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Oral history interview with Paul Carey and Stephanie Caloia, 1997 October 26

Carey, Paul, 1904-2001

Painter, Illustrator, Graphic designer


Collection Information

Size: 30 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 3 min.

Summary: An interview of Paul Carey and Stephanie Caloia conducted 1997 October 26, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
The topic of discussion in this interview was pioneer modernist, Edward Hagedorn (1902-1982). Paul Carey was a fellow student at California School of Fine Arts and studio mate in San Francisco's "Monkey Block"; Stephanie Caloia was Hagedorn's final model and weekly companion. They shared reminiscences of Hagedorn from the 1920s and 1930s to the late 1970s. Carey began the interview with a discussion of Hagedorn's background, including his family circumstances, personality, ideas on art, and interest in women. Caloia recalls her years with Hagedorn (1975-1982), when he would engage models to pose for him in his Berkeley home. Eventually she became his only model and accompanied him to North Beach restaurants and bars where he apparently was a well-known character. Both interviewees related anecdotes about Hagedorn that create a picture of a complex, introspective, and mysterious loner whose striking expressionism reflects personal fears and obsessions. Hagedorn's work is receiving new attention after its "rediscovery" a decade ago.

Biographical/Historical Note

Paul Carey (1904-2001) was an artist from Piedmont, California. Stephanie Caloia (1951-) is an artists' model.


This interview is 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 administrators. This interview is 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 administrators.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the transcription of this interview is provided by the Bente and Gerald E. Buck Collection. 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.



The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with Paul Carey adn Stefanie Caloia on October 26, 1997. The interview took place in Piedmont, CA, and was conducted by Paul Karlstrom for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.



Tape 1, side A [session 1, tape 1; 30-minute tape sides]

PAUL KARLSTROM: Okay. Here we go. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, an interview with two subjects; the artist, Paul Carey and our mutual friend, Stephanie Caloia who, among other things is an artist, model. The subject is Edward Hagedorn. The date, Sunday, October 26, 1997. The interview is taking place on the front patio of Mr. Carey's residence in, is this Piedmont or Oakland?

PAUL CAREY: Piedmont.

PAUL KARLSTROM: The interviewer for the Archives is Paul Karlstrom. So that's by way of introduction, introducing our subject. And the reason that we're taping the two of you today is that you both at different times, quite different times, as a matter of fact, knew in one way or another our subject, Edward Hagedorn, who is a California artist, whom quite a bit of attention is beginning to be paid. But not real well known. Certainly not appearing even in books on California art much until recently. Including the book that I edited on the Ancient America, California Modernist Art, 1900 to 1950, in which Ed Hagedorn is mentioned a fair amount in the introduction and also has a color print. So the interest is growing and this is a good opportunity to learn more about the artist from your perspective. So why don't we start with Paul? Is that okay, Stephanie?


PAUL KARLSTROM: Paul, would you tell us just how you came to know Ed? And briefly, what the basis, the nature of your relationship was and what the time period was?

PAUL CAREY: Well, we were fellow students at the old California School of Fine Arts. And I had been there a year, I guess. Ed had been there about two or three years. And another student named John Atherton. And the three of us decided to leave together and work for the model and try to landscape and so on. And we would show our work to Ray Boynton occasionally for a critique. So gradually Atherton went East. He did commercial artwork here and then decided to go East. And after he was there and very successful in that field, he moved into fine art and more expressive work. Meanwhile, Ed Hagedorn had only one way to go. He never did anything commercial or anything that might eventually bring in a dollar. He was dedicated. He was a dedicated German Expressionist in San Francisco. The only one. At that time nobody knew about German Expressionism. The only art they knew was French art, and Paris art. But Ed pursued this and created his own version of German Expressionism. So he, we drew from the model frequently and had others drew with us at the studio, in the old Montgomery block. Jack Lanier, a sculptor, was one of them. And mostly friends of Ed's. But Ed's art, Ed's drawings from the model are very masterful drawings. And he drew other people in that wanted to be a part of it. But he had very little publicity. It wasn't until the WPA came along when he kind of found a place both as an artist and also socially. But he was a tall, narrow, gawky-looking bird, who was . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: Sort of, sort of funny looking?

PAUL CAREY: Yeah. His words came out of his stomach.

PAUL KARLSTROM: His words came out of his stomach?

PAUL CAREY: Yeah, yeah. They came right up, out. And when he tried to laugh it was almost impossible for him to laugh. He'd get all choked up. [chuckles] Just couldn't get the laughs out. He was what you might call an extreme introvert. I've never known anyone so totally introverted as Ed.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Did this restrict his social life a bit?

PAUL CAREY: Well, his life was all inward. But his father had disowned him when he was about nineteen. [airplane noise in background] Should I wait for this?

PAUL KARLSTROM: Please. [pause in tape] Sorry about that interruption.

PAUL CAREY: All right. Well, Ed's background was pretty rough. His mother died in childbirth. Then his father disowned him when he was about nineteen, I guess. Particularly his father was annoyed by the drawings Ed made, which were in this several Expressionist way of being. And being a hard-nosed old German, Ed wouldn't stop. Ed was . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: Why did his father object to that?

PAUL CAREY: He didn't, he hated the stuff, I guess. I don't know. But he, he, one of the [inaudible] of the only cause, I don't know. Except I know Ed wouldn't budge. Ed had a position. He knew what he wanted to do. He was an artist. He was always going to be an artist. And he knew what aspect of art he wanted to do. His father didn't agree apparently and all of that. So he cut him off so he wouldn't get a nickel.

Well, Ed had lived with . . . But I used to think it was two aunts but it was not. There was an aunt and a grandmother. And the aunt was of the father's temperament. She was a bitter, hard-nosed woman that Ed insisted was trying to kill him. Very sincerely he said that. But bit by bit, you know, the dripping [chuckles] some faucet. So they had me to dinner a couple of times. I guess I wanted to see what strange . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: He had you there to test the food?

PAUL CAREY: Maybe. [chuckles]. To test. Running around with his friends for life. And, uh, I thought originally it was two aunts but I knew it was not as soon as I saw them. It was his grandmother. Because she was a wimp, beautiful, Catholic, pleasant, woman who loved Ed. And the other was a black-haired, working woman in the insurance business who was hard-nosed and, uh, just two utterly different characters. The grandmother was really the only person who ever gave Ed a break. He loved her and he was very fond of her.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And did he live with them?

PAUL CAREY: He lived with them, yeah.

PAUL KARLSTROM: At the time you knew him?

PAUL CAREY: Yeah. But he got a place in an old building, later it was the Montgomery block around here. Early building, it was torn down. But it was a refuge for beach seaman who, you know, had committed suicide, was the customary manner. You know, these suicides, they were frequent. These old boys, uh, and, uh, I opened one of the doors by accident instead of Ed's door. And a man came up and just in a rage. It was very strange. There were no pensions in those days. When the ships didn't want them anymore, boom, they were on the beach of San Francisco. And they just drifted off. At any rate, that building was torn down. But we worked there for quite a while. And then we got on the Montgomery block, which was a more of a permanent headquarters. And others came in and joined us. And during the WPA, was the period when Ed had exposure and exhibited in the print exhibitions.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Where was that? Do you remember?

PAUL CAREY: That was in the Montgomery block too. That's where we worked.

PAUL KARLSTROM: So they were having exhibitions there in the Montgomery?

PAUL CAREY: No. They didn't have the exhibitions there. They varied to where they had them. They got, I think, Oakland Art Gallery had some and also they sent things too. I think the Smithsonian had print exhibitions at that time. Ed's had some work there at that time. But, uh, then later Galka Scheyer, who was a German woman who liked the work of Klee and Kandinsky and from that group, put them together, and the only place she could find a place to show them was Oakland. It was the only place in the country that liked this terrible stuff. So she saw Ed's work. And she called him on it one day and bought three of his works. And said she would like to represent him and show his work nationally and internationally. And this is something that has been misquoted, that's wrong. Ed said, he slammed the door on her and told her to get out. And, um, you know, I can authenticate that about as well as I can authenticate anything. Because the next morning he told me about it. And he was still shaking. And, uh, uh, it was a mistake he made. It would have given him a career. And like public exposure and all of that. And he never got it again. Never again did that opportunity happen.

PAUL KARLSTROM: What a peculiar response. I mean, did he say why he slammed the door?

PAUL CAREY: Well, I can, I can tell you another artist I know who did the same thing. It was Lundy Siegrist. One day him and I were out painting together. He told me this. He hadn't told many people, I guess. But the best gallery in San Francisco at that time was when he was really big and known internationally. And the architect, the one who designed the terrible Candlestick Park. I've forgotten the name of the guy.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Was that John Bolles?

PAUL CAREY: Yeah. But he had a very good gallery. So he wanted to represent Ed and, uh, I mean, uh . . .


PAUL CAREY: Lundy. Lundy said to tell you, 'You give me, guarantee me ten thousand a year and I'll turn everything over to you.' Ten thousand a year at that time, well it would be a hundred thousand, much more than a hundred thousand dollars. [chuckles] And, you know, you think why doesn't Ed, when he realize, I mean, . . .


PAUL CAREY: Lundy. When he realizes it and go back. But I don't know. He doesn't do it. Ed doesn't do it either.

PAUL KARLSTROM: But did Ed say why he, quote ". . . slammed the door on Galka Scheyer"?

PAUL CAREY: No. But, but I had to guess that. But it was the same instinct. Well, other artists are similar. You know, the most important person, personal property an artist has is his own work. That's the only reason I can see for it. And they're protective of it in a sense. Well, you wouldn't think it would go that far. But there's something that compels them to do this. And I think you could question a lot of artists and you'll find that at some time they had said the wrong thing at the wrong time and hurt themselves.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Yeah, well, what surprises me is here is an artist drawn to German Expressionism, as you say, the only artist in the Bay Area, certainly, and I mean all of California at the time, interested in that sort of work. And, you know, a little later we can talk about what he saw. How he engaged that style. But at any rate, he was interested in that and here was the dealer, one of the only, if not the only, who was coming, representing some of the main exponents. One would think that Hagedorn would say, "This is my home. I have found my soul mate. The person who appreciates and this is where I should go." And so it sounds to me as if old Hagedorn had something, sort of a perverse streak.

PAUL CAREY: Well, there was one other thing. The only other thing I can think of. He had a kind of a deep seated, headed, hatred of middle aged women. Particularly to this aunt of his who was just such a hard-nosed woman. She hated him. Ed hated her. You know, it was a bitter hatred.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And he told you this?

PAUL CAREY: No, he didn't tell me that. I just could see it. I mean, you know, it was wide open. He told me that he though she was trying to kill him and so on. He made it quite clear that they were not fond of one another. [chuckles] But I think it spread to other women too. Thinking back, he didn't irrationally spread this feeling, you know, where he shouldn't have spread it.

STEFANIE CALOIA: There might have been something about her that he knew about and he didn't like. Or heard something. Who knows?

PAUL CAREY: I don't think there was that. She put on those shows at Mills College. Where was the other place they showed? But any rate, uh, he went to the shows and he was quite excited the first time he'd seen a lot of this stuff from the originals. And Mills had too. Smith, Radcliffe and a lot of other expressionists. And this was great stimulus for him. But, no, she was not, uh, admirable, to have sense for this. So, anyone could take whatever facts you wanted, they got, form your own conclusion. Those are the only conclusions, the reasons why that I can dig up. And if that artist feeling of protectiveness. And I have them myself, so it's not that bad.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, okay. This is something that we can pursue further. But that gives an idea of the nature of your relationship to him, which was personal. And to a certain degree I gather social as well as being fellow students and sharing.

PAUL CAREY: Yes. Well, then somebody in the family gave him ten thousand a year for life. And I think it must have been the aunt. I don't know who. Because he had no other relatives. When he died they couldn't find any relatives.

STEFANIE CALOIA: What about the grandmother?

PAUL CAREY: Well, the grandmother had died long before he died.

STEFANIE CALOIA: No, but, you said someone gave him ten thousand a year for life.

PAUL CAREY: I would think it was the grandmother. But I don't know.

PAUL KARLSTROM: The grandmother. Not the aunt.


STEFANIE CALOIA: You said aunt at first.

PAUL CAREY: Yeah, because he was the only . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: The aunt who was trying to kill him.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, I thought he had that Kodak stock.

PAUL CAREY: . . . the only person who believed in him. And I don't know who else. See there was not many even at that time in the family. They had an insurance business, I think it was. Or maybe the old father, you know, maybe he was still living and he regretted what he did or something. Make your own story.

PAUL KARLSTROM: So what were the years then when you had the most contact with him?

PAUL CAREY: I would say from 1925 to '40. Pretty much in that period.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Then he became, I gather, a little more reclusive?

PAUL CAREY: Yeah. And one little odd thing is Ed became a stockholder after that. An investor.


PAUL CAREY: And he got a great kick out of it. Well, the first thing he bought an automobile, a Volkswagen bug. And he's just amazed at this automobile. He says, "There are more lights in this car than there is in the whole apartment house where I live." [chuckles] "This is utterly amazing."

PAUL KARLSTROM: He wouldn't like it if it was German.

PAUL CAREY: He was finally in a whole new world.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Didn't he, didn't he get Kodak?


STEFANIE CALOIA: Didn't you have a story once about him saying, "Have you ever heard of Kodak?" Or something?

PAUL CAREY: Oh, yeah. Well, one day we were walking down the street, and this is in 19 . . . I don't know, whenever. We had some photo business, you know, what is it?



PAUL CAREY: Polaroid, yeah. He said, "Did you ever hear of a company named Polaroid?"

STEFANIE CALOIA: That's it. Not Kodak.

PAUL CAREY: This is Christmas time. Polaroid stock was probably selling for fifty cents a share.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And he bought it up?

PAUL CAREY: So I told him, no, I hadn't. But I always remembered that. And when he died he left a half a million in, it was mostly in stocks. And he never spent the money. Rather he enjoyed doing it. You know. And playing with it. [chuckles]

PAUL KARLSTROM: Let me now turn to Stephanie. What was the nature of your connection with Hagedorn? You know, over what period of time? Obviously very late.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Right. Um, I joined the San Francisco Model's Guild in, I think, September of '74. And after some time I had heard about this man named Ed Hagedorn who would hire models. Who for some reason I never got a booking to model for him.

PAUL CAREY: And he would do this privately, of course.

STEFANIE CALOIA: At his home. And it always was a little bit of a mystery. I wonder who this is. And then I'd hear little things like he was eccentric and, and then he would have these model parties. And I was just sort of out in the cold in all of this, you know, for quite a, quite a while. And I don't know how it changed. But at some point I had a, a modeling job for him. So I went to his house. And I think the first time I was a little nervous, thinking, well, what is this all about? You know. [laughs] And, um, it turned out that it grew into, you know, a big friendship as time went on. But in the beginning for, it was just strictly I would go over to his house and model and he did the same thing like every time I would go. He would have a camellia that he had cut from the back already cut. Or as time went, we would actually go out in the little back area behind his house and, you know, then we would cut one together. And he was always dressed like the gentleman. He always had a jacket, a shirt and tie. And his house was really wild. He had piles and piles of newspapers and magazines. He had a lot of pornographic magazines and he would say, 'Want to see some pretty girls?' And he'd show me this picture of these two lesbians doing something or other.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And what did you say? You said, 'Well, of course?'

STEFANIE CALOIA: No. I just sort of sloughed it off, like, 'No, not really.' You know? And then he had all kinds of little collections. He had swords. He had canes. He had lots and lots of books. And a lot of dishes. Like glasses and china and things piled around. And we would go upstairs into, I guess, which would have been a bedroom but it was where he had the models. And then there would always be these liqueurs there. And I think candy too. And it was the first time I'd ever had Toowalka [phon. sp.], the Italian liqueur that's made out of milk.

PAUL KARLSTROM: I've never had that. Is it good?

STEFANIE CALOIA: No? Oh, yeah, it's very good.

PAUL CAREY: Oh, yeah. He had good taste.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Yeah, it was like sort of a . . .

PAUL CAREY: He liked to do everything just right.

STEFANIE CALOIA: It was really a different kind of job. And he would just, I think in the beginning he might have done some ink and wash. But as time went, he would just do plain ink sketches, in like sketch books.


STEFANIE CALOIA: And, well, just like sort of line drawings mostly.

PAUL KARLSTROM: When did this start now? What year?

STEFANIE CALOIA: I would say it would be probably '75, 6 or 7. I'm not sure. I, I might be able to figure it out at some point. But I knew him from then until, up until when he died.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Which was when?

PAUL CAREY: I had lost track of him completely then.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, we can find that. We know when that is.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Yeah. It will say so in that book in there.

STEFANIE CALOIA: It was like around '80 or something.

PAUL KARLSTROM: It will say so in the book.

PAUL CAREY: I couldn't find the, the number any place. He wouldn't give anybody his phone number. Unless, say if they were having a model that night. If they had a male model, then she could call and tell him not to come. They wouldn't come. [laughs]

STEFANIE CALOIA: Oh, that's when you drew at the, the drawing group that you guys had?

PAUL CAREY: Well, I don't know. Well, that's right. I guess, we did draw as a group for awhile.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, what about that? I didn't know about that.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, I think that was what's now like adult education in San Francisco. Because when I, back then I was even modeling with, it would be at Marina Junior High School. It was before people were going to Fort Mason. It was through the city. But I remember you saying that he would find out if there was going to be a male model and he wouldn't go. He never had any interest in men. He did have one friend, however, who would come over and visit him once in awhile, or go out with him.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Who was that?

PAUL CAREY: He had some friends.

STEFANIE CALOIA: What was his name? Did you know him?

PAUL CAREY: The little hunch back guy?

STEFANIE CALOIA: No. He wasn't hunch backed.

PAUL CAREY: There was a side tire salesman. You know, the little hunch back fella.

STEFANIE CALOIA: His name was Jim, I think.

PAUL KARLSTROM: But he wasn't an artist. He was just a friend?


PAUL CAREY: This fellow was an artist, not an artist as such, but he drew. He came to draw all the time. But he couldn't draw anywhere near, anything like the figure. So he got, they were modern. He [inaudible].

PAUL KARLSTROM: He would turn the figures into abstractions, right?

PAUL CAREY: Just, they were just, that's the way they came out. He was trying to make them real.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Maybe this guy Jim did come and draw for awhile sometimes.

PAUL KARLSTROM: So, you mean, when you were modeling, you were posing for Ed, he was not always alone? Sometimes there would be another artist there?

STEFANIE CALOIA: I think this guy came once in awhile. Now that my memory's starting to think.

PAUL CAREY: I've forgotten his name now. But he was in some of the shows and so forth. But because they were so modern.

STEFANIE CALOIA: We might not be talking about the same guy.

PAUL KARLSTROM: No, we're talking about different times also.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Two different people. Anyway, this went on for awhile. And it, all of a sudden I was the only model who was modeling for Ed.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Oh, why was that?

STEFANIE CALOIA: I don't know. I think he lost interest in the others.


STEFANIE CALOIA: He really liked me a lot. He would say . . .

PAUL CAREY: She was a hell of a good model. Better than anybody I ever saw.

STEFANIE CALOIA: I would do standing poses for him. You know, and he'd say, 'Oh, sweetheart, a standing pose. The other models just come in and they hit the mat.' [laughs]

PAUL KARLSTROM: [laughs] Is that what he said?

STEFANIE CALOIA: He would say that over and over again.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Hit the mat.


PAUL CAREY: And you would get to go out to dinner together too.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, I would do standing up ones. I wouldn't, I always do a variety. But I would do gesture poses.

PAUL KARLSTROM: So he was, he was complimenting you?


PAUL KARLSTROM: Because the other ones were . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: Because I wasn't coming in and hitting the mat.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Which means they were lazy?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Right. [laughs]

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, how would you describe your relationship? It sounds to me like it became, over time, more of a, well, a friendship?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Oh, definitely. You see, it, it totally became a friendship because we would go out to dinner together.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Just like with Paul?



STEFANIE CALOIA: Only different. [laughs]

PAUL CAREY: But I can tell you of his marriages, but that's another story.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Oh, well, we'll save that for the other side.

STEFANIE CALOIA: So he has a Volkswagen when I knew him and he always would want to go to North Beach. And he would be driving at first. And we would either go to Green Valley or New Pisa. [phon. sp.] And they all knew him there. And then after dinner we would go to Tosca's , which is . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: Where they had opera, right?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, they have opera on the jukebox.


STEFANIE CALOIA: And he knew everybody there. And that's where Carol Doda would come in and say hello, pop her head in in between acts back then.

PAUL KARLSTROM: She, Ed knew Carol Doda?

STEFANIE CALOIA: I think Ed knew everybody around there. You know, it's right by the book store.

PAUL KARLSTROM: He doesn't sound that anti-social then. I mean, it's not as if he was hiding out in his flat or whatever he lived in.

PAUL CAREY: No, but it was limited. Certainly, extremely limited.

STEFANIE CALOIA: He wasn't completely anti-social. He liked women though. He would call people 'young ladies' or 'pretty girls.'

PAUL KARLSTROM: What about, what about Paul's notion that he did not like middle aged women?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, by the time I knew him Ed was quite an elderly man, and I think he changed. Because when I finally went to one of these parties that I had heard about, model parties, there really weren't any models there at all except for me. And Agathe Benniche who used to model for him. You see, Agathe you really should talk to, because she knew Ed even longer than I did. Because she modeled for him in the beginning.

PAUL KARLSTROM: What's her name? Agathe?


PAUL KARLSTROM: How do you spell that?



STEFANIE CALOIA: Benniche. B-E-N-N-I-C-H-E. She's Swedish. She teaches at city college. She's an art teacher.


STEFANIE CALOIA: She started out modeling for Ed. And then quit modeling and just still be, you know, was his friend. So the first model party I went to it was Agathe and her friends there with Ed.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Agathe and her friends.

STEFANIE CALOIA: And people would just make a big dinner. We would have french bread, salad and Ed loved crab. So when crab was in season we'd have a crab party. And that's when those pictures were taken that I gave you.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Yeah. In the archives.

[Begin Tape 1, Side B]

PAUL KARLSTROM: Okay. Here we go again. This is Tape 1, Side B. And we're continuing this interview, dual interview with Stephanie Caloia and Paul Carey. The subject is Ed Hagedorn. And you were beginning to reminisce a little bit about the time that each of you spent with him. And Stephanie, you were talking about . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: Going out for dinner.

PAUL KARLSTROM: . . . going out with him for dinner.

STEFANIE CALOIA: And we would go to Tosca's. And that's when I had my first White Nun. Only Ed would call them a white one. Like one as in O-N-E. And apparently Ed invented this drink. And it was, I think, Kahlua, cream and vodka. Is that a White Russian though? It was something that was, I think at the time, was supposed to not be a drink then. Oh, no, it was milk.


STEFANIE CALOIA: No? Cream, milk. Uh-oh.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Oh, well, nobody's going to need to test us on that.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, you can just call them up and ask them and they probably still . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: But he may, he invented it?

STEFANIE CALOIA: I think, from what I remember hearing. And we would sit at the bar.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And people would greet him and say, 'Hey, Ed. Ed, how are you?'

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, it was mainly the bartender that he knew really well who finally did sell the place I think. He had it for quite some time.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Did he talk to you at all about, about art? About his interest of that?



STEFANIE CALOIA: Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I never knew he was this great artist because all I saw were these ink drawings.

PAUL KARLSTROM: So you thought he was some kind of a charming old weirdo that liked to have a young woman around?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Yeah. Right. I mean, he obviously was very intelligent. He had books on, you know, he was very much interested in history, war. He had books about witchcraft.



PAUL CAREY: [laughing] Sure. Sure, I'll tell you about that. It's true.

STEFANIE CALOIA: And I was never really interested in any of these things. You know, I wasn't into war and his weapon collection. But once I got into the kitchen it was a little more fun because he had all kinds of pretty old China plates and different kinds of glasses that I guess he collected from Goodwill, part of it. Because I know he did go to Goodwill pretty often.

PAUL CAREY: He went to Goodwill, yeah.

STEFANIE CALOIA: He gave me a, a nice little Victorian shoe vase that he had gotten there.

PAUL CAREY: Well, I have one thing that, uh, a totem pole.

STEFANIE CALOIA: I have that. Yeah. But . . .

PAUL CAREY: That I got in the mail.

STEFANIE CALOIA: I got one of those totem poles. Oh, yeah, he had totem poles. He was very much into totem poles. But, um, I was pretty self-involved in my own life too at the time. He was just something I ended up doing like every week. I'd go over to Ed's. We'd either go out for dinner or as times got tougher for him and he wasn't as healthy, I would just stay, you know, go shopping or he would go shopping. And we would just make dinner at his house.

PAUL KARLSTROM: When was this? Like every Friday?

STEFANIE CALOIA: I think it was every Friday night. Yeah.

PAUL KARLSTROM: So you became a companion? Or a date in effect?

STEFANIE CALOIA: I guess. I never thought of myself as a date but.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, I mean, it sounds sort of like that. I mean, you you're not strictly speaking just a model. You don't show up and just . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: Right. I know. In the beginning I was strictly a model, 8:00 to 10:00. And then it just turned into the, a friend basically.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Did he ever talk with you about any personal things?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Not much. Um, because you'd ask him questions and he would, I would ask him, 'Where are you from?' or 'Where were born?' 'I was born on a ship at sea.' He would always say . . . [chuckles]

PAUL CAREY: Ed was totally different as far, you never learned anything. I never asked the questions, you know. And so I didn't know anything about Ed. He, well, he'd volunteer things every once in awhile. But otherwise I felt it wasn't appropriate to ask him a question about his personal life.

STEFANIE CALOIA: I did find out he was married once. Or he was . . .

PAUL CAREY: Well, he was married once, yeah. But then he had a long-term girlfriend.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Did he have a half wife? That, the word half wife sounds . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: What is a half wife?

STEFANIE CALOIA: I'm not even sure but it's sort of coming into my conscious.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Was it the top or the bottom half? [laughter]

PAUL CAREY: He had a good friend named Esther. Esther Hollinbeck [phon. sp.] was her name. And, uh, [coughs] she was in, uh, um, uh, what do you call it? Suddenly I've gone deaf. Um, Goodwill and things, taking care of children who the family and all . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: I think he said she was a social worker.

PAUL CAREY: Social worker.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Social worker. Yeah.

PAUL CAREY: Social worker, yeah. And a wonderful girl, young woman. She was kind of homely and had a bad complexion. But otherwise she was a very fine woman. And so she was the only, um, long term relationship Ed had with anybody. But finally he got tired of her. Just couldn't stand all that god damn talk, telling him about social work talk and all of that. It was too much for him. But before that he was married to a woman who, uh, knocked on the door of his studio one time on Montgomery block, or I think it was the place before that. And this woman came in and said she would like to model for him. So Ed told me about it and, um, said, 'Do you want to join us?' So, uh, so she wouldn't model for anybody but him. I couldn't [inaudible]. So then she wanted to marry him and take him to New York. And said, 'I'll promote your work for you in New York,' and so forth. And so I guess Ed said, 'Well, why not?' [laughs] [Inaudible] So they went to New York and got married. And, uh, I don't, I doubt if Ed went to any of the museums around or the art galleries or anything. He spent all his time in the library. The New York Library is of course is a famous place.


PAUL CAREY: And that's where he spent all his time. And he, um, specialized in, um, um, witchcraft for one. And, um, biographies of Columbus. There's another one that he read.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Oh, yeah, Columbus. Yeah. History.

PAUL CAREY: Endless books. I think there are more books on Columbus than anybody except Jesus Christ. And Ed read them all. The incident that ended our relationship. I had a, a, we, my wife and I had a group of friends. We got together about once a month and had a few drinks. And uh, and uh, a lot of good conversation. And there were two writers, two novelists. One had written, I don't know, 15, 20 novels, just one after another all his life. Another one had wrote two novels. He would have written more except he was drunk all the time. The third one was a, was a poet by the name of Lincoln Fusell. [phon. sp.] And Lincoln was a wonderful guy. He was quite a remarkable person. I got acquainted with him one day by having lunch with him when he was drunk so much of the time. He wasn't all the time. But that then he had, uh, Lincoln with him. And, uh, the, uh, writer had a got a little job writing something in the city. So he had a necktie on and so on. And Lincoln was kidding him about his necktie. And finally I couldn't stand it any longer. I said, uh, 'You know what a necktie here is?' I said, 'That's a flag no nation will ever fly.' And Lincoln reached over and he says, 'I think I have found a friend.' Do you know he meant that? For ever after that I could do no wrong. The paintings I made were marvelous. [laughs] He was, he couldn't imagine how anybody would argue with him. I mean, although I guess he'd be very positive in certain ways.

But somehow in the, and, and I invited Ed over one night. And they got in a hell of an argument. I didn't hear it because I was mixing drinks and wasn't around. And didn't know anything about it. And then afterwards somebody said, "Gee, that was, your friend and Ed had a hell of a pow-wow out here." And, well, at that time I was raising two kids. You know, a family and I was running an art business. And trying to paint myself. And I was, I didn't have any time to lead Ed's life. So I didn't get around to calling him to ask him about it. And it just went on. And then I lost track of him. And, uh, I couldn't locate him whenever I tried to find where he was, drawings were or anything. And, so it went on for years.

STEFANIE CALOIA: He was living in Berkeley in that house the whole time.

PAUL CAREY: Yeah. He was right there in Berkeley. I could have run into him in the street. But in all the years I never saw the guy again.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Now he had been living in, he was living and working in San Francisco?


PAUL KARLSTROM: And then must have moved to Berkeley? Is this right? Or what was going on?

PAUL CAREY: Well, he was, well he lived with the two aunts I think all that time.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And that was in . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: The aunt and the grandmother, you mean.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And where were they?

PAUL CAREY: On Polk Street.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Okay. So that was in San Francisco?


PAUL KARLSTROM: Somehow he got himself moved over to Berkeley?


PAUL CAREY: But, uh . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: But for all those years where he claims not to know where Ed was, I mean, he was living in the same place in Berkeley for quite a while. On Woolsey Street.

PAUL CAREY: Another thing. The first incident I had with Ed when we, the three of us had gotten together and started the drawing from the models and so on. That hadn't gone on very long and I was, before I was married in 19, it's still the late twenties. And I was staying out on Broadway at a janitor's apartment underneath the floor. And I didn't know anybody except it turned out there were two girls from Ireland living in one of them. I got very well acquainted with them.


PAUL CAREY: And one day I got a knock on the door and it was Ed. That's the only time Ed has ever called me or anything. I had phoned him, you know. 'Let's get together or something.' He would never phone. Never did except this one time. And here was Ed. Again, he was shaking. When he got emotional he would shake. He had a volume of Blake. He said, 'You know, I've berated this guy for years. I never thought there was anything in it. God, this stuff is great.' He said. And so when he started reading Blake to me then I started reading Blake to him. [laughing] We had a good thing. But he disappeared. But I was the only . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: When Blake disappeared or Hagedorn disappeared?

PAUL CAREY: No. Well, you know. Talking about we didn't, he didn't move in with me.

PAUL KARLSTROM: But he was moved. He was excited by their reading the poetry and [inaudible].

PAUL CAREY: Yeah. Yeah. He didn't know anybody else to tell about it.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, that gives some insight into what his interests were.

PAUL CAREY: But he, he felt the need in this case to tell somebody about it. But his great hero is Spangler. [phon. sp.] And I think that's probably what he got in an argument with Lincoln Fusell. Because that's what we were talking about. Spangler, when he was on the, decline of the west. Marginally declining before it, you know.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And Ed liked that?

PAUL CAREY: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Ed, Ed was [inaudible] the decline of the west. Sort of the philosopher.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Did he have, did Ed have, do you think, a somewhat pessimistic view, world view or philosophy? Did you ever . . .

PAUL CAREY: Uh, well . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: Dark, shall we say?

PAUL CAREY: Yeah, well I think Spangler was a pessimistic. But otherwise I don't know much about it really except on the witchcraft and . . .


PAUL CAREY: And Columbus.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Yeah, I'm not quite sure I see a connection there. But it doesn't have to be, of course.

PAUL CAREY: I can see why. But, uh, I don't know . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: What do you think? What do either of you think of that?

PAUL CAREY: Do you know much about Columbus? Ed decided he was a fascinating character.

PAUL KARLSTROM: I know some basic things.


PAUL CAREY: He found it [inaudible].

PAUL KARLSTROM: But, what, okay, what kinds of things about Columbus were interesting to Ed?

PAUL CAREY: About him it was . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: About Columbus.

PAUL CAREY: I don't know. I didn't discuss it, because I don't know anything about Columbus.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Right. I mean, you could tell Ed was very much interested in history, war type things, weapons.

PAUL CAREY: Yes, he read continuously, but what he was reading I didn't go to look to see what the titles of those books were. He read a hell of a lot of books, and like I say, as I mentioned, the home, his house there was piled with books.

STEFANIE CALOIA: The whole place was filled up with reading materials. Anywhere from these, you know, real books to newspapers to pornographic magazines.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Were they really fairly pornographic? Or just nude?

STEFANIE CALOIA: No, he had real, just regular pornographic magazines.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Straight out pornography?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, you know, like Playboy or Hustler, those type of magazines.

PAUL KARLSTROM: They didn't have Hustler then.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, this happened in the late seventies.

PAUL KARLSTROM: I guess maybe so in the late . . . I don't know, I can't remember.

STEFANIE CALOIA: I've never really . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: But Playboy is not exactly pornographic, you know.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, it was whatever when there's two women posing together doing different things.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And doing things. Right. And he liked that?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Oh, yeah. He'd, it was his favorite thing. 'Want to see a picture of a pretty girl?'


PAUL KARLSTROM: Or pretty girls.

STEFANIE CALOIA: And then what Paul said about the laugh too, because as Ed was an older man he seemed very frail. And he was, seemed kind of tall and he had this sort of stoop thing from the top, where his head would kind of stick out like this. And he would go 'Ha ha ha ha.' You know, this like little laugh and he would be laughing. But there wasn't any energy coming out of it like.

PAUL CAREY: Well, I told you about the incident in a restaurant. When his wife she burnt her breast.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Tell, tell that story. Did you hear this one?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Only from Paul.

PAUL CAREY: Yeah, well they invited him. Ed, they used some drawings of Ed's in one of his books. Poetry. And, um, he was a very great admirer of Ed's drawings. So they invited him over and, uh, of course, in the restaurant he liked the booze pretty well. I mean, he was 5 foot 2. But Ed was no great drinker. But at any rate she (his wife) got drunk and fell over on the stove and burnt her breast. So when Ed told me about this, this is what he, he. No matter what he couldn't, he couldn't laugh. You know, he couldn't get up a full laugh. It was just agony for him trying to laugh.

PAUL KARLSTROM: What's so funny about that?


PAUL KARLSTROM: Here's this poor woman . . .

PAUL CAREY: No, I know. It amused him. I don't know. Maybe it was the [inaudible], you know.

STEFANIE CALOIA: It doesn't seem funny to me.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, what . . .

PAUL CAREY: Maybe he hated women.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, what about that? I mean, on the one hand Stephanie says that he loved women. You know, in some way, anyway. And, and you say that maybe not so?

PAUL CAREY: Well, I don't say anything about it. I only told you the facts. [laughs]

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, yeah, I know. That's all right. You can interpret. I mean, you must maybe have some point on here.

PAUL CAREY: Except that if it entertained him, I don't know.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, you know, like cartoons, like horrible things happen to people. They fall or get sma . . . I mean, it's funny. So maybe he just really wasn't very sensitive that this is pain and reality. Just the idea of someone falling or getting hurt, you know, in a, in kind of a . . .

PAUL CAREY: No. No. That would have bothered him that they hurt her breast, you know. Burned her breast. That was one of the funniest things.

STEFANIE CALOIA: And maybe Ed was drunk.

PAUL KARLSTROM: This is pretty, I think this may be kind of revealing. Unless he was so horrified by, you know, sometimes there's a nervous . . .

PAUL CAREY: No, he wasn't. No. No. He wasn't drunk in the morning when he was telling me about it. He was laughing, it was so amusing.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well what, what about, again it's interesting, we're getting a kind of profile of him. It seems to me that women were an important part of his life in several ways. Talking about the, obviously there must have been a lot of influence in his life from the Auntie who was trying to kill him he thought. And the nice grandmother. These two types. And then his relationship with you, which sounds to me very . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: Pretty normal.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Pretty normal.


PAUL KARLSTROM: You know, for the joy in company.

PAUL CAREY: Well, and particularly, yeah.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And companionship. And then these other friends like, what's her name?


PAUL KARLSTROM: Agathe and . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: Agathe, and he actually was friends with Agathe's husband too. Truan would come over and do little carpentry fix-it projects for Ed as Ed got older.

PAUL CAREY: But the long term relationship is with Esther. And that was years. So they were together for quite a few years. Until he couldn't stand no one. Terrible to talk about for her children. [chuckles] And stuff. Yeah, she was very fond of Ed too. They, um, they got along very well for years.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, we're interested in, uh, I mean, there are different aspects of Ed Hagedorn's work. Now, of course, I don't know that much about, uh, to be truthful I haven't seen all of that much work. And until recently most people in the field haven't. So I, I don't have a sense of the overall body of work. I've seen certain things. A lot of wonderfully strange landscapes, very expressionistic. Like they showed in the, included in the De Young Show, you know, Facing Eden.


PAUL KARLSTROM: That was a big deal for Hagedorn because it was like a re-introduction in a big exhibition just, what? Three years ago I think. Uh, and all of sudden there's this kind of interest. So more and more people are saying the kinds of work. But it falls into about maybe three or four groupings that I can think of. And then there are some very, uh, uh, very expressionistic, if you will, with a lot of skeletons and so forth. A kind of macabre, seemingly war-related, disaster-related.


PAUL KARLSTROM: And then of course, a series of straight nudes, just nudes, which are really quite, in fact, you have several of.

PAUL CAREY: [Inaudible] and spent no attention at all to the drawings.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Interesting. So before we, before that big, bad truck came along and made a lot of noise out there, we were talking about . . .

PAUL CAREY: I was wondering if Esther is still around. I don't think she'd be married again. She wasn't particularly beautiful or anything. Esther Hollinbeck. Yeah. You're gonna get it all the time then.

STEFANIE CALOIA: How much older was Ed than you are?

PAUL CAREY: Ed, uh, was, uh, he was born two years earlier.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Just two years?


STEFANIE CALOIA: I thought he was a lot . . .


STEFANIE CALOIA: . . . older.

PAUL CAREY: 1902. I was born in '04.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, let me ask just in the time we have left here a couple of questions. And I'm basically asking you to, it doesn't have to be just the facts, but impressions you might have. Because, you know, I'm describing these various sort of themes that seemed to go throughout the work. I don't know if it's all the way throughout, but very striking. Very interesting. Very arresting imagery. He was, I think, a terrific image maker.

PAUL CAREY: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And one wonders where that came from, first of all. Since there wasn't any real model for it here. And then as I wonder that, I wonder who his, if he spoke with either of you about, uh, well, there was William Blake, but did he, did he talk about Ensor or any other of these figures where you might make connections?

PAUL CAREY: No. He never talked about them.


PAUL CAREY: But, um, um, see I have, have read a lot of his drawings but not [inaudible]. And, uh, none of them are pornographic at all. And, uh, . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: So there are no, there are no really erotic drawings?

PAUL CAREY: No, except the ones . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: I would almost expect there to be some.

PAUL CAREY: . . . Charlotte Mack bought three paintings of his that are rather large of backside, behind things.


PAUL CAREY: But that's all. I mean, there are no . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: Well, that's, that's okay.

PAUL CAREY: . . . the other side. yeah. They're not nothing to get exaggerated or anything.

PAUL KARLSTROM: No open poses or anything like that?

PAUL CAREY: [Inaudible] all his drawings.

STEFANIE CALOIA: I never recall feeling like he wanted me to do anything like that when I modeled for him either.

PAUL CAREY: No, no. See he wouldn't, he wouldn't do that then. No, he was, he was okay. He had no, no desire to, uh, no uncontrollable urge to do anything in particular except to draw.



STEFANIE CALOIA: He seemed to just like the female body.


PAUL CAREY: Yeah, yeah. He did. He did.

PAUL KARLSTROM: So you don't see any evidence or either in your experience or in the work that would suggest there was any kind of obsessive, well, sort of desire for women that would in any way deform his work? I mean, it's just not there. The desire may have been there but you don't see it coming out of his work?

PAUL CAREY: And, um, but there's the father relationship, you see. Who must have been a, one of those hard-nosed Germans. I never hated the bastards, you know. I knew a lot of those . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: But wasn't Ed Dutch?

PAUL CAREY: . . . partner of one. Now there are German, Hagedorn is either German or Hungarian. And then the other, the other is the writer, um, uh, of the family, there are two families. [Inaudible] is the one imaginative writer of that period. Very strong psychologically.

PAUL KARLSTROM: You mean in San Francisco?

PAUL CAREY: San Eldore [phon. sp.] in Germany. You know, in the German literary world.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Tomas Maun [phon. sp.]?

PAUL CAREY: No. No, no. Not, not Maun. But that same period. It's about a four letter word. [chuckles] I have one book in my library of his.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And we'll think of it later.

PAUL CAREY: But kind of, you know, kind of a way out, and, uh, but, you know, in all these ways he was normal. You know, in a lot of ways. He had no great urges, you know, to be a bad boy or anything.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, it seemed like in his mind he was a little odd with these, I think he seemed obsessed with war and weapons and pornography. But it didn't come out in every day life when he would talk to you.

PAUL CAREY: When you heard him talk about it at all about war or . . .

STEFANIE CALOIA: He tried to talk about it a little bit maybe. You know, he'd want to show me these things but, like I wasn't . . .

PAUL KARLSTROM: Why do you think he wanted to do that though? Was he trying to arouse you? Or just to share? You know, like you were buddies or something?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Share. Shock. Share or, share, share/shock. You know, I think he wanted maybe a reaction of some sort. And I would just, you know, I just was strictly a, a young woman then myself and I wasn't interested in those kinds of things. So I didn't encourage it in any way.

PAUL CAREY: Yeah, he, uh, you know, you take a lot of it together and he should have been screwier than he was. [chuckles]

PAUL KARLSTROM: Oh. Well, what about, how do you account for this development in German Expressionist? Is that even just a style? It seems to be an attitude. There's a kind of darkness. A horrific quality to his imagery.

PAUL CAREY: At that time none of us ever saw German Expressionist work. As I say, you know, it's all, uh, out of France. Cézanne . . .


PAUL CAREY: . . . big deal. With me too. But, uh, and there were no magazines that had, went into German Expressionist. Except some that Ed got. He got magazines some place for himself.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, there was the whole war thing that had happened.

PAUL CAREY: But there is talking, and this is before he got the [inaudible] before any originals of them appeared on the scene. Before that there were no, no originals any place other than German Expressionists. But Ed got it some place. [chuckles] He got it enough and in an independent enough way and so if he was in Germany he could have been one of the Expressionists. But, uh, being here, uh, he's not German so he's not an expressionist. But he got it quite independently. About as independently as anything I could get.

PAUL KARLSTROM: I mean, it's pretty remarkable when you think about it.

PAUL CAREY: Yeah, it is. Yeah.

PAUL KARLSTROM: It's like, like . . .

PAUL CAREY: The, even the hard-nosed old father, you know, who disowned him and, uh, uh, that's kind of strong stuff. That really hurt him. And school, why, uh, the, uh, the only teacher there who's worth a damn, was, you know, Mrs. Albright [phon. sp.]. And she got on his back because he shouldn't be doing academic stuff. It was solid.


PAUL CAREY: Which is bologna. That area in life. [Inaudible] but she said, 'Picasso can do that but you can't.' [chuckles] She remembered, but he laughed, you know, about it. It didn't, it didn't bother him much.

PAUL KARLSTROM: Let's see, we're almost running out of tape. But I was wondering, Stephanie, about these parties, or at least there was one party that Ed had had.

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, I went to at least two parties.

PAUL KARLSTROM: And how did he, what was the atmosphere? What was the feeling? Was it sort of like a carnival? Was it like these women got together, we're doing this for old Ed? I mean . . .


PAUL KARLSTROM: He didn't organize that, right?

STEFANIE CALOIA: Well, no. It was the women organized it. I mean, there were parties way before I ever went to them.


STEFANIE CALOIA: So I don't know the beginning parties. I only know once I was on the scene and I went, they seemed pretty calm. It was just a bunch of women who were making dinner and we all ate together. And drank, oh, the other thing was he loved champaign.

PAUL CAREY: By the way, how would you like a martini?

PAUL KARLSTROM: Oh, yeah, that would be good. But first Stephanie has to finish.

STEFANIE CALOIA: So it was the big thrill was the crab and the champaign at his parties.


Last updated... May 19, 2003

How to Use This Collection

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Paul Carey and Stephanie Caloia, 1997 October 26. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.