Skip to main content

Oral history interview with John Stephan, 1986 May 20-1987 May 7

Oral history interview with John Stephan, 1986 May 20-1987 May 7

Stephan, John Walter, 1906-1995

Painter

Collection Information

Size: 6 sound cassettes.

Format: Originally recorded on 6 sound cassette. Reformated in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 54 min.

Summary: An interview of John Stephan conducted 1986 May 20-1987 May 7, by Robert Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Stephan speaks of his childhood and art education in 1930s Chicago; politics and the Chicago WPA and moving to New York City in the 1940s. He reminisces about artist acquaintances; dealers; publication of "Tiger's Eye," a notable literary and art magazine; and his friendship with Clyfford Still. He discusses his move to Newport, Rhode Island; his long lapse from exhibiting and his philosophy of art and life.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Walter Stephan (1906-1995) was a painter.

Provenance

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.

Funding

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.

Use requires an appointment.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with John Stephan, 1986 May 20-1987 May 7. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.