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Oral history interview with Ted Gilien, 1965 Mar. 3

Gilien, Ted, 1914-1967

Painter, Author


Collection Information

Size: Sound recording: 2 Sound tape reels, 3 in.; 35 Pages, Transcript

Format: An unrelated interview of Charles White (3/9/65) conducted by B. Hoag is also on one tape. An interview of F. J. Schwankovsky (3/1/65) conducted by B. Hoag is also on one tape.

Summary: An interview of Ted Gilien conducted 1965 Mar. 3, by Betty Hoag, for the Archives of American Art. Gilien speaks of his background and education; getting on the WPA Federal Art Project; starting out as an assistant mural painter on Ellis Island; his military service in World War II as a combat artist; working in New York City and then in California after World War II; experimenting in screenwriting and novel writing; recurring themes in his paintings; his feelings about the FAP; art criticism; the politics of government support for the arts; camaraderie among artists during the WPA years. He recalls Leonard Bocour and Jack Levine.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ted Gilien (1914-1967) was a painter and muralist in New York, N.Y. and Los Angeles, Calif.


This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Use requires an appointment.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Ted Gilien, 1965 Mar. 3. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.