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Oral history interview with Jennifer Bartlett, 1987 June-September

Bartlett, Jennifer, 1941-

Painter, Author, Educator


Collection Information

Size: 4 Cassettes, Sound recording: (5 hrs. 20 min.), analog.; 168 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 15 min.

Summary: An interview of Jennifer Bartlett conducted 1987 June-September, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art.
Bartlett discusses her family background and the dynamics within the family; her childhood interest in art; growing up in suburban Long Beach, California; attending Mills College and Yale School of Fine Arts; and her teachers and co-students there. She remembers in particular Elizabeth Murray, Jack Tworkov, and Richard Serra. She speaks about themes and intentions in her work, especially "Rhapsody" and various commissions including works created for ISI, Saatchi, Volvo, and Battery Park. Bartlett speaks about her writings "Cleopatra" and "History of the Universe" and their relationship to her painting. She concludes the interview with philosophical musings about art and taste.

Biographical/Historical Note

Jennifer Bartlett (1941- ) was a painter, writer, and art instructor in New York, New York.


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 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 Jennifer Bartlett, 1987 June-September. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.