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Oral history interview with John Chamberlain, 1991 January 29-30

Chamberlain, John Angus, 1927-2011

Assemblage artist, Sculptor


Collection Information

Size: 92 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 19 min.

Summary: An interview of John Chamberlain conducted 1991 January 29-30, by Bonnie Clearwater, for the Archives of American Art.
Chamberlain talks of his studio in Sarasota; his assistants; working intuitively; encouraging a "sense of discovery" for the artists and audience; collaborating with poet Robert Creeley; his early interest in composing music; retrospective exhibitions; the "heroics of drinking" at the Cedar Bar; and working methods. Chamberlain was reluctant to be interviewed.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Chamberlain (1927-2011) was a sculptor from Sarasota, Florida.


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 John Chamberlain, 1991 January 29-30. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.