Mordi Gassner (b. 1899 d. 1995)
Muralist, Designer, Art Educator, Washington, DC
Interviewer: Estill Curtis Pennington
Interview with Mordi Gassner, conducted by Estill Curtis Pennington for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, at the Archives of American Art in Washington, DC, on April 16, 1982. Gassner speaks of growing up in Brooklyn, NY; attending Parsons Design School (then called New York School of Fine and Applied Art); opening a studio and designing signs for the Strand Theater; walking from El Paso, Texas to Phoenix to improve his eye condition; beginning work in Hollywood and working on set designs for Douglas Fairbanks and Cecille DeMille; moving back to New York to teach art in a Big Brother program; creating his mural, Mural Monument to Modern Culture; receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship and spending two years in Florence before returning to New York during the Depression; being invited to work back in Hollywood for Disney Studios and with Ernest Schoedsack only to have the films cancel production; his one-man show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; his involvement with the Artists' Union and the American Artists' Congress; creating Op art during World War I, and later designing visual aids for the armed services during World War II; becoming the art director of ABC [American Broadcasting Corporation]; working later at the Metropolitan Opera as a scenic painter; moving to Drakes Branch, Virginia after his retirement.
Total: 3 digital files; 1:29:17; 25 pages