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State of the Arts videorecordings, 1979

State of the Arts videorecordings, 1979

Lawrence P. Fraiberg Productions

Collection Information

Size: 2.4 linear feet

Summary: The State of the Arts videorecordings measures 2.4 linear feet and consists of 30 videocassettes (U-matic) and three sets of handwritten notes, all created during the production of a pilot episode for a broadcast television documentary series on contemporary art in 1979. Four stories were produced for the pilot: a staged debate on modern art at the Museum of Modern Art; an investigation into the economics of the contemporary art market, a collaboration between video artist Nam June Paik and sound artist Liz Phillips, and an extended interview with sculptor George Segal on the occasion of his 1979 retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Video footage includes raw footage for each segment and edited versions of the economics of art story, the Nam June Paik and Liz Phillips story, and the George Segal story. The reporter and interviewer for the program was Barry Nolan.

Although the program never aired, the video shot for the pilot documents significant artists and gallerists of its time, with profiles of O.K. Harris Works of Art and its founder, Ivan Karp, as well as art dealer Holly Solomon and critic Barbara Rose, Marcia Tucker in the early days of the New Museum, and footage of artists like Nam June Paik, Liz Phillips, and George Segal in their studios, describing their work in detail. The sound and video piece created by Paik and Phillips with the dancer Robert Kovich was commissioned by the State of the Arts producers for the pilot program, and the four hours of video documenting their collaboration and its product may therefore be unique.

Interview subjects for the economics of art story include Ivan Karp, Tom Drysdale, Rick Derman, Cosmo Campoli, Joan Thorne, Holly Solomon, Marcia Tucker, and Barbara Rose. The Marcia Tucker interview takes place at the New School, which was at the time, the home of the New Museum. Footage also includes a gallery opening at O.K. Harris Works of Art. Extended interviews with Liz Phillips, Nam June Paik, and George Segal are found in the footage of their respective stories.

Biographical/Historical Note

State of the Arts was planned as a magazine television program. The pilots were produced by Lawrence P. Fraiberg Productions with funding provided jointly by IBM and NEA. The program never aired.


Donated 1979-1980 by Lawrence P. Fraiberg.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' Hidden Collections grant program.

A Finding Aid to the State of the Arts Videorecordings, 1979, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical/Historical note
State of the Arts
was planned as a broadcast television magazine program on the subject of contemporary art. The pilot was produced in 1979 by Lawrence P. Fraiberg Productions with funding provided jointly by IBM and the National Endowment for the Arts. Fraiberg and Tom Cavanau served as executive co-producers, Rick Derman as field producer, and Barry Nolan as interviewer. The program never aired.
Lawrence P. Fraiberg was a longtime television documentary veteran when the pilot was produced. He graduated from the University of California in 1949 and began his career at television station KPIX in San Francisco. He became vice president and general manager of WNEW-TV in New York in 1965, and was named president of Metromedia Television in 1977. In 1980 he was appointed president of the Television Station Group for Westinghouse Broadcasting. An active member in community and industry organizations, he is a recipient of an honorary degree (1978) from St. John's University, New York, a Peabody Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Broadcasting Industry (1986), and a Trustees Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (1990). He died in 2011.
Barry Nolan, the interviewer for
State of the Arts
, went on to a career as a television magazine host and producer, with credits including
Evening Magazine
Hard Copy
, and
, and in 2012 produced the documentary
No Way Out But One
with his wife, Garland Waller.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as one series.
Series 1:
State of the Arts
Production Video, 1979 (2.4 linear feet; boxes 1-3)
Donated 1979-1980 by Lawrence P. Fraiberg.
Processing Information note
The collection was processed in 2015 by Megan McShea.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Restrictions on Use

For research purposes only. Not to be used in whole or in part for broadcast purposes.

How to Cite This Collection

State of the Arts videorecordings, 1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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