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Oral history interview with Peter Howard Selz, 1982 July 28-October 12

Selz, Peter Howard, 1919-2019

Curator, Writer, Art historian


Collection Information

Size: 80 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 6 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 31 min.

Summary: An interview of Peter Howard Selz conducted 1982 July 28-1982 October 12, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art.
Selz speaks of his early interest in art; his immigration to the United States in 1935; meeting Alfred Stieglitz; his career as an art historian and how it developed; exhibitions he organized; art and its relationship to politics; developments in contemporary American art and the study of art history; the Mark Rothko estate trial; and his current work. He recalls Marsden Hartley, Rene Magritte, Sam Francis, and Jules Pascin.

Biographical/Historical Note

Peter Howard Selz (1919-2019 ) was a curator and art historian from Berkeley, California.


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.

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 3199 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Transcript: Use requires an appointment.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Peter Howard Selz, 1982 July 28-October 12. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.