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Oral history interview with Laurance P. Roberts, 1985 July 26-29

Oral history interview with Laurance P. Roberts, 1985 July 26-29

Roberts, Laurance P., 1907-2002

Art historian, Arts administrator


Collection Information

Size: 2 sound cassettes (2 hr., 22 min.)

Format: Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 22 min.

Summary: An interview of Laurance P. Roberts conducted 1985 July 26-29, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.

Roberts speaks of his education at Princeton University; his first employment as a cataloger working on the John G. Johnson Collection for the Philadelphia Museum of Art; studying in China in the 1930s; working as Curator of Near and Far Eastern Art at the Brooklyn Museum (1934-1938) and then becoming Director there (1938-1942); his years as Director of the American Academy in Rome (1946-1959); writing a report advocating the establishment of the New York State Council on the Arts and Humanities for Governor Nelson Rockefeller; writing a guide to Japanese art museums and a dictionary of Japanese artists; living in Italy.

Biographical/Historical Note

Laurance P. Roberts (1907-2002) was an art historian and art administrator in New York, Rome, and Philadelphia.


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 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

For information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Laurance P. Roberts, 1985 July 26-29. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.