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Oral history interview with Rudolf Staffel, 1987 July 17-August 6

Staffel, Rudolf, 1911-2002

Art teacher, Ceramicist


Collection Information

Size: 90 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr.

Summary: An interview of Rudolf Staffel conducted 1987 July 17-August 6, by Helen Drutt, for the Archives of American Art.
Staffel speaks of his childhood in San Antonio, Texas; his discovery of blown glass and traveling to Mexico to learn glassblowing techniques; studying ceramics; teaching at Temple University's Tyler School of Art; his teaching philosophy; his exhibition history; Philadelphia as a crafts city; the influence of Chinese art; the development of his own work; his techniques.

Biographical/Historical Note

Rudolf Staffel (1911-2002) was a craftsman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


These interviews are part of the Archives' 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 .


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 Rudolf Staffel, 1987 July 17-August 6. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.