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Oral history interview with Rockne Krebs, 1990 Jan. 27-Feb. 3

Krebs, Rockne, 1938-2011



Collection Information

Size: 164 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hrs., 27 min.

Summary: An interview of Rockne Krebs conducted 1990 Jan. 27-Feb.3, by Benjamin Forgey, for the Archives of American Art.
Krebs discusses growing up in Kansas City; his early interest in art; childhood art classes at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; his family and their home; studying sculpture at the University of Kansas; influential teachers; attending Naval Officer's Training School; his U.S. Navy service and art education while in the Navy; working in Washington, D.C. as the Public Affairs Officer for Vice-Admiral Frost in the 1960s; his wife Denise and their daughter Heather; meeting Anthony Caro, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski; his "Chevron" series; his interest in planes, light, space, and "dematerializing" sculpture; the influence of Walter Hopps; working with laser specialists and Hewlett Packard equipment; his outdoor city-scale laser sculpture; and his early principal patrons Mr. and Mrs. Philip M. Stern and works created for them. Krebs also describes in detail his laser sculptures for the New Orleans Museum of Art (1971) and St. Petersburg (1975-1976) and comments on economic, political and social aspects of the art world.

Biographical/Historical Note

Rockne Krebs (1938-2011) was a sculptor from Washington, D.C.


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. Funding for these interviews provided by the Lannan Foundation.

Language Note

English .


Funding for this interview was provided by the Lannan Foundation. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Rockne Krebs, 1990 Jan. 27-Feb. 3. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.