because I don't—I'm not—come up with names as I try to think about that to feed off of too. We don't have any—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I don't think in those terms.



LANNY SILVERMAN: —separate it out?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No. The—my interest in portraiture goes back to my feelings about Rembrandt.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And the—and the human—the image of my—

[They laugh.]

—human image. And I think, you know, I'm inclined—and I won't do it. I'm inclined to place Rembrandt's great works among the greatest of them all; and they're pretty damn good. [01:18:00] But even as I say this now when people ask me, "Who was the greatest visual artist of all?" My answer tends to be Michelangelo.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's interesting.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Because he does—he was a great sculptor, he was a great painter, he was a great architect. And, again, that's—these are not the things that speak to me; Rembrandt does. But at the same—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  How about Leonardo? Also a scientist—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —Leonardo you can—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Oh, Leonardo.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah you can—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —a scientist as well.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  In other words maybe you—maybe you are—you are, at heart, a romantic, but there's no question about the fact that Bach is a great artist, a great composer, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I had this argument with Dennis a little after we had turned off the recorder, because I love medieval music, I love avant-garde music, but I'm not very keen on romantic music. But in terms of classical music, I got bored with western music when I was a kid and went to Asian and other completely different things; but Bach has always stayed with me. You—it's very hard to, I mean, the beauty of that—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and there's a level in which it's—it—you mentioned heart and mind, it matches both emotion and structure, both things.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  So let's go back to structure [laughs], to the architecture thing. I've—a question I forgot to ask you earlier on was you, I guess, as a kid saw the Century of Progress, '33, '30—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I did, yes.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So what did—what do you remember of that? Is that sort of an important memory for you as a kid?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I—as a matter of fact there was a teacher at the—at the school, at the Art Institute, at the Lake Forest College who learned that I had seen that and wanted to know more about it. So he—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —brought me up in front of his students and asked me to remember it. First of all, I was there in 1934 not '33.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  But I remember going there and my father brought me there. My father was an interesting man who—this was the Depression; we couldn't afford to go on the Sky ride, that was the most important thing.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I know about the Sky ride the—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —Otis elevator-sponsored Sky ride. It went—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —one block across the university—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That was the—


FRANZ SCHULZE:  It was the most—that was the most exciting thing there and I didn't go there. [01:20:00] But I do remember walking around and seeing some of those buildings, some of those wonderful buildings.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Philip Johnson hated that stuff because it was not German.

[They laugh.]

And [laughs] but I just—I can't remember exactly what I saw. But the buildings, the images, the publicity that went on. The fact that it was a pretty damn successful fair, all things considered.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  It was one of the four stars on the flag.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I also remember something about some guy by the name of Frank Buck, who was an African explorer. And I remembered that you could—you could buy hats that mimic the hats that those people bought. My father bought me one that was not as good as the others.

[They laugh.]

I had to make do with that. So, in other words, my father out of—out of concern for me, took me to see this thing which is important, but while there, couldn't afford to give me all that I wanted.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And, of course, at the age of 7, that's all I really wanted, give it to me—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —you know.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So this is maybe your career as an attempt to [laughs] follow up and—


[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —find some of these perks and some of the swag and things that you can—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, maybe.

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —get. Maybe it's all [laughs]—maybe it's all predetermined by that—

[They laugh.]

—one visit. I had a feeling that was an important experience for you. I meant to ask you about early exhibitions, but then I realized that's already in some interview or something that I read. Oh, you also—I wanted to also ask you about Studs Terkel, you've been interviewed by Studs. And the thing—the story that I was going to tell you as I was—as I was trying to figure out interviewing technique, I went back to working and I saw that there weren't—there wasn't much indication of what he really did. And then someone told me his—the secret to, someone who knew him, at a party recently last year, told me the secret to his interviewing was that he was very inept with recording equipment. He would enlist—he would get the—enlist the technical support of the person he was interviewing [laughs] and get a—build a rapport that way.

Well what do you remember of Studs in terms of the interview that he did of you?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I—well I remember that point. That's when I was at the Chicago Paper [ph]. [01:22:00] And I was talking about the fact that what we [laughs]—what we have here in Chicago is far better than what they have in that place they call New York.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And that—I think there's a copy of that article somewhere around here; maybe at the college library. It was WFMT Perspective, it was a magazine that the college—that the station sent out and I remember being invited by Studs. Now, and nothing after that. But one of the things I do remember about Studs, he had a very definite point of view. He was a leftist, clearly, no question about that.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  But I had the feeling from all I knew about him that he was—at least he was—he was willing to honor the other people. That he was—he was—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He would listen to other points of view.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, he was—he was not—he was—he was—he was opposed to them, but not necessarily contemptuous, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Right. There's an openness that's different—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —than when you just made up your mind and—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  All of—right to—down to the very end. I remember seeing him maybe a couple of years before he died, he was about mid-90s, something like that; 95.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, something like that.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And talking to him about that and finding that he was—he had a great memory. And he was a genuine Democrat in my estimation, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. In the real sense of Democrat—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah. In the—exactly.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —as opposed to the small—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Exactly [laughs].


[They laugh.]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  As opposed to the other kind [laughs] which—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —is a whole other story. So he did an interview with you and just in terms of his interviewing techniques, so he was open to points of view but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, it sort of wandered.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He wandered around.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  So he did riffs like we're doing he just—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Exactly. Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —sort of sat down and chatted with you. I had the feeling—my sense—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —would be that he would be a—someone that would not come in with prepared notes—super prepared notes and structure.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And this is where we're—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  He knew what he wanted to talk about. He was going to let it—let it—let it—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —follow its own course. Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh good, so there's a precedent for us talking like this.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Absolutely.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  We're supposed to [laughs]—as opposed to the more structured way, which is one way to go about it. So I guess we should leave some things for—where are we at here? We've got a little bit more time. I'm thinking—I wanted to ask you a little bit more about teaching [01:24:00] because you alluded to that before too; that was another topic. You got into teaching as a practical matter, but you saw that this wasn't quite as simple a gig and there are politics and other messes that academia brings with it.

What way did you come—go about—did you start teaching art—you didn't—you taught yourself art history as you went.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes, I did, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But you—did you teach studio classes too? What—how—tell me a little bit more about your teaching career because that's a big—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well let me—let me just say this much, I was a—I can say this fairly, I was a very, very good lecturer. I can't do it anymore. I don't do it anymore and I can't do it. But the point is I was—I was very, very good at the podium; people listened to me and paid attention. Now I began—well I got the job at Purdue. I was teaching design mostly, layout, not necessarily just graphic. And then at one point there they—somebody at the—at the—at the university asked me to teach a course in art history. That's when I started keeping one chapter ahead of the students.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [laughs] That's what you were talking about, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Then when I came up to Lake Forest College, again, I was—I did design, to some extent painting, and then art history. But I was—I was good at teaching drawing but, again, with a very, very definite point of view. I wanted to teach people to understand perspective.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So you were interested in teaching the chops, teaching the technical skills.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Oh yeah. I didn't expect, again, didn't expect them to do this necessarily, although I did it. And when I first came here I still had the—all the Chicago—that I had gotten at the Art Institute. But at the same time, I wanted them to be able to say the—if it's above the—it was above your eye level, the line is going down, if it's below your eye, it's going up. That's how—that's why it meets at the vanishing point, that kind of stuff. [01:26:00]


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And students responded to that. As I say I was good at making personal contact by lectures. And oddly enough, I did not teach by the Socratic method. It was not me and then you, it was—today's subject is Corbet.

[They laugh.]

Now we're talking about Corbet. And I talked about it well enough that the—that I was—the students liked me. I think it's fair to say that—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So you felt very successful in that. And did you have any students that particularly inspired you? Did you learn from students as well as the other way around? Were there people that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, there was a—there was a—an English major by the name of Ralph Mills, went on to the University of Illinois in Chicago. He was a poet of consequence, a published poet.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And there are a number of people who go on to become architects; Stephen Salny is one, and who else? Oh, Richard Armstrong of the Guggenheim—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I know that name. That's certainly—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  He was a student of mine.  

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, oh I think I'd read that. I was—that's—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And Peter Reed at the Museum of Modern Art was a student of mine.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Wow. So that must give you a certain, as a curator, I'm very excited when I discover somebody, or that's the one—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, I'm delighted. I remember the—the thing I remember most about Armstrong, he has a great sense of humor. But with Peter I can still remember—it's interesting too, because Peter was a student of mine. He never got above a B in any of my classes. But he then went on to the University of Pennsylvania, and I remember having listened to him; he gave a lecture at the arts club sometime after that—he was superb.  And he is still, he's a great guy, a great person, the—as a person that—personality very nice guy, a good brother. His mother is probably—she came from Lake Forest, as a matter of fact.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And grew up in a house on Lake Road, which is one of the most impressive houses in that town.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I can imagine.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  There are some very nice ones out here, yes [laughs].

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Those are some of the people that I remember.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Some people are late bloomers because—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —I think Art Green was talking about people—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —that he thought would never—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —amount to anything—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —anyone of consequence. You're talking about—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —a little bit about that—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —in the sense that sometimes it doesn't occur when you're teaching them, it occurs later.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  By the way, my memory of Art Green, something's happened since the days of—that all I know is that the last time I was with him I liked him, I found him a very, very nice guy.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Extremely nice guy.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and actually—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I—weren't you going to tell me something about Don Baum?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh yeah, that would—I actually talked to—Dennis was incredibly gracious, and considered Don Baum to be like one of the most important people in promoting, I guess he didn't like that term, but in making Chicago art—



FRANZ SCHULZE: —there's no question, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And so you have some Don Baum stories. And he was on our exhibition committee before he died and I thought he was an amazing gentleman, and actually very witty and fun and—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  They're putting on an exhibition at the museum of—at the MCA called, "Don Baum says, 'We need Chicago—Chicago Needs Famous Artists."


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Based upon advertisements that were in national magazines.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  But Don in that sense, he was very good at this. I think he—I don't know what the hell he believed in, but he believed in something and he did it very, very well. And he's probably the jewel in the crown of the Hyde Park Art Center. And he—I think he brought people, again, one of—why have—why are we going down to this place in Dorchester Avenue—

[They laugh.]

—in Chicago? You know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And it was pretty divey when I saw it, the incarnation—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —that I saw wasn't actually [01:30:00]—even the show that you're talking about that was at the MCA was in the basement, which was—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And I read in your book I guess I'd re-read your book, Fantastic Images, that some New York critic thought that it was like all a confabulation of his—it was all his art. They didn't—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —they didn't believe—

[They laugh.]

—it was even a—

[They laugh.]

—a show of Chicago artists, which is really perverse, like why would you not think these were separate artists?


LANNY SILVERMAN:  I don't know. So any Don Baum stories? I guess—I don't know if Dennis told me any story. There may have been some off the record [laughs], I don't remember. But apparently, he's another person who was a curator, but he was also an artist so he had a feel for what was really—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —decent stuff. He had connoisseurship from the ground up not just—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —knowing what was going to—you know, discovery is important but also he knew what really worked or didn't. Do you have any stories about him particularly? I'm just thinking—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No. I do remember that he was married to a woman named Alice Shaddle and they were divorced. And then my impression has it that Don would—could—he was ACDC.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I always just thought he was gay—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —but I guess I knew he had a wife at some point—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —because I think there was—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —family and I think there's children—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —too. I didn't meet the kids or—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  —whatever.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  But I don't know. And I'm thinking there's—we have to save some stories for tomorrow. But I'm thinking of covering some ground in terms of Don Baum. I think one of the things that we were talking about why Chicago art—I mean in Chicago, he kind of has to be a key figure in terms of making Chicago art matter. But then, I mean, there were limits to that. I mean, I asked Dennis, for example, about what happened with the MCA about, there was that brouhaha about him donating his work. Apparently, they were never really that excited about Chicago art, I guess, which is not very long term [laughs]—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —vision in terms of their part, because this is a Chicago institution and we have some stuff that I think—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

LANNY SILVERMAN: —will hold up for history.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  What do you, in terms of that whole Hairy Who, Imagists [01:32:00], you know, the younger artist, the ones that came after you. What do you make of this reassessment now that it's starting to come back into the art world? It's becoming a fashion again.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Somewhat jealous that my name is not mentioned more than it has been. But at the same time this is, again, this is par for the course.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, I think if you've been in the game as long as we have, you much longer than me or longer than me, you have to sort of be detached from that sort of who's up and who's down kind of stuff.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Because it—the revolving [laughs] La Ronda [sic], what's that famous thing in the movie—the merry-go-round, the people get on and off—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and you've watched the—you watch—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  La Rondine, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  La Rondine, yeah, you get a sense of just exactly—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —you know, the cynicism of—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —the success.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. We also, I guess—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But when you—you've been saying—you've been saying tomorrow. I thought we were going to do it on Wednesday?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh Wednesday, I'm sorry.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  What'd I say? Tomorrow?


LANNY SILVERMAN:  But I mean Wednesday. We've got to get that straight so we don't have a [laughs] a miscommunication. But yeah, I—and I think there might be some things that brew in terms of what we think over things to follow up on. Think in terms of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  One more thing—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —I do want to say that there was a time when I was not on good terms with Jim Nutt. I said what—I do believe that when I first came across the work of those guys, the Hairy Who, I paid attention to them, because that's what I'm supposed to do as a critic, but that doesn't mean that I liked them. And I remember having a student here at the college who was a student of mine who became an artist in her own right, and who became a great follower of Jim Nutt. And she said, "Get together with him and have lunch." I was not particularly interested in doing that and neither was Jim. But we did have lunch in Wilmette and it was a—[01:34:00] we didn't settle anything but we did appreciate each other as individuals. And I remember him—and this was shortly before—I see Nutt in terms of two periods; the old stuff and then the more recent stuff which is very, very, very elegant. Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Extremely elegant. As a matter of fact, sometimes it can be monochromatic and still just—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —have a beautiful sense of color—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —more formal, that's what I was getting at.

FRANZ SCHULZE:   Now, there—he's a draftsman.



LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually an old school—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —even though it's—I'm thinking more of the earlier stuff, rude and crude. But, at the same time, there still was a formal sensibility about it.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  One of the things I love is that he would break rules but he would break them in a way that was definitely very self-aware. It wasn't—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —it wasn't slap dash, it wasn't casual in any sense.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah. I also have the impression that he and Gladys have a good marriage.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's unusual; two artists in one family—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —that's not easy. And I agree with you I, frankly, I have stories too about Jim but he seems like a—Gladys is much more approachable to me than him.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  He doesn't seem like an easy person.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Now I guess as long as we're onto some of those people. I—what I like about [Ed] Paschke's work is generally the—I found he got—I like the earlier stuff, which is rude and crude, it's more rude and crude subjects, I should say. It's more the freak show stuff. When he got—he became very adept formally, and I think he sort of started knocking things off that became, to me, I mean they were more influenced by TV and current things so they're of their time. But I was much more impressed by the—I think what he did best was the—how do you feel about like his progression as an artist?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The same way you do.

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  We have similar sensibilities.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, I found him personally a very, very nice guy.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I only met him once or twice, yeah.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  So I didn't know him.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  —he—you must have been out to the center that's gone up on the north, far northwest side?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I haven't, but some show that I was pitched actually ended up there, so I should get out there; some show that somebody was trying to have me work on, a friend of Bill Conger's as a matter of fact. It was just there recently I don't know if it's still up. But I haven't been there yet. [01:36:00] I'm kind of curious about it. It's up in the north side so it's not even that far from—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Is it northwest side?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Northwest side, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And it's a—it's, I think, it's something that's called the Paschke Art Center or something—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —that has a bunch of his work. But I think they also have some contemporary—they have contemporary shows—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, that's this show was a—

FRANZ SCHULZE: —his son named—I would—there was a time when I was thinking about doing a book on him recently, I gave it up. But his daughter lives in Oak Park. His son, I think, lives in Los Angeles. But his—he comes out here from time to time and I've met him and he's a nice guy too. That's all I know about Ed except that he was married [laughs]. As his daughter one time told me, "He was once an altar boy."

[They laugh.]

Catholic kid, you know.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, that makes sense.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's the people that are the most perverse. I mean I'm Jewish, but I sense Catholic sensibility of perversity is very peculiar, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Of course [laughs].

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and actually that makes perfect sense. Well let's save more for tomorrow I guess, or Wednesday I should say, and have more topics. Is there anything else that we've covered that you wanted—that you were thinking of now that you wanted to add in I'm just wondering?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Let me think about it. It'll come to me and I'll talk to you about it on Wednesday.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  The truth for both of us [laughs] perhaps. I can go back to my notes too. No, I think that's—I think we've got a good batch in for here. I'm think it's—


[END OF schulz15_1of2_sd_track02_r.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  This is Lanny Silverman for the Smithsonian Institute's Archives of American Art. It's October 21, and I'm interviewing Franz Schulze—October 21, 2015, and I'm interviewing Franz Schulze in his home. This is part two.

[END OF schulz15_2of2_sd_track01_r.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I guess I wanted to ask—you mentioned your—we're going back the beginning again, in both senses. Your father was from Germany, you said?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's correct, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And—but your mom was from—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Came over here shortly before World War I—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So that's a long time.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —and so my mother came from Philadelphia. They married in the middle 1920s. I was born in '27, and he ended up doing work as an engineer. We had spent some time in Central Illinois, and then we moved up to Chicago, which pleased me very much. That's when I got a chance to go to Schurz High School and then to the University of Chicago and then to the School of the Art Institute, and that's about it, and then I came up to the college, and I've been doing things ever since. The college by the way is a nice place to be here because I was the only person here, and they knew that I knew something about Chicago, so they made it easier, then, for me than they might have somebody else under a different circumstance.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's true because a lot of times—I mean, it's important to support the local community—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and a lot of times they kind of hire from out of town, and then it's a whole different matter. So and your mom—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Keep in mind, this—Lake Forest College still does this. It wants to be known as just—not just a local college but also the liberal arts college for Chicago. That's the role it chooses to play, has for a long time, and I've certainly been happy to help in that regard.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually, you're pretty close to it now. You're living not too far from it.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So you're living up in Lake Forest where it's very beautiful. You mentioned before I had the recorder on you mentioned your mom was from Philadelphia, and you said—how did they meet, which—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  He picked her up at a street car stop on Stony Island Avenue—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Which is great.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —in 1924.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  On October 4, 1924. I remember that as a recently—that was a recent anniversary.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, and I didn't ask you; you mentioned Dennis didn't have any children. Did you have any brothers or sisters?


LANNY SILVERMAN:  So you're an only child like Dennis—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [00:02:00] That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —which is—I've been trying to—I don't know what psychology that would lead to or whatever, where that leads us. I guess one of the things I guess I wanted to talk about a little bit—we didn't really look at it before, was the—how you became a critic and how you got to writing. You started out as an artist, a visual artist, and you had—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I started to tell you this. The Art News had a Chicago letter every month, and when I learned that Jim Speyer had been the writer of that letter, he gave it up, and he said, "If you want to take it over, I will," and so I was in touch with Thomas B. Hess and he said, "Write something. If we like it, we'll show it."


FRANZ SCHULZE:  So that's one—the—now all I was, was the—was the Chicago Column in Art News—in Art News at that time. But at the same time, it gave me an opportunity to write something. At that time, I was beginning to feel that there was something in Chicago art that was not being seen in New York, so I was able to use that Chicago letter, and some of the things I did for the—for the Christian Science Monitor to go on with these things, and then I told you yesterday that I had been offered a job at The New York Times, but I gave it up because I felt that if I would go to New York where John Canaday was acting sort of anti-Abstract Expressionism, I would be the last guy on the—and I would probably lose it and so I came back here, and I was very glad to be picked up by the Daily News.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, it's also important for Chicago to have advocates in the New York periodicals because let's face it, we are seen as the hinterlands. We had this conversation, too, and we were—that validation that you get in New York is kind of important, and a lot of New York critics scoffed at Chicago.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But that—you have to keep in mind that Canaday, who hired me, was not liked by the New York school at that time. He came from—I think he worked for Philadelphia for—Philadelphia for a while, and the Times gave him that role. He decided that he was—that he did not believe in the [00:04:00]—in the sainthood of Jackson Pollock, so—and he said so, and the saints and their followers did not care for him, so in fact he wrote a book called Embattled Critic, which—in which he indicated that he—that he had a tough time of it, and I think that's true that Canaday is not remembered very well in New York as an important critic.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, we were talking about Greenberg and Rosenberg—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —who were not just critics and writers but also bludgeoned people that you mentioned sort of like the saints bludgeoned people into the church of Abstract Expressionism—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —which I guess—and you were starting to ask like whether or not they still have a good reputation or whether that's gone down. I guess that's now historic. I guess what I started asking about is, how do you view Abstract Expressionism?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I—let me—what I understand, I don't know about this. My understanding is that the—that the position of Greenberg has diminished some—to some extent. I don't know enough about this to say. My attitude—my feeling about Abstract Expressionism, there are good ones and bad ones. I think—I think that Rothko is better than I thought when he was—when I was here—when he was working, but at the same time, I remember one time mentioning that Rothko is a—is a monumental miniaturist.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [Laughs.] Well, it's kind of minimal maximalist or maximal—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, that's what I mean.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —Minimalist, something along those lines.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And so, really, de Kooning among those people is probably the—of the Abstract Expressionists—is probably the one that I admire most, and again, here's the funny thing about this: de Kooning, after all, grew old, and as a matter of fact, if I'm not mistaken, was suffering from Alzheimer's, and he was painting, and people were paying attention to this stuff.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  People were—back in the whenever it was, in the 1980s, were taking him very seriously. That far I don't go.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I mean, well, I think there's—it's interesting too, the painting in the room that I thought maybe reminded me a little of Gorky. [00:06:00] Perhaps a little bit of de Kooning, it's a little—so you were influenced by that in your own work as an artist.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I want to show you some of the things I have here before you go away. I want to take you downstairs.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  The—what was I going to say?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  De Kooning, or were we at the Abstract Expressionists? Now, I mean, so that never—Abstract Expressionism, it never—it wasn't the big thing, and actually that's typical of the Chicago response, oddly enough. Chicagoans—we had this conversation, too—rejected—pretty much rejected. There aren't too many Chicagoans that took on Abstract Expressionist styles, I mean—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Do you think there's a—just sort of like "forget New York" kind of attitude, or do you think that's—there's another—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  There's a guy here by the name of Bob Natkin, and there was a—there was a gallery that opened up on Wells Street if I'm not mistaken back in the 1950s, trying to pass the message onto—from New York to Chicago. The only guy who succeeded in that was Bud Holland. Bud Holland [inaudible], and again, Bud Holland himself was a terrific—what a great salesman, and—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. Well, the thing is that Chicagoans—Chicago collectors because now we're talking about the collecting market—often bought things from New York or bought Chicago art in New York.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And also, Lanny, keep in mind that in a painting that may be the best thing that de Kooning ever did, called Excavation, was done here in Chicago.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, I didn't even know that. That's funny. Interesting. So do you think the fact that Chicagoans rejected the—do you think the fact—we were talking about what the Chicago sensibility was or is. We'll get back to that in a little while. Do you think there is something about Chicago that made—something specific about Chicago—that made them just ignore that?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I don't know. I think that the—Chicago is after all a province, and the—so painters who developed here acted like it to some extent, and the attempt to bring New York painting to Chicago didn't work except with [00:08:00] —in the case of Bud Holland, and then only in—that gallery is the only one. The only of the other gallery that has been very successful as you know is Dick Gray.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I was thinking of Mr. Gray.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And Gray has been successful because again he knows how not only to sell but also to buy and to know whom to pay some attentions to.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And he has a presence in New York and Chicago—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And represents Chicago artists as well.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I think he's very, very able at what he does. I like him very much.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So what other dealers—as long as we're on that subject, what other dealers do you admire in Chicago in—historically over the last 20 years?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Frumkin, of course.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yes, we mentioned him.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Bud Holland. Nothing that comes to mind right—other than—there were a couple people who were—there was Walt Kelly for a while, a guy by the name of Walt Kelly.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I don't even know that—it must be before—

FRANZ SCHULZE: —who was doing something, and that did not last very long. That's about all I can recall.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I'm going back over some of the things I asked you before—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  In fact, I'm trying—I know. Some of the dealers that are working right now, I don't know them, but Hammer—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Carl Hammer, sure.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I can't remember their names, and Ann Nathan or something like that?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  She's still around, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I don't pay—I'm aware of them. What I do find interesting—this I do like, this magazine called Chicago's Galleries. You've seen that magazine, haven't you?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, of course, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I think that's good for everybody, and it's helped for example—not for example, but I've gained from that because of the Printworks Gallery which—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Shows your work as well.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  It shows my work, and I think they do a good job. [00:10:00] I don't know who—oh, I—nothing—there is a gallery in Chicago in my estimation that deserves being taken seriously historically: the Stanley Johnson.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, yeah. That's interesting.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And he did a show recently—or he sent me a catalogue of Rembrandt's etchings, which was marvelous, marvelous enough that I wrote him a letter. I said, "Stanley, this is one of the best things I've ever read," and I think—that's—so, the fact that Stanley Johnson is approached by museums says something about the qualities of his stuff.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, didn't—actually, when I was driving up here, I just—this is in association. This is sort of—I don't know where I'm going with this, but Richard Harris—do you know him? He's a collector that lives up somewhere around here because I remember the road up here—it's sort of somewhat fairly familiar. He was a print dealer for a long time, but then he—he has a collection. It's all about death and about—so he's got like George Grosz; he's got like Goya; he's got all these classical things, and he's also very contemporary art, but it's all around—and some of them have political contexts in terms of, you know, in terms of Goya.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Richard Harris?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, Richard Harris.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Don't know the name.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I was just curious. It's surprising because he's not too far from here, although I know that you don't necessarily know—you—I think he's—I don't know if it's Lake Forest. It's somewhere along in this direction, though. He had a show at the Cultural Center. I just was curious. And I guess we had this conversation the other day, and I see you as being something of a throwback, a classicist, and I guess what I wanted to ask you is what period—if you were time travelling, what period would you—would you want to go back to, to maybe not live in but at least visit? What would be the—your ideals?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I think I mentioned the—probably Florence.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I'm with you there. That's an incredible place.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah. Not Paris, although I—the great French painters, let's say Courbet, Degas, and I don't remember the—the 19th century—[00:12:00]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Nineteenth century.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The 19th-century French painting is magnificent, I'll—but, let's see, Florence, but Florence in the 15th, 16th century, you know?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  From Giotto to, yeah, on to the—yeah from the early stuff. And I think you also mentioned Greece at some point.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right. Yeah, Athens.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So the classicism of Greece, and actually that's just not—not just art—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —but that's also the whole life and culture.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You know, I once wrote an article. I had been to East Germany and to East Berlin, and I wrote—the article's title was named, "East Berlin: Not Athens, but Maybe Sparta."


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And one of the things I wish I had, Lanny, I put together a bunch—a collection of some of the things I had done, hoping that I might publish them someplace. They're somewhere around here. The archive probably has something, and so has the former archivist, [J.] Arthur Miller, who lives close by, but there were—I wrote a piece that I did on Picasso I think was a very good piece. I did—I, one time, interviewed Henry Moore and wrote up the interview and a number of others, and so I did—I did a fair number of respectable work—columns. As I said yesterday, the term "Image" began with me in 1963 in that article in the Daily News.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And that's been a very big—that's been bandied about. I guess we had the conversation that even though it's really been an important term, it's also been used to lob together a bunch of people that were not necessarily that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  They knew that some of them, like when we get to the younger generation—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —some of them were friends and Art Institute buddies and so forth and studied together, but there's so many different styles. I guess one of the things I wanted to ask you before is you mentioned that what you look for in criticism is somebody—is knowledge of context. What else—what—[00:14:00] you're proudest of those articles because you did a—you say you did a good job on those. What does that mean to you when you say you're happy with it? You were probably a perfectionist.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  For one—talking to Henry Moore, Moore was an important artist at that time, and it was a pleasure to sit down and talk with him and to hear him say that he didn't particularly care for art critics, and I'm quite willing to quote him on that. To some extent, a critic is a reporter.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And needs to make that identity clear. At the same time, in the writing of Henry Moore, I don't necessarily disagree with him, but the piece that I did on Picasso, I'm really not sure that Picasso is that vast an artist. He's broad, certainly, but not—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, he's done a lot of different things.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —he's not that deep in my estimation. For one thing, I'll say this to you Lanny, he is not a painter. He is—Picasso was a painter up until 1905, and then when the—when Cubism came around, he became a draftsman.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's interesting.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Guernica is a drawing.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I agree with you there. That's not much—it's a little thin in many ways.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  But it's about content, there.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —almost everything he does, you can see the pieces he did on the—Delacroix paintings of the Women of Algiers. Those things are colored drawings. There's a difference between that and a painting. The rose period that he did—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's early, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The Family of Saltimbanques


FRANZ SCHULZE: —which used to be at the Art Institute, that's a painting.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Chester Dale Collection, yeah, I guess there was some wonderful—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and actually, it was at Chester Dale's—is that some things—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I think that—yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —moved out of there because some people have mentioned that. I thought, "Oh, damn, we missed—I missed some really good things here."

FRANZ SCHULZE:  It's a great loss.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. I imagine so. Is that Washington or somewhere, I guess? It's somewhere.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  I think I read that somewhere—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —because I was trying to figure out where because some people have mentioned that particular painting.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I'd like to know why we lost it and who was—was Rich the director at that time? I think—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I'm not sure.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I can't recall.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  This was before me.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [00:16:00] Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But so in terms of—you mentioned Guernica. I had something else I wanted to follow back up on from the other day was you mentioned with Leon Golub. I wanted to start a conversation about political art, which I think is very difficult. You said something about Leon Golub. To start off, I wanted to follow up on—you said that just about everything Leon did was about Leon, and I wanted to ask you—I think that's kind of what you said.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, I did.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And so explain what you mean by that because that's an interesting one because externally, at least in a superficial way they seem so much—even though I was arguing for their universality, they seem so much about the—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, let me offer this—

LANNY SILVERMAN: —particulars.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —in praise of Leon. He did care very much about himself. He was well educated; he knew what he wanted to do, and he took on Abstract Expressionism all by himself, and he fought it—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and because he was strong enough and singular enough, New York has had to take him seriously because he's maybe out there on the margins, but there are a lot of important people on the margins.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And people—Golub is remembered in my estimation by New York in a very, very affirmative way and justifiably.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But I think he had a hard time in New York. He wasn't always—I mean, it—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  We talked about that yesterday.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  I believe Paris and Italy, but at the same time he did win finally. I told you yesterday that I still believe that Nancy Spero is highly overrated.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's interesting, too, and actually I think she also pales in comparison. I mean, when you have couples, partners, it's not easy to—I don't know if I asked this one—if the recorder was on when I said this, if the recorder was on or not, but sometimes you get overshadowed. You mentioned Frankenthaler or other people who are good in their own right, but sometimes it's hard to look at them clearly—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —when you see that their offshoots are related to their husbands. How about Gladys Nilsson as far as couples go? You—I think you said you weren't—you weren't as taken with her work as you were with Jim's. [00:18:00]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, but I like—I like her stuff.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's very different in sensibility. It's airier, lighter.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  There's a wit to it.



LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's lighter than his. His is kind of heavy handed, shall we say?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Oh, yeah, I think so.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I mean, not the painting but the content—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right. Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —and maybe he's gotten, you said, more formal, and it's changed, but so political art. I guess I want to follow up on that and ask you, why do you think there haven't been too many other than Leon—too many political artists in Chicago because it's a very political town. I mean, we had—we had some very famous organizers in Chicago. There's at U of C—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Saul Alinsky.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Saul Alinsky is who I was thinking of. Thank you. I couldn't remember. Thank you for that [laughs]. Saul Alinsky, and we had some—a certain kind of political aspect to the literary people that you mentioned like—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Curiously, you know, the—some of the best political art—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —of those days came from the newspapers—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —even from the Tribune: Carey Orr, Joseph Parrish, Jacob Burck for the Sun Times, so and Vaughn Shoemaker for the Daily News. These people did some very, very good things. They won Pulitzer Prizes—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and that doesn't happen anymore. The Tribune has not had a respectable cartoonist for years.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually I was going to say that cartoons are coming back as a format of communication, but that's a way of reaching the masses. I don't know who I was reading an interview with, but they were talking about how they much prefer television to film. It was some very serious artist who was saying, "Forget film. You can reach far more people," and it used to be newspapers. Well, now it's online—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —so that's the conversation that we were having, but so that's very important towards—my argument with political art is that, why make political art? Why not do something in public that changes the world with your art, which gets us to maybe street art and stuff that you were talking about, because why do it—preach to the converted? Why do something for liberal white, generally speaking, audiences that—what do you think about that?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [00:20:00] That's a great question. I'm just wondering to what extent Leon put that to himself.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I don't know. I didn't ask Leon that. I probably should have.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I don't know him well enough to—I think that ultimately Leon wanted to be taken seriously by the—by the fine art world.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I don't think as much as he was a political artist and he wanted to change the world, I think his main goal was to be taken seriously as an artist.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Which is what you're saying, which is interesting because—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —then we get into ego versus social motivation and whether or not—if you're really serious about changing the world, where do you want to put your talents? Do you—there's people—you know, there's people going around and doing—I actually kind of like Banksy, people doing things where they expose the art world, like you would do installations in New York where people started to glom—they would—through social networking, they were starting to all come and try to collect and take down the art.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I know. I think to some extent Leon was involved in those things, too, but again, as we think about that historically, they didn't really amount to much.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, probably—I mean, as far as the graffiti artists, no, but you look at Banksy. One of the things I saw, there's a documentary about him, Banksy Does New York, where he started to then—people were charging—he would do things in parts of the—what I was just getting to—he'd go to black neighborhoods, you know, ghetto neighborhoods, essentially, and he'd put in an installation, and then all of a sudden these art collectors would come, and then the people, the neighbors—the neighborhood people were selling the rights to look at it.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I'm not sure who you're talking about.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Banksy is a sort of a graffiti artist, a newer generation graffiti artist well after Basquiat, but he's taken it to another level where he's exposing the hypocrisy of the art world, the fact that people were—the neighborhood—neighbors were selling the rights to look at the art in their own neighborhood—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —and someone made off and tried to sell it to the art world, so it gets into social—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And this reminds me of another figure we haven't talked about who deserves to be considered: Tom Wolfe.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  [00:22:00] And he did a book called the Painted Word.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I know the book, sure.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —which I think—I think is magnificent.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  I mean, I'm very, very charmed by that book, and he did some of the illustrations for them, too.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I remember [laughs] there was a meeting of the Midwest College Art Conference. I think it may have been in Kansas City. And so they hired a couple of us people from local around here. We're going to sit down and we're going to—we're going to crucify Tom Wolfe. So each of us got $100, Tom Wolfe got $2,000, and it didn't do very much to him. I'm trying to remember instances in which something does come to mind now. The coming of Art Brut—Brut Art.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Art Brut, that's Dubuffet, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  People like to think that here in Chicago, that it began when Jean Dubuffet came here and gave that lecture at the wherever it was.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I think at the Art's Club, but I'm not sure—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, believe me, it was not. The people he was—at that time, that was my generation, and there were people—like, oh, like Giacometti and Francis Bacon, who all were doing that kind of stuff, so in my estimation, I never took Jean Dubuffet very seriously.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, he wasn't the first, either. There was the Prinzhorn collection, too. There were some things—inmates, art from inmates and things like that.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's not in terms of like even so-called outsider art, there were—there were other examples that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, Prinzhorn, he was German psychiatrist, wasn't he?



LANNY SILVERMAN: —I think he took the work directly from the inmates—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and I think Wölfli is I think, yeah, was one of the main ones.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Adolf Wölfli, I remember that name.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and he's kind of an incredible person.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, Wölfli is an interesting example of somebody that was a just like, you know, interested in just about everything. He did music, he composed, he made art, he had his own language, he had—he was also crazy, not to make the comparison.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  He was in an asylum, I know that.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and that's probably what I—[00:24:00] you were mentioning the Prinzhorn collection. Chicago seems to also have a real affection for—not just for Surrealism, but also for—as you started to allude to, to Art Brut and outsider art, to naïve art.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And there was in my estimation a pretty important chapter of the—of the Institute for Psychoanalysis here in Chicago.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Franz Alexander was a member, and a number of—a number of my colleagues at that time felt that they should go into analysis because they would learn something they would be able to communicate.

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  It could be the other way around. You get comfortable with yourself, and there's no angst and nothing left to express. It could go either way—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [laughs] That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I've heard many artists—I had a friend who was a poet who went on lithium and just felt like that was the end. He—everything—it cured his—all his drinking and his drug abuse—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [laughs] Yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —and other issues, but then it's like he just felt like, "I'm just too normal."


LANNY SILVERMAN:  So you can—normalcy may not be the way towards genius. I'm not sure that's a romantic myth, maybe, but nonetheless. I guess I wanted to ask you what you look for in a work of art? What qualities excite you in terms of art, and throughout the ages, including contemporary?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Not necessarily the most important, but I do regard—I regard the form of the work of the art as serious. That's why I don't care for Basquiat or for Keith Haring, but—and one of the reasons, let's say, that Braque, whom I—who I thought was formerly very, very good—the early Braque, and who else? Well, most of the important 20th century painters, including Picasso, you look at them, and there was something that meant a great deal to me, to be able to develop what I called an eye, and I think I have it right now. Beyond that, of course, is the matter of what they're saying, and in that regard I suppose I do care more for Expressionism [00:26:00] than anything else, more for Expressionism than for Surrealism.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Now, we're talking about classic Expressionism as opposed to the '80s—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The 20th century—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  The 20th century.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  These people—Nolde.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Blaue Reiter, for example. Yeah, yeah, Nolde.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Beckmann, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's the early 20th century. Of course, the New York and German neo-Expressionists.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But that's also related. So technique is also very important, as you've mentioned.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And—but in terms of expressing what content—is content as important to you for—do you like narrative art or do you have a—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I do, I do. I care more for art that says something, so in that respect, Braque's still lifes do not interest me as much as—Max Beckmann I have a very, very high regard for.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, now we're back to Expressionists, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And some of Nolde stuff, but I admit by the way that the Germans in the 20th century were just not that—all that good, although by the time you get to the early—by World War II, none of the Europeans interest me. They come alive maybe later, but a couple of decades later.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and now they're hot again, as we were saying.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, as you were alluding to Braque and content, one of the problems I have with abstraction, even beautiful abstraction, is it's sometimes hard to have a hook without some either personal—even Pollock, there's usually some sort of—or Rothko, there's a certain spiritual aspect to it or presence that you get from being in front of the paintings.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Let me tell you something, Lanny. I remember going up to Minnesota one time. They had an exhibition of De Stijl, and at that time, I realized Mondrian is a damn good artist, very, very good artist. There's a difference between him and van Doesborg, and in that crowd and the one thing that I—he kept saying, "These things are spiritual." That's what Mondrian said. Not in my estimation, [00:28:00] but I did see something there that I thought was very, very good.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, he distilled from nature. He started out in nature.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  This gets to the kind of abstraction that we have in Chicago like Bill Conger. They're based—they're not—pure abstraction is very hard—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's what I was saying, very hard to get a hook on emotionally or content-wise. That's very important to me, and that's what I'm asking you about, but one of the things that I think that's lovely about Bill's—Bill Conger's work is that it's abstraction has a formal quality, but it's based in observations of nature and reflections—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —and light and shadow and things that are real.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  What is he doing now?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He's still making art, and it's very nice. He shows with Roberta Lieberman's son, William Lieberman, that gallery.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He moved over from—you know that—it closed—Roy Boyd closed the gallery after his wife died.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I didn't know that.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So they've been closed for I think a couple years.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Boyd is not—the Boyd gallery isn't—


FRANZ SCHULZE:  It gives you some kind of notion of how well-informed I am.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, I mean, yeah, I pay some attention to these things. Marianne Deson just died, too. I was going to ask you what you thought about some of the dealers like Rhona and Marianne, who did things that were different. They seemed to be more New York based, and that's probably why they were—why they were outliers in some sense, but I wondered what you made of them, but she just died, Marianne, I think last year. Did you follow any of that stuff? It seemed like that's not your—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's not your—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I knew Marianne and got along with her, but strictly on a social basis.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and Rhona showed—Lee Aschel [ph] still shows Leon and some other people, but generally is—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —she generally did Conceptual and other things that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The knowledge that I have or the opinion that I have of Rhona Hoffman is that she's a Chicago artist who wants to make it by going to New York.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I think in talking with her in conversation, I found out that she had a certain, almost disdain for Chicago wannabes. She was talking about the birth of the MCA and actually just made it sound—and she also didn't think—I started asking about women in art—Miyoko Ito, she thought she was not a very good painter. [00:30:00] I like Miyoko Ito.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I think she's terrific.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, well, that's interesting, you and Dennis and me, but apparently, she had disdain for that, too, and she has a lot of—who knows what her motivations are.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Why doesn't she care for Ito?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  She didn't quite say, but she also—this will interest you, too. When I asked her about Monster Roster people, she didn't have much interest in them at all, and she acted as if she had never even heard the term—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —which I found really even appalling because I can't believe that [laughs].

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The Monster Roster is not New York at all.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No, and that's probably what I'm getting at, is I think she comes from New York, and I understand this, and she probably sees that as the validators of the world.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Wasn't she married to somebody?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Donald Young, and actually, he died a couple years back, and they were—the gallery that they started was them together—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —and she split off. You know that, of course. This is before me, but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right. Yeah, that's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —but I think you're right. I think her estimation of Chicago art—I mean she does represent some Chicago artists, and she certainly acts as if she's supportive, but frankly, I think she's very New York and Euro-centric, and yeah, she had nothing—I mean, she loves Leon, of course, and Nancy, or loved them. I guess they're both gone, but at the same time, generally speaking, she was somewhat disdainful of the local scene and the—because that's the issue I brought up, which was—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Keep in mind by the way that Leon—what I'll tell you was he could be very seductive. He could—he was easy to like and—oh, with the like of course attached to a sense of respect. He always engendered respect, but at the same time, people that like him—he was easy to enjoy and to be comfortable with.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I found him to be a really sweet guy, a really nice guy, and actually in the art world there's a lot of people whose egos—I've met a number of famous artists as you have, and we could both tell stories [laughs] about the giant egos and the creepiness of the—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And the way Pollock killed himself. [00:32:00]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and there's a certain kind of trashy—I mean, it fits very much in with the Kardashian culture we're in right now, but there's a certain kind of testosterone-based and really kind of creepy aspect of that.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Do you—do you ever watch films about art? That brings up the—you see the movie about Pollock? There was a pretty good movie about him about 10 years ago. You didn't see that one?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I may have. I can't recall.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  How about the Turner movie? That's much more recent.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  The Turner—the movie about Turner, which—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The English painter?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, the English painter.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I haven't seen it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, that's visually just gorgeous and really kind of fascinating. Do you—you don't get out as much as you used to. Do you follow—I know you follow literature a lot and music.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Do you follow film as well? Is that of less interest?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Film does interest me a great deal, but I have the television set, which helps a great deal.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and you can stream films these days—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —a lot easier than you could—you can see things. You don't have to go to the movie theater anymore.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah, it's pretty much—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  If you get a chance to see the Turner film, I think you'd like that. It's kind of interesting. The Pollock film—there aren't been—there haven't been very many good—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  There's a new movie that was coming on about Van Gogh. I think it was done by a couple—by some Englishmen a few years ago. I've got it—I've got it—I taped it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I think I may have seen that. I'm trying to remember. There's somebody famous that may have played him, and I can't remember who it was.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, it's a while ago, but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  It was done by Englishmen, rather than Americans, or anybody else—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, not sure. So in terms of your following—I know you follow literature and things like that. Do you ever—did you ever consider doing—I think you mentioned that you had composed some things, too, musically.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Modest songs.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Modest songs, and your son is a composer.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  More serious.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  More serious about it.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Did you—and you mentioned that your mom was an influence in terms of—and you had piano lessons, so music is important to you.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Very much so.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And how about—and so with—going back to writing, have you ever considered writing fiction? [00:34:00]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Only considered it, never done it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [laughs] It's not as easy as it seems. It's a whole—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I did—I did a couple of short stories a long, long time ago, which were not particularly good. Again, locally—based upon some of the people I knew locally. It didn't work. No, the best writing that I've done has been historical or critical or biographical.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's funny that you found your niche in doing that because you wouldn't have guessed that when you were younger, would you have?


LANNY SILVERMAN:  What did you see yourself as being when you were younger? Did you have a—you know, when we're young, we have no clue, but did you have any notion of what you were going to do?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I can't say I did, Lanny.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  You just—it just all happened in sequence?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Probably true of you, too, isn't it?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Exactly, and actually, I was very persistent and interested in—just like you in all the arts, and I figured if I just persisted, eventually some sort of avenue would open itself up, and that's kind of what happened for you.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And yeah, and that's kind of—overjoyed to be supported in this culture.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  What are you proudest of?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, the biggest show I did was a kinetic art show, which included European and New York and California artists, and historical work, you know, Tinguely and I tried to—I told you I tried to get the Moholy-Nagy light modulator. Didn't do that, but I got a Takis piece from the Liszt Museum because I was talking—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  How was it received?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Everyone loved it. It got like the most attendance we ever had, and it actually—I mentioned Alan Artner. The way I got it him interested in it was I took him—there was this New York artist. He's still around. He shows in New York—who did things that were very—he's French-born, and I knew Alan was a Francophile, and this thing had to do the pataphysics and it had to do with Raymond Roussel. They were impossible machines, very Dada or Duchampian, but they didn't necessarily do anything, so I walked Alan over to that particular piece and I knew that he would like it, but he also I think was impressed—we got a great review from Alan. He really liked—I will say this about Alan, I didn't always disagree with him. He just was—he could be pretty nasty about stuff, and–

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [00:36:00] He was a very smart guy.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He was a very smart guy and had an interesting—an incredible memory, too. He remembered my wife from 30 years ago from something—she'd called him out on some feminist point. And we had dinner with him like—this was 10, 15 years ago, she remembered—he remembered something from way, way, way, way back, and it was like whoa, she didn't even remember it, but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  What's he doing now?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I don't know. I don't see much of him, and actually as I said, I thought—I used to see him on the bus every now and then.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I suppose he's still living in Chicago, isn't he?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I think so, as far as I know.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  In that case, how does he make a living?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Hard to say. I don't think the Trib gave very good—I think when they got rid of a lot of people, I think it was also for financial reasons if nothing else. I think they probably didn't—I don't know if he had a pension or whatever from them. So what things are you proudest of in terms of the—your—you've mentioned some things writing-wise that you were really excited about.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Probably the Mies van der Rohe thing, the books on Mies and on Philip Johnson.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  There's a book called Chicago's Famous Buildings and the like the—so in other words, these are things that are more historical than critical.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and they sort of—a certain sense of reportage, which we were talking about.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, that's true, and also I like these things to be published, and you can find them in a library.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No, that's a great feeling. I mean, I think one of the things that's really important is that you have a legacy, too.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And I'm finding the same thing, too. As you get older, you start to think about that. Do you think about your legacy or about what things you'll be remembered for in terms of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes, I think so.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And I think I was asking this a little bit before about promoting artists or bringing them to the forefront. Do you see that as a valid role of the critic—I mean, we're talking about Greenburg and Rosenberg? Do you see that as a role that you helped Chicago bring—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes, I think so, but again, not as important as somebody like Mies van de Rohe. In other words—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, he was already, yeah—

FRANZ SCHULZE: —the more important the subject, the more I like doing it, yeah. [00:38:00]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, that's interesting. So that's a different kind of a role of a writer is to—is to analyze and to report as opposed to advocate.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, but I—the art of biography is a fascinating one.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I love reading biographies. That's interesting that you—so you're—that's one of the things that you consider your greatest achievements.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I did—I did fairly well, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And in terms of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  By the way, Philip Johnson did not care for my book [laughs].

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's interesting. Why not?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I'm not sure why not. The number of times I asked him, he never gave me a complete answer. I think that really, really what really—the real reason was that I did not treat him—I did not worship him as I wrote the book. In other words—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's interesting that you say that because I've read some criticism of the book that you got into some sort of brouhaha because someone thought you had gone easy on his anti-Semitism and thought you were too nice to him. There was some reviewer.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Boy, that's sure as hell not true.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And that's probably—that's ironic from what you're saying—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —because probably what you're saying is that you were not—you weren't—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I paid very close attention to that stuff.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And that's actually I think your response was—yeah, I think there was a response from you that said that's just not true.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Who said that, do you remember?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  It's online somewhere. Unfortunately, there's so much stuff online, but there was some reviewer that had made that comment, and I think there was a response from you.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Because I remember there was a piece in The New York Times, I think, written by these guys that had written about de Kooning and they mentioned—I don't know what the context was—that I had mentioned something about Johnson's fascist background that had been ignored, and there's a—who's the author? There's a—Peter Blake, I can't remember the situation. Again, I can't really—he's an important figure in America, in New York, who had come from Germany and who in the course of what he was writing about said that—[00:40:00] neglected to mention my discussion of Johnson's fascism, but the fact is—I am just repeating myself right now—I took that very seriously with Johnson. Johnson interestingly was totally frank about those things.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I think the person who was making the comment said that you had called him ineffectual as a political player, something to that effect, which it's—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Was that Martin Filler?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I don't know because I can't—you know, I was reading a lot of stuff about you, and I don't think I took—if I put it in notes, I don't think I took the name, but I was kind of curious about—let's see if I even put a name down here. Hang on one second. Let me just look because—so you think, I'm sorry, who do you think it was that did the review?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Martin Filler.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Martin Filler. That's probably the case. I don't have the name here in my notes, but I think the thing is—I think by calling him ineffectual, I think the person was accusing you of just saying that he didn't really—even if it didn't really matter to him, to Philip Johnson, it was part of his personality—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and I don't think you were ignoring it, and that's what you were alluding to is that you probably—you didn't make any friends out of Philip Johnson [laughs]—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —by—well that's the thing about biography, you're in a weird position. If you don't fall in love with the—if you don't, it's like being a critic. You don't necessarily want to write a review of something you don't like.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I'm just—my—you going to write a biography, make sure the guy is dead [laughs].

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Not only that, but make sure that you at least like him enough to want to stay with it that long.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's true, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's what I'm getting at because why write it otherwise?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, you—that's—there has to be a certain element of affection or respect at least, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Did you, when you wrote reviews—this brings up a question for me that I hadn't thought of, which is, there are reviewers that would not write reviews if they didn't like the work. In other words, they would only write positive reviews or neutral reviews. When you were—you're on call for a newspaper or a periodical, did you write reviews that were negative—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I did, yeah

LANNY SILVERMAN: —or did you feel okay about that? So you didn't feel like the work to review it?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  By no means. In some instances, let's say for example—I can't think of anything right now, but there would be a number of [00:42:00] —if I were to give you—if I were going to write something about Basquiat, it would be negative, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah. Well, there's a lot of mixed reviews of him and even more so of Keith Haring.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, but what I'm saying is I'm quite prepared to write a negative review if it's necessary.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  You don't have—you don't have any qualms about that. That's an interesting thing. Are there people that you've reassessed some—you mentioned this with Rothko a little and some other people—people that in the time when you wrote the review, if you go back over, this is like, do you have any regrets—people that you would reassess if you looked at it today?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The answer is yes, but I can't think of anything right now.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No, I don't necessarily—but so some of your judgements are based on the time and where you were at?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Oh, absolutely, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And are there people you were—I think I was pushing you a little on this and how much you were—you were an advocate for a number of artists. There were people that you really helped their careers, and that's very important, giving them not just prominence here but in the art world at large and through books and so forth and reviews. Are there ones that got away, people that you looked at and you regret not writing reviews or not being discovered—not having, you know, reviewed or advocated for?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, no, this is—the answer to that question is no, but among the people whom I was more or less close to in Chicago whose work I've learned to admire tremendously is Claes Oldenburg.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And I—yeah, I knew he was here, too, which is interesting, as well.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And he was and I remember seeing—talking to him one time in New York when he was there. I said, "What is your inspiration?" "I want to do something that nobody has ever done before" [laughs].


FRANZ SCHULZE:  That was a literal quote—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and he's good. I mean, among the public sculptures in Chicago—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —I think the Bat

LANNY SILVERMAN:  The Bat column, yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —is a terrific thing.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That is a fun piece. Unfortunately, it's not the easiest—it's not located in the most central—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I know, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [00:44:00] The siting is not ideal. It's too bad, and the Picasso gets short shrift. What do you make of the—that's—you were around for that. That's before me when it came here. You would probably know more of the story about the Chicago sort of response to Picasso, to the—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  What do you make of that because—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, first of all, I knew enough about it to know that it was a second-rate Picasso. I think it is still a second-rate Picasso. It's based upon a woman's head, and I think the artist who has the maquette for the thing, and I think that Picasso was simply responding to these people over there—what do they call them from Chicago?


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And they came in worshipping it and something like this, and the—so he let them do that, put the thing up, and then of course Chicago was dazzled by this. Several different responses. One of them said, "Why do we do this? Why couldn't we do something for Ernie Banks?"

[They laugh.]

And Mike Royko as a matter of fact wrote a—I'll show it to you—who at that time was no great friend of modern art, but he wrote a marvelous article about that thing, saying "Have you seen—it's basically ugly and negative in all respects. If Picasso had been—when you see that thing, you know that Picasso must have been around the Chicago elevator tracks for a lot of time because otherwise he wouldn't take the position he's taken," but it's a very, very good article. The reaction was largely negative at that time.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's the impression I have from having read about it.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mayor Daley didn't like that, but that's—and afterward you can appreciate the fact that that, first of all, it's not the sort of thing that Chicago understands. It's huge—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —a lot of attention, the night—[00:46:00] the 15th of August in 1967, if I'm not mistaken, when the thing was opened, and Mayor Daley had hired the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to play. Gwendolyn Brooks recited a poem, and so it was a setup, and it was perfect for the—for the negative Chicago attitude to express itself, which was what happened, but I think what's happened of course is usual, that the city has come to love it. It's—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, it's actually been embraced, and even Daley came to embrace it, which is a riot.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, it's—what's the name of the thing?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I don't even know if it has a name.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The Chicago Picasso, that's it.

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well that—that leads me to another question. What do you make of the Bean, which is the new—that speaking of Daley—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I happen to like it very much.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I love Anish Kapoor. I don't know about you, but I think he's a wonderful artist—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and another artist that you need to be in the presence of the work—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  It really can be mesmerizing and it seems to be a real hit. The Frank Gehry, I'm not completely—I'm not as convinced—-

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I have problems with that. What—I do like the trellis over the—especially with sound attached to it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, the sound system is amazing, too.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  As a matter of fact, they're doing a Bertoia sound piece next month that I'm going to get down for.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, I think Millennium Park is a triumph for Chicago.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I think the—here again, there's another hero who should be mentioned in this regard who's supposed to be done in time for the millennium, which would be 2000. It opened in 2004. Why? Because they couldn't raise the money. Who raised the money? Do you know the name John Bryan?


FRANZ SCHULZE:  John Bryan lives in Lake Forest—Lake Bluff, and he's very—he's a prime money raiser. He's worked for the artists, stood for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He's the guy that went out there and raised some money, and that's—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Wasn't Pritzker, too? I think Pritzker as well, I think there was—Pritzker, too, maybe. Weren't the Pritzkers involved? I think so.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes. That's—yes, yes.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  There was some major—there was some big money behind that, and the mayor was very proud of private fundraising, although—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No question, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [00:48:00] Because a lot of people also complained at the time, same as the Picasso, why are we putting public money into this, and yet it seems like grand success.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I think it's a—I think it's a triumph in my estimation—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and The Bean is wonderful.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  The Bean is wonderful.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And don't dare call it Cloud Gate.

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, that's why when you said, "What's the name of it?" I thought that was funny because the yeah—what is it? And, you know, they've rolled with the punches there. I guess that's sort of a—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And you know, just the act of walking under it and looking up and seeing yourself and seeing people. I mean, the use of perspective by that thing is magnificent.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and that sort of captures the narcissism, just people taking selfies, of course, all around it, I'm sure.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Tourists love it. Now, let's go to the Gehry thing because I do happen to like Frank Gehry's work in general. I haven't been to a—to Balboa. Have you been to the—Bilbao, rather—to the museum? And that looks incredible to me, but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I'm not high on him.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  You're not. You're not high on him in general, but this piece looks sort of froufrou-ish and sort of ribbony and I guess I—you know, the actual, you know, the band shell's okay. The core of it and the structure is fine, but the piece itself I didn't much take to it, although I think it's like you—I think it's a success as public art and as, you know, a community. I—they also do great things there, too. So how about other public art in town? This is not the best town for public art, but there are some wonderful other pieces. I'm trying to think what else comes to mind. Are there other things, and do you have any hand in—did you help publicize any? Did you write articles about the Picasso, for example, or—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I can't remember whether I did or not.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I'm trying to remember if—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The Picasso—I'm trying to remember—at one point Chicago took itself very seriously as a place where public art went on. There was a—there's a kind of— [Antoine] Pevsner did something on the south side, University of Chicago, a piece of sculpture down there, and then Bertoia of course—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and Oldenburg. Lanny, I can't remember all these things.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, there are—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But there's a book called Chicago's Public Sculptures. Have you seen that little book that I wrote?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No, but I actually—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [00:50:00] With Ira [J.] Bach and Mary Worth [Mary L. Gray] or whatever her name—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Because I used to have—house the sculpture they stole the—the Sculptural Fair still has the Public Art Department. They were conjoined with at one point, so I've seen some little—there was a little handbook. Maybe that's the thing that you were talking about. Is it a small—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  It's a book called Chicago's Public Sculpture. It's by, I think, Ira Bach and maybe Mary Gray—I can't remember, but I did the foreword for—to it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Is it small, like a tiny thing?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  It's a pocket book, yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I think maybe I have seen that, probably in the Public Art Department. The Bertoia thing was really sad. When I did the kinetic show, they had just taken down and really de-installed it, and it was because it was by the lake, and it did this wonderful stuff with the wind. It was so wonderfully Chicago, and I had the had the maquette is what I borrowed from them because I couldn't bring the piece, obviously, into the Cultural Center, but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You know, Oldenburg did a book of proposals.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I have that book, yes.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You know that.


Proposals for monuments, yeah. It's a little—speaking of a tiny little book, yeah, that's kind of a fun thing, and actually, I mean, I was talking about that with his wife Coosje—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Coosje van Bruggen.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —van Bruggen, and thank you, I couldn't remember her last name, but yeah. She's starting to now come forth just like with Christo, these collaborative teams that are now changed, and now they're politically correct in calling the person a collaborator—sometimes the people behind the scenes, but I liked his work a lot as a kid. I like things with scale. Being a toy collector, I'm very interested in scale, so that interests me a lot, and making them big is also kind of fun, too, as well as small. Hang on a second. Let me do another. I met Christo. He was very imperious. I had to show one of his films. Tom Garver, who I work with, had done a number of projects with him and actually brought him to Madison, so I met him in Madison, but he was very upset when the projector didn't work. It was like he—it was as if it was my fault. It wasn't even our projector. It wasn't even the Cultural—Madison Museum's projector. [00:52:00] It was a borrowed one. Anyway, he got very upset and he was very much a perfectionist, but Jean-Claude—so he spent time in Chicago?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The Museum of Contemporary Art put on—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, he wrapped. I—oh no, he wrapped the building.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes, that's right. Exactly.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And he also did the Maus Museum. I have that catalogue, which I rather love the Maus Museum thing, so you were around for that.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  The wrapping of the building must have been like what, in the '60s or '70s? That was—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Late '60s if I'm not mistaken.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Late '60s, so that's way back.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, but they were—I'm trying to remember. We knew that he was going to put on one of his shows, so they'll be wrapped things, they'll be typewriters or something like that. It turned out he was wrapping the whole damn building, and I can't remember—there was an element of surprise in that—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —but I can't remember what it was, but it did big—in fact, in my—I suspect in Christo's own biography, that particular work must be very important—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Was it one of the first things he wrapped, buildings?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  At that scale.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  At that scale. I knew he was doing the Reichstag, he was doing things that were even bigger, but that's way after. So, yeah, this was a really—from what you're saying in terms of his wrapping buildings, he was wrapping small objects and things before that, and did you—what did you make of the Maus Museum, which I thought was hilarious? That reminds me a little of Claes Oldenburg's Store days, the—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I like the—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, because it's certain to do with this funky kind of—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —taking Disney and taking it and making it into something completely something else.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  The ray guns—those little—yeah, there's some fun things with that, too. So, what things in Chicago have changed? Have you seen changes in the Chicago art world since you somewhat—you know, you're not following the—I mentioned the industry the ordinary or some social activism or Theaster Gates, whose name you maybe had heard because he's like the hot kid right now. What do you think of Kerry James Marshall, who came from New York? He'd been there for a while, but—[00:54:00]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Not as much as he thinks of himself.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [laughs] Well, that's interesting, too, because he's gotten really huge career, and I think he's an important—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Oh, he's taken very seriously. It doesn't hurt that he's black.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, there's certain anointments that occur that are politically of our time, and of the black painters around, he's certainly, I think, one of the best, and actually I think he's a good painter. I may disagree with you on this one, but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, I think he's a good painter, that's a drop-off point—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But is he worth all the—yes, all the hoopla.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, if you think he's—if you think he may be overblown, Theaster Gates is getting all the attention, and it seems a little sad, just because I think what he does is interesting, but it's not that new, nor is it that—I mean it's important, but in the old school sense of art, I mean, the art objects that he makes, some of them I like, some not, and so like your judgement of like Keith Haring, I mean how much of it is good art? I don't know.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You know, the fact is—


FRANZ SCHULZE:  The first time I ever heard of Theaster Gates was when he was one of the people who's also been given an honored degree by the School of the Art Institute. I met on that occasion. I'd never heard of him.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He's rather young to get that, right. He's rather young to get that. He got an honorary degree?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Apparently it was—he was a nice guy. I still—he did something recently which drew a good deal of attention. I still don't—does he make things?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He does make things. He repurposes—he makes sculptures from things he finds in buildings, and he repurposes the buildings and makes them into community arts bases. He's taken the bank—the old bank on the South Side. That's the latest project that you may have heard about, and he's made that into a community art center, and he's utilizing collections of—I think he sort of collected record collections of blues and things. He's taken things form the community and put it back in another context. That's I think a valuable—like I say, I have no problem with that. The actual art that he makes, some of which—like he took like a shoe shine—he made sculptures out of shoe shine kits from—you know, that have social commentary implicit in them. [00:56:00]  He's done things that are kind of interesting visually, and some of them are detritus from buildings that he's repurposed, and it's like Schwitters-like stuff. It's not—nothing all that new, but on the other hand the context is very much of its time, and it's very hot right now. So I mean, you've been around long enough to say there's nothing new with this stuff. It probably all reminds you of other things from way back, but how about like from the changes you saw in Chicago starting in the '60s and '70s? There were only a few galleries back then from what people tell me. How have you—the art scene here has exploded.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Absolutely, yeah.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  It used to be down in one spot.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Then it began to move west out to N.A.M.E.—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and then on Washington Street down near Pilsen—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —up into the north side, so in other words the gallery scene is no longer—is no longer limited.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I used to like being able to just—you could take your glass of wine and just go in that building I worked in, and actually that's when I came here for, that gig, and actually that one building that burned down, you could just go 30, 40 openings in an evening and you didn't really have to—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And now there's West Loop Gate.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Have you ever been to Kavi Gupta?


LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's sort of like he's one of the main promoters of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  By the way, tell me again some of the artists who are alive and working and very important in Chicago. There's a Wesley Kitzler [sic]?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Wesley Kimler.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  He's—Kimler, yeah, he's actually gotten revived. I guess he alienated everyone with his mouth and sort of behavior.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Tony Tasset.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Tony Tasset's still around. I've juried some things with him. I know him.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Mary something or other? Livingwell [ph]? [probably Joan Livingstone –FS/LS]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Mary—let me think about this, a sculptor.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You know who I'm talking about.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, the sculptor. I'm blanking out on her name.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  See, these people I know by name, only, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually, I think you might be interested Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. He's done—he's a Conceptual artist. He comes from Panama. Really, really bright. He did a piece that had to do with, I think, the Johnson house. [00:58:00] He's done some things that had to do with architecture. You don't know of his work? He's won like I think a Guggenheim or I think some national or international awards, but there are some really exciting artists out there, but after you retired and you're less mobile, you haven't been going down to the gallery scenes as much.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's true. Is anybody writing art criticism right now of consequence?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  No, we lost a bunch of people, too. There was someone writing for the New City that I liked. I'm actually blanking on his name, but he left, and Fred Camper left the Reader. I used to like his writing. Did you like Fred's writing?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I liked him a lot.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, he tended to get a little bit more interested in biography than some other people, and I'm not sure that that's always good—looking for explanations by way of their life story, but on the other hand I thought he was very intelligent. He's become a photographer, and he's now an artist, so this is an interesting role going from critic to artist, which we'll come to with you, but there's some decent criticism, and some of it's online. I told you I saw something in this—there's this interview with Karl Wirsum in Hyperactivity that's online. Some magazines—I think there isn't a whole lot of pay for writing. They want this free content. You know this. This is the whole social media thing. You've stayed out of the whole social media and computer and all that stuff. You're not involved in any of that.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And so I think I'm afraid that's where criticism has moved to if there's good—and there's some people—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, as I said earlier today, I'm very pleased that I'm not writing anymore

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, that's the other thing that if you were writing it, people expect it for free, and I'm not sure that's fair. I mean, it's a little like what happened in the music world, is they finally found a way to monetize it, you know, you subscribe and you stream the music.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I was paid—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  You were paid, but I think nowadays—

FRANZ SCHULZE: —by the Daily News.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —I think everyone's a critic, and there's all sorts of free criticism. I don't know that you pay—get paid to do articles for online journals. I don't think they pay, and so how do you survive? They expect—kids just expect—it's like interns. [01:00:00] They expect that's how you get in the door.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, how do they?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I don't know. I'm as alienated from that as you in some respects. I look at this and I think, you know, how do these kids—how do they make it?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I've often wondered about how do you make a living by being freelance? Isn't that a gamble?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and actually, I mean, I think one of the things that happens is—I mean, for me—retirement for me is—I wasn't looking to do any gigs, but people come to me looking for writing, and there are still old school—I told you I did an introduction for Art Paul, for his catalogue. There's people looking for old school writing, and they're willing to pay, but it was a young kid that was doing the Ukrainian museum, that was doing—from Eastern Europe or Slovenia, I think. Anyway, he was a very nice guy, but I think he was of the generation he was shocked that I was asking well, you know, I have a fee.

[They laugh.]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  All right.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He's probably doing—looking at all this online stuff, and I'm willing to, you know, come down because I really like Art Paul, but I expected to get paid, but I wondered if there was some shock just because these transactions may have changed completely. Maybe kids don't expect if they write something that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Paul is still alive, am I right?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, he's like in his 90s. He barely—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, but—

LANNY SILVERMAN: —can see; he doesn't move a lot, but he's still making art.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But he—there was something in the newspaper about him recently. My recollection of Paul is very—is very affirmative. I liked him very much.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  He was a guiding angel to a lot of artists. He gave you know Paschke and a lot of people—I don't know if you know Chuck Walker. He's a friend of mine—people that were not in the mainstream of Chicago painting. He gave them opportunities to have illustrations, and people would buy the works.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  So it was in the collection, so it wasn't just illustration. It was actually a way for artists to make sales. He was a really wonderful man and very humble and very self-effacing—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —so I knew him by way of him, you know, finally coming out into the open in the art world with his own work. About 15 years ago, we had a show at the Cultural Center, so I basically rewrote that essay. But yeah, there's people out there in Chicago that were really very important to, I think, to helping Chicago artists, [01:02:00] and you've talked about Don Baum, too. I mean he was very critical for helping Chicago artists, but there were other people behind the scenes. You're not the only one that maybe doesn't get as much attention as they ought to, but there were other people that probably helped. And some of the dealers, as well, like Alan Frumkin has come up a lot in conversation as being really important to Chicago art scene. Are there other people you think tht were probably important to giving—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Frumkin was smart enough to move to New York.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And that's what a lot of people did, and I think a lot of artists moved out of town. You know, there were a lot of artists that tried to make it in New York or—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And some have come back.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Some have come back. Yes, that's true, and some went out western—went out west. I don't know. There are people. I rather like Tony Fitzpatrick, who has a, you know, he's another generation maybe than you're aware of, but he helps—he has his own—he has a gallery for Chicago artists. He gives back to the community. That's a different kind of giving back to the community; tries to help people figure out—he never really had much to do with the established art scene and was pretty negative about it. He was just a good businessman and sold work.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  He got a big break when people like David Burner—other people who used some of his work are the Neville brothers—used it for album covers. And he got connected to the music scene, and he's also done some acting. He was a boxer. He's kind of a gruff and wonderful kind of man, but there are other people that promote Chicago art, but—oh, Jason Foumberg's the young writer that I liked for New City. He's now working for a private company, you know, an art investment kind of company, so he stopped writing. There are writers out there, and there are people—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Do you know the name Russell Bowman?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Sure, I know Russell, and actually—yeah.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  My—this is what I understand about Russell Bowman. He had been the director of the Milwaukee Museum for a while—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and was in some respects responsible for the work that [Santiago] Calatrava did up there [01:04:00], but I also seem to recall that he did something that earned him demerits up from Milwaukee, which prompted him to come down to Chicago. Is there any truth to that?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I don't know that. I know Russell. I didn't know the story behind that. I didn't know him personally too well. I know him a little bit. I know him from here more than—I saw the Jim Nutt show, of course, in Milwaukee.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  He's taken seriously, is he not?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, the—being an art dealer, yeah, I think he's doing a good job, and actually I think he's got some really interesting artists, but most of the stories like that—we were having this conversation. I think it may have been off the record, but the art world is full of scandals and stuff.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I may be quite wrong.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  There may be all kinds of stories behind that, and I don't even know that particular one, but Milwaukee has really—what do you think of—speaking of architecture, what do you think of the Milwaukee art museum? I—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I like it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I do, too. I think it's rather wonderful. It's actually—takes good advantage of siting, it takes good advantage of the lake, too, which you're competing—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  It's more than one architect. It's—Eero Saarinen did that, the old war memorial.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and actually, no that's great for Milwaukee.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I—Lanny, I have to tell you, I like Milwaukee as a city. I think it's a great city, has a wonderful lakefront, nice downtown area. My connection with people up there has been very affirmative. I think it's a—it is more than a Chicago suburb.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And actually it's got similar sensibility to Chicago. There's a sort of blue-collar, working-class nature to it—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —that just—it's a parallel. I came, I spent some time in Cleveland, I mentioned, so I have an affinity to the—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  You understand that, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN: —to the lack of snobbiness and the plain-spokenness of the Midwest—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and that's part of I think Milwaukee, but you haven't been there in a while though. You have seen the new museum, obviously—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —because that's fairly recent, so and I get there every now and then, but yeah, Milwaukee, the art scene though is very small and limited. I don't think that there's that much that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, I know that.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  There's not very much going on.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Did you ever feel the limits of being in Chicago in terms of like, I mean you—maybe like me, you weren't ambitious enough to want to duke it out with the heavy [01:06:00]—I mean—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's it.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  I knew and I know the limits of Chicago, and I responded to them by getting out of the place rather than trying to conquer the—and by moving into another field—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —getting involved with architecture and writing rather than art.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and actually there are—there are sort of problems with—I mean nowadays, I think you can become—you can be an artist anywhere. New York is less the—it's an important part of the business of art, but I think you can do it from the hinterlands and send it in and mark it sold for that matter online. It's not necessarily—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —just a—you know, the physical location. It's also just having connectedness. So, you were happy being—you're a real—you love Chicago. That's one of the—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I do. I like Chicago. Would I leave it? I suppose I could be prompted to leave, but it's a part of my blood by now, and I—this is not exactly Chicago, but it's a very, very nice town. The college has been very good to me, and so I've had a good—and I'm still working right now. I'm working on a new book on Chicago's buildings, but there's—by this time at the age of 88, there's no point in my going anywhere else.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  You're—yeah—you change, there's a different life position when you start getting older and you start to realize you've got to do what's important to you. And actually, I was going to ask you about—that's one project you mentioned, I hope on record, the other day, but are you also going back to making art again? You said that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Not really. No, I do—for example, I do portraits of my relatives.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  My son, the kids, that's it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So portraiture is still important to you.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Only in that sense, yes. I mean—


FRANZ SCHULZE:  Look, if I were involved in it seriously, if I were—if these things were worth showing to the art world, of course I would, but that's not the situation right now.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [01:08:00] No, in terms of the fashions of the art world. We had this conversation. That's—I mean, although there are certain kinds of portraiture that's come back, and I'm trying to think, and actually Jim Nutt is doing very well. He seems to be reassessed at—did you see the MCA, the Lynne Warren show?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That seems to be—he's doing better than he has. I mean, he was a little overlooked by the art world, not by Chicago so much. But any other projects that you have in mind in terms of—you said you don't like being idle. I enjoy just hanging out and reading as I'm sure you do, too, but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I can't read very well. I have a problem with my eyes.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, that's too bad because that's actually kind of important.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, but I'm trying to do a new version of Chicago's buildings, famous buildings, and to help me with this is a guy who lives in Lake Forest, a librarian who—Arthur Miller, a great guy who has so many things that he's working on by himself that it's very difficult for him and me to get together to go over this thing, but when we do, we hope to have something done maybe in a couple of years about Chicago's famous buildings. It will be sort of a takeoff on the one that was done a couple of years ago.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And there's new buildings that are kind of wonderful. There's the woman—I'm blanking out on her name, Jenny—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Jeanne Gang.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Jeanne Gang, thank you. Do you like her work? I like—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —I like her work very much.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  John [inaudible]—the poetry thing, there are a number of—Helmut Jahn's work is good.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, Helmut Jahn's old—relatively old school. What do you make of—going back to [Jan] Kliehues—the MCA as far as architecture goes? Most people speaking of fascists [laughs], a lot of people call it fascist architecture, you know, this sort of—just having the palace kind of—looking like you're look up to it and being cold and foreboding, do you—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Give me an example of one in Europe.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Of fascist architecture?


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Sure, well actually, technically speaking, fascist architecture was—you know, Goebbels and those people, they loved Greek and Roman—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And then there's this Italian architect—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  The Italian—[01:10:00]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Who worked for Mussolini.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, it was.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, I can't figure out, what is fascist architecture?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I'm not quite sure because technically speaking fascist architecture would be neoclassical architecture.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But on the other hand, people have accused that of the MCA of being a sort of a fascist, and not being very approachable.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  They're imitating something [inaudible]. They're imitating an idea rather than a form.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, they're calling it an idea, whereas, yeah, I agree with you on that, but I think what they're talking about is it being foreboding and having, you know, this sort of palatial and cool, foreboding kind of aspect.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Although I would also argue that in New York, people like to sit on the steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Me included. Yeah, that's a wonderful social and people-watching, social gathering place—


LANNY SILVERMAN:  And people watching thing, so it doesn't have to be foreboding.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  I don't see too many people sitting on the steps of the MCA, I have to say.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, that's true, and look, it's not a—it's not a particularly good building.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, they could have had anyone, and they could have had Helmut Jahn, for that matter. I'm sure he made proposals. I'm not sure—you weren't part of the judging process for that?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, but I was aware that it was going on at the time. I believe that my own personal opinion is the Kliehues got that job because, first of all, he could speak English—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, that helps.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —and the other—I can't remember some of the other reasons, but he made himself likeable. I met—I knew the guy. I liked him very much, and he did some very, very good things in Europe. This is not one of them.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, I'd agree. I think the general consensus is fairly negative in town—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —although, I mean, I don't know, because this is such a great town for architecture, it seems like they could have had anybody. I assume they paid enough money that they could have had anybody—and you know, I. M. Pei, there's all kinds of Japanese and other architects that are really wonderful for museums.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Not all museums will work as museums in terms of functional—I mean, some museums that are—look very beautiful aren't necessarily the best for art. For housing art, I don't think it's that bad. I don't know what you make of that.



FRANZ SCHULZE:  [01:12:00] But let me tell you, in my estimation which is not functional, and that is Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, God, yeah, it's beautiful as a sculpture, but as, yeah, even the kind of art you can show in the circular—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Exactly, you can't get close enough to the paintings or far enough away from them. It's a piece of crap in my opinion. Robert M. Stern, who believe it's a marvel, a great masterpiece. It's not. The architecture—Wright was terrific, no question about it, and the look of it, the concept of the—of the spiral and of the photographs and the publicity that attended it, but go there and go upstairs in the elevator and then walk down the long thing. Try to see these paintings, which, you're walking at an angle to these paintings—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Angle. You're not even seeing them straight on.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's what I mean.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  There are certain things, certain installations I've seen, there was a—was it Robert Irwin? There was a big light installation that was there. There are some things that have been very beautiful in there, but they almost have to ignore completely these paintings that really suffer the most.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  So you and I agree about that, I mean.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, completely, it's sort of a disaster for traditional art. There are some installations of things that can work there that play off of that, that make use of the light and the, you know.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Some of the—many of the—that's not the only museum by a great architect which fails, and the museum that he did in Berlin, the 20th century building [Neue Nationagalerie by Mies van der Rohe –FS/LS], it is a beautiful building but to have exhibitions in there, the works of art have to be large enough to command the space—


FRANZ SCHULZE: —and when they order an exhibition of Mondrian's paintings, little bitty painting, huge building, you know.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [Laughs.] Yeah, that's another thing, scale. Well, that's the other things in terms of design. I mean, some people—you can be a wonderful architect, but there's—and Frank Lloyd Wright had this issue, some functional issues with his designs. Some of them may be gorgeous, but how practical are they and how much do they hold up in the engineering?


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Architecture is very different than art in that it has to work, too—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —and some of these buildings that we're talking about—because I happen to think it's beautiful you know; the Guggenheim is beautiful, but does it work?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  [01:14:00] Lanny, question for you. Name the three or four greatest artists of history. Artists.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's tough, because they're all for different reasons. Well, we mentioned Fra Angelica. I'm very taken with him, and Leonardo's kind of really important. There's so many, Vermeer, wonderful, La Bosch, Goya, there's so many people, I mean—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's good.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's fine.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Those are older, you know, generation. I can go off ticking to Modernist times; you know, in terms of contemporary art, you mentioned Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon to me is one—I mean, if I—if I—it's a difference between something I want to look at, something I want to own, or something that I don't know if I could—you know, could I live with a Francis Bacon? I think they're incredible.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  I probably would love to own one, but do I really want to see it very day? I don't know.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Different reasons to like art. Well, why do you ask because—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Just a thought.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, I mean there's—and I love Duchamp, I love Schwitters, I like a lot of artists but—I even like Richard Serra. There's people that—you know, there's contemporary sculptors because they have a certain—I happen to—I disagree with you about Rothko. I mean, I think going to the Rothko Chapel, and being—or seeing them in London at the Tate, being in their presence is very—they don't reproduce very well. They look very flat, and it's again scale, and being at the—that's the difference between online looking at art and being in their presence. In their presence, I think Rothkos have a—they do have a spiritual quality.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I agree with you.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Now I—this is something that you've reassessed. This might be one of the ones that you were answering my question.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  You may not have initially like them, but there are a lot of people that are overrated, you know. Picasso—maybe it's his personality and his sort of misogyny or whatever you want to call it that turns me off, his ego, his—something about him that sort of may turn me off, but he certainly has got the reputation.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I—it may not be fair to agree with you, but I agree with you.

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  On the other hand, I mean I get it, he was a—at one point early on there were some beautiful paintings, and he was revolutionary with the analytic Cubism and all that stuff, [01:16:00] but a lot of that is sort of hyped and overblown. Who do you think is particularly—you mentioned Picasso—overrated and talked about, bandied about more in lost—loses you in terms of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Doesn't come to me right now.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, that's interesting. Well, now you're going to be interviewing me.

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I'm supposed to be getting stuff out of you, and we lost some of it by way of it being—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —or not being on the record, but I'm trying to think what else we talked about, so—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, I think about the fact that Aeschylus, Thucydides, and Plato were all within 100 years of each other.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  This is—we're going back to the classical era.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  This is where you were saying—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And for that matter, then you have people like Goethe, who was a universal genius, and then somebody like Shakespeare—I'm just talking through my mouth right now.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Geniuses. Well, there's also music, too, you mentioned Bach. There's things that hold up—that will hopefully hold up for all time.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  That's right, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  I mean, it's things like that. What music do you listen to other than—you mentioned Bach, but what are some of your favorites in music? I didn't have that conversation with you.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The classics.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, classics by way of Beethoven, you mentioned [Arthur] Schnabel.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Let's say—it starts with Bach.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And my son of course is very serious about this stuff, and he says—in effect, what Luke says, there's Bach and then there are—there are—there are other composers, and it's not quite true, but I'm very high on Beethoven. That's his mask up there on the wall.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, yeah [laughs].

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, and then around in the front yard.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, I saw that—that gneiss.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Easy to find your house.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I have high regard for Mozart.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [01:18:00] Yeah, I like Mozart very much, although there's this kind of—other than I like the vocal—I'm not a huge fan of operas. I diverge from Dennis in that regard because I'm not a romantic in terms of musical periods. I like medieval music a lot, but I'm more interested in avant-garde, but in terms of operas—vocal music, I love Mozart, but there's not a thinness but in terms of content, maybe because he was a child genius. There's something about him that is very appealing, but it can seem like it doesn't have nearly the depth of Bach, other than maybe the vocal music.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  The quintets from the curriculum of the 500 group, the divertimento for violin and cello and viola—no, I think that when it comes to—

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Think I might go listen to it.

FRANZ SCHULZE: —depth, Mozart is capable of acquiring it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Okay, so I have to go back and listen to it. Okay, so that's interesting, too. Do you listen to medieval or earlier music because—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Not enough. What—

LANNY SILVERMAN: —because it's interesting. You love that period in terms of art, or earlier than that, or later than that, rather, than medieval in terms of what we were talking about Italian art, but expression of emotion is very different.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  What do you call medieval music?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Troubadours, trouvères, I'm a big fan of Thomas Binkley, who was an American who went to England—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Maybe you know more about—do you know about Dufay?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, sure, Dufay, of course, yeah. Monteverdi, there's a time—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I know the name. I don't know the music very well.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, I mean the reason I ask is it's a very different expression. You mentioned context. It's a very different—some people find it—not droll, but sort of melancholic and sort of—it might be hard to take in—but it's a very—emotions are on a different scale, I think maybe because of the way that they lived, so it's not exactly easy music emotionally, but it's very interesting.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Keep in mind a lot of that was religious.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and the religious stuff—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And the chants.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and some of that appeals to me, too, although I'm less interested in religious music generally than troubadours; trouvères wrote love songs and things that were done, about chivalry and things like that, [01:20:00] but it comes from an era where it's a very different form—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Name some of the artists or musicians whom you care for.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, there aren't—a lot of them are anonymous. These are from manuscripts, and what's interesting too is interpretation is very important because the written notation wasn't very thorough, either. That's why I mentioned Binkley as an interpreter. He tied together troubadour and trouvères music with Moorish music—the Spain—the things that moved from Morocco to Spain and did some things there, too. There are some names. They don't come to mind, but they wouldn't probably be that obvious. There aren't—the notion of genius, you know this with architecture. Individual genius wasn't as much touted. It wasn't as much—it's not that they were anonymous, but there were a lot of things that they didn't necessarily sign their names to. There were a lot of people who—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But at the same time, when Michelangelo was alive, everybody knew who he was.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, definitely.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And Beethoven, too, for that matter.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, and that also changed both musically and art wise. They—we had this conversation. The idea of things being commissioned. It changed—I was saying, you know, music was more functional, too. There were songs and more things you were winning the—winning your true love's heart by way of—or expressing your emotions for a particular purpose, but the same thing with art and music is that is served a function which after photography and after wealthy people—well, there's still wealthy people commissioning art. Let's face it. That's a part of the art world.

[Telephone rings.]

I guess that's a—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Is that you?

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So, I guess I had in my notes that you had mentioned Joshua Kind, which is Phyllis' husband, so did you have a story or something in mind?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I was—I had just decided to take some courses in past art, and Joshua was teaching courses in Renaissance art at the Northwestern University, so I went down there and I got to meet him, and I met her through him, and I'm going to tell you, quite honestly, I am no fan of Phyllis Kind.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [01:22:00] Okay, maybe I was asking you the other day—I was probably asking for Phyllis Kind stories, but—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Well, she—I tried to put on an exhibition—there was a guy in Germany, an industrialist, who was doing things. He wanted to show a bunch of German artists together with American artists at some gallery in Chicago or in New York. So I thought, "Let me see if I can get Phyllis Kind to help me." She says, "I won't touch you. I want nothing to do with this guy." I don't know what the reason was, but I can't cite chapter and verse, Lanny, but my recollection of Phyllis Kind is anything but positive, okay.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's interesting. So, why do you think she was so dismissive? Do you have any sense?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, I don't. I don't know.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  But the thing about the art world that's so fascinating to me is there's a snottiness and a dismissiveness. That's one of the reasons why the Midwest is rather nice, you know. There's a certain kind of, just, attitude.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Like my wife always complains, you just ask for a bathroom in the New York gallery, you'd like think you'd asked for like—

[They laughs.]

There's a certain I don't know what it is, hauteur; there's a certain kind of just attitude in the art world, and the dismissiveness is one of the things. I mean, if you're an artist, you probably see a lot more of this when you go to show your slides to somebody, and the way they look at it—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —"Oh, no, we're not having any of those today. Well, forget it. Painting, that's dead," or, "Give it up," so dismissiveness is probably part of—or it goes with the territory, but she's not alone in that regard, but I told you, I found her actually—after all the stories I had heard, I found her surprisingly easy to talk with but that probably was—she was well past her prime, shall we say.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And you and I are not the same people.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Yeah, and not only that but also—I was also trying to help—I was trying to get a loan of a Karl Wirsum work or two, and I was probably going to help in some regard, being in the business—it's very different, being an artist, being a curator, being a writer.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  [01:24:00] The roles that you have. Do you have—I mean, in terms of all these things that you're interested in doing, do you have any particular fantasies of what directions you could have gone that you would like to—you have various offshoots that you could have gone into. You could have followed upon any number of them, or are you happy with where you ended up?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I would like there to be music, but I'm not gifted enough for music.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's one of the things is knowing your limitations.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, yeah.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And that's the sense that that's maybe just as well.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And writing, I think writing is something I've always done fairly well. I like doing it.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  So, there's the—writing is probably the chief form of expression that I'm comfortable with.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  And you feel really delighted that you managed to get supported and get this far with doing just that.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, yeah, I think that's great.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  In this particular culture, it's not easy. Are there writers that you—in fiction, you mentioned Goethe and a couple others and Shakespeare. Are there writers that you particularly, let's say, in fiction as opposed to art criticism—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Thomas Mann.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Thomas Mann. That's interesting. How about like Kafka or any of the—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Kafka very—I still remember reciting to one of my students. I said, "I want you to sit down, and I'm going to read you 'Metamorphosis.'"


FRANZ SCHULZE:  And they were—they were very taken by it.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, that's kind of—and that would work with kids these days because there's aspects of that that fit into the strange—any other writers that—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Steinbeck.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Steinbeck. So, there's social realism. You mentioned some of those Chicago sort of—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yes. Emily Dickinson.


FRANZ SCHULZE:  [01:26:00] I can't think of them right now, but the great—John Donne, for example, Spencer, Thackeray, Zola, Camus.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Did you like Proust? Because I think I mentioned reading—finally getting to read Proust because you—


LANNY SILVERMAN: —sort of had a response to that.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I felt myself—standing in front of Proust is like standing in front of Mt. Everest.

[They laugh.]

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But I—the little I've read, he's very, very good.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, when I finally finished the whole thing, I felt like, in whole, it's just fascinating. I've seen some films that were made of it that were very unsatisfying, and almost it's—the scale of it is really important; his sense of minutiae and his mental process and all of those things are just so wonderful, but some people are really put off by it. My wife can't read it because of the way it's—you know, the long sentences.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Dostoyevsky.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, yeah, definitely. Clearly. So you have a huge appreciation for literature, and you've tried your hand at it a little bit, but just like with music, it's not something you've actually—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I'm good at writing biographies.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [laughs] You've—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  And I know the limits there, too.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So that's an important of aspect of our sort of mortality and living within our means, knowing what you can do and can't do.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  It's very helpful. In fact, it's necessary.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So you don't have fantasies of being a novelist or composer?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  No, I don't [laughs].

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Your son helps in terms of you, maybe, living out—through maybe a little bit through—what's your daughter—you mentioned a daughter, too?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  I haven't got a daughter.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Oh, no, it was another son?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Another son who lives in Washington, and he's a—he's a—somebody in clinical—he has a group called clinical pathologists.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  So, he's totally different.


LANNY SILVERMAN:  Totally different then.

FRANZ SCHULZE:  But a wonderful guy.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  [01:28:00] So that's kind of neat, so you get—you get to see some of your genes passed on in terms of the music interest—

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Yeah, and—exactly. Two very, very different young men, and I like them both. I might say I like Luke because he's like me, and I like Matthew because he's not.

[They laugh.]

LANNY SILVERMAN:  That's kind of great. So just summing up in terms of—are there things that you wanted to talk about, or you feel like if someone—a curator or art historian 50 years from now was looking at these interviews, are there things that you think are important to sort of sum up what you've done or how you fell about you know your career that I haven't covered. Anything come to mind?

FRANZ SCHULZE:  Nothing that comes to mind. I think you've done a very, very thorough job.

LANNY SILVERMAN:  Well, thanks. Hopefully, we got enough of it on the record that it will work out, and I think it you know went pretty comfortably, and it's a pleasure talking with you.



[END OF schulz15_2of2_sd_track02_r.]



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Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Franz Schulze, 2015 October 19-21. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.