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Oral history interview with George Biddle, 1963

Oral history interview with George Biddle, 1963

Biddle, George, 1885-1973

Muralist, Sculptor, Painter

Collection Information

Size: Transcript: 261 pages

Format: Originally recorded 3 sound tape reels. Reformated in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 13 hr., 56 min.

Summary: An interview of George Biddle conducted in 1963, by Harlan Phillips, for the Archives of American Art.

Biddle speaks of his background in Philadelphia; his Harvard education in preparation for a law career; literary acquaintances; travel; the beginning of his art career; his preoccupation with portraiture; his tragic and pleasant works; the importance of mood; his drawing techniques; drawing from nature; color experimentation; Stieglitz's circle; the susceptibility of artists to change during the 1930s; his involvement with the Public Works of Art Project; government censorship of his murals; his involvement with artists overseas during World War II; and his aesthetic philosophy. He recalls Max Weber, Maurice Sterne, George Grosz, William Zorach, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Peggy Bacon, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Edith Halpert, Boardman Robinson, Reginald Marsh, Thomas Hart Benton, Henry Billings, Ned Bruce, Holger Cahill, Philip Evergood, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo.

Biographical/Historical Note

George Biddle (1885-1973) was a painter and sculptor, in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Provenance

Conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with George Biddle, 1963. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.