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Oral history interview with Robert Scull, 1972 June 15-28

Scull, Robert C., 1917-1986

Collector, Art patron


Collection Information

Size: 69 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 28 min.

Summary: Interview of Robert Scull conducted by 1972 June 15-28, Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Scull speaks of his early life and education in New York City; attending night classes at the Art Students League; the importance of museum visits; becoming assistant art director for Saks 34th Street; financially successful ventures; the start of his collection in 1954; his criteria for acquisition; his relationships with artists; the pop art scene; portraits of Scull by various artists; the effects of publicity surrounding his collection; his interest in the future of art; the disposition of his collection; critics; relationships with dealers and museums.
He recalls Barnett Newman, Richard Bellamy, Franz Kline, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Andy Warhol, Alfred Leslie, Ivan Karp, Mark Di Suvero, Michael Heizer, Walter De Maria, Milet Andrejevic, and Judith Rutherford.

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert Scull (1917-1986) was a collector from New York, N.Y.


These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Robert Scull, 1972 June 15-28. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.