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Oral history interview with Herman Cherry, 1965 September

Cherry, Herman, 1909-1992

Muralist, Painter, Poet


Collection Information

Size: 36 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 8 min.

Summary: An interview of Herman Cherry conducted 1965 September, by Harlan Phillips. Cherry speaks of his background and education; the Depression's effect on him; his first association with the WPA Federal Art Project; working for Stanton Macdonald-Wright; how the project functioned; trying to create an "American style" in painting; the team approach to creating murals; the effect of the project on individual artists and their styles; experimenting with materials; unions and political problems; social interaction between artists on the project; the current art market; his overall view of the Federal Art Project. He recalls Thomas Hart Benton.

Biographical/Historical Note

Herman Cherry (1909-1992) was a painter, mural painter, lithographer, craftsman, writer, and teacher in New York, New York.


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.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Transcript: 35mm microfilm reel 3949 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Herman Cherry, 1965 September. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.