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Oral history interview with James Harithas, 1979 Mar. 16-May 17

Harithas, James, 1932-

Museum director, Painter


Collection Information

Size: Sound recording: 1 Sound tape reel, 7 in.; 106 Pages, Transcript

Summary: An interview of James Harithas conducted 1979 Mar. 16- 1979 May 17, by Sandra Curtis Levy, for the Archives of American Art.
Harithas speaks of his youth in Maine; his educational background and early interest in art; the first exhibit he was involved in; his first curatorial position; going to work for the Corcoran and becoming director there; some of the Corcoran's important exhibits; teaching at Hunter College; controversial activities he involved himself in; becoming curator at the Syracuse Museum; political programs and activities at Syracuse; moving to Houston and becoming curator of the Contemporary Arts Museum there; fundraising problems; the visual arts and their relationship to the media; ethnic exhibits; government support for the arts; trends in museums and collecting; Houston as an art community.

Biographical/Historical Note

James Hartihas (1932- ) is a museum director and painter from Houston, Tex.


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

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with James Harithas, 1979 Mar. 16-May 17. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.