Size: Transcript: 52 pages
Format: Originally recorded 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 28 min.
Summary: An interview of Robert Blackburn conducted 1970 December 4, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Blackburn speaks of his early life in Jamaica and New York; the influences of his youth including school, gangs, religion, art, music, and culture; the Harlem Community Art Center; studying with Charles Alston; the difficulties suffered by blacks trying to gain recognition in a white-dominated art world; attending the Art Students League and studying under Vaclav Vytlacil and Will Barnet; his work with children; his film work at the Harmon Foundation; financial problems; the Printmaking Workshop; attending New York University's School of Visual Arts and the Cooper Union School; blacks in the arts; and the influence of music on his paintings. He recalls Jacob Lawrence, Will Barnet, Vaclav Vytlacil, Wallace Harrison, Tatyana Grosman, Grace Hartigan, Sam Francis, and Robert Rauschenberg.