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Oral history interview with Martha Mayer Erlebacher, 1990 December 7-1991 January 12

Erlebacher, Martha Mayer, 1937-



Collection Information

Size: 155 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 3 sound tape cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 41 min.

Summary: An interview of Martha Mayer Erlebacher conducted 1990 December 7-1991 January 12, by Anne Schuster Hunter, for the Archives of American Art Philadelphia Project.
Erlebacher discusses her family background and education including her studies at Pratt Institute in Industrial Design, meeting future husband Walter Erlebacher; working for the design firm Arthur Wagner Associates; receiving her advanced degree from Pratt; her early optical paintings and the gradual introduction of the figure; studying and teaching herself anatomy along with Walter Erlebacher in the mid 1960s; a 1966 Yaddo fellowship; moving to Philadelphia and her first one person show there in 1966; showing with Robert Schoelkopf; the development of themes and use of mythology in her art; interest in Renaissance painters; Camille Paglia's "Sexual Personae"; and portrait commissions and models.

Biographical/Historical Note

Martha Mayer Erlebacher (1937- ) is a painter from Philadelphia, Pensylvania. Wife of sculptor Walter Erlebacher.


This interview is part of the Archives' 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.

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

Transcript: 35mm microfilm reel 4777 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Transcript: Patrons must use microfilm copy.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Martha Mayer Erlebacher, 1990 December 7-1991 January 12. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.