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Oral history interview with Raoul Hague, 1983 Sept. 29

Hague, Raoul, 1904-1993



Collection Information

Size: 2 Sound cassettes, Sound recording (3 hrs.), analog; 48 Pages, Transcript

Summary: An interview of Raoul Hague conducted 1983 Sept. 29, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art.

Biographical/Historical Note

Raoul Hague (1905-1993) was a sculptor from Woodstock and New York, N.Y. Birthdate also listed as 1904.


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 provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Women's Committee.



The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with Raoul Hague on September 29th, 1983. The interview took place at his studio in Woodstock, NY, and was conducted by Avis Berman for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Funding for the transcription of this interview provided by the Smithsoinian Institution's Women's Committee.

The reader should bear in mind that he or she is reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.


AVIS BERMAN: This is Avis Berman talking with Raoul Hague in his studio on Woodstock, New York, September 29th, 1983. I want to start with your family background and what were your parents doing in Constantinople?

RAOUL HAGUE: My father was a commissioner. He had a business in Istanbul. He had to pick a [inaudible] office. Istanbul was real orient. That was 1904. I was born 1904. It's 1910, 1920 and he had on the Black Sea port near Sampson. It's an historical place where Corte Sampson, they had raced back for two or three villages. My father supplied everything for that. That's where his money was.

MS. BERMAN: So he was sort of an estate agent or an agent for the town?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, for private, whatever they needed he bought it in Marseilles or Cairo or Greece or Istanbul.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: So Istanbul was divided into two parts at that time. There was the Pierre Loti's [phonetic], Istanbul which is - they called it Petit Pallais.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: And then there was the old Istanbul I Sofia, yeah, Sofia was and Suleman and Blue mosque and that was real orient. That was real orient and they - before the formation, you know, after [inaudible] and he - I used to go down you know to his - on the boat. He lived up on the [inaudible] so he used to take a boat and the Calata Bridge and then go to his office and then dictate orders, and they still had that book. They didn't have a copy, a book with rice - Chinese rice paper with a bladder. My clerk will write the letter or he'll put it on the - he would wet the rice paper and put the paper, letter on and then squeeze it and have a copy. That was all the communications had copies.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.] Oh, that's right.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, so I used to hang around. They didn't want me in the house. We were six children and any of the mothers - and I used to break things up and build them; always doing something. I still - same thing, I'm always doing. And the mother packed me up but the - well, anyway I used to hang around there. That's it. That's it but then there was this big education stuff and they would send all the children to colleges, and we were near the Roberts College. That's the Quaker college. Now it's over there Roberts - and it's about half of a - about three miles walk. We used to walk there, walk up there, day school. And my sisters used to go to - some of them went to French school and the other one to American school, and they all talk better English than I do. They're all alive, six of us alive.

MS. BERMAN: And are anyone else - any of them in the United States?

MR. HAGUE: I have a brother in the United States, an oldest brother. He was a biochemist at - in Rutgers University and he has gone blind on us. He's about 86 - 87 now. And I heard him - somebody said that he went to convention, biochemist convention. He was a head of the department 35 years and five, ten years after he retired he went to convention. He said he didn't know what they were talking about.

MS. BERMAN: Of course, the science moves so fast.

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: I've heard that other people say it, too.

MS. BERMAN: In six months you can be out of date if you don't catch up, you know, stay -

MR. HAGUE: Yeah.

MS. BERMAN: So you have one brother here and where are your sisters?

MR. HAGUE: All right, one is in Cairo -

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: - that married very, very well, and one is in Paris, and one brother is in - oh, another sister is in Australia, and one brother is in Russia, and I am here.

MS. BERMAN: Is there anyone else in the family who is an artist?

MR. HAGUE: No, my mother was. She painted and she drew and she made like [inaudible] culturally.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: I always tell a story. She was a very good mother. You know she read all the books and stuff like Les Miserables and all those, and the illuminations, illustrations excited us just as much as the story, you know, because I had done all that. And my mother - and she was very - you know she went to the [inaudible] for her cooking and she made French fried potatoes.

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: And then when I - in the middle of the night I still do it. I get thirsty. I want to drink water. I said, "Water, mother." She'd jump out of the bed and pour water, you know, and hold it for me. Well, then in Istanbul, wife of Russian ambassador on French section fell down and broke her arm, and about a month - oh, I guess a few weeks later she was seen walking like this. That was the style for all the women walking holding their arms -

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.] As if they were in the sling?

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, a sling like that. So you know I - we went - in Calata was a big department store there. My father was going to open a big department store right across from it but we went - my mother took me there, but when we got in there she was doing this.

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.] Like the sling.

MR. HAGUE: And I just couldn't get over it. All right, so we went to college and the way - the reason I came there, I always got along - certain teachers excited me. I got along. There is one thing right out of the Armistice, the first world war, American teachers started coming in and they sort of were very exciting, and they gave me the - my captain, my captain to recite, and I did it in the class. It was very good to do that. He thought they were very good. I did real -

MS. BERMAN: Very stirring.

MR. HAGUE: I thought it was - yeah, and then there was a Greek precocious student there, father was a professor, and they [inaudible]. They elected me every month - two months they have a big hall where the president and all the faculty sit around. The president is a gray - haired fellow that [inaudible] sit around and they elect me to recite. I cop out. I can't put two words together on the stand, and of course, they all [inaudible]. So I went down on the field - on the field. This Greek fellow ran after me. He says, "What happened to you? What happened to you?" really so loud. So you can't - that's another thing and you've got me going now.

MS. BERMAN: Yeah, terrific.

MR. HAGUE: But I -

MS. BERMAN: What, by the way, what is your exact birthday?

MR. HAGUE: Nineteen-oh-four - the exact birthday be - my father had it in the Bible, you know. They went back through it and that was after the - they did a job with him after the church, you know, took everything away and all that, and oh, after - the Bible was lost. So my father was dead, so I was taking my citizenship paper here and they want to know what -

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: You know? So I write my mother and she called weepy and I think she said [inaudible] which was February at home. So we decided March 28 -

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: - and that's that way and so it's 1904. So the way I came - and then there was - do you want me going on like this?

MS. BERMAN: Sure. It's interesting because the - most of the articles say that you were born in 1905.

MR. HAGUE: Yes, they made a mistake at the Museum of Modern Art.

MS. BERMAN: Uh - huh, [affirmative] and it's been perpetuated. It's continued.

MR. HAGUE: Yes. We all get their stuff from the modern art.

MS. BERMAN: By the way, what is that big noise?

MR. HAGUE: It's a dragon gong. [Laughs.]

MS. BERMAN: You sleep through that?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, very well and when that goes off I stop working. I've got to have it fixed.

MS. BERMAN: Yeah, clearly it's -

MR. HAGUE: And all these crazy things I have, the clocks and - I have to get busy because I feel that if I leave that alone my - when I am working and do something else and come back I can - I see things fresher, you know.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: And you just - this is not a - put the thing together and make a box and put the wrapper on it and then put a little address and all that. It isn't that so I -

MS. BERMAN: So that then -

MR. HAGUE: - I do a lot of crazy things. I won't say that I'm happy when anything goes wrong. That's -

MS. BERMAN: But that gong kind of is a signal for you to stop and almost - assess things almost?

MR. HAGUE: No, no that would - no, when I do little things. You know I'll show you there. I do a lot - I put these things together -

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: - and it kept me away from it. No, gong doesn't.

MS. BERMAN: Right. You made - you said when you were a child you used to make things with your hands and all?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, I did, yes. Yeah, I dug in the garden and then I - we had a house with a roof. I put a tent on the top, on the roof and broke all the tiles. [They laugh.] And all these - in garden, dig plot out and then took all the - all the fashioned ring and put electric thing. I didn't know anything about it and nothing worked, broke. And so the Roberts College, they still tell the - this is being recorded then?


MR. HAGUE: It is a good one.

MS. BERMAN: I hope so. I'll play it back later and you'll hear.

MR. HAGUE: Oh, it's working, yeah.

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: They made it - Armenian teacher [inaudible], very, very studious sort of a guy did - taught English, too. In the late afternoon he would, just before the class closed he would open a book and say, "Memorize from page 78 to page 110," and then would send us home. And that case was on and on and I was still - what I do here - I was a - we found an underground Byzantine city, you know. We found a hole, we used to look down, and I still do the same thing here with caves and all that. I - if people come in I can show them great places. So he - one day I got up. I said, "Now," I said, "you know we study here. We work very hard but when we go home we have other things to do. This is too much you're putting it through." Then I thought that guy would have a - his piece vest fell down. He sweated and you know his eyes rolled, watery. I think finally he told himself and well, he put me in the class with [inaudible] and then he reported me to the Armenian dean. Well, there was a very old man and that's when Gorky came in with his mother or sister and they consult before they came to America. They consulted with this Armenian dean. I saw him in the field.

MS. BERMAN: So you knew Gorky and his -

MR. HAGUE: Oh, we do now but we checked up here. I didn't know who he was. I was of course in the field and I saw Gorky with all his leggings and all their mothers walking by and well, so I - he reported me to the dean, so the dean called my mother. They [inaudible]. He says, "You have a son. He can't talk like this. This is not a country for it. Send him to America." So my mother talked and talked and how [inaudible] and I still - they have their way. But I said, "No, I can do it." He had sent one son already and finally he was convinced so that's why I kept going there. The journey I don't want to talk about that.

MS. BERMAN: Okay I have a couple other questions. When you were younger - when you were in Istanbul, were you sensitive? Did you enjoy the color and the archeology of the art? Were you aware of the art heritage there?

MR. HAGUE: Well, no but I have a way of looking at it sort of transposed.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: I just look like that and I was - no, no I didn't - no, no I wasn't a good - I had no feeling for art and - but I always looked at people on the street. I sit there and would watch and - no, I don't think I had - no, no.

MS. BERMAN: When did you decide you wanted to be an artist?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, after I came to America. In New York, we came out - we were - I'll tell a story about that. [Inaudible] I met this - I was completely lost in Iowa.

MS. BERMAN: Right, how did you end up in Iowa of all places?

MR. HAGUE: Well, it's a Quaker school and sent to the boys 17 years old when I came over. They said away from big evil cities are nice new college being opened in Aims, Iowa. There are churches and YMCAs and -

MS. BERMAN: Grant Wood [laughs].

MR. HAGUE: - and revival meetings. Oh, my God. You, come over, save yourself and so it was the wrong place to send and then by that time this money stuff, too. They took everything away from my father. So my mother used to send those diamond rings and all that and we nearly gave it away for two or three thousand. I didn't know I was an adolescent. I still am. I carry this you know. [They laugh.]

MS. BERMAN: I like that.

MR. HAGUE: And then I got in Chicago - I got in Chicago. I left in the spring. I couldn't take the churches and the YMCAs and -

MS. BERMAN: Were you being raised as a Quaker?

MR. HAGUE: No, you mean in Iowa?

MS. BERMAN: No, in - I mean what was your family's religion?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yeah, they - my father was a good - Quaker college had nothing to do with my family. It's the college. The - my father was Protestant - Protestant and my mother was Armenian Church, so I belonged to the Armenian Church. Now the Armenian Church is - a New York archbishop came over to visit me and there isn't anything left of Armenian.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: I've - I never stayed more with Armenians. There were Irish, Italians, Germans and all that in Chicago. We - you said how I'm started, so in Chicago I met students, art students. I was sleeping in the park by the degenerates and all that. I had nothing and they picked me up and I moved with them. We came to New York and then all of a sudden, you know, I became an artist. I was a model to make a living and I was doing some of the plasters and I went to [inaudible]. And then I went to Chicago Art Institute. Oh, and then in Chicago I went to Art Institute but I didn't take sculpture here.

MS. BERMAN: Well, what - when you were going to the Art Institute, did you see a lot - any works of art that impressed you?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, we were dusting. We were - we had the job for 50 cents an hour, we'd dust the sculpture and Gourdel [phonetic] and all those things there hanging around with it, legs up with -

MS. BERMAN: Oh, Heracles the Archer, that's what you're thinking of?

MR. HAGUE: And then I wasn't too much of - influenced by statue. I was more influenced - more interested in the buildings.

MS. BERMAN: In architecture?

MR. HAGUE: Architecture. I still am. I'm - I can pick up - my eye is very good at that. I read about it. I read around it. I looked and found out that New York really has - that I can - describe buildings very good. Do you know that synagogue in New York on White Street?

MS. BERMAN: No, I don't.

MR. HAGUE: Canal, right off Canal?

MS. BERMAN: Oh, now I know what you're - yeah.

MR. HAGUE: Like a chalice.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: We go through the stem and go up and inside of the wall, the chalice side is all two inch maple strips all the way down and then there were sky lights at the top. Well, anyway, yeah, it just still fascinates me. I walk around and look at buildings and the streets and then the English people were all for Cezanne, like France and they - Gorky was an experience, moving around with him. He I've told about. There are still only even more out there in the streets than in the museums, you know.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.] That's a - more art in the street than in the museums. Well, in Chicago because that's so rich in great buildings, what were the places that impressed you the most there?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, Chicago wasn't as big then. Only the - it wasn't the same as this when I was there.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: There at the Michigan Avenue artists [inaudible] and the water tower and the Sullivan's building, auditorium, and then the Carson Pirie Scott - yes.

MS. BERMAN: The department store?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, well, the store. I didn't open up to that until I went to the buses started to taking up or pictures and walking around buildings and when I discovered the buildings, fantastic Victorian buildings around - of course they're around - I - Reichert, Jean Reichert [inaudible] pointed out. He said -

MS. BERMAN: You mean in New York State here?

MR. HAGUE: In - yeah, right near where the Ambassador is.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: Scully's - Scully's house, Victorian house, now it's - I got in there, that house. It's a house, mint condition, Victorian house. It's huge with turrets and all the - and she was connected with the Roosevelts and she was always their companion. It was 25 - 30 years ago and now they are going to make a - they have discovered their historical significance. The woman is completely - she dies there but -

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: Yes, there are great gems here as in New York, too. They can break things up but single building they tore it down, downtown - where around SoHo they've discovered it now and they were - it was a very wonderful building. I still - and then I like this modern building, not the ones that - next to the center of the Hyatt that - that's gimmick. That's horrible. They put every goddamn thing in that, glass, mirror, water, granite, and everything they could throw in.

MS. BERMAN: It's very showy. Yeah, well, I guess it's supposed to be for - to rich - neuvo riche people so that's what it did. It brags.

MR. HAGUE: Even so that - what Johnson is doing in midtown. I mean there isn't much there.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, the AT&T building?

MR. HAGUE: And there isn't much there. And then Museum of Modern Art, when they put that dang building up it looked like a man with a fly down -

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: - flying open, but it's a little better now. They have done this and that. That isn't much - there isn't architecture like the Saarinen builds in the - oh, the Boston - around the Boston University or [inaudible] built. And - but I imagine I'm not an authority but I'd like to be.

MS. BERMAN: Well, you have an eye.


MS. BERMAN: Did you actually - when you were in Chicago did you actually take classes at the Art Institute?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, and I started drawing and I said, "You're really not any good. Give it up."

MS. BERMAN: You couldn't draw?

MR. HAGUE: I couldn't draw. Yeah, I can't draw even now.

MS. BERMAN: So you know - and when you were -

MR. HAGUE: But I do things with [inaudible].

MS. BERMAN: Right, but you don't make drawings before you sculpt?

MR. HAGUE: No, no. No, I do make a drawing before these buildings, you know, and I -

MS. BERMAN: So is that -

MR. HAGUE: - so my -

MS. BERMAN: Oh, so you designed your -

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes. Yes.

MS. BERMAN: - storage sheds for your sculpture?

MR. HAGUE: I have a blackboard, I just build a - this was only a one big long year. I did all the windows, put in all these windows, not these, but those, doors and - but no, I'm not an architect.

MS. BERMAN: You can construct?

MR. HAGUE: Yeah.

MS. BERMAN: So you just stopped going to classes because all they had was drawing and -

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, well, we came - we came to New York.

MS. BERMAN: When you say we, who was the other -

MR. HAGUE: Oh, they were nice, wholesome people. They were mostly from Montana and Texas, Indiana. They are - yeah, they became Cezanne and classical until 19th century drawings and - but they thought Lagier [phonetic] was a product - line to it. I widely - I left again after I came to New York. I was on my own. I was on my own and it was very hard until [inaudible] started and that was great, you know.

MS. BERMAN: I'm going to ask you about that later. Were any of these people that came to New York with you, did any of them become fairly well - known as artists?


MS. BERMAN: Did they remain artists?

MR. HAGUE: They told them - they told one couple with Columbia University that became teachers. No, let's see. No. The other one was Robertson became at Saratoga School, teacher, they became schoolteachers. And - no, none of them harry Carnehan - oh, it's some name. I guess they went to Paris and he was from Texas.

MS. BERMAN: What was his name again?

MR. HAGUE: Carnehan, Harry Harnehan.

MS. BERMAN: So was it their idea or yours to come to New York?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, they were coming to me and I followed them. I was left alone for about two weeks and three weeks and I followed them. We became by the freight train, you know, and -

MS. BERMAN: Did you hitch on the freight trains?


MS. BERMAN: You road the rails?

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, [inaudible] Lackawanna and then they were - we were first place in rooming house in Chelsey and then we - I broke up and I found a studio, 5th Avenue and 14th Street, that time, broken down old building. It's all - I suppose that - it's stores now. It's all changed. I think that social school -

MS. BERMAN: New school.

MR. HAGUE: New school. It has something to do now. Maybe they tore it down. That was - that was my first studio and then I went to Beaux Arts. Beaux Arts closed and opened up a new place. Then I became a - Zorack's [phonetic] class.

MS. BERMAN: Right, I wanted to backtrack a minute or two. You said you got a studio and you broke away so there was some moment there when you came to New York that you did decide - no, you knew you were going to be an artist. Something had happened. Can you -

MR. HAGUE: Yes, there was this - another sculptor there in the group. He taught and did - then I used to - when he taught I used to do things with my hands, with clay.

MS. BERMAN: With clay? Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: Yes, he went away and I suppose I kept doing it. There really was a - there was a - I'll show you some pictures. There was a - I used to get the blocks of wood from every building down 14th Street subway and they would get huge blocks of wood for shoring. I put it on my shoulder and would go up to the top floor and chisel at it.

MS. BERMAN: So you were working in wood and clay from the beginning? What did your work look like then?

MR. HAGUE: They - I didn't become really a sculptor until I - even after I became a Zorack's class. I met Flannigan. Flannigan went out to Long Island, Queensboro Bridge and there was a big stone yards and like to take stones for himself. Then he said to take one for yourself, too so I got a limestone. I took it up the fourth floor of Bishop, you know -

MS. BERMAN: Isabel Bishop.

MR. HAGUE: Isabel Bishop was a ground floor painter. Yes, she's a very old woman now. Very handsome studio. I was on the top floor and Flannigan sat on the chair. I had a screwdriver and a piece of [inaudible]. By the time we did it, I did a sculpture. I'll show you the picture. I carved it. He says, "That's yours. Just go ahead and do it."

MS. BERMAN: Right, he tried -

MR. HAGUE: The only trouble with him was that he drank so heavy. I had trouble picking him up but then I carved and then I gave up. Then I used to model for a living.

MS. BERMAN: While you were in New York, too?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, I -

MS. BERMAN: Could you make enough to live and to get stone?

MR. HAGUE: Seventy-five, seventy, just - I don't know how much. You lived, you know. But 75 - I couldn't - then I left the 14th Street place. I got a studio for $25 a month, 90 foot deep above a taxi garage. I went up there and 20 - what 18 windows, everything in there - and there was a [inaudible] and they used to keep their bottles there. That's where [inaudible] came to see me and with Zorack I was doing sculpture then and carving stone like Aztec. I don't know why. But I have no direction, you know. Aztecs - and he was giving at Museum of Modern Art an exhibition of Aztec art on American sculptors, so he took a couple of mine.

MS. BERMAN: So you were doing things based on - looked like Aztec art? I mean -

MR. HAGUE: It looked like, yeah.

MS. BERMAN: Did you know Aztec or pre - did you know pre - Columbian art then?

MR. HAGUE: I don't think so.

MS. BERMAN: It just happened to look like that?

MR. HAGUE: It looked like it. I don't think so. I was still very cloudy, you know, and all I [inaudible].

MS. BERMAN: Do you think you maybe would have picked it up because in the 20s the Egyptian and the Mexican influence had become well - known? Maybe you'd seen it in magazines or something?

MR. HAGUE: No, there wasn't much of that done. I was story reader, you know. I wasn't much of an art - they accepted - I chose very good artists to go with, you know, Gorky and -

MS. BERMAN: de Kooning?

MR. HAGUE: - Nakian, de Kooning.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm [affirmative], Nakian, Flack and -

MR. HAGUE: Yes, de Kooning and then -

MS. BERMAN: [Inaudible].

MR. HAGUE: And all those - that guy with the hair on his nose, the Greek fellow who died, who is the - oh, you know him, Kaldis - Kaldis.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: But all the - there wasn't a - it wasn't a big - the group wasn't as big as it is now, you know. There were only a hundred sculptors in WPA at that time. Now there are five, ten thousand sculptors in New York.

MS. BERMAN: Right. When you were at the Beaux Arts Institute, what were you doing there?

MR. HAGUE: I was modeling clay.

MS. BERMAN: And were you doing groups or figures or -

MR. HAGUE: No, figures, yes, figures and started from - yeah, yeah that was a - that was clay. We used clay there.

MS. BERMAN: Was it a life class?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, life class.

MS. BERMAN: Who were the teachers?

MR. HAGUE: Barnicke.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, really?

MR. HAGUE: Well, you know of him?

MS. BERMAN: Yes, he's an interesting sculptor.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, he was a -

MS. BERMAN: What was he like as a teacher?

MR. HAGUE: Very nice is Barnicke and he's that society - yes, I guess that's how Barnicke was.

MS. BERMAN: Yes, and he did it in the - for the WPA did a terrific eagle. I mean he was responsible for some of those federal eagles that they did. That was his design.

MR. HAGUE: He might have. He used to get a - he did three graces [phonetic]. Is that the one [inaudible].

MS. BERMAN: I'm not sure. I know that - I know some of the other designs. Well, I was wondering what he taught and you know what he - what, you know, you learned there.

MR. HAGUE: Well, you know when the figure there, the Clark, this old [inaudible] objected but I did a little different than the figure and Barnicke sort of backed me up. He says, "It's a figure" - you know it used to be interesting, what I was doing but the head of the department, whatever his name is - it was so long ago. All that rolled over and no trace left. In Egyptian life, things are lost, roll over, new water, new suds come out but then there's life still down there. You can pick it up and look at it. But you can't do nothing is left from that mood there. Nothing is left. They are trying to - unless they can pick up and make money on it. There is nothing left of the Beaux Arts stuff.

MS. BERMAN: Well, you know there - I think Nodelman was associated with that school. Did you -

MR. HAGUE: He was?

MS. BERMAN: Yes, did you know Nodelman?

MR. HAGUE: No, I didn't know him and it is funny that it was lost in the [inaudible] attitude.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: Of course, the Beaux Arts architectural school, it's sculptural school was kind of a sight thing for them, you know, and there they were training people to do decorating, flowers, grapes, and -

MS. BERMAN: Motifs, right.

MR. HAGUE: - Diana's and all that on the - to go to architectural, you know, mural or that kind of thing. It was a big thing -

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: - that New York was building up, you know, then and all these neuvo riche stuff was going on the walls, and there were some very good models. Take a spatula and carve grape leaves and all that.

MS. BERMAN: Well, what - why did you go there, by the way, when this probably wasn't the kind of sculpture you wanted to do?

MR. HAGUE: It was a school. That was the only school and then the students, art students - I don't know why. I have no direction I told them. I just tap in - into things and I was a - I still am alone and except Peter I can see a person that is - that I can respect highly and not that I would go with him.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm [affirmative], right. Well, after the Beaux Arts you went to the Art Students' League, so what were the differences in the sculpture and how things were done at the league as opposed to the Beaux Arts?

MR. HAGUE: Beaux Arts would have been better. Zorack was a - not a very good influence but he was very popular at that time with the Rockefellers. All the society people used to - even the young fiancés used to come and spend a couple hours with wetting their hands, but he had nothing to give. He - he simply had nothing to give.

MS. BERMAN: Well, did he give criticism or what did he do or what were the classes like?

MR. HAGUE: He's - he was against the east. He says - used to roll a piece of clay and then throw it against the walls, "That's a Picasso." [They laugh.] He used to - he was against modern movement and all this, so it wasn't - but I enjoyed the people. The people, the students were very nice, they had been.

MS. BERMAN: Who were some of the other ones who were in the class that you remember?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, I was the only one. My God, how this - Rockefeller's wife Happy was there.

MS. BERMAN: Happy Rockefeller was a student in there?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, was there and I'll tell you about her.

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: All the - there was a DuPont woman, big names.

MS. BERMAN: But no serious people were in there or -

MR. HAGUE: No, not in the sculpture class. I guess they were upstairs in drawing class.

MS. BERMAN: Mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: No, no not in - not in Zorack's and then there was another sculptor who had another class in there, too. Lamont, is it or the - French name, he was popular. Well, there were - Zorack was an architectural sculptor. Most of them were architect - like sculptors that made commissions, architectural commissions, making sculptures, church sculpture: Erasmus and you know all those. They used to send me to the library. I worked for them, too - library to pick up pictures. Whether he had the cross on the right hand or the left hand, it had to be right, you know. What was the -

MS. BERMAN: The costumes and -

MR. HAGUE: At that time, public library, the picture department was just opening. The girl that opened it, that gave me them orange boxes to sit and the - and a lot of discarded paper and then three, four or all three - [inaudible] and that's what you're doing, given that time, cutting and cutting. That's the way it started. I was there when that started.

MS. BERMAN: When everyone was cutting and filing?

MR. HAGUE: Filing, yeah, and would take glue and glue. I think she died about eight, ten years ago - eight years ago. I was always interested in those libraries. I worked in the library, binding departments, Newburger Library in Chicago - Newburger.

MS. BERMAN: Newbury?

MR. HAGUE: Newbury, mm hmm. [Affirmative.] I understand they - they put an addition to it because of old building, not as big as Frick, but one of those mansions in the basement and I bind my own books here.

MS. BERMAN: To this day, mm hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: Yeah.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, I noticed those up there.

MR. HAGUE: Those - those are binded.

MS. BERMAN: What is that - what is up there that you've got bound? What books - what is up there?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, I working for $4 when - encyclopedia was all broken down like -

MS. BERMAN: Is it a dictionary, an encyclopedia?

MR. HAGUE: Encyclopedia, yeah.

MS. BERMAN: Encyclopedia that you bound.

MR. HAGUE: And no bindings left, nothing left to it. I got a new - I got the clamp that you can drill a hole and bind it. It's paper. It's very good and I got a very good job. I'll show it to you.

MS. BERMAN: For here -

MR. HAGUE: Shall we go out and eat - or do -

MS. BERMAN: Okay do - if we did that, could we come back and talk a little bit more afterwards?

MR. HAGUE: All right.

MS. BERMAN: Okay great. Well, we'll take a break for right now


MS. BERMAN: - morning but obviously I didn't ask that.

MR. HAGUE: This is Avis Berman talking with Raoul Hague continuing our talk on September 30th 1983 at his studio in Woodstock, and when we left off it was - we had started talking about some of the process that you go through when you work on your sculptures - sculptures because it takes a long time. And I guess what I wanted to ask you is that is it just - is it a process of just filing and cutting away and do you - I guess what you -

MS. BERMAN: Well, you see I live with this. I see it all the time. Every time I go in and out, in the morning actually it's like having somebody in the house, some living thing in the house and then every day I do something to it. It changes along, so I live with that day after day or after this might start until the end when I haven't - when I have at one end I start sanding it and then I keep changing again. And then I get - there is no more change and I get very bored and the sanding becomes almost impossible, and that's when my work is in - finished. Even when I do little things, putting - gluing together mirrors and glasses and wood and you know making these little objects, I put it on and then take it off, put it on and take it off until I'm satisfied. That's why they - the things I do with my hand are not finished work, you know. Just - but I'm satisfied. That's all I enjoy doing. That - that's the way - in my sculpture, too I get to the point when no more changes are done, so and to get the wood looking like furniture is not my way of doing it and [inaudible]. And that walnut - and then there is this problem of checking, you know, splitting open. Now in the - all the splitting happens in the studio when the wood fire at night is going on. But after that, once I close it we got - they've got new things now that I can wash it, paint it with.

MS. BERMAN: But you do put some kind of finish or something, some kind of substance on it to -


MS. BERMAN: Which is what?

MR. HAGUE: But not while I'm working.


MR. HAGUE: There are - when I am outside I paint the ends. There is a new thing that has a name. It is a wax - white wax and you put it down and it turns the wood color again, and it's - sawmills have it. I buy it from them. But I go - then - but it doesn't give that finished quality like this, you know, and I don't go for after that. I go for that old - like that [inaudible] all day or pieta. That excites me last night. I just kept moving everything and that's what I do.

MS. BERMAN: Now, I'm just going to ask you, it's interesting you showed me this view, the back view of the Pieta and in various pictures you have of statues, women in flowing - in the flowing robes and -


MS. BERMAN: - and the - and I was - and you said you were very interested in that. I was wondering how that kind of relates to your work and do you think you find it in your work?

MR. HAGUE: I suppose you do. I don't like - I don't like to get Rococo about that, you know, like the [inaudible] woman and that you saw in that. And that - I stop short that my early Egyptian days, Aztec still runs through me, stiffness, you know. I stop short from decorating it. No, I can decorate, place a thing here and there but I won't - I won't decorate the sculpture, making dots here and texture and all that. I sit - I - thingy in that picture of box, would you call that a painting, a decoration?

MS. BERMAN: Oh, you mean the Cornell box?


MS. BERMAN: Um, no I think I might - gee, I don't know I'd call it a collage and maybe a sculpture or just a -

MR. HAGUE: Yeah.

MS. BERMAN: - maybe a collage.

MR. HAGUE: What is a - collage is a decoration, isn't it?

MS. BERMAN: Well, a collage is a putting together of paper and other kinds of elements -


MS. BERMAN: - you know, using things that were - already found objects, things that were already made and putting them together in a new way.

MR. HAGUE: Yes, yes. That's another language. I can do it, but I would not see the - Brancusi doesn't have that.


MR. HAGUE: It's a pure - a pure expression of the material and himself, you know, and even though he polishes it, it doesn't have - he's going in that flight like the bird.

MS. BERMAN: The Bird in Space.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, the flight - it must have just become so excited about that that he just didn't stop from polishing until they almost flow or flew out of his hand. Well, that - that's - but Cornell is more of an intellectual and he - I like it, you know. I like it but then I like one or two, but the whole exhibit of his stuff becomes - kind of tired on that. What do you think of the one at the Guggenheim Show?

MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess there's - there was one at the Museum of Modern Art that was interesting but it was too big.

MR. HAGUE: Too big?

MS. BERMAN: Yeah, there were 250 boxes.

MR. HAGUE: Oh, you mean - yeah, size, yes.

MS. BERMAN: Yeah, 250.

MR. HAGUE: They had to give - that gave it to, yeah. Yes, and so did Picasso's show at Museum of Modern Art was too big. But you know, Monet, if that didn't - Monet from bottom to top, all the flowers, wouldn't that be the most exciting show in the world? You would have lived in those flowers and gardens and lily ponds and all that. It would have been fantastic, you know. But Picasso changed so much, you know, and the thing is it was a - it was work to look through it. I don't want any work. I'm a - I've got a lazy mind and I don't want to work. I want to live through it. I think Monet would have been fantastic. They are getting - Metropolitan is getting Monet?

MS. BERMAN: No, Manet, they're getting. It's -

MR. HAGUE: No, I mean later on.

MS. BERMAN: Probably. Well, sooner or later they probably will do another one. They haven't done one in a while. The Manet show was wonderful, by the way.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, I have missed it. But I see it all the time in those pictures. You know the Abrams and the McGraw - Hill and Horizon, they are again making picture books that are fantastic. You know you - you slide on the back or don't have any - to push anybody and you enjoy it and there is this guy who has written something next to him that rests your eye and you look over again. Yes, Manet show, you saw it?

MS. BERMAN: Oh, yes I saw it twice already.


MS. BERMAN: It's beautiful. How did you just decide to start naming your sculptures, just titling them the way you do?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes, mostly Indian places that I carve daily - got the work. I use the [inaudible]. They were mostly Indian or Dutch places I - I used that at the beginning, yeah and then it was fascinating so I got a lot of Indian names and now I use anything. You know I - there's a rocking boat, you know, and something somebody suggested and I said, "Oh, I didn't use it." It doesn't matter.

MS. BERMAN: So you really don't care about the titles very much?

MR. HAGUE: No, no just enough to document it and - nobody - I don't remember. If you asked me what this, I won't know it except looking at the picture then I would know.

MS. BERMAN: Because when you first started out, you had different sorts of titles more geared to the subject of the -

MR. HAGUE: Yes, the [inaudible], not Museum of Modern Art and then the seat. I guess they had - and the one with me is -

MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess what I also - I want to ask you about - I want to go backwards now into the 30s and ask you about your work on the WPA project and what you did and -

MR. HAGUE: Well, they put me on every two or three months they wanted a sculpture, which I did. I gave it to them. And then I had some trouble with the artists' union, which was a common student inclined union. I said, "I don't join the union." And then they sent a man a representative to my studio and said, "If you don't join union, you'll make things hard."

MS. BERMAN: If you don't join or if you do join?

MR. HAGUE: If you don't join the union and they did. And inside of three months with the guy, the supervisor said, "We want a piece of sculpture in two weeks," or a month or something like that and that [inaudible]. Then I got it - I was out of the union, of the WPA for a while. I tried to reach over. Then we got in - I got in touch with [inaudible]. I guess he put the pressure or something because I got back again. I've forgotten the name of the supervisor. And then somebody, Saba - Sabowski, the sculptor became the supervisor and he was more sympathetic with me. I was back again. But it was a wonderful thing to have a regular income coming in. I was, even at the beginning before WPA was about $35 - 40 and then I lived like a king in New York, $25 a month rent and then I - Mondays - weekends I always stayed home. Mondays I would go to Pennsylvania. I'd ride to the station and look at those town's names. I'll take one and take the railroad and go over and case the town, you know. And one day - one time I went to West Portal [phonetic] I guess and I was walking on the field and there was [inaudible] grounds. And Roosevelt was then, you know, and on the west side was the [inaudible] and the clubhouse and on the east side was - they had just put a temporary stint or you know public. But - and you know Hellman or Whitney and there was a fellow from Argentina was a three or four goaler. They were doing polo. They were playing polo but we were sitting with - I was the - I was the only one there on the west side and you couldn't - some will come to your eye. They had the best there and you couldn't even see it. I mean well, I - and I walked into the clubhouse afterwards, but I did those things. It was very nice. I used to collect books. Then I had one of the best collections of books that was [inaudible] but a son of a gun. And oh, first additions by [inaudible] and - very, very good - Lebrot [phonetic] friend of Joyce's, South American, and they are worse. But then my mother had to send from - before they - send Shakespeare, 1898 and skin colored, illustrated, two volumes and two volumes. When they came out this wall was full when the - they - Jose didn't buy it. There was another guy that he was his lover. Jose Quintero was a homosexual. His lover came in I guess for $90 or $100 and bought the whole Balzac's, the whole Proust at the - well, it was -

MS. BERMAN: Anyway -

MR. HAGUE: - big, it was big. And they took it but this Shakespeare was with it, too.


MR. HAGUE: And I thought that - then I started - I said that books are things that you read and then give it away and it was checking on my way and I got rid of it. I needed the money. I needed money, too. $100 was quite a bit then and at times I tried to get the Shakespeare back from him but, nah. I don't know. He was - I guess he is a big man now and with O'Neill and all that. But I - he did the theater work here on this theater. I saw a couple of them. I - of course I'm not too much of a job, [inaudible]. Well, I - it hurts me with those Shakespeare hurt me more than anything else and she had just sent to me all of them. That's it and the - then I was able to eat in the restaurant with Gorky in Armenian restaurant for 40 - 50 cents and dinner, you know, and Gorky would cut up. He had a way of getting out of a restaurant all of a sudden jumping and giving artwork around the neck or you know bending down. And there was one guy, he was a very - he is a very good painter still, so once he got out of it he needed - he - because behind Gorky he came - Gorky in an arm lock and he, "Help me, doctor," and I was - and that wild.

MS. BERMAN: And you just watched -

MR. HAGUE: But [inaudible] used to come down.

MS. BERMAN: You watched with glee.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah. Nika [phonetic] used to come down there. It was, you know, a wonderful dinner for 30 - 40 cents. Now after gora [phonetic] it became a place for artists to go and now they're - well, then I -

MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess I want to ask you was - was - Gorky was a friend of yours and you'd sort of hang around. Did you listen to what he said about art? Did you believe in his theories and all?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes. He came over to visit me, you know, and I - he saw the sculpture and he liked it. The next morning he was in my door and he wouldn't come in. He says, "I don't think it's [inaudible]," and then he walked away. And I liked that, you know, I liked that. And then we used to - well, I saw him many times. We used to go out to dinner to visit an artist, you know, he knew. They have names now and we'd go out to their studio, this artist is entertaining his guests, his wife grabbed coat, and then after dinner they brought coffee, and then his easel on one side, and Gorky walks in. They are scared of Gorky. You know even - even Rothko - well, Gorky treated Rothko like a little thing, you know, that he got that, "Clean this up," and all this. Rothko said that. Anyway, and Gorky would say, "Oh, I like that," looking at the easel, you know. His wife is there, you know, and go up and "I like - I think that's wonderful art, wonderful. Oh, that's the best thing I've seen," and there is a little [inaudible] with papers sticking out and crazy, and then he comes in and, "I used to draw." I said, "Why the hell did you do that for, Gorky?" Well, why, he said, "That will do him good." [They laugh.]

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.] I had no idea other artists were so intimidated by Gorky.

MR. HAGUE: Oh, they were. They were. I know Rothko says that and all the artists they were, oh, yes at that time. He had a - then at that - well, he was - he was de Kooning's friend and he came and he took me to de Kooning's studio, you know, at Union Square. He's very loyal. His mother was - had come and they gave a party and they were - they were - they had to break at 1:00 p.m. but then he gets cleaned up and -

MS. BERMAN: They meaning Gorky and -

MR. HAGUE: Gorky and de Kooning but then they cleaned up and - why I tell that story about de Kooning and Gorky and -

MS. BERMAN: Elaine.

MR. HAGUE: Elaine went to Metropolitan, yeah.

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: And well, he started me on Metropolitan. I - don't - I'm not a gallery go-er. I'm a Metropolitan go-er and they - and couldn't do it, those two.

MS. BERMAN: How about the Frick?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, Frick one, that's a stand-by. That's a very nice -

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, very nice. That's a - really large there. It's done - they should never change it.

MS. BERMAN: They won't.

MR. HAGUE: They won't? Oh, it's in the -

MS. BERMAN: That's part of it.


MS. BERMAN: Nothing can be changed or loaned.

MR. HAGUE: Yes. Let me see.

MS. BERMAN: [Inaudible].

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes in the other room that - yes, there - they loaned it down. They loaned El Greco's putting a finger on the Bible. Yes, no, they have - nothing has changed. Have you been upstairs? Anything up there?

MS. BERMAN: Oh, oh you mean -

MR. HAGUE: Upstairs where they chained off - Frick Museum, I'm talking about.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, no, no.

MR. HAGUE: [Inaudible].

MS. BERMAN: No, I've just been in where you can go, I guess.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah.

MS. BERMAN: But yeah.

MR. HAGUE: No, that's a really - like a Turkish bath. It's very nice. You can model very clean and they're all - the Polish writers are fantastic.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, yes.

MR. HAGUE: And - and after - oh, yes they had the Cezanne portrait that's up there. There was a couple of Goya portraits there. They do change that first room.

MS. BERMAN: How did you get to know Rothko?

MR. HAGUE: The friend took me to his house and he was known then in '59, you know, and I didn't meet him at Gorky's studio. This is years ago. I was visiting and mother was there and then there was this girl that mother well was courting him, [inaudible] like a little boy, you know, drooling about her. And that's where I met Rothko. It was about three years before, maybe more than that - commit suicide. What year did he commit suicide?

MS. BERMAN: 1970.

MR. HAGUE: Oh, no this was before, yes, much before and I used to visit - well, he was - of course you were going to ask about - that's about all in New York - WA and then the war is started and - and I drew a ticket for war in a year, you know, and I didn't know what to do with my sculpture in the studio. I knew this man, Herby White here, who lived in -

MS. BERMAN: Did he - did Herby White actually live in this particular house?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, in the summer but he also had a place in Georgia. He didn't live in the winter here. He always went away. When he lived in this house and then he - he had a - when he was in Georgia he built a little outhouse like little house and lived there for a few months, and he expected people to drop in and take him out to dinner and all that. They all loved him. But anyway, I wrote him a letter asking him, "I'm going to the Army. Can I come?" He always wanted to come here and build a house and I didn't like the idea of like the set of these houses, you know, and then visiting each other and talking about the same thing. And Gorky used to sit me on the bus and or the boat and says, "Why do you want to go there?" or "That's no art. That's no good," you know and - but I enjoyed the walking up from Kingston smelling the [inaudible] and the katydids and the grass growing, the fresh air, you know. And so I did about two, three - two visits a year here. Then I went - he said, "Come over and take my house and then when you go to Army, board it up and come back and stay there." Well, I went to the Army. I was in the mule outfit and I'd talk about the place and not very important.

MS. BERMAN: Where did - so he stored your sculptures up to the - they were in -

MR. HAGUE: No, no, no. I - let's see. What did I do? I put it on the porch there, on top of another and some in there, some upstairs.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: You can go up later. I didn't have this building. This - trees were over here in the back and everything was closed in. Herby worked the front and -

MS. BERMAN: So you cut down all the trees in this back area here?

MR. HAGUE: Everything, everything, yes.


MR. HAGUE: Years you know and built a porch off of this back door, put the screen door up and - and - and so when I came back I wanted to go back to New York, and it was the - but impossible. No more $25 a month rent. Things were big and you know then [inaudible] artists were doing it and I had to adjust living in the country, and I was very, very green about it. And it takes quite a bit of education to get through the window. You know I didn't have water or electricity, no telephone, and that's the way I was able to live on $400 a year, $300-400.

MS. BERMAN: Did you -

MR. HAGUE: And they -

MS. BERMAN: Did you live - I mean with that $300-400 a year that - did you get that by selling your sculpture or were you -

MR. HAGUE: No, I had never sold a sculpture here, never sold a sculpture. Artists had a big business, you know, getting the weekend guests and feeding them and playing music and that drawing, "Do you like this better than that? Do you like this better than that?" and they're dropping hundreds. Oh, you can pay it every week, every month so much, you know. They had regular income, yeah, but I didn't - I don't know whether idealistic or something, I didn't bother with it. But I was having a hard time here. My water would freeze and walk to the spring to get water and all that, and then I would go to the city and all this - I didn't know what was going on then. And Gorky had moved to Connecticut and well, there weren't -

MS. BERMAN: So did you miss New York when you first -

MR. HAGUE: Oh, I wanted to get back there very much, very badly and I used to hitchhike to New York City and walk around. Yes, I enjoyed city. I used to - of course, I probably lived there alone. It was unhealthy places I lived and I still like to go to city and walk around with Robert Frank or - and I had a friend who was an editor, managing editor of American book, quite an intellectual guy and - Mark Brenner. I used to stop at this book office about 4:00 or 5:00 and he would call his wife, we called his secretary and he says, "I'm taking a walk with Hague." And then we walked the streets and he'd take me out to dinner and I used to do that, and then quite a lot, year after year, until he retired and went to Montana. I kept - he kept writing to come. His wife was from Montana. So that's all and then I went - oh, then I worked here - Philip moved next door, Philip Guston and he said, "Did you - they'll never come to look at your sculpture." He said, "Why don't you take, select half a dozen and take it down to New York and you might ask people to come around." And well, there was the - for $20 [inaudible], this guy 25, [inaudible]. He said, "I'll do it for take your sculpture," and then [inaudible] was 55th Street where the - and off 6th Avenue where the big hotel is now, where little two-story garage we have these there right across Zeigfield.

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: And well, he said you - well, for $10 you can - they were holding it for me so I pull out - took it down and replaced up there and invited - invited Curt Valentine and he came and looked at it. And then in one - I happened to meet Elaine on the street.

MS. BERMAN: Elaine de Kooning?

MR. HAGUE: de Kooning and she came to see it and she called Tom Hess to come around and then Hess came to see it, and then Dorothy Miller came to see it. And then the - we bill and it was standing, making appointments, standing around doing nothing and I got so goddamned tired I - I called up this man who was brought me down a week later and says, "When can you come pick me up?" You know, "I can come this weekend or else I - you have to wait another three weeks because I'll be busy." I said, "Come this weekend." I went there and everybody had come and come into an empty place.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, no.

MR. HAGUE: Curt Valentine called me up and finally he took - well, he said, "I like that piece and bought it." He was showing me in his gallery. Everybody had come out but then Hess came up, Tom Hess. You have seen the picture, an article with the garden outside and he brought Burkhart and he gave a big write-up on that thing and he built me right up. And then from then on Hess always exhibited my work against the David Smith.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: But then the surrealists didn't like the - preferred the Lindbergh and all but he was a big estate. He had a big estate. And then Dorothy, [inaudible], Dorothy Miller and [inaudible], they - I got a call from them saying, "If you bring your sculptures down, a group of sculptures, we'll go through the judgment and might include you on [inaudible] American." So I got a truck and put the thing in there, was up there, and I was in that [inaudible] American show and that - they sold there. They -

MS. BERMAN: So how did being in the Museum of Modern Art show affect your career?

MR. HAGUE: Well, oh, I come back from London, you know? Well, I changed quite a lot that year away. I made that scene and all that. Oh, yes, I had money and they sold - they bought two - they sold one with Chicago. They sold one from Buffalo and Whitney Moore - do you know Moore?

MS. BERMAN: Henry - Herman Moore.

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes. He came and bought one and for $2,000 or so and I was - for a short time I was at Grand Gallery that showed a couple pieces. His prices were very low. And then Charlie Egan was after me and I was show off some - so well, I exhibit with him. My God, he's - he raised it up to $10,000. He sold it for Hirshhorn, sold it and he sold and I don't care what [inaudible] said. He never cheated me except that he just piece of little toilet paper or something and I sold this, "I owe you that much and -

MS. BERMAN: So you really - you only had to sell one piece in a great while for you to keep going I guess.

MR. HAGUE: Yes, but then I spent -

MS. BERMAN: But the -

MR. HAGUE: - money. I bought a car and then I put electricity here and then I built these buildings, and then I was able to - yes, and then I got the Guggenheim and then I got the Ford Foundation and before or after the Museum of Modern Art. So financially I was getting independent. I didn't have to sell - people used to come and buy things from here for nothing. I gave them away and they are the mosaics, giving it to museums and taking a tax deduction that was okay. And there was a fellow, deaf and dumb fellow who used to come and buy a piece of my work. Early I used to throw everything that I did to him. I didn't know that he was getting for his uncle in East Hampton, Evans.

MS. BERMAN: Evan Frankel?

MR. HAGUE: Frankel, yes. He was an operator, biggest building operator. I didn't know he was getting it but I liked this deaf and dumb guy. We'd go in city on visit and talk to him. He was very good and then when I found out [inaudible]. He's dead now. Evan says he's got quite a lot, six, seven, or eight pieces, maybe more. He never paid more than $400-500 a piece.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, that's terrible.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, and - but I never - he keeps inviting me. I never have gone there. I would never go because I go to East Hampton to visit Peter Larkin, the stage designer friend of mine but I never go. I should really go visit de Kooning. He tells me he was invited through the [inaudible] to come visit him. You can't detach it, you know, things, you know. And one other thing, he sold the thing for $1,100,000. I'd like to go and see [inaudible] house down in south - 50 miles from there. They say it's very, very good. He has good taste.

MS. BERMAN: Well, I just want to ask you a question, just to go back to Herby White very briefly. What did he think of Woodstock since he was one of the founders of the colony? Was he satisfied with the way it turned out?

MR. HAGUE: Just before he died it was changing and he was very sad, you know and was well, like old people, nothing - and butter doesn't have the same taste. And he was worried what would happen to his place, you know, the concert hall that he - and other people and all that. Every - every year he made a will. There was always a crowned prince. When he died I thought I was the crowned prince but he had come and worked before. I said, "The rumor is that I don't want anything. Just go ahead. I'm doing all right now. Just go ahead and do your - and in the meantime his son had come over, just after many of 25 - after 50 years, his son had came from nowhere to visit him. So he says, [inaudible]. But he wasn't - well, anyway, this is -

MS. BERMAN: I was just wondering if the vision he had of Woodstock had turned out the way he had thought.

MR. HAGUE: He - he was 76 years old. You know I took him - he was invited to dinner at Del Andres there. His son is a movie maker [inaudible].

MS. BERMAN: He's a producer, theater producer?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, well, he invited him to their house for the - well, he took me. I took him over the mountain, drove up the cliff and down, and after that he did it. He did it, you know. I can't climb now because of the heart but he did it. And then there was a - then he'd stay in front coming back, in front of the post office, and then old woman came up and bent down with a stick. They chit chat, chit chat, chit chat. I sat on the side. He liked that small gossip chit chat. And then she would leave and he says, "Hey, she was beautiful." [They laugh.] All right, you got that.

MS. BERMAN: Well, I wanted to ask you, you made a very interesting statement in some of the articles that I wanted to ask you about. You said that in all your years of knowing artists that there were only three artists whose eyes you could trust: Gorky, Guston and Tomlin.

MR. HAGUE: Not Guston, no. Guston is limited in his own way. Gorky, Charlie Egan were called artists, too, right and Tomlin, and no - yah, yah. No, I don't want to put Guston down but he is limited in his way and he doesn't look - I think he is [inaudible]. He has blinders and he has got the Piero della Francesca Italian thing in him and no, no I wouldn't include him, but there would be many others. They say that - I would say that years ago - I don't know. I haven't walked around with the de Kooning on the street. She probably has an eye, too for what it is, but that's a special thing all around. That's a special gift. Gorky had it with the paintings and others, everything. On the street there is always an excitement. It would show up and be some crack in the sidewalk and you'd know it's wonderful, and then he showed - there was an old lady who used to sit on the flat iron building in front of it bent down. The dress was - she never took it off I guess in all her life and city shining and it's a fantastic picture, you know, like - well, you mentioned names, you know, the painters. But some of the great painters have painted it and well, you point that out and now they - Frank can do it, too. Frank has got a good eye, even for painting and sculpture. Frank has - Robert Frank I mean.

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: And I don't pretend to have it.


MR. HAGUE: I can follow other people. I can have a - can get moved by great paintings, masterpiece especially, like that thing there, the pieta in the back. I wonder why they didn't show it from the back here when it was here.

MS. BERMAN: Because it's so abstract probably. Also, well, people want to see the mother and child. They wanted the sentiment of it, I guess. But you're saying that these people had a special eye that ranged just beyond - beyond art, that they could pick out anything?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, yes, yes. That's - yes, they could pick out - because it moves back and forth you know. It goes back and forth. It comes to - I guess [inaudible] must have had it and - but he didn't - he didn't - it took him some time before they discovered de Kooning, you know?

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: And Charlie had to discover it.

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: And then they - then the Barr, I don't know how good he is. He - when de Kooning was doing the - he is a great scholar, no doubt, but the women laid their figures, you know, like women, Barr said he is - de Kooning is on the wrong track. He should do the abstraction. That's what I heard. I have heard that, yes. And I guess one of his secretary's, not Miller, this other girl, and he was wrong because he was - he was wrong on that. And well, the - Holger Cahill had the eye, too and up here - well -


MR. HAGUE: I told you that Tomlin - I mentioned Tomlin to you.

MS. BERMAN: Well, we haven't talked about him yet and I want to in a minute. I just want to ask you, it seems to me that your statement also shows that you're kind of pretty disappointed in most artists. You don't really think much of most of the artists you've know. Is that correct?

MR. HAGUE: Well, no. Did I say that?

MS. BERMAN: No, you haven't said it. It just seemed that - you said that there were just three or four people whose eyes you could trust of all of these -

MR. HAGUE: Well, I don't know most - oh, well, I don't know them. Stella I don't know. I don't know Rosenberg. I don't know - I think they are very knowledgeable people. There is no doubt of it. They probably had the eye but I don't know them personally. I'm talking about people whom I know.

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: And they are limited, you know, because I don't move in those opening cocktail parties. I never have gone to one. I never go when - to my own opening at the Museum of Modern Art. I didn't go to the one at the Washington, when they gave that Museum of Modern Art show in Washington. So I don't meet them unless somebody sort of takes me over, you know, and visiting. Now, they - only thing is Henry [inaudible] came in with the Bazo, yeah, still -

MS. BERMAN: Mazo, right.

MR. HAGUE: Mazo, yes. Well, this is not an artist gallery and I suppose that if I meet anybody it would be through him, you know, and Charlie Egan never introduced me to all the - he always - when a collector came in you put a wall. That's what - that's what Larry says, Larry, the - you know from Washington. The de Kooning -


MR. HAGUE: McCabe, yeah. But he was the right-hand man of Charlie. He really did hard work and the - Nakian also.

MS. BERMAN: And you said that he I guess did a lot of the armature work for Nakian. Is that -

MR. HAGUE: Everything, you know, can set these - he did that. No, no he worked the still - he did everything. He worked. He was the devoted and then he cut it up and brought it out to the gallery or the museum and welded it together, everything, all the hard work, and Nakian said, "Change that," and then he would change it and all that. I was, I'm sure, I know it - but they drank a lot then. [END OF TAPE 1 SIDE B]

MS. BERMAN: To begin again -

MR. HAGUE: Do you mean to say from there it carries, registers?

MS. BERMAN: Yes, it will carry. I'm going to put it right here. It will carry across the room. Yeah, I was wondering when you first heard about cubism.

MR. HAGUE: Before I met Tomlin, he was doing cubist and Gorky was - I don't think he did much cubist. He was more space, as closing the space, and spotting the space, oh, like automatic writing. Cubist is more structured and intellectual and I think Tomlin - why - why do you ask this question, cubist -

MS. BERMAN: I was just wondering if you felt that it ever - if you'd ever been interested in it and if it had ever influenced your earlier work.

MR. HAGUE: No, I look at the art for pleasure. I usually and even now, big art groups and it gives a big pleasure, you know, in Goyas and you know there is an awful lot of cubism in the ancient art, too in their rugs.

MS. BERMAN: Well, yeah, that was what I was going to ask you since you said that early work did have that Aztec look as you said, if that had all come out of cubism, or if you had seen African sculpture or anything like that.

MR. HAGUE: Yes, I didn't go for the African sculpture until the masks and decorative - their - when they painted themselves and no, I don't think - no, no I -

MS. BERMAN: Well, to return to Zorack, you said that he wasn't a very good teacher, but it seemed that you did become committed to direct carving at the time and did that come from Zorack?

MR. HAGUE: Zorack didn't do direct carving. He made a model, complete model and copied it and he had other people copying it. There is a fellow by - Ben Schmool [phonetic]; did you know him, sculptor?


MR. HAGUE: Well, he carved a mother and child for Zorack. It was a direct carving. Zorack did the finished model, removed the mother and child at 4:00 in the morning from patch and place that was to downtown gallery or Mrs. - what's her name?

MS. BERMAN: Halpert.

MR. HAGUE: Halbert, yes and Ben Schmool wasn't but Zorack was a modeler and cast - he cast. He modeled and cast his bronze and had bronze made.

MS. BERMAN: I'm really in shock. I always thought that Zorack was one of - Zorack and I guess Chaim Gross always talked about direct carving.

MR. HAGUE: Chaim Gross probably did -

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: - wood and he did but Zorack, I don't think Zorack did and this other guy who died lived to be 95 years old but -

MS. BERMAN: Ben Schmool, yeah, he just -

MR. HAGUE: No, no.


MR. HAGUE: No, Ben Schmool was a -

MS. BERMAN: Oh, Jose De Creeft?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, but I never was - he was a - what was he? He did all kinds of things, didn't he? The one at the Central Park.

MS. BERMAN: Right, he did the Alice in Wonderland monument.

MR. HAGUE: Right, he had a class and they were - I wasn't too much following school. Most of my friends were teachers.

MS. BERMAN: That's delicious coffee. I guess - but you were - but you started carving directly. Was that from Flannigan?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, I think in that case started from Flannigan. I carved at New York City in the stone and then wood in the winter, wood. It looked like - it was more like primitive, the Aztec. I carried on that for a long time. I don't know why. I don't know why it came out that way. There is one picture, Museum of Modern Art has photographs, and what they want where the sculpture is a [inaudible] on the - rest on the shoulder, turned around, and a vagina with a man's outfit, you know. They think that's great. They are, "What is it?" I heard the WPA got it somehow. And then, I don't know who but they got an awful lot of my work and they were big. They were this - well, I used to be able to create all my -

MS. BERMAN: Three or four feet high?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, on my shoulder carry out the stones and I carved strange - then in the city and then I moved along like here bosomy woman and hips and that's what you saw on 14th Street. And I suppose that - and I think that - I suppose they all - [inaudible] bronze is made, modeled in clay first.

MS. BERMAN: Plaster, I think.

MR. HAGUE: Plaster, yes. See, I didn't do that. I did it directly in the wood, in the wood or the stone. That gave me the idea of - you asked me that question about cubism -

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: - because it's, I think, changes shape of the stone.

MS. BERMAN: I'm interested that you - just something you said before because on 14th Street you said you saw all of these women, these shoppers and are you saying that you kind of were after reflecting that in your sculpture?

MR. HAGUE: Well, yes even now in the country I reflect in the mountains. I've showed you.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: And that's all in the book there.

MS. BERMAN: Right. That's - well, I was going to ask you if you felt that the mountains around her had -

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes that's in the - like the stuff here the last 30 years. I never got over it for a long time. I had the torso, doing it, and they have known my torsos. They've become - I made them very sensitive and all that and not so [inaudible]. But Curt Valentine was interested in it and he - he - I exhibited in his place. I always thought highly of him.

MS. BERMAN: Do you feel -

MR. HAGUE: Curt Valentine -

MS. BERMAN: Do you feel that the torso is still in your work now, too?

MR. HAGUE: I don't think so. Do you think so? Have you seen it?

MS. BERMAN: Once or twice. I mean at times it is, but maybe I'm looking for it so I can't tell.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, they are - no, not -

MS. BERMAN: But - but not, for example, the cave certainly isn't like that.

MR. HAGUE: Well, but most of it is fragmented. The men that really - what's his name, the teachers at the - in Pennsylvania? He used to lecture at the Museum of Modern Art. He's an art scholar.

MS. BERMAN: He teaches in Pennsylvania now or he -

MR. HAGUE: Well, he was in Pennsylvania - [inaudible] Pennsylvania University for some time. He - and then he moved - he's back in New York and he did big [inaudible] job on early Michelangelo something or - I don't know why - I should -

MS. BERMAN: Oh, not Leo Steinberg?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, yes.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, Leo Steinberg?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, he is another one who is still up to - recently he still likes my work and why did I mention his name? He sent some - did you see that thing he did in the Museum of Modern Art show, that figure and Johnson sold it to the Miller Collection up in Connecticut and he said something about that, fragmented torsos.

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: And what -

MS. BERMAN: I guess he was looking for contrapusto?

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, yeah he was that - you know him?

MS. BERMAN: Yes, well -

MR. HAGUE: He is a very great talker.

MS. BERMAN: Well, I meant contrapusto and Michelangelo, you know -

MR. HAGUE: Yeah.

MS. BERMAN: - you look for what you were interested in or what you were well-versed in.

MR. HAGUE: Oh, funny the way you knew the name. Yeah, Leo Steinberg and they - in the museum was the one that got killed and they put him up. He likes it.



MS. BERMAN: Frank O'Hara?

MR. HAGUE: No, the curator. The -

MS. BERMAN: I think that's Frank O'Hara.

MR. HAGUE: No, no the curator. O'Hara did the - he was the painting and sculpture creator, got killed in Long Island, was -

MS. BERMAN: Seitz?


MS. BERMAN: Seitz? No.


MS. BERMAN: I don't know. I thought that the only one I could think of was -

MR. HAGUE: French name, de Holm, big name.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, de Hardencourt, the director. Right.

MR. HAGUE: Right.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: He was - I think he was - he - him and Holger Cahill were the two people that selected for my museum show, 12 Americans and Barr selected that sculpture, the [inaudible]. I call it - they called it a seed or something. I don't know.

MS. BERMAN: I'd like to talk about your relationship with Flannigan. What do you feel that you absorbed from him?

MR. HAGUE: Just that, he's just sitting there and telling me, "You do it. You do it." He did - he used to look for fieldstones and things that would give you almost the things you would have in mind to do only - to do a little carving here and there. It would be embryo or baby in a woman's womb, or somebody tortured, and an artist's baby is tortured. [They laugh.] And no, I -

MS. BERMAN: He never told you to -

MR. HAGUE: Just one thing, [inaudible], brought the stone to my house and then watched me do it and says, "Go ahead. You don't need anybody else. You have done it." I have that sculpture, a picture somewhere and limestone and that's all. I never - and he had been -

MS. BERMAN: Did he ever talk about why he specialized in animals or anything like that?

MR. HAGUE: No, he used to bring - he brought those two beautiful people, one is a girl, and married a poet, and she exhibited Pierre Matisse gallery. Her name is - yeah. He died. She's crippled. She's still painting. She's out of - but Pierre, it's sort of poetic Irish paintings out of cloudy and McKee, McCar -

MS. BERMAN: McArden? No.

MR. HAGUE: McIver?

MS. BERMAN: Is it -


MS. BERMAN: - Loren McIver?

MR. HAGUE: Loren McIver. You're pretty good with names.

MS. BERMAN: It's - I just - well, you're giving me enough hints. I have to have enough and then I can - that I can tell.

MR. HAGUE: Yes, she - I guess he died. They used to come to visit me, McIver and they were a friend of -

MS. BERMAN: Flannigan.

MR. HAGUE: Flannigan is impossible. As soon as he - he has a very good mind, starts talking, all of a sudden the wine goes. He starts with a glass of wine and then the beer overture and then the whiskey, then he was dead. That's hopeless and he - I don't know why he does that, but he can be very nice. That's - I don't think he influenced me very much except that, "Go ahead. You have it."

MS. BERMAN: Right, no, your work certainly doesn't look like his whatsoever. I was just curious because he was such a sensitive sculptor -


MS. BERMAN: - and he was interested in you. Do you - do you think that when you were younger Brancusi had any influence on you?

MR. HAGUE: Brancusi showed at the -

MS. BERMAN: The Brommer Galleries.

MR. HAGUE: [Inaudible] was - used to - well, Brommer like it. He used to repair all his Greek broken statues and all that, and I got a taste, you know, and he would do a very nice job. I saw Brancusi's - yes, I think he influenced me and Giacometti, or the sculptures influenced me. I don't show it in my work at all and see, I worked in the vault and this kind of an atmosphere has changed. You know if I was in the [inaudible] and it wasn't like this, I probably - I don't know what. But when you leave here - how do you know this by the way?

MS. BERMAN: Oh, it's working. I just was moving this - I just moved the recorder to see if it was moving. It is.

MR. HAGUE: How do you know? Oh, oh.

MS. BERMAN: You can just see it. See, the wheel is moving.

MR. HAGUE: Oh, as long as wheel is moving then -

MS. BERMAN: Right, it's on. Well, I guess, what was it do you think about Brancusi and Giacometti that made a difference to you?

MR. HAGUE: Well, the boldness of Brancusi's work - the studio, it's like my - if I didn't have to move it out. Have you seen his magazine?

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: That he photographed -


MR. HAGUE: - the studio but he's completely fine when it is finished, like [inaudible] likes to do it, like the -

MS. BERMAN: Polished.

MR. HAGUE: Polished. I never went into it but the - we - but his work was very good, you know, and chopping of - put something else on top and his boldness of handling those. And then on the other hand, do very fine things or - I could have gone visiting him in Paris but I just don't go after big names. And besides, I didn't have the language. He doesn't talk. I - the [inaudible]'s niece was going to visit with her boyfriend and he was - Brancusi was expecting me. I met them prior and they asked me to come along. I said, "Oh, you know, it's you and" - and they went there, problems we had going to - but he's got all kinds of cakes and food and stuff, and spread it over. He waited on them all day. They couldn't say a word to each other and that's very sad -


MR. HAGUE: - that he suffered on traveling because I - at the - I went to London University, Courtald Institute and they gave me a pass to show at the Louvre and the Louvre gave me cultural issued, highly speculative or we exchanged paintings, and I had less [inaudible] and I could walk anywhere. That's all there was and then there are artists - okay what's the next question?

MS. BERMAN: Oh, I was saying - about Giacometti, where does he come in do you think in terms of what you feel?

MR. HAGUE: When he gave me the show at the Matisse Gallery and from Europe, and before that there was no Giacometti show here. Matisse introduced it and there was a - and the head - the drawings in the - oh, Giacometti's seen at the new Metropolitan - ah, Museum of Modern Art, that box hanging. And I was more excited about what I saw at the Metropolitan, you know, and Velazquez, Hidalgo like [inaudible] he has got. I still go there and pay my respects. And Goya's, El Greco's John the Baptist, and [inaudible]. They hung up a new [inaudible]. Have you seen it. It's very, very good. I was more influenced by the Metropolitan that I did - I wasn't a gallery go-er so much and then the Museum of Modern Art, yes, we went there to see those fantastic Matisse's they have their, The Piano and Cezanne's working and all that. I didn't - and that - Picasso's sculpture didn't excite me too much. But his invention to turning the bicycle's handle around and making a bull's head out of it, that was very fine. You know I - that was nothing to do with my sculpture but I could do it in these things, you know.

MS. BERMAN: Right, and what you're - in the objects that you have around you -


MS. BERMAN: - and were using things -


MS. BERMAN: - and how you live every day.

MR. HAGUE: Yes. You can change it around, you know and - but that was a - when he carried, you made a great cult out of it and - but I thought that Miro was more of a real painter than Picasso was.

MS. BERMAN: I guess I want to ask you a little bit now - oh, one other question. Well, a couple others. I was going to ask you about your materials but I've got a couple first. How did you meet Nakian?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, I think that - there was a Chuchino's [phonetic] Restaurant in New York, which was a - which was a bigger tables, stove, and a bar and two seats, two tables, and there was a painter swung by, lived in Woodstock later on, but they would buy a t-shirt - t-shirt and even he had a scholarship back to Italy and there was nothing [inaudible].

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: And we went down and - Stu Davis in the Chuchino and Nakian was there. I met him there to -

MS. BERMAN: So in your 20s?

MR. HAGUE: In the 20s yes. Nakian had a derby hat.

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.] That's great.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, 20 - yes.

MS. BERMAN: Was he sharing the studio in La Chez [phonetic] at the time when you met?

MR. HAGUE: He was - you have [inaudible] here at La Chez and he did that - cat for licking himself. You know that's so strange from there to what he's going now.

MS. BERMAN: Right, [inaudible].

MR. HAGUE: Not now, but the still that's - that you are going to see at the -

MS. BERMAN: The Storm King.

MR. HAGUE: - Storm King, yeah.

MS. BERMAN: Did you ever meet La Chez through Nakian?

MR. HAGUE: I - no, I saw La Chez at his opening, dead drunk at the show. I enjoyed his work. Yes, I enjoyed his work and - yes, and they are making something out of Nedelman which was Nedelman by Johnson doing those pictures over the [inaudible] Center. Nedelman was a distinctly sculpture - you could place it like no one else in Nuevo art; no one else. I saw Weatherly, a friend of mine, with a woman sitting on a horse, side saddle with a top hat and very fine shoes showing, and that was Nedelman. You could tell the Nedelman. But the big thing that we soap giants that Johnson has created out of Nedelman. It might be at - but he's almost, very close to being a very fine sculptor as Brancusi.

MS. BERMAN: Also, when did you - how - when and how did you change your name from -

MR. HAGUE: Oh, [inaudible] in the other one. In Chicago when I met these boys, there as a girl, Maria, and - have you seen the picture of tango dancing picture?

MS. BERMAN: No, I certainly haven't. You were a tango dancer?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, and she taught me tango lessons.

MS. BERMAN: Was this to make money or just for fun?

MR. HAGUE: No, because we got - we got a vaudeville booking, Oshkosh, Gary, Indiana, vaudeville houses. I'll show you, vaudeville houses. But I didn't get launched. She couldn't get her Kelekian [phonetic] name, Heigel Kelekian, and then they'd all laugh when we were practicing. Raoul, Maria and Raoul, you know and that student, I was having trouble with her Kelekian in - all the spelling and my names and all that, so that stood, Hague, Raoul Hague.

MS. BERMAN: Is Raoul your first name?

MR. HAGUE: No, Hague is my first name.

MS. BERMAN: So your real - your name is Hague Heigel Kelekian.

MR. HAGUE: Heigel Kelekian, yeah. I'll show you the - yeah, that picture. And then three months, two months later I had fight with her and I came back and left her on the road. I was also in Chicago Opera Company. I was better. I was Mary Gardner's usher and she used to send backstage, she had a number on box - backstage with notes and I see this painted eyebrows and big nose and [inaudible] and [inaudible] and all these - all their dresses, nervous, going back and forward. You know they were very nervous in the backstage. Could be in the mood and you know like - and the Spanish are the - that's the - they're crossing themselves before the curtain numbers and but that was more, more - and I wasn't a performer.

MS. BERMAN: Have you ever been married?

MR. HAGUE: No, I lived with women and I used to have my - they pressured all of my sculptors to draw them and [they laugh], and then all the girls would do the dishwashing and stuff and in here, too for a few months and in New York for a few months. All right, what else?

MS. BERMAN: Now, I wanted to ask you about your materials. Does hard or soft wood make a difference to you?

MR. HAGUE: No, I don't - I never worked with soft wood. I work with hard wood. In New York City I used to - there were big importers of wood: mahogany and calatra and they [inaudible]. I used to get chunks of them. And the men who really helped me was Jovan Ness the sculptor. Do you know him?

MS. BERMAN: I've only heard the name. I don't know anything about him.

MR. HAGUE: He taught at the Cooper Union and art students' league. He was one of the top craftsmen. He carved but he went into a long, long - became labor sculpture: women washing dishes and hanging and -

MS. BERMAN: Sort of corny?

MR. HAGUE: Corny, yes, but finer things. But he had classes. Women liked him because he had a very good teacher. You know he used to help me in getting my tools, my problems, whenever I had back trouble.

MS. BERMAN: Did you start using hand tools and then go to hand and electric or have you always used electrical tools?

MR. HAGUE: No, I started with hand tools and then when they started big and big and first one was chainsaw I bought 25 years ago. Before that, no I didn't have a - well, we had a - sanding machines I had but that's - not a carving machine. But first 25-30 years ago was - I still have it, this course big thing. No, I couldn't really build a whole thing with my sander.

MS. BERMAN: Right, well, also in other words when you were working smaller you didn't have it, but as you worked on larger you needed -

MR. HAGUE: Yes, yes and then they - holding it and you are carving it. I didn't but -

MS. BERMAN: Well, you used - you also used stone and you used wood, and both of those were very slow and resistant materials that take a long time to work on. Was that a conscious decision on your part?

MR. HAGUE: No, nothing was conscious. It was just - as I got along I picked it up.

MS. BERMAN: But you've never seen - you haven't worked in metal, for example.

MR. HAGUE: No, I won't work in metal. That could be very - too - this is how it's just got to be done and in this one I don't - I don't have to decide. I can keep changing, keep changing and compromising, keep changing, and going back and forward with the wood. You know you can do anything with your tools. Of course you can do it with the steel, too. You can take it off and put it somewhere else, but it's too quick, too fast for me. There is no germination. There is - there is this. There is constantly thinking, you know, and every time I pass on it, it says I'm here and at the beginning when I put it on there, it don't talk. We are not speaking to each other. It stays for a week or so. Finally, hey I do one cut. I commit and finally every time I keep looking - it's a matter of eye, intelligence over the eye.

MS. BERMAN: So you also - you work on one sculpture at a time; is that correct?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, that's what I do. Thinking - thinking, doing [inaudible].

MS. BERMAN: Well, you - well, I guess what I - do you feel that you're aiming for the liberation of a form within the wood or do you think you're trying to get the liberation of the wood itself? [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: I don't know how to answer that.

MS. BERMAN: Well, I guess I want to know when you look at this, do you see a form inside the wood or do you -


MS. BERMAN: You don't?

MR. HAGUE: No. If the wood did a little - has a - rots inside and grew a growth on the right and left, it helps me. It helps me to my decision. It helps me. Even the barrel, I like to cut it so it's less symmetrical and -

MS. BERMAN: Uh-huh. [Affirmative.] Now, it seems to me that what you did - you carved in stone until you moved to Woodstock; is that correct?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, I carved a couple years, you know, big bluestone. They are merciless. After the chisel gets down, I have one big one, take it and - up in [inaudible] and couple small stones I had I carved them here; two or three sculptures, otherwise they have been wood.

MS. BERMAN: Well, in other words, you only wanted to carve the stone if it was local? In other words you didn't -

MR. HAGUE: But they couldn't find it. It was by accident I found Tennyson marble here. I carved that. And then I carved limestone. I carved that. But you can't find that except at local - stones unless I imported, which is -

MS. BERMAN: Yeah, but -

MR. HAGUE: - bluestone.

MS. BERMAN: Right, but you decided not to import the stones; how come?

MR. HAGUE: Well, at first it was financial. It was no good. I was cutting all the trees down here, a big walnut. I could get wood [inaudible] and then I had the tool sharpening. I had a place on 103rd Street, [inaudible] and we used to go once a month, take all our chisels and they would sharpen it with teeth on it and all. And there wasn't anybody here would do it and then I guess - yes. In the wintertime, stone is cold material to work with and the ground - the wood that you - you burn half of the tree to keep yourself warm and it doesn't give as much. Of course, I don't know how Michelangelo did those things, you know, [inaudible] and I couldn't do that. He did it all himself, too. And like Bernini, those - I don't know how they have done it. I couldn't do that [inaudible] thing. That's why my work, earlier work could be, you know, like blocks. I don't think cubism is right word for blocks. Cubism is one thing on top of another, you know, one thing on back of another because that has nothing to do with blocks.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] How did you arrive at this sort of - how did the sculpture start getting bigger? You know you kind of moved into a certain scale and you've stayed with it.

MR. HAGUE: Well, the scale is a door is 42 inches wide and we have a hell of a time bringing it in, and it's 62 inches high as all I can - that's the scale. I can't do it any different here.

MS. BERMAN: Well, in other words, so you're saying it's determined by the size of your studio here?

MR. HAGUE: The studio and the gateway of bringing in and out.

MS. BERMAN: Well, I have a question. Let's say, if your studio were bigger, do you think you'd like to work bigger?

MR. HAGUE: I doubt - I think that biggest stuff is - I doubt that I would resize, no. No, I don't think that size has anything to do with - they are doing it now.

MS. BERMAN: Well, if -

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, I want to make 100 feet high, all right.

MS. BERMAN: It seems to me kind of almost, about human scale, about -

MR. HAGUE: Yes, just about the human scale, yes. It's a human thing as a more emotional, emotion and human quality in the wood than - than without pictorial, without making a torso or a head.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] How does an idea for a sculpture start?

MR. HAGUE: A what?

MS. BERMAN: How does an idea - you know how does it start? In other words, you get your latest trunk of wood, it's in there -

MR. HAGUE: It stays there for a while. As I've said we are not speaking in terms and then someday I have to - I go kind of crazy and then I said I'll talk to the stars, keep looking every day and then I make a - I don't want to have a preconceived idea of what I want to do. I like to find myself discovered farther in, you know, in time as I work, you know.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.] Right. So could you - I guess in the - I'm waiting for the -

MR. HAGUE: It's still going?

MS. BERMAN: Yes, it's in a - and let's say you say it works say three or four months to - I guess I - what are the stages after you start speaking to the wood?

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, and well, then you get attached to the thing that you have done and you attach. Your eye is satisfied here and then it comes to me all around, too. That's the thing. Once you've got the right going in the thing that's very pleasing, very satisfactory on one side, it isn't on the other. And then if you change the other it affects and then it's a sort of give and take there, and you struggle with that with pleasure, you know. Every time you carve it there's something going on there and as long as something is going on, I'm satisfied. I'm having trouble with these because I made the wrong start and see, I might still find a way around. It isn't deep enough for me. Well, okay what's the next question?

MS. BERMAN: Well, I was wondering would you like to stop and we'll continue tomorrow?

MR. HAGUE: Okay 9:00 tomorrow.

MS. BERMAN: I'll - just wait. I'll turn this off.


MS. BERMAN: Now, why don't we talk about Bradley Tomlin for a little while?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, well, he has a sister in the city and I never got ahold of her but I know on me - you probably could get things from her. Well, she - how do you - what kind of a will he made, I don't know. But I met her here - I met him here in '47 or '48. He came - oh, well, he used to buy - he has been around Woodstock a long time and used to buy a house, fix it - living there, you know basically and then sell it. And then people made jokes of it, you know, but he wasn't near Washington Square brownstone buildings that were being torn down. He bought the - all the antiques there, the dolls and those and put it in the storage. Then he bought this Victorian house next to Jackson Smith, the painter. If you visit the girls they will know, they can tell you about - it's next door to Jackson Smith the painter. And he decorated it. He put all these antiques there. He was number one, the best. I was at that time, I was like a - I became like his [inaudible], you know? [They laugh.] I used to take - I used to be [inaudible]. I asked to borrow Barr's car and drive around. Sure, he liked to drive and see. When he walked into an antique store across the river, we were caught. Right away they would know what he would do and they - I - it was wonderful. He just knew everything at the Hudson River paintings and antiques. They would stand on tip-toe. There were these big antique dealers that came from 3rd Avenue, you know, that section and then moved up this way here and bought big Victorian houses and started doing antique buying. And then before he left he spent $4 or $5 over here on a steak, you know, where he sold painting. And he used to tell me, "Hey, you stop me from getting things, buying them." But I enjoyed driving him around and I don't know how. I was very green in driving. I brought him back every night. [They laugh.] He had a very wonderful woman, Mrs. Dawson, a friend. Her husband had - engineer, government engineer. They traveled all - she was one of the smartest women I've ever met and Tomlin used to push everything aside to have a dinner with her and talk. They talked about, you know, that - about the Darkness at Noon.

MS. BERMAN: Koestler?

MR. HAGUE: Koestler, yes with an intellectual another and Koestler. Oh, you get the names very good. And there was all - and Tomlin had a way of bringing you out, you know, and I used to - as I said I have a lazy mind. I just withdraw and then he would just push me and I would open up. And Dawson was that way, too and then - oh, this was - this was - then I went to Europe, that's right. And then he discovered the - like expressionists. He went wild. Oh, he went wild about it and oh, he just scratched Woodstock, sold the Victorian house, and his friend London had died, London the painter. They used to do the cubist paintings, Cezanne-ist and cubist and all that. That's - he has some of that early, very delicate, feminine - Tomlin has paintings of vases and all, and he went over big for the - so he moved to New York. In the meantime - let me see. It was before - sure I was - yes, then I went to Europe to England. When I came back I heard that he had a - in New York hospital with heart attack. He had that crazy [inaudible] rented a studio for him on 23rd Street and 9th Avenue - 9th Avenue elevated with walk-up weekends. We used to run up, you know, like come and to - so well, he run up there and he got a heart problem there and they put him in a New York hospital. I guess the Museum of Modern Art did that, you know, picked up that tab for him. They used to think highly of him. He was a museum director of the - I'll tell you about that. You - and yes, when I came back Philip told me that, "Tomlin wants to see you." So I went to visit him. It was the tower of the New York hospital. You could see things all the way down - downtown, you know, when the sun is setting all over the skyscrapers and all that in the distance and it was fantastic. He was lying there and he said, "You know," he says, "the worst part, I can't even concentrate." He's a great reader. He was a good reader. So I saw him there and I was - then I came back and then I visited him. He had a place in the village. I went on - came down to visit him. I used to stop seeing him and the - and then one day I was in his place. They called him up. I think it was Whitney and they offered him the directorship at the Whitney. He said, "No, I do [inaudible]."

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: And he had been pressed for that, you know, many years because he was new and he was open and he had that -

MS. BERMAN: He had been asked to be the director of the Whitney here?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes.

MS. BERMAN: That's interesting.

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes I was there when he found out. I said, "What is it?" He said, "They are after me again." And he - then we used to go to the movies together and there was a boy we went to see and well, he just overdid it. He just wouldn't stop.

MS. BERMAN: Well, let's talk about his painting.

MR. HAGUE: Well, he started here just before he - that - you know sticks around, you know, white and white sticks and he was - he thought he was different and I thought it was very exciting, too. Have you seen the catalog, his exhibition in California?

MS. BERMAN: Well, I haven't seen that, but I've seen reproductions. I know his work. I think it's quite beautiful.

MR. HAGUE: They are beautiful. He just died, just like Gorky, just before he was really going to do it, you know, just those two people.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: And Gorky was - just died before he was in it.

MS. BERMAN: Really Gorky.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, and so of course she's [inaudible] knowledge. Mrs. Dawson was still after - we had dinner together again - again that same thing saying about Koestler and all this heavy stuff and then you can get involved in it and a - that stuff. It's all vanity. But I joined Mrs. Dawson. Most of the women around him were silly worshipers and - but what happened about it - must be a lot of letters left. That family must know; the sister and - he comes - his brother was a minister or Protestant organization or something; big, big. It was just job and I guess they came from out west or where route - architect route up the Syracuse way. That's where they were born. But you probably will find all that in the history. Has anybody written a biography on him?

MS. BERMAN: No, no but he's a very interesting fellow. Did he ever criticize or talk to you about your sculpture?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes.

MS. BERMAN: What did he think or what did he -

MR. HAGUE: He saw the one that Valentine bought. He was very - he was interested in my work, oh, yes. He was interested in my work. And then the was Paul Bergin [phonetic] here. He was another good thinker and a good painter. I enjoyed visiting him. You could - I could easily talk intellectually with him and then Dawson's, they were really a little too heavy for me. And that was too much work. I like to relax.

MS. BERMAN: Well, but you - do you like to talk about art theories or do you like -

MR. HAGUE: Oh, yes it just, you know, all those Schopenhauer religious stuff and I knew that - [inaudible]. He just can't, nothing there. Take it from between me and you, he'd just bolt up and you know - and then I used to go visit de Kooning and he pulled me in this thing, you know, things he has. But I'd get out on the street and I'd kick myself, "What the hell happened to me? Are you crazy? Tomlin liked that? You don't know a goddamn thing about shooting your mouth around like that." He pulled you. He used to pull up and there was nothing there. It's a dare. But these people were really - and Moore used to live here and Forest, Mrs. Forest -

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: - used to be very good friend with Tomlin. I would visit him and there is a woman that was secretary of Mrs. Forest.

MS. BERMAN: I don't know. Mrs. Sharkey?


MS. BERMAN: Sharkey?

MR. HAGUE: I guess that's the name, yeah. I've seen her at Tomlin's place. But Tomlin used to, you know, entertain these ladies, you know, millionaire ladies around here and the Warthall and all that. It was fantastic. And then he used to invite me over for tea and they would all be sitting on those broken down Civil War canvas chairs. I used to call it the comeback of tobacco road. Sitting down and they were such refined women that they would be eaten by mosquitoes and they wouldn't be scratching. They wouldn't scratch themselves.

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: So I would be sitting way out here, Warthall is there, Tomlin's is sugar, lemon, and milk and then those - those little sandwiches, "Hague, will you pass it to Mrs. Warthall?" I walk over from there, go out into the other and give it next to Mrs. Warthall. [Laughs.]

MS. BERMAN: Must have been a very funny looking party?

MR. HAGUE: Very - these were very - they talked of Henry James. That was the - but they - I'm glad he got out of that. He was a - but then we were in finishing school, we wouldn't, you know, whatever he tells them. You know there is still that triangular church you see down there?

MS. BERMAN: Mm-mm. [Negative.]

MR. HAGUE: It's [inaudible] huge. They wounded [inaudible] here and gave library back and they were rejoining it. But I didn't do - I guess he wanted me to [inaudible].

MS. BERMAN: You said before, I want to go to that period when you were in London. You went on the GI bill? You said it really changed your work before and afterward. Could you tell me about that?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, well, I took a lot of pictures you know. National Gallery I stood there and then when it was not raining I was on the streets and I was at Sotheby's. I was at - green bus, you know, took it around to St. Alban's and cathedrals, and yes, but when I came back I - it's never a direct to see. You know? I fall into it and just changed and made that - yes, after I came back from London I did the same, yes.

MS. BERMAN: Well, also you went to Paris and you also went to Egypt and I was wondering if looking at the - if looking at Egypt and seeing the orient awakened something?

MR. HAGUE: Well, the Paris was very good. I enjoy it. I think that's the best city. The artists in their underground and when I was here on $200 a year there was a fellow artist here from here, Weisman, Matthew Weisman. I'll tell you about him later. I went to Paris, tour student, so I used to send him $102. That used to bring tears out of him because he knew I had nothing. So one day I went to Paris and he gave me the red carpet, a Japanese fellow there. He's a painter of the - he painted - I've forgotten. He took me on a motorcycle ride to -

MS. BERMAN: Was that Kenzo Okada; is that who that was?

MR. HAGUE: I forget. But and then I had a - I met a girl at the commons in the cultural [inaudible]. You see it was an add-on building.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: Elegant there and she had a studio in Paris and Scottish [inaudible] so she is not going to use it so I can have it. I said - and then we made a date to meet her in Paris in August. And then - do you want all this?


MR. HAGUE: You can cut it out. And then I got to Paris - oh, but in London we were - they were still on Russian and you came [inaudible] and you come out there. The French are fantastic. In that shed there, there is a big French bouncer talking and a big fat - big Francis Toyed and just the one that Dickens talks about it, you know, standing there and, "[Inaudible]" and these English girls will think that one of those bites of the sandwiches, ham, they just go faint.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: You know lions? You know the lions?

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: They were eating hay there and sausages and hay in the [inaudible]. That's sad. And then I got to - well, I got into Paris and first I stayed [inaudible] and lights there and it's just fantastic there.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: It's just fantastic. I took a baguette and the sun was setting, just you stare as you see the Paris lights, you know, hum, lulls, distress, sadness; everything comes up to that mote. [Inaudible.]

MS. BERMAN: That's Bute Monuar [phonetic].



MR. HAGUE: Bute, yes. That was where we used to hang out. That's where we used to hang people before in Medieval times.

MS. BERMAN: Right, where everyone could see them.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, huh?

MS. BERMAN: Yeah, so that's - everyone would see it all over the city.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, and then I went down to Coutellis [phonetic]. I saw there - and then I walked down. My date kept quiet. But I sat down, [inaudible]. This place was observatoir and all the very top [inaudible] is watching and all of the croissants - he brought a plate of croissants and then put the bill there. And then coffee. I ate one and there were five more left there, so I ate the other one. I ate the other one. I ate the other one. And they come out and says, "[Inaudible]." [They laugh.] So he took the paper and then I paid him. What do you think? I went to this girl's place to take the key and she had croissant there. And I enjoy it and plus the roads are like [inaudible]. Do you know any of these?

MS. BERMAN: What road?

MR. HAGUE: [Inaudible].


MR. HAGUE: Pass by another [inaudible] and it goes into sections. I had a very wonderful studio, you know, $18 for two months. She, I guess she was throwing it away and then I met the - I met a girl that used to be here and then it's still that language they say, you know. And they were - and the artists that I think they used to drive around through [inaudible], stop at the policeman and say, "[Inaudible.]" [They laugh.] They don't drive the car.

MS. BERMAN: Yes, and they do it today, "[Inaudible]."

MR. HAGUE: Yes, and - yes, and motorcycle ride the Japanese gave me bacon and eggs breakfast. I think - now I think because of that little gift I gave him. We went - I enjoyed Paris. I enjoyed walking around and still is the same. Of course you went to east, too. And then I went to Rome and I feel that you need the name of a painter that I think you probably - it's an American painter that used to exhibit here, too. And [inaudible] showed me to [inaudible] and then from there I went to Brindisi and I wanted to - I had only $75 a month to live on and I took a boat to - oh, from village to Cairo but stopped at pier. And then that's it and then I came back in three months. It was 18 days there. I could have done - and I enjoyed walking around Cairo and -

MS. BERMAN: Well, I wanted to ask you a couple of other things. Zorack didn't teach you much and Flannigan just sort of sat there and read a newspaper and told you you were a sculptor and you never really had much teaching. I was wondering if - and have you ever taught yourself?

MR. HAGUE: No, I've turned them down and it's very sad. Very good thing with a lot of money and two weeks as visiting and all that, wanted me at Dartmouth, and they wanted me at Illinois University. I do a - no, I won't teach. I won't teach and you get it out of people by being close to Tomlin, you know. He doesn't have to tell anything. By being close to Charlie Egan and I got - I drove Charlie Egan visiting here. You should see his eyes comb around. He drives 10 miles an hour, like that. And even Guston - Guston likes to talk heavy, you know, after [inaudible]. He cooks very good and heavy, and then there was a long draw and the pages are very funny. You don't go in and it was two hours, "You haven't seen this. You haven't seen that. You haven't seen this." We always said, "Now I can take one, two, three pictures," but [inaudible] pictures was quite a change, great for him to do it, you know.

MS. BERMAN: I was just wondering to what extent can sculpture be taught?

MR. HAGUE: Imitation isn't a thing. I don't know. I don't know what to say. With me it's just a - I'm just learning, you know, every piece of a new thing, the direction of a new thing which that - like the Egyptians believe that they are - they die, yah, and then you're - you become your own father and then you have a cycle with your own mother and then you are reborn again, you know. They are - that's the cycle they believed in. It's yourself. It's in you. I don't know whether - how Tomlin learned all that. It just - I don't think it was a - I never asked whether he graduated from college.

MS. BERMAN: Well, he read a lot but so did you. You seem to read all the time.

MR. HAGUE: Yes, and then I buy a lot of art books. I read from the art - they are doing some fantastic things. Most people are, you know, in America they are very funny. There are these oversized books, like coffee table books. They don't realize that scholars of the top scholars have done work and with great pleasure on themselves after doing all the detailing stuff, and they print down there and the paintings are there, and they are all - it's for you, but it's - what they do is they sit down before they drink that, whatever they do and then put it back. It's not for that. The books are done very, very well. Abrams and McGraw-Hill, I've told you about. They've done - it's good education, you know, and I get that - I've got three libraries that are - do it and there are some people who write very [inaudible] about art. And then you get a lot of people read to court. That's the trouble with the de Kooning's stuff to court. But not - Tomlin doesn't. He didn't. Mrs. Dawson - they see a situation there - they like to read novels and then they - all right.

MS. BERMAN: Did you feel in your - in your work - do you have - do you think you work in a series? Do you feel that -

MR. HAGUE: Yes, go ahead.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, I was wondering if you felt that each - you worked as each piece was connected to each other and that the last -

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, because sometimes it squeezes in, you know, it drops away somewhere. It drops away. It goes into the other and then the other and then disappears on the third or fourth one, and then something else takes in and you have done a completely new thing, and then it comes back again and falls - you know like you say torso. I don't know whether they are really torsos or not. They are all fragments of things. They are fragments.

MS. BERMAN: Well, do you feel, let's say, when you're working on something and you see something, a certain idea, but do you think that you're not going to finish it and you're not going to have it in this one because it's going another way, and you think, "Oh, I'm going to try out that next idea on the next one"?

MR. HAGUE: Oh, I don't do that, no. No, I don't force - I'm not going to try that, no. That's all the passes then. No, I don't do that. I'm not going to try. Well, that's a - it would be better if I did it. I would be - I would be a successful sculptor, you know, be probably selling the sculptures if I did that. No, I don't try that.

MS. BERMAN: It's - do you think that Robert Frank has been influenced by you in his sculpture?

MR. HAGUE: Robert Frank or his wife?

MS. BERMAN: Robert Frank. Well, if you think Mary Frank has -

MR. HAGUE: No, Robert thought very highly of my sculpting. Did you see some of the pictures that he took?

MS. BERMAN: Yes, I was wondering if you -

MR. HAGUE: I don't know how much more it is now. He still respects me. He is the one who originally called me up, does this for me. I think that Henry Gonzales that said the most. To write a book he looked at the Robert's pictures I have. He gave me the whole portfolio in there, worth a lot of money, too. I don't commercialize it but you might want to ask Robert to take photographs. He has given up photograph -

MS. BERMAN: Right.

MR. HAGUE: - he's doing. I won't ask him but he might. I don't know whether - it's very hard to photograph but he wants to do what is in his mind. He sits here and says this is Raoul Hague's yacht.

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: He calls this and whether he'll do it or not, I don't know. That's why he said he came over.

MS. BERMAN: I guess what in - let's say in your recent work, say in the last five years, I guess what do you think are the most important developments, the most important things that have been happening in your work?

MR. HAGUE: I wish I knew that answer.

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.]

MR. HAGUE: I would be a scholar. [They laugh.] No, I - I feel as if just like being reborn again, you know, every day I - my routine and as I say, I think I am closer and warmer in my sculptures than before. It's just - before it's just a love of labor and now it's a lot of digestion, remuneration, and looking, and it's not so much labor. Labor is nothing now. Just getting something out of it that's part of me and bringing it out. It's much different than I used to. I used to just chop, chop, chop, chop into stones, you know, and that's where - there is a chickadee again.

MS. BERMAN: Yes, and there were the two before then. They love that suet.

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, they never go away. They are here all winter. My God, I'm wrong. The sun is coming out.

MS. BERMAN: Do - are there a couple of - are there some sculptures that you consider your most important work or do you have some favorite pieces?

MR. HAGUE: That I would - of the sculptures?

MS. BERMAN: Yeah, of the sculptures, do you have some favorites, things that you think were very successful?

MR. HAGUE: I think that one of David Smith's one at the Metropolitan is a great one. Do we know it? Do you know which one I mean at the Metropolitan Museum?

MS. BERMAN: Your sculpture at the Metropolitan?

MR. HAGUE: No, no, no.

MS. BERMAN: Oh, oh, wait a minute. All right, I actually want to ask you about David Smith in a minute, but I meant in your own work that you thought some piece of yours is very important to you or something?

MR. HAGUE: I don't know. It's other people to judge and I think that big one with the hole inside that Porcott likes, and I don't know. I don't know what to say, you know.

MS. BERMAN: All right, well -

MR. HAGUE: But David Smith's big thing was there. That thing is a very nice one.

MS. BERMAN: Do you like David Smith's work?

MR. HAGUE: Yes, some of it, not all of it. But some of it was great; it's very good and there is one sculpture down at the Trade Center just at the entrance, not the one in the center with the long cold and bronze. I think that guy is an ass with a cut and you know he does it all the time. Do you know which one is there?

MS. BERMAN: Is that the Rivera? No.

MR. HAGUE: No. No, no, no. The Trade Center in the big piazza. There is a golden-brown clock with a -

MS. BERMAN: Yes, I know that one.

MR. HAGUE: Just before that at the entrance there is a big granite piece that I thought that was great. But a lot of those metal things that fly around - no, I think the [inaudible] Bridge is a - well, that's very good and some of the [inaudible] is a sculpture you know and at [inaudible], that skating rink is an animal that is a sculpture. That is not a stone or the highly - high-rise buildings that they - Boston has - Chicago has very good architecture, which is you can call them a sculpture, you know. And let's see. Who's the -

MS. BERMAN: Do you know David Smith?

MR. HAGUE: Yeah, he came - he came with his first wife that married Greenburg [phonetic] and all that and now somebody else. He came in when the - to visit - that was in the 40s, early 40s after the war. There was a - this place was almost a Renaissance. All the soldiers, intellectuals, Joe Campbell lived here and used to come here, and moved away. Even de Kooning lived here. They had a studio here for a while. But they moved away. That was four or five - they - and then at the end Bradley Tomlin [inaudible] left and the others were just - like there must be some great people doing artwork, and then the rock and roll started. Grossman started opening and - and he - they took over. Musicians are still alive here. They are very smart those - some of those guys like Betterfield, Paul Butterfield.

MS. BERMAN: Mm-hmm. [Affirmative.]

MR. HAGUE: I didn't care the - or Dylan.

MS. BERMAN: Bob Dylan.

MR. HAGUE: Bob Dylan. He came over. They brought him over. I just couldn't - maybe he is - he is probably one of the most [inaudible] I think. I couldn't follow him at all and then he offered me one of his albums and I said, "You keep it to yourself."

MS. BERMAN: [Laughs.] Well, I guess that's about it for right now, so thank you very much for putting up with all of this.


Last updated...July 2, 2008


How to Use This Collection

Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Raoul Hague, 1983 Sept. 29. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.