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Oral history interview with Joseph Liss, 1982 Aug. 10

Liss, Joseph, 1911-1988



Collection Information

Size: 16 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 43 min.

Summary: An interview of Joseph Liss conducted 1982 Aug. 10, by Dore Ashton, for the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and His Times oral history project.
Liss relates anecdotes about Mark Rothko, including ones about a painting Liss bought, a fishing trip with Harold Rosenberg, a portrait of Liss painted by Rothko, and Rothko's visits with Liss in the country. He reads passages from his writings, including an account of why Rosenberg and Rothko ceased to be friends which incorporates Rosenberg's own words.

Biographical/Historical Note

Joseph Liss (1911-1988) was a writer from East Hampton, Long Island and a, friend of artist Mark Rothko and other Long Island artists.


This interview was conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's Mark Rothko and his Times oral history project, with funding provided by the Mark Rothko Foundation. Others interviewed on the project (by various interviewers) include: Sonia Allen, Sally Avery, Ben-Zion, Bernard Braddon, Ernest Briggs, Rhys Caparn, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Ferber, Esther Gottlieb, Juliette Hays, Sidney Janis, Buffie Johnson, Jacob Kainen, Louis Kaufman, Jack Kufeld, Katharine Kuh, Stanley Kunitz, Dorothy Miller, Betty Parsons, Wallace Putnam, Rebecca Reis, Maurice Roth, Sidney Schectman, Aaron Siskind, Joseph Solman, Hedda Sterne, Jack Tworkov, Esteban Vicente and Ed Weinstein. Each has been cataloged separately.

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

35mm microfilm reel 4937 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Transcript: Use requires an appointment.

Passage cited from "Afternoon With the De Koonings" book written by Liss: The interviewee has retained all intellectual property rights, including copyright, that they may own.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Joseph Liss, 1982 Aug. 10. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.