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Oral history interview with Fred Martin, 1980 Aug. 27-Sept. 19

Martin, Fred, 1927-

Painter, Collagist, Educator, Illustrator


Collection Information

Size: 202 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 8 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hrs., 9 min.

Summary: An interview of Fred Martin conducted 1980 Aug. 27-Sept. 19, by Terry St. John, for the Archives of American Art.
Martin speaks of his childhood and early artistic influences; his education at the University of California, Berkeley; his rebellion as a student; studying under Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still; teaching art in elementary and high schools; going to work for the Oakland Art Museum; his lack of an identifiable style and its negative impact on his early career; teaching at and becoming director of the San Francisco Art Institute; leaving there and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley; the influence of abstract expressionism on his work; his work in collage; his travels; the influence of "dynamic symmetry"; the current art market.

Biographical/Historical Note

Fred Martin (1927- ) is a painter, teacher, and collagist from Oakland, Calif.


These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .


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

How to Use This Collection

Transcript: 35mm microfilm reel 3417 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Transcript: Use requires an appointment.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Fred Martin, 1980 Aug. 27-Sept. 19. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.