Size: 37 Pages Transcript
Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 4 min.
Summary: An interview of John Saccaro conducted 1964 June 18, by Mary McChesney, for the Archives of American Art.
Saccaro discusses the primary influences on San Francisco art in the 1930s and how he started working for the WPA. He describes the working conditions on each of the projects are in detail. Robert McChesney sat in on the interview, and he at times helps Saccaro remember facts. (The two of them worked of the same mural project at Treasure Island.) McChesney and Saccaro mention 10 to 15 of their coworkers and reminisce about what became of them. None seems to have continued painting. Saccaro's first solo show (1939) is mentioned; he describes meeting Arshile Gorky near this time. The interview concludes with a consideration of the artist's place in society and how difficult it is to become established as a painter. Much attention is given to the fate of Saccaro's coworkers and the day-to-day experience of being a WPA artist. He discusses little of his own style, which remained by his own admission relatively unadventurous until after the war.