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Oral history interview with Merle Armitage, 1964 February 6

Armitage, Merle, 1893-1975

Designer, Draftsmen (artists), Arts administrator


Collection Information

Size: 28 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav file. Duration is 48 min.

Summary: An interview of Merle Armitage conducted 1964 February 6, by Sylvia Loomis, for the Archives of American Art.
Armitage speaks of his role as Public Works of Art Project regional chairman of Southern California, including his supervision of 126 artists involved in painting, drawing, sculpture, lithography and mural projects; experimental work in PWAP easel painting projects; censorship of subject matter in a mural for the Frank Wiggins Trade School; his opposition to government subsidized art programs; his impressions of Edward Bruce, Dalzell Hatfield, James Milford Zornes, and others associated with the PWAP. Armitage also speaks of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and contemporary book design.

Biographical/Historical Note

Merle Armitage (1893-1975) was an art administrator and graphic artist of Santa Fe, New Mexico.


This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Transcript: 35mm microfilm reel 3418 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 Merle Armitage, 1964 February 6. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.