Size: Transcript: 77 pages.
Format: Originally recorded as 13 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 8 min.
Summary: An interview of Peter Shire conducted 2007 September 18-19, by Jo Lauria, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Shire's studio, in Los Angeles, California.
Shire speaks of being a native Californian; his childhood growing up in the Los Angeles community of Echo Park; his parents' socialist political ideas; memories of FBI surveillance of his home and parents; defining the term kitsch as "the substitution of spurious values for real ones," using plastic flowers as an example; the essence of the craft movement as the handmade, the real; attending Saturday classes at Chouinard Art Institute while in high school; clothing fashion in his neighborhood during the late 1960s; the influence of high school teacher Anthony Scaccia; attending Los Angeles City College for one semester; discovering Domus magazine in the school library; receiving his B.F.A. from Chouinard in 1970; teaching at InterPace; being inspired by H.C. Westermann's work; traveling to Milan, Italy and visiting Ettore Sottsass; his interest in a humanistic, personal expression in art; encountering resistance to his "art furniture"; his 2007 show at Frank Lloyd Gallery, "Peter Shire Chairs"; the desire to create a total spatial experience of his work by charging the everyday function of objects with an emotional impact; and his public art commissions. Shire also recalls Gonzalo Duran, Juanita Jiminez, Millard Sheets, Adrian Saxe, Wendy Maruyama, Gary Knox Bennett, Marco Zanini, Matteo Thun, Aldo Cibic, Robert Koshalek, and others.