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Harry Seymour

Educator and painter Harry N. Seymour was born on August 30, 1942, in Detroit, Michigan, to Matilda Dawson and famous black golfer Robert Seymour. Raised in Ecorse, Michigan, Seymour attended Miller Elementary School, Ecorse Junior High School, and graduated from Ecorse High School in 1960. He attended Howard University where he earned his B.A. degree in business administration in 1964. After graduation, he worked as a manager and buyer at F&R Lazarus & Co., and in 1998, he entered graduate programs at The Ohio State University, earning his M.A. degree in speech pathology in 1968, and his Ph.D. degree in speech and hearing science in 1971.

Seymour served as a professor of speech and hearing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1971 to 2002, becoming a full professor in 1987, and chairing the Department of Communication Disorders from 1992 to 2002. Seymour’s scholarship focused on child language disorders, and he published over 40 articles, and made over 100 professional presentations addressing nonbiased assessment of speech and language disorders among African American children. He was the lead author of the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation (DELV), and was the principal investigator on the $2,700,000 National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders grant to develop the DELV, the only test in speech and language designed and standardized specifically to reduce linguistic and cultural bias in testing African American children who speak nonmainstream American English. After retiring from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2002, Seymour moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where he began a professional career as a painter, and developed a unique method and style of painting, combining traditional scratchart methodology with pan and wax pastels.

Seymour is a fellow of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Howard University’s School of Communications. He also received the Honors of the National Black Association of Speech, Language and Hearing for his research and mentoring of African American students. His other awards include the ASHA Multicultural Service Award, was commended in Resolution #63, by the Mississippi State Senate for his research on behalf of African- American children, and the editor’s Award: Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. In 2003, Seymour was presented the highest recognition from his professional association—the Honors of the ASHA for distinguished contributions to the field of Speech-Language Pathology.

Seymour and his wife, Charlena Seymour, have a son and daughter, Harry A. Seymour and Shayna Seymour Carr.

Harry N. Seymour was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.160

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/19/2018

Last Name

Seymour

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Harry

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

SEY01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruising

Favorite Quote

Live In The Moment.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

8/30/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Martha's Vineyard

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Educator and painter Harry N. Seymour (1942-) taught in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Communication Disorders for thirty-one years, before retiring and becoming a professional painter.

Favorite Color

Blue

Jack Whitten

Visual artist Jack Whitten was born on December 5, 1939 in Bessemer, Alabama to Annie B. Cross Whitten and Mose Whitten. He was a pre-med student at Tuskegee Institute before leaving the university in 1959. He then studied art at Southern University in Baton Rouge briefly, before moving to New York City and enrolling at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1960, where he earned his B.F.A. degree.

In New York, Whitten became influenced by artists such as Willem de Kooning and Norman Lewis, as well as jazz musicians such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Whitten had his first group exhibition in 1965 at Allan Stone Gallery in New York, which also hosted his first solo exhibition in 1968. In the late 1960s, he became an art professor at The Cooper Union and School of Visual Arts. He later taught at Manhattan Community College. Beginning in the 1970s, Whitten broke away from abstract expressionist influences and began to experiment with tools he created to apply paint to canvas, such as a twelve foot rake that he called the “developer.” In 1974, he participated in a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1983, a solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem celebrated his paintings from 1970 to 1980. In the 1980s, Whitten became interested in using paint as the base of a collage; and in the 1990s and the 2000s, he experimented with the casting of acrylic paint from molds and the construction of paintings as mosaics made from acrylic tesserae. His work was installed in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. His work was also featured in a fifty year retrospective exhibition in 2014. With Hauser & Wirth and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp as his representation, Whitten has shown his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Savannah College of Art and Design, Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp, Belgium, Art Basel in Switzerland, Walker Art Center, Alexander Gray Associates, and Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

Whitten has been awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts, John Hay Whitney Fellowship, an Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the National Endowments for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Fellowship. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the San Francisco Art Institute and Brandeis University in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

Whitten passed away on January 20, 2018 at age 78.

Jack Whitten was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 3, 2016 and October 27, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.033

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/3/2016 |and| 10/27/2016

Last Name

Whitten

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

George Washington Carver Elementary School

Carver Junior High School

Dunbar High School

Tuskegee University

Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

Cooper Union

First Name

Jack

Birth City, State, Country

Bessemer

HM ID

WHI21

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Crete

Favorite Quote

Shit Happens.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

12/5/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Death Date

1/20/2018

Short Description

Painter Jack Whitten (1939 - 2018 ) created abstract paintings for over half a century, exhibiting at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others.

Employment

The Cooper Union

School of Visual Arts

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jack Whitten's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten recalls segregation in Bessemer, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten remembers his mother's first husband, James Monroe Cross

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jack Whitten lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jack Whitten remembers his younger brother, Bill Whitten

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jack Whitten talks about his upbringing in Bessemer, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jack Whitten describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jack Whitten describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jack Whitten describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten describes his father's job as a coal miner

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten recalls his childhood interests in the arts

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten talks about his early jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten recalls learning how to hunt

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten remembers influential people from his grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten describes his experiences at Tuskegee Institute

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jack Whitten recalls his difficulties in the Air Force ROTC at the Tuskegee Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten recalls meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten describes bus segregation during the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten recalls going swimming during his childhood in Bessemer, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten talks about his decision to transfer to Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten recalls working in construction

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten talks about his summer jobs while attending Tuskegee Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jack Whitten recalls a civil rights protest at Southern University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jack Whitten remembers meeting Fats Domino in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten recalls his decision to study at Cooper Union in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten remembers the artists that he met at Cooper Union

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten recalls his interactions with Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten talks about his course of study at Cooper Union

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten describes the art styles that influenced him at Cooper Union

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten remembers attending music shows in New York City during the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jack Whitten describes how music and science influenced his artwork

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten recalls his experiences in New York City during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten describes New York City's Lower East Side during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten talks about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s influence on his art

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten describes the autobiographical content of his art during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten remembers his first marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten describes the start of his teaching career in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jack Whitten recalls his exhibitions in New York City art galleries during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jack Whitten talks about the difficulty of making a living as an artist

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jack Whitten describes his marriage to Mary Staikos Whitten

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten describes how his artistic style changed from the 1960s to the 1970s

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten talks about his decision to work with acrylic paint

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten describes how he began to use collage in his paintings, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten describes how he began to use collage in his paintings, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten talks about his use of tesserae in his paintings

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten describes his Greek alphabet series

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten talks about the concept of opticality in his art

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten recalls showing his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten describes his college teaching career in New York City

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten recalls creating specialized tools for his paintings

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten shares his ideas about autobiographical content in art

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten describes his painting 'Dead Reckoning I'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jack Whitten talks about the concept of compression in abstract art

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jack Whitten describes his background in black history during his youth

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Jack Whitten talks about the influence of scientific discoveries on his art

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten recalls his solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten talks about the fire that destroyed his home in 1980

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten describes his home and studio in Tribeca, New York City

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten describes the inspiration behind his artwork in the late 1980s

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten recalls incorporating tesserae into his work in the 1990s

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten talks about his love for undersea spearfishing

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Jack Whitten recalls fishing in Greece

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Jack Whitten describes his Black Monolith series, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten describes his Black Monolith series, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten talks about the process of making tesserae

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten recalls the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten recalls the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten talks about his painting, '9-11-01'

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten describes his 2007 solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art PS1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Jack Whitten talks about joining the Alexander Gray Associates gallery

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Jack Whitten reflects upon political messages in his work during the 2000s

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Jack Whitten describes his artistic interests at the time of the interview

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Jack Whitten talks about his American exhibitions during the 2010s

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Jack Whitten describes his European exhibitions during the 2010s

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Jack Whitten talks about his family's reactions to his artwork

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Jack Whitten recalls working with Hauser and Wirth

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Jack Whitten remembers meeting President Barack Obama

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Jack Whitten describes his plans for the future

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Jack Whitten reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Jack Whitten talks about his artistic processes

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Jack Whitten reflects upon his life

Tape: 11 Story: 11 - Jack Whitten describes his hopes for the future

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$8

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
Jack Whitten talks about his course of study at Cooper Union
Jack Whitten describes his painting 'Dead Reckoning I'
Transcript
You had had such a different experience in the South--well not even (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Totally different with white people.$$--not even having conversations with white people.$$Oh no, no you kept your distance. But coming to New York [New York], going to Cooper Union [Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, New York], that was the first time that I sat into a classroom with white students. First time I had sat next to a white kid in school. And of course, the first time I had white instructors. But my experience--$$(Unclear).$$--my experience. Well the worst thing was, nobody understood me. I mean I'm talking with this southern dialect and it was difficult to make myself--people to understand what I was trying to say 'cause my southern accent was so thick. But I had one professor at Cooper Union, his name was Robert Gwathmey. He was my first year drawing instructor, who was a southern white man. Gwathmey was a painter. His paintings--he did paintings of black people in the South. And Gwathmey loved me, boy he took me under his wing. The two of us would start talking in all the southern talk and the rest of the kids would just lay back, like whoa (laughter). And that helped. Gwathmey was a big help.$$How do you spell Gwathmey?$$Gwathmey, G-W-A-T-H-M-E-Y. He is the father to Charles Gwathmey, the great architect. I knew Charles too. But Charles was not like his father. His father was an old time leftist Socialist. The son was very different.$$So you were being exposed to a completely different type of relationship with art and with whites?$$Oh yeah, totally different. Totally different from anything I had ever experienced in the South. Not a little bit, totally.$$And then de Kooning [Willem de Kooning], where was he from?$$Oh he's Dutch.$$Well see so, it's also that he was not American.$$Oh no, he--it was hard to understand him. He still spoke with a thick Dutch accent. You know, de Kooning came to this country illegally. He was a stowaway on a boat and jumped ship. That's how he came here. Worked as a house painter.$$And by the time you met him, he was a very established--$$Oh by the time I met him he was known. He was showing in the galleries. I used to go to his opening of his shows here in New York, whenever he had a show.$$The art that you had been making, at least the utilitarian art had been signs and posters, and this kind of thing. When do you discover that--what your art is?$$Oh that became much later.$$Okay.$$I would say--well not too much later 'cause I was a--I'm a fast learner. I would say about the second year at Cooper Union I started getting there, picture of what this stuff was about. And another thing that I learned from the Cedar bar [Cedar Tavern, New York, New York] and the abstract expressionists, and I think it's very important, these people didn't take no shit. Like nothing stopped them. They spoke boldly about what they were and what they wanted to do. And they had this amazing degree of freedom about them. And that struck me as being, whoa, I've made the right decision. Like whatever this art thing is, that's what I wanna do. That convinced me. And that's from meeting people across the board both black and white. Like when you start seeing the commitment that people had who were much older than you, you started getting the picture, right, of what to expect and what it was about.$$And as you're figuring out what style of art is working for you, you're taking classes--are you learning each--like what are you learning?$$I'm learning primarily gestural abstraction. I'm taking from Bill de Kooning, I'm taking from Norman Lewis. Romare Bearden, I used to go to his studio. He had just started his collages with the black faces and black subject matter. So I'm learning about the notion of theme and style. I'm learning a lot from Bearden about the nature of collage. All Bill's work was about collage. Which is what I'm doing today, but I do it with paint. My--the paintings I do today are acrylic collages. They're not taken from media, they're just paint that's used as collage.$So in the '80s [1980s], how is it shown?$$The '80s [1980s]--$$How are you using the raw material?$$See, the '80s [1980s] was a big break. The painting that's on the cover of the Studio Museum catalogue, 'Dead Reckoning' ['Dead Reckoning I,' Jack Whitten], that was 1980. That painting was the first time after ten years that I could really stand up and do something (laughter).$$'Dead Reckoning.'$$'Dead Reckoning,' it's at the Studio Museum. My brother Billy [Bill Whitten] bought that painting, paid me for it and donated it to the Studio Museum in Harlem [New York, New York]. That's how they got it.$$And tell me about the painting?$$The painting is 'Dead Reckoning.' Dead reckoning is a term I had first heard when I was at Tuskegee [Tuskegee Institute; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama], when I was with the [U.S.] Air Force ROTC [Reserve Officers' Training Corps], or--deals with navigation. I remember the instructor explaining, using that term. He says, "At a certain point," there--something happens--as he put it, "as some shit happens" (laughter), he says, "You have to make a decision, which is your best chance for survival? Do you continue on your present course, go forward, or do you have a best chance of survival to turn around and go back?" That was the first time I'd heard that term, dead reckoning. And then later I heard it in terms of celestial navigation in terms of how to plot by the stars. And it was my buddies in Crete [Greece], the fish captains who were good friends of mine in Crete that I learned that. At night when we are out on the sea and blue water fishing, or if you don't--if it's your first time you don't know where you are, you can't see nothing (laughter). But one--the great revelation for me though in blue water was that, whoa, I'm in the middle of a huge circle. It's amazing, in blue water you turn around you realize you're in the middle of a big circle and the circle's center is always changing. That's amazing. That is truly amazing. Now my buddies, the fish captains, Captain Yonni, in particular, Captain Yonni Baganakos [ph.] good, good buddy of mine. He knew exactly where he was, but Captain Yonni, father was a fisherman, his grandfather was a fisherman. The kid grew up on the boat since he was four, five years old, and he's still fishing today.$$See he had a sense of--he knew exactly where he was?$$He knew exactly where he was, always (laughter). So that was--I found that to be a sense of comfort.$$Of recognizing?$$So dead reckoning is a rich term, right. Another version is that you throw away all your navigational tools, get rid of all your tools, learn to plot, to navigate. No tools, just go by your heart, go by your feeling. It's a rich term, very complex, loaded.$$And this piece has a lot of circles in it, a lot of math in it?$$Yeah, those circles is gun sights, so that's like a targeting system, navigational gun sights, you know. It was by that time, I had located the target.$$And it was?$$Oh I knew where--what I had to hit. I had, I was going, I was pulled down into deeper into what I call the unit. This is where my theory of molecular perception comes from. I had narrowed it down to molecular perception, to go down deep into something. To go to a place where the naked eye cannot see. And for the painter, we can only do that through our mind. We feel our way by hard intuition, go through the mind. So at that point, we're talking about a combination of conceptual skills, intuitiveness, you know, the perceptual plus the conceptual I call it.

Dick Griffin

Composer, trombonist and artist Dick Griffin was born in Fannin, Mississippi in 1940. He began playing the trombone in the seventh grade and sang in a doo-wop group as a teenager. His first professional break came while he was still in high school, when his group, the Sputniks, was selected to open for Sam Cooke. He graduated from Jackson State University in 1963 and later earned his M.S. degree in music education and trombone from Indiana University.

In the mid-1960s, Griffin performed with the Sun Ra Arkestra and began a longtime collaboration with saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk. His first album with Kirk was The Inflated Tear, which came out in 1968. Griffin has also worked with many other musicians, including Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. Griffin released his first album as a leader, The Eighth Wonder, in 1974. This was followed by Now is the Time in 1979, A Dream For Rahsaan in 1985, All Blues in 2003, and Time Will Tell in 2011. He has played at such prestigious events as the 1980 Olympics, and with symphony orchestras such as the Harlem Philharmonic and the Symphony of the New World. He has also performed in several Broadway shows, including The Wiz, Me & Bessie, Raisin, and Lena (starring Lena Horne). He has made television appearances in the United States on shows such as "The Today Show", "Soul", "Faces", "The Ed Sullivan Show", and "Like It Is". In the 1980s, Griffin composed World Vibration Suite, which was premiered by the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

In addition to playing music, Griffin has also served as a professor of music. He has taught at Wesleyan University and the State University of New York at Old Westbury. Griffin is also an accomplished painter. He has had group and solo exhibitions in cities all over the world, including Vienna, Tokyo, and Nairobi.

Griffin lives in New York City.

Dick Griffin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 19, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.058

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/19/2014

Last Name

Griffin

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Jackson State University

Indiana University

Lanier High School

Hinds Community College

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Dick

Birth City, State, Country

Fannin

HM ID

GRI08

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $5,000 - $10,000

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

Wow.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/28/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon, Grapes, and Pecans

Short Description

Trombonist, composer, and painter Dick Griffin (1940 - ) has played with the Sun Ra Arkestra and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, in addition to leading his own bands. Griffin released his first album as a leader, The Eighth Wonder, in 1974. This was followed by Now is the Time in 1979, A Dream For Rahsaan in 1985, All Blues in 2003, and Time Will Tell in 2011. He is also an accomplished painter.

Employment

Sun Ra Arkestra

Wesleyan University

State University of New York at Old Westbury

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dick Griffin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dick Griffin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dick Griffin talks about his parents and his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dick Griffin recalls working on a beer truck as a junior high student

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dick Griffin talks about the origin of his last name

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dick Griffin talks about his birth and his childhood dog

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dick Griffin talks about his maternal family history, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dick Griffin talks about his maternal family history, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dick Griffin describes his mother, Ruby Mae Griffith O'Banner, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dick Griffin describes his mother, Ruby Mae Griffith O'Banner, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dick Griffin talks about his half siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dick Griffin talks about his stepfather's death

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dick Griffin remembers learning that his stepfather was not his biological father and getting free lunch in school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dick Griffin talks about his religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dick Griffin remembers listening to a neighbor play the guitar and learning to play piano

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dick Griffin talks about learning to play the trombone in seventh grade

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dick Griffin remembers being selected to open for Sam Cooke at Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dick Griffin talks about the State Fair in Jackson, Mississippi, with performers like Peg Leg Bates, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and HistoryMaker B.B. King

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dick Griffin remembers working as a clerk and butcher for "Mr. Dad," who owned a cafe and grocery store in his neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dick Griffin talks about his mother's value for education and learning to run a store from "Mr. Dad"

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dick Griffin recalls why his family moved from the Under-The-Hill neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dick Griffin talks about his experience at Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dick Griffin talks about how water moccasins drove his neighbors out from Under-The-Hill

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Dick Griffin talks about his route through white neighborhoods as a student at Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Dick Griffin talks about playing trombone and piano in high school, and his band, the Blue Notes

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Dick Griffin talks about his encounters with racial discrimination as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 17 - Dick Griffin remembers being sent from Jitney Jungle to work in a shoe shine parlor

Tape: 2 Story: 18 - Dick Griffin talks about his vocal group, the Sputniks, and his musical elementary school classmate Freddie Waits

Tape: 2 Story: 19 - Dick Griffin talks about training his ear for music

Tape: 2 Story: 20 - Dick Griffin remembers not receiving a scholarship to attend college

Tape: 2 Story: 21 - Dick Griffin talks about his decision to attend Utica Junior College in Utica, Mississippi and his mentor there, Louis Lee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dick Griffin recalls meeting Sun Ra in Chicago, Illinois and becoming serious about the trombone

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dick Griffin talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson, Mississippi and his work on voter registration

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dick Griffin remembers the assassination of Medgar Evers in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dick Griffin talks about Sun Ra's band in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dick Griffin describes Sun Ra

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dick Griffin describes his musical development under Sun Ra

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dick Griffin remembers the musicians he met in New York including Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, and more

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dick Griffin talks about the development of his arrangement techniques

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dick Griffin remembers meeting Charles Mingus at the Five Spot

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dick Griffin recounts the time he was almost fired by Charles Mingus

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dick Griffin talks about his friendship with Charles Mingus

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dick Griffin talks about earning the respect of Charles Mingus and lying to Charles Mingus

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dick Griffin describes the musical genius of Charles Mingus

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dick Griffin talks about Charles Mingus' family background and Mingus' temper

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dick Griffin remembers working in the Apollo Theater and playing in the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dick Griffin talks about moving to New York, and a missed opportunity to play for John Coltrane

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dick Griffin recalls his initial interest in multiphonics and the development of his technique

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dick Griffin talks about his marriage and his son

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dick Griffin talks about his early musical career in New York City, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dick Griffin talks about how Rahsaan Roland Kirk challenged him as a musician

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dick Griffin lists the musical acts he saw while playing in the house band at the Apollo Theater

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dick Griffin shares his memories of working with Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dick Griffin talks about Rahsaan Roland Kirk's name change, intelligence, and blindness

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dick Griffin compares the management of Sun Ra, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Charles Mingus

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dick Griffin talks about the release of his first album, 'The Eighth Wonder' in 1974 with Strata-East Records

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dick Griffin talks about the leadership of Strata-East Records and the company's difficulty fulfilling large orders

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dick Griffin talks about the band he assembled for his first album, 'Eighth Wonder' and his composition process

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dick Griffin talks about his composition, 'World Vibration Suite,' jazz v. classical trombone, and playing with the Symphony of the New World

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dick Griffin talks about his string quartets commissioned by Max Roach, which premiered at the 2011 Vision Festival

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dick Griffin talks about his early affinity for art and his renewed interest in art as an adult

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dick Griffin describes how the death of Freddie Waits inspired him to take his painting seriously

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dick Griffin talks about his early art career and teaching career

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dick Griffin talks about the launch of his career as an artist after receiving a master class from HistoryMaker Edward Clark

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dick Griffin recalls his art training and reentry into the art world after a yearlong hiatus

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dick Griffin talks about playing for musical greats like Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Frank Foster, and Lena Horne

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dick Griffin talks about working on a beer truck as a teenager and his relationship with Thelonious Monk

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dick Griffin talks about musicians at the Village Vanguard

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dick Griffin talks about his good friend and mentor, Donald Byrd

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Dick Griffin talks about his artwork

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Dick Griffin describes the importance of creating boundaries between music and art

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Dick Griffin talks about seizing life's opportunities

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Dick Griffin talks about the economic factors behind demographic shifts in jazz

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Dick Griffin talks about creativity and innovation in gospel, blues, jazz, and hip-hop music

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Dick Griffin talks about jazz musicians in academia

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Dick Griffin reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Dick Griffin talks about how he would like to be remembered and his values

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Dick Griffin plays his trombone

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Dick Griffin narrates his photographs

Sam Gilliam

The career of painter Sam Gilliam has spanned decades and mediums, using paint, draped canvas and plastics to help influence numerous schools of art. Sam Gilliam, Jr., was born on November 30, 1933, in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Sam, a railroad worker and Estery, a maternal engineer. The seventh of eight children, Gilliam and his family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, shortly after he was born. As a child, Gilliam always enjoyed painting and was actively encouraged by his teachers.

In 1951, Gilliam graduated from Central High School and attended the University of Louisville. In 1955, he received his B.A. degree in fine art, and also held his first solo art exhibition. Gilliam entered the U.S. Army in 1956 and served for two years. Following his discharge, he returned to the University of Louisville. After three years of graduate school, Gilliam received his M.A. degree in painting in 1961. On September 1, 1962, Gilliam married Washington Post reporter Dorothy Butler in Louisville, and shortly thereafter moved to Washington, D.C.

In 1963, artist Thomas Downing introduced Gilliam to the Washington Color School, which was defined by bold colors. Two years later, Gilliam contributed his own innovation to the school by displaying unframed painted canvases, which allowed the work to flow naturally with the architecture of the display space. In 1971, Gilliam boycotted a show at the Whitney Art Museum in New York City in solidarity with the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition, in criticism that the museum did not consult black art experts in the selection of artists.

In 1973, Gilliam created for the San Francisco Museum of Art the free-standing piece Autumn Surf , which consisted of acrylic sheeting hung over wooden support beams to give the impression of waves. By 1975, he had moved away from draped canvases to geometric collages, most notably the Black Paintings and the White Collage Paintings. Also, in 1975, Gilliam created Seahorses, his first outdoor piece, for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1983, Gilliam was featured in his first major retrospective at the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. In the new millennium, Gilliam has continued to work with birch plywood and metal forms as structural elements. Though his work is featured in galleries throughout the world and he is a self-sustaining artist, Gilliam is committed to teaching youth the foundations of art and has worked in numerous facilities including Washington, D.C., Public Schools, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland.

Gilliam has received honorary degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Louisville; a Norman W. Harris Prize from the Art Institute of Chicago; two National Endowment of the Arts Awards; and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Gilliam’s studio is located in the historic Shaw neighborhood in Washington, D.C. He and his ex-wife have three daughters (Stephanie, Melissa and Leah) and three grandchildren.

Accession Number

A2008.099

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/28/2008

Last Name

Gilliam

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Louisville Central High School Magnet Career Academy

Virginia Avenue School

Madison Street Junior High School

University of Louisville

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Weekends

First Name

Sam

Birth City, State, Country

Tupelo

HM ID

GIL05

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Specifics: Teens or adults. Why art?

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

November

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience Specifics: Teens or adults. Why art?

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

Yes.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/30/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sardines

Short Description

Painter Sam Gilliam (1933 - ) emerged from the Washington Color School to work in various painting styles and influence numerous schools of art. He created works for the San Francisco and Philadelphia Museums of Art, and won two National Endowment of the Arts Awards and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sam Gilliam's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sam Gilliam lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sam Gilliam describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sam Gilliam describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sam Gilliam talks about his parents' move to Tupelo, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sam Gilliam remembers his home in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sam Gilliam describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sam Gilliam describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sam Gilliam describes the sights, smells and sounds of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sam Gilliam describes the sights, smells and sounds of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sam Gilliam remembers his early exposure to jazz music

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sam Gilliam recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sam Gilliam remembers his aspiration to become a cartoonist

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sam Gilliam talks about his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sam Gilliam recalls his experiences at Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sam Gilliam describes his extracurricular activities at Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sam Gilliam recalls his decision to attend the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sam Gilliam remembers Muhammad Ali and his family, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sam Gilliam remembers Muhammad Ali and his family, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sam Gilliam talks about his experiences at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sam Gilliam remembers majoring in art and education at the University of Louisville

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sam Gilliam describes his experiences in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sam Gilliam describes his experiences in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sam Gilliam remembers his graduate studies at the University of Louisville

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sam Gilliam talks about the art of African American slaves

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sam Gilliam recalls his M.F.A. degree program at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sam Gilliam talks about his favorite cartoonists and comic strips

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sam Gilliam describes the early African American artists

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sam Gilliam talks about his disinterest in representational art

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sam Gilliam describes his favorite figurative artists

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sam Gilliam reflects upon the value of figurative art

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sam Gilliam reflects upon the value of black art

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sam Gilliam reflects upon the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sam Gilliam describes the beginning of his career as a painter

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sam Gilliam talks about his early success

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sam Gilliam describes his creative process

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sam Gilliam talks about his favorite landscape painters

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sam Gilliam describes his art career in Paris, France

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sam Gilliam reflects upon his artwork

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sam Gilliam describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sam Gilliam talks about the limitations of history and geography education

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sam Gilliam reflects upon his teaching career

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sam Gilliam talks about his children

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sam Gilliam talks about the role of women in the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sam Gilliam narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
Sam Gilliam describes his creative process
Sam Gilliam describes his art career in Paris, France
Transcript
Tell me about your philosophy of art and what you're trying to do with your, your work and what, you know, what mediums do you use and, and what are you trying to achieve with, with what you're doing?$$I don't know if I--I don't have a philosophy. I do know that, that, that--let's talk about the mediums first. I use--I use acrylic. I use acrylic and acrylic mediums, which is to say that I use gel medium, acrysol. Acrysol's a concrete hardener. I, I, I use painting as an idea, not as a subject. By that, I mean that I use an idea of painting immediately and then after. I mean I find out what I'm actually going to do next by what I've done now. I keep it very, very open. I think that it's like the first Miles Davis record I had, 'Sketches of Spain,' is that I know the icon and I have the icon. The icon is painting. And that I make it, I make it freely, and then I make it again as another issue after I've done it. And which makes a very pleasant time now, because I'm not showing, I'm just painting. But one of the things that's essential is that what, what happened in college [University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky] that was very stimulating was that working on paper. And since then is that I've--I think the idea first formed on paper, not as a sketch, but as a finish, become a finished painting. The one thing in paper is that you don't have to gesso paper. Paper has a hard surface and isn't absorbent, so therefore you would say the paint stays up. It doesn't take a very long time to dry. So it's just a matter of using that surface to go to another surface, and that surface can be either a glazed surface or it can be an opaque surface. So this becomes a painting. And I think that in looking at painting I see this. I mean I see how in Bearden [Romare Bearden], it is paintings with the lady in the door. I see an open surface of paper has the door as a frame, the woman in the door and things like this. It makes the painting. The painting is sort of, it moves and it's transitional. I don't think that--I collect African sculpture. I notice how the sculptures are actually put together. It's not a single carving from the tree. It's very interesting that some of the carvings from the Sepik and the coast of Australia are single carved things. But our carving is made and made to work and it probably comes from the law of wax process, or some process that comes from material of casting. So actually is that I think more about how something is made, you know, and that, that making.$So that the thing is that mostly I remember painting in an alley down here in 1968, the day that--or the time that King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] was assassinated. And that I think that the first painting I made I named 'April 4th' [Sam Gilliam]. But one thing that I realize is walking through that alley among all those garage shops, I used to see how those people actually struggled just to fix cars and things like this, the chances they take. And that the chances that you want to take in life are precise chances. If it's a stroke that you're putting against a tree to knock it down, that's what you want to do. You don't have time to talk about someone else's subject, you know? You have to concentrate on what you're doing and what the purpose is. So that's what I do. And that's the art. I mean that, that is, that is totally the art. Sometimes, sometimes the real things that you want to do may take twenty years, thirty years, long time. And that you, you just play back and forth. But I think the one thing that is more important is having a place where I can sit, you know, and think about what I want to do next or what it is. I also have a lot of associates. These are my buddies who live very close to me, architects and things like this. It is surprising how smart they are, you know? But what we don't talk about is that why did you get to here or why did you get to there. Of course there's those kind of circumstances that you have to think about. I've shown--I've shown--proudest thing--I've shown in, in Paris [France] for forty years. I got to know Beauford Delaney. I got to know a number of artists that showed in Paris. I showed a lot with French artists in this sense so that--or even with artists from the Dominican Republican--Republic. And when you go in and out you see them so that you see at least the, the sacrifice that's made to art and what it really means. And you see the way that they change. Many of the French artists are now doing conceptual art. And because the museum is being built for them by, by (Unclear), they've been off--out of the limelight for a long time. I mean really things haven't gone so well and that's because that people don't appreciate who they are and that there's been a lot of tension in a sense between them. In the meantime, is that I've had a chance to teach at a French university and that it's interesting to see their facilities. But one of the reasons why that they haven't made it is that the limelight became based on socialism or the Russian town for art, (Unclear) de Paris, grew more. Their freedom was actually stole, you know? So that you see is that if, if you begin to part something, an idea next to my studio and things like this and I can't fill it, I don't like it, you know? Because artists, artists don't grow from any artists, or from any art. I know that one of the things that was great about being an abstract artist here was that a lot of those artists, white artists grew from jazz. They grew from the blues. When we went to see the March on Washington 1963, a buddy, a friend who was white called me, said, "You better take me with you tomorrow morning," he says, "because I know Reverend King is going to say a lot of things that I need." So that in a sense is that in trouble you only need, you know, one sense or one message or one sort of feeling. So that's where, where I'm coming from.

Glenn Tunstull

Glenn Tunstull was born one of four children on July 29, 1950 in Flushing, New York. Tunstull developed a passion for art at an early age, after witnessing his Uncle Leroy sketching a portrait of his parents. Tunstull’s family moved across the country when he was young, from New York to Louisville, Kentucky finally settling in Detroit, Michigan, where Tunstull attended Cass Technical High School and graduated in 1968 with a concentration in commercial art.

Tunstull won a scholarship to Parsons, the New School of Design. He attended the school for two years before working for various pattern companies. By 1970, Tunstull was illustrating for Vogue magazine and was hired as the first African American illustrator at Women’s Wear Daily. Having built a name in the industry, Tunstull augmented his day work with freelance projects for major designers and department stores.

In 1975, at the age of twenty-five, Tunstull moved to Morocco and shortly thereafter, to Europe, where he worked in Paris and Milan. While working abroad Tunstull created fashion illustrations for the Hermes and Kenzo design houses and for fashion publications that included Marie Claire and Votre Beauté. Tunstull himself was featured in Italian Vogue for his work with WWD and Silvano Malto; he returned to the United States in 1977.

In 1979, Tunstull returned to New York City and began working for a variety of publications, including GQ magazine and The New York Times. In the 1990s, Tunstull began teaching fashion art at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and model drawing classes at his alma mater, the Parson’s School of Design. In 1994, Tunstull served as the keynote speaker at the Society of Illustrators Museum for the Best of Fashion and Beauty Illustration Exhibition.

In 1996, Tunstull shifted his career focus to watercolor landscapes depicting scenes inspired by his travels, particularly trips to Brazil, Jamaica, Australia, and Martha’s Vineyard, where he hosted an annual showing of his artwork. In 1997, Tunstull illustrated Kai: A Big Decision, a children’s book by Sharon Shavers Gayle. In 2000, Tunstull again made a shift in his artistic approach, continuing to work in landscapes but using oil paints, expanding his ability to portray different moods.

Accession Number

A2007.261

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/13/2007

Last Name

Tunstull

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Cass Technical High School

Boynton Elementary-Middle School

Winterhalter Elementary School

Parsons School of Design

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Glenn

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

TUN01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

Stay In The Moment.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/29/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Albany

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Italian Food, Soul Food

Short Description

Fashion illustrator and painter Glenn Tunstull (1950 - ) was an illustrator for Vogue, Women's Wear Daily, Marie Claire and Votre Meaute, and exhibited his landscape paintings worldwide.

Employment

Simplicity Pattern Company

Vogue Patterns

Lord and Taylor

Women's Wear Daily

Fashion Institute of Technology

Parsons School of Design

Pratt Institute

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:5564,174:10700,330:14231,383:15622,399:20651,480:21186,485:22684,510:33860,591:45032,780:45626,792:46154,801:50287,825:53570,862:54128,872:57192,880:59280,916:59568,921:60144,932:61584,963:64536,1027:64824,1032:69144,1144:69936,1158:70800,1174:71160,1182:72312,1205:72960,1215:74688,1253:75336,1264:75984,1274:76272,1279:90250,1411:90690,1416:92552,1432:93917,1452:97063,1481:97953,1527:104390,1601:121870,1824:122254,1865:124174,1896:126094,1921:126862,1931:127534,1940:132547,1970:133129,1977:135516,1997:135971,2004:141024,2060:141825,2077:142448,2085:146614,2140:147230,2149:148990,2176:155775,2266:161882,2320:162412,2326:165680,2374:169446,2420:170000,2425$0,0:10782,128:11342,134:13470,164:17658,188:18042,193:33324,415:37748,498:38064,503:38617,510:40987,551:41540,558:42093,570:42646,577:51086,640:52682,666:53690,682:56462,734:62190,756:62743,765:63059,770:65558,800:66110,810:66386,815:67145,831:70250,902:70595,908:71630,926:72320,939:72665,945:78530,1075:82208,1090:89100,1192:89452,1202:98370,1251:107640,1324:108096,1333:108780,1344:109844,1365:110908,1395:112428,1413:113644,1437:119585,1496:121961,1539:127024,1586:127783,1604:128128,1610:128542,1617:129991,1665:137280,1775:137760,1782:157356,2001:157818,2011:158126,2016:158511,2022:159127,2033:160051,2051:160359,2056:162053,2092:163131,2120:163439,2125:165680,2147
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Glenn Tunstull's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Glenn Tunstull lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Glenn Tunstull describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Glenn Tunstull remembers the Kentucky Derby

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Glenn Tunstull describes his parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Glenn Tunstull describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Glenn Tunstull describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Glenn Tunstull describes his upbringing in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Glenn Tunstull remembers the influence of Motown in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Glenn Tunstull describes the auto industry in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Glenn Tunstull recalls the previous generation's response to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Glenn Tunstull describes his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Glenn Tunstull remembers the pastimes of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Glenn Tunstull describes the sights and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Glenn Tunstull recalls his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Glenn Tunstull remembers his early interest in drawing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Glenn Tunstull recalls his aspiration to become a fashion illustrator

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Glenn Tunstull describes his first course in fashion illustration

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Glenn Tunstull remembers Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Glenn Tunstull remembers his early interest in fashion

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Glenn Tunstull recalls applying to the Parsons School of Design in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Glenn Tunstull remembers the Parsons School of Design

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Glenn Tunstull talks about fashion design and illustration

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Glenn Tunstull recalls his interview at the Simplicity Pattern Company, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Glenn Tunstull recalls leaving the Parsons School of Design

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Glenn Tunstull describes the fashion industry of his early career

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Glenn Tunstull remembers his introduction to the pattern industry

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Glenn Tunstull describes his work as a colorist for Vogue Patterns

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Glenn Tunstull talks about the pattern industry

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Glenn Tunstull recalls his transition to Women's Wear Daily

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Glenn Tunstull describes the Women's Wear Daily trade publication

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Glenn Tunstull recalls the rise of fashion photography

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Glenn Tunstull remembers illustrating Women's Wear Daily

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Glenn Tunstull describes his lifestyle in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Glenn Tunstull reflects upon his career at Women's Wear Daily

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Glenn Tunstull remembers moving to Europe

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Glenn Tunstull remembers his travels to Liberia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Glenn Tunstull remembers his experiences in Italy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Glenn Tunstull describes his career in France

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Glenn Tunstull remembers Carol LaBrie

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Glenn Tunstull remembers meeting James Baldwin

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Glenn Tunstull talks about Toyce Anderson

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Glenn Tunstull remembers his nostalgia for African American culture

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Glenn Tunstull describes his return to the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Glenn Tunstull describes his transition to teaching

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Glenn Tunstull remembers his guests in New York City

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Glenn Tunstull describes his teaching career

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Glenn Tunstull talks about his students

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Glenn Tunstull recalls being honored by Fashion Outreach

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Glenn Tunstull recalls his address to the Society of Illustrators

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Glenn Tunstull recalls his transition to painting

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Glenn Tunstull describes his decision to show his paintings

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Glenn Tunstull talks about his partner, Joe Steele

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Glenn Tunstull lists the collectors of his art

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Glenn Tunstull talks about his friendship with Robert C. Hayden

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Glenn Tunstull describes his painting technique

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Glenn Tunstull describes his commissioned artwork

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Glenn Tunstull talks about his children's book illustrations

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Glenn Tunstull reflects upon the field of fashion illustration

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Glenn Tunstull reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

5$2

DATitle
Glenn Tunstull recalls his interview at the Simplicity Pattern Company, Inc.
Glenn Tunstull recalls his transition to Women's Wear Daily
Transcript
How long was the program at Parsons [Parsons School of Design, New York, New York]?$$It was a three-year program, of which I only did two years.$$And why did you only do two years? What did you end up (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I got a job.$$Where'd you work?$$Simplicity Patterns [Simplicity Pattern Company, Inc.] was my first job. My neighbor across the hall--there was a campaign at the time and it said, during that period, and it said, "I got my job through The New York Times." And so this--my friend across the hall, her name was Linda Merritt [ph.], came to me one day and said, "Here's a--I was looking through the ads in New York Times, and here's a job for--looking for a sketcher at Simplicity Patterns." So, I went to the interview. And I always tell the story to my students because when I left Pa- Parsons and I didn't go back for the following year, I created a whole different portfolio from what I had developed in class. It wasn't enough for me to just show what I had done in class 'cause then your work looks like everyone else because you're solving the same problems that everyone else was. So, I created a whole 'nother portfolio. And then, I thought I was gonna be something like an illustrator or work for a toy company or something like that. That's the kind of things I was interviewing for. And, so I got to this job interview, and the guy says to me, his name was John Young [ph.], he said, "We like your work. We want to see how you work in our format." They had a certain size format and--which was like eight and a half by eleven [inches] and I drew large at the time. So, I said, "Okay." And then he took me to the side and he says, "If you really want this job, you'll do two." Well, I did three, and I got the job. That has always stayed with me, and I always share that with students. You have to show an effort above and beyond what's expected for--of you for people to take you seriously, or to get that you really want it. That's as much a part of it as being qualified. 'Cause there were other people that were equally qualified, I assume. So, I got this job. I now teach with the first person that I worked with there. Her name is Josephine Vargas, and we both teach at Parsons, the same type of class, and she's li- 'cause I consider her my longest known professional colleague, and we have a very good relationship. And I worked there for about a year.$How long did you stay at Vogue Patterns, and what did you do next?$$I was there about two years at Vogue Patterns. The--it was funny thing. I had gotten that job because in my effort to find another job when I was at Simplicity [Simplicity Pattern Company, Inc.], I went on a series of interviews and I met these women that said to--at this company that said to me, "We can't use what you're doing, but we have a friend that does what you're doing. His name is Stephen Cervantes and we know him from home," which was like Salt Lake City [Utah]--or Kansas City, sorry Kansas City. He was an illustrator for Women's Wear Daily. So, they said, "Here's his number, call him up and tell him, you know, to--we said come see you." So I went to see him. And this was like walking through a portal. He became my best friend. He was already an illustrator at Women's Wear Daily, introduced me to all the other illustrators, and then told me about another friend of his that worked at Vogue Patterns, which led to my going on a interview there, which led to my getting that job there. In the course of, of working at Vogue Patterns, I became very friendly with the artists at Women's Wear. We just were like all hangout buddies. So, as a result, when they had a, a position available at Women's Wear, I knew about it. And, this was wonderful, because they were so supportive of me, the artists that worked there already, and part of my thing was, you want a new job? You do a new portfolio, so they helped me put together my portfolio. Stephen was--had a habit of posing for all the artists 'cause he could affect these poses and move, just stuff like that. He just had that about him and he had long hair and you could draw him like a woman. So, he posed for me for an entire portfolio. So, when I submitted it to the art director, there must've been, I would imagine thousands of artists who wanted that job, and I got it. And I would've probably done the job for no money, but they wound up paying me more money than I was accustomed to and more money than I definitely was getting from Vogue Patterns, and my life changed in an instant.

Nathan Jones

Artist and inventor Nathan Jones was born on June 27, 1942, in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Bertha Lee Jones and Eunice Jones. When Jones was young, his family moved to West Dallas, Texas, where he lived with his cousin, Helen. With the encouragement of his mother, he began painting at the age of seven. Jones attended George Washington Carver grade school, then CF Carr, and Fanny C. Harris schools. Jones went to James Madison High School, where he met his future wife. After his high school graduation, Jones attended Texas Southern University, where he first became aware of another black artist, Dr. John Biggers.

After attending Texas Southern University, Jones moved to Columbus College of Art and Design, where he learned about art history and theory. He entered the University of Texas at Arlington, where he studied two years of architecture, earning a two-year certification in architecture; he also earned his B.F.A. degree while attending the University of Texas at Arlington. Jones also attended El Centro College,the University of Dallas for special training in lithography, Eastfield College in order to study printing and also Richland College. He spent a total of ten years in school studying. In 1975, Jones’s first museum show was held at the Midland Museum of Fine Arts; he was an instant success, selling around twenty-five paintings for $30,000. Jones continued to have shows in Houston throughout the 1970s and became financially successful.

In 1981, Jones designed a commemorative U.S. postage stamp for Dr. Charles Drew; that same year, Jones became the creator of the cover for the 1981-82 Southwestern Bell Telephone Directory. Jones had been interested in inventions since childhood, and as an adult began to strive towards patenting some of his own. Jones invented a simple device called the Multi Caddy, which cleans most golf equipment; he then founded MultiGolf Systems International of Texas, LP, a company devoted to selling his invention. Subsequently Jones has patented a total of five inventions which have gone into production for commercial retail. In 1992, Jones founded N.J.K. Properties, Inc., beginning his own architectural business and designing a number of buildings in Texas, which include the Fitzhugh Apartment Complex. Jones has also developed an authentic historical art series, the Buffalo Soldier Series, based on nine years of research into the history of African American soldiers.

Accession Number

A2007.237

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/14/2007

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

James Madison High School

George Washington Carver Grade School

CF Carr School

Fannie C. Harris School

University of Texas at Arlington

Columbus College of Art and Design

Texas Southern University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Nathan

Birth City, State, Country

Shreveport

HM ID

JON17

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

6/27/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Painter, architect, and inventor Nathan Jones (1942 - ) had a lucrative art career nationally and internationally. Jones held seven patents, including one for the Multicaddie, a device that cleans most golf equipment. Jones was also a successful architect; he was the founder of N.J.K. Properties, Inc., an architectural firm that designed a number of buildings in Texas.

Employment

MultiGolf Systems International

N.J.K. Properties, Inc.

Favorite Color

Burgundy

Timing Pairs
0,0:7856,197:9650,348:17840,596:43406,908:46091,930:51237,1067:52067,1109:84910,1520:85354,1527:89868,1615:93715,1629:95080,1665:95340,1670:98462,1709:99266,1716:100338,1725:101072,1736:104102,1774:107946,1799:108298,1804:118548,1996:125745,2048:126255,2055:128125,2084:130250,2232:149922,2433:169806,2684:170422,2694:192550,2968:196528,3017:202970,3108:206640,3141:220124,3310:227006,3439:247856,3738:253610,3793:263770,3941:284554,4222:287592,4275:288180,4282:288964,4291:293864,4349:294452,4356:321160,4765$0,0:18519,309:19266,358:20843,537:59294,990:61469,1028:62600,1050:66406,1073:72938,1139:80076,1258:81321,1284:82870,1289:83146,1294:94319,1490:96145,1537:103263,1586:103895,1597:106581,1673:128660,2006:129444,2016:135380,2068:138605,2142:148954,2293:155910,2391:171030,2728:189275,2883:207975,3143:220828,3317:229774,3558:241958,3706:244390,3747:244846,3776:248570,3827:250698,3865:251002,3870:272900,4087:290270,4294:298820,4397
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nathan Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nathan Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nathan Jones describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nathan Jones recalls his paternal grandfather, who was born into slavery

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nathan Jones talks about his family's land in Shreveport, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nathan Jones describes his family community in Shreveport, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nathan Jones describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nathan Jones describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nathan Jones remembers his early work experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nathan Jones describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nathan Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nathan Jones talks about the racial demographics of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nathan Jones talks about housing segregation in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nathan Jones describes his family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nathan Jones talks about the mass incarceration of African Americans in Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nathan Jones remembers his early interest in art

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nathan Jones describes his elementary schools in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nathan Jones recalls his early artistic influences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nathan Jones remembers lessons from his schoolteachers

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nathan Jones describes the start of his painting career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nathan Jones recalls enrolling at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nathan Jones recalls transferring to the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nathan Jones describes his experiences at the Columbus College of Art and Design

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nathan Jones recalls his medical exemption from U.S. military service

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nathan Jones remembers earning his degree in art

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nathan Jones recalls studying architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nathan Jones remembers his professional aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nathan Jones recalls his art show at Reverchon Park in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nathan Jones talks about earning a living as an artist

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nathan Jones describes his beliefs about material goods

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nathan Jones describes his artistic style and process

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nathan Jones describes the chemicals he uses in painting

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nathan Jones talks about researching the subjects of his paintings

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nathan Jones describes his postage stamp designs

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nathan Jones recalls his commission to paint 'Now What Did I Do With That Nutmeg?'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nathan Jones remembers inventing the Multicaddie

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nathan Jones talks about the success of the Multicaddie

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nathan Jones describes his ambitions for Multigolf Systems International

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nathan Jones talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nathan Jones describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nathan Jones reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nathan Jones reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nathan Jones talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nathan Jones describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nathan Jones narrates his photographs and paintings

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Nathan Jones recalls his art show at Reverchon Park in Dallas, Texas
Nathan Jones remembers inventing the Multicaddie
Transcript
Okay. Well you see, what I'm trying to do, is trying to find out in a chronological way what you did next. So we're jumping too--we're jumping around too much I think. So I'm trying to find out what you did after you got out of the University of Texas [University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas].$$Well after I got out of University of Texas, I continued to--that's when I did my Reverchon [Reverchon Park, Dallas, Texas] art show and made all this money, and then after that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well tell me the story of that--okay, yeah all right.$$See I--$$Let's tell that story and then--$$Well, the way that happened, a girl by the name of Delores Martin is the one that intro- asked me to participate in this show. And I said, "Delores, I shouldn't do it because it's in--right there in Highland Park [Texas]," where it's the most prejudiced place in the United States I feel right there. And she said, "No Nathan [HistoryMaker Nathan Jones], I think you ought to do it 'cause, you know, they're a little bit open-minded." And I was very hesitant. And I went down and I did that show, and it was a three-day show. First day only lasted about a half day, sold all of my paintings except one. So I was rich (laughter). I felt rich. I had money, lots of it when I bought me a Continental [Lincoln Continental] and all kinds of stuff. But that was my beginning right there. So, and my wife and I got to move from Oak Cliff [Dallas, Texas] to North Dallas [Dallas, Texas] and--and we played with the money and we--I mean, it was just a real exciting. You know, we made all that money. And I kept this one painting--$$About how much money are we talking about?$$Oh, about thirty thousand dollars at least.$$And off of how many paintings sold?$$I probably had no more than probably twenty-five paintings. My paintings was never inexpensive. People used to laugh at me (laughter), but my teacher told me, Mrs. Collins, Gladys Collins [Gladys I. Collins], she said, "Set your price and don't negotiate it." She always said it, set your price. So what I always--what I do I put the price that I think it's worth and then I put the price that you can get it for. Now if you don't like the price that you can get it for, I go back and tell you, look, here's what you're getting. Here is the actual price. Now I got two prices, I got one. I used to have these six thousand--I was hung up on six thousand dollar prices way back then. Tell you what happened, while I was out--I was out--while I was on the Reverchon--out at Reverchon Park, here's how I made a lot of that money. A guy called me after I had gotten home and I had paintings that I would not take out of the house 'cause I didn't think I was gonna do any good with those. But these were my private things. Guy named Ray Ives [ph.] called me and he says, "Nathan, my brother," that's the way he talked. Nathan, my brother. And he's a white guy. He says, "I love your work and I wanna buy some." Now this guy's rich, okay. Lived on Turtle Creek [Dallas, Texas] in Highland Park again. So, he says--I said, "Well, what do you want." What, do you want an appointment or whatever. He said, "No," said, "I'm gonna leave it to you." He said, "You pick out me four paintings and bring them to me." And I said, "Well what price range?" He says, "Whatever you think." Now I'm really messed up because I don't wanna take him the most expensive paintings obviously and I don't wanna take him something that's gonna offend him. So I'm really messed up. And so all the time I'm sitting here thinking now how much, what should I do with this guy. I don't know, I really don't. So I put--I took some paintings that--these are my love things that I mean, I don't wanna sell. But here's an opportunity. So I took about two paintings for--from three thousand to five and then the highest one I took was seventeen thousand. Why not, it's seventeen thousand, that's what it's valued. And when I got there, he wrote me a check. He didn't say nothing. Just wrote me a check for those paintings. And he and I became friends, friends for years, years and years. I don't care where he go in the world, he calls me. But that was one thing that took my way up approximately thirty thousand dollars. And a--and a Lincoln Continental back then cost around eight or nine. So and you can get it loaded for everything. So, I'm just telling you how money, you know, money will buy a lot, thirty thousand dollars would buy a lot. In fact, that house over there that I was telling you that I couldn't buy, it was thirty-two thousand. But, anyway we was able to buy anything, we paid cash. We got plenty of cash, we just bought stuff. So that was my first big break.$Can you tell us now about the Multigolf [Multigolf Systems International] and how did you become an inventor, now you're an architect and artist and businessman (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Actually I've been wanting to invent all my life, ever since I was a kid. I said, if I invent one thing, I'm gonna just get rich. I would see--I didn't--you know, that's putting it a little before--cart before the horse. But I said, I'm gonna get rich if I--and so I used to write just all kinds of inventions. I got a whole file of things that I've invented. I invented this calendar and I said I'm gonna get rich with this thing because it's real unique. It's got pockets, it's just a big thing, it's got pockets and it's got dates and they're interchangeable, each. And so next month, all you do is interchange--just change the date, okay. And so you don't have to ever buy another calendar. You change the dates and you change the month. And this thing's got big pockets. Now these pockets are for, say for instance you want to mail a letter today and but you know that it's not due until three weeks from now or two weeks and you want your money to stay in your account. If you mail the check now they're gonna cash it, right. So what you do, you stick this letter in this slot when you're gonna mail it. So meanwhile four or five, ten days pass, you don't have to worry about it getting there late because it's sticking in this pouch, right. So when that time comes, you just take it out and you mail it. It gets there on time, your money stayed in the bank longer. So, this was a great calendar, I use it. I got one right now in front of my desk. I made this calendar, I went to get it--apply for a patent from one of these people, attorneys and things. And when they finished telling me how much money it was gonna cost me, I said, "No forget it, I'll just use it myself." So that's how I got involved with the patent things. And I did the--I went to play golf here about--it's been about ten years ago, maybe eight years ago. I was playing--I started playing golf 'cause I said, "I don't why anybody'd hit a ball and chase it for five hundred miles--for five hundred yards before they get to the green." So I didn't understand that. I didn't wanna play golf. But I started playing golf and when I got on the course, I had these new clubs and there was nothing to clean them up with 'cause I hit, you know, these golf course are moist, stay moisture--they keep moisture in the ground because what they do, they irrigate them all the time, they got to, to keep them pretty. So the grass is soft, and there's usually a little mud underneath the grass once you hit down. So I went to golf stores and I wanted to buy something to keep my clubs clean. Couldn't find a thing. So I had a patent search done by an attorney, nothing existed. So I then, that's when I went on through with my design. I designed this product that does ten things. Cleans balls, cleans clubs, cleans shoes, cleans grip, cleans hats, cleans--and provides water. So, this was a good product because all you do is take this product and you slide it on your golf bag. It's very small, does all these things. Not cumbersome, easy to install in just seconds. When you're finished, you just slide it off, put it in your golf bag, tighten it up and you got it. But then again, the functionality of it, you'd--you know, you need to know what it does, you know, all these ten things. But basically you need to clean your clubs. So everybody wants to clean their clubs. They pay--you pay eleven hundred dollars, eight hundred dollars for a set of golf clubs, you don't clean them, the dirt really grinds into the metal and wears your clubs out, wears on your clubs. So you need them clean. So, I designed this product that does all these things. So since I've done that, I got really seven--I got six patents, and I got seven or eight products that I've--two of them are not patented.$$Okay, now the golf product is called Multigolf, right?$$It's called the Multicaddie, yeah. The company that I established is called Multigolf Systems International and it looks like--it looks like this product should do really well on the market 'cause it--it's innovative, there's nothing like it and every golfer needs to clean. There's not a golfer that plays golf on earth that doesn't need to clean.

Annie Lee

Artist Annie Frances Lee was born on March 3, 1935, in Gadsden, Alabama; raised by a single parent, she grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and attended Wendell Phillips High School. Lee began painting at an early age, winning her first art competition at the age of ten. Lee was offered a four year scholarship to attend Northwestern University after high school, but married instead and raised a family.

It was not until age forty that Lee decided to pursue a career as an artist; she enrolled in Loop Junior College and completed her undergraduate work at Mundelein College in Chicago. After eight years of night classes while working at Northwestern Railroad as a clerk in the engineering department, Lee earned her M.A. degree in interdisciplinary arts education from Loyola University. Lee’s railroad job inspired one of her most popular paintings, Blue Monday, which depicts a woman struggling to pull herself out of bed on a Monday morning. Her trademarks are the animated emotion of the personalities in the artwork and the faces which are painted without features. At age fifty, Lee had her first gallery show; she allowed prints to be made of four of her original paintings. Using her unique designs, Lee also developed figurines, high fashion dolls, decorative housewares, and kitchen tiles.

After showing her work in other galleries for a number of years, Lee opened Annie Lee and Friends Gallery where she displayed her works as well as the works of other artists. When several of her paintings appeared on the sets of popular television shows such as The Cosby Show and A Different World, the exposure helped popularize her work. Although she regularly received requests for public appearances, Lee preferred to appear at gallery shows; she also enjoyed visiting schools to encourage and inspire students. She passed away on November 14, 2014, at the age of 79.

Accession Number

A2007.123

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/5/2007

Last Name

Lee

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

James R. Doolittle, Jr. Elementary School

Harold Washington College

Mundelein College

Columbia College Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Annie

Birth City, State, Country

Gadsden

HM ID

LEE03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Take Care Of Business.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

3/3/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood, Chili

Death Date

11/24/2014

Short Description

Painter Annie Lee (1935 - 2014 ) started painting at the age of forty but still enjoyed a successful painting career. Lee later used her unique designs to develop figurines, high fashion dolls, decorative housewares and kitchen tiles; she also enjoyed visiting schools to encourage and inspire students.

Employment

Supreme Life Insurance Company of America

Chicago and North Western Railway

U.S. Government

5th Army Headquarters

Annie Lee and Friends Art Galler

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:546,11:2457,34:4914,112:17209,310:23213,430:25820,472:32693,802:49980,975:51597,1041:62155,1187:71932,1315:80978,1444:82669,1483:118908,2163:124154,2268:130124,2336:134854,2439:155449,2686:175450,3036:186415,3181:187390,3199:190380,3235:193490,3264:209550,3496:212120,3506:212589,3522:214985,3554:217640,3623$0,0:3547,49:4142,55:5588,78:6500,101:10705,166:15353,343:25728,572:54040,1008:62946,1158:68140,1222:68780,1232:70620,1279:71820,1319:74060,1372:80460,1492:113140,1936:128750,2295:130730,2355:139512,2431:152265,2778:159902,2839:161466,2868:163122,2897:164226,2932:171163,2989:172390,2998:178444,3127:226062,4084:226898,4105:238108,4230:238626,4249:238922,4254:242580,4314
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Annie Lee's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Annie Lee lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Annie Lee describes her family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Annie Lee describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Annie Lee remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Annie Lee describes her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Annie Lee describes her early education in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Annie Lee describes her marriages

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Annie Lee remembers Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Annie Lee describes her career at Chicago and North Western Railway

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Annie Lee remembers her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Annie Lee recalls her early activities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Annie Lee describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Annie Lee describes her neighbors in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Annie Lee recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Annie Lee describes her secretarial career in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Annie Lee recalls her marriage and divorce from her second husband

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Annie Lee describes her experiences of domestic abuse

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Annie Lee remembers how she became an artist

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Annie Lee describes her secondary education in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Annie Lee describes her introduction to home show art companies

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Annie Lee describes her role as chief clerk at Chicago and North Western Railway

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Annie Lee remembers her early paintings

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Annie Lee talks about the inspiration for her artwork

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Annie Lee recalls her first gallery show in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Annie Lee describes her decision to open a gallery

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Annie Lee reflects upon her decision not to depict faces in her paintings

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Annie Lee describes her creative process

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Annie Lee shares her advice about collecting art

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Annie Lee describes her coloring book illustrations

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Annie Lee talks about licensing her artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Annie Lee describes her plans for the future, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Annie Lee reflects upon her religious involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Annie Lee talks about the artists with whom she collaborated

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Annie Lee reflects upon the experiences of African American female artists

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Annie Lee describes her reasons for opening her gallery

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Annie Lee talks about her art collection

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Annie Lee reflects upon her customer base

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Annie Lee recalls the appearances of her artwork on television

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Annie Lee talks about her children and grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Annie Lee describes her plans for the future, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Annie Lee reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Annie Lee describes her advice to aspiring artists

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Annie Lee describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Annie Lee reflects upon the lack of recognition for artists

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Annie Lee narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

2$4

DATitle
Annie Lee describes her introduction to home show art companies
Annie Lee remembers her early paintings
Transcript
So now you were beginning to tell about--$$I (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) how you started working for the home show.$$Yeah, I was--always wanted to go to New Orleans [Louisiana] to see the artists all around the square. I've always saw pictures of artists, man I said I'd just love to go down there see, just see the artists and be a part of that. And I remember taking this bus ride to New Orleans, and I had my little art portfolio that I'd done, 'cause I went to American Academy of Art [Chicago, Illinois] too off and on and took classes and the Art Institute [Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois]. You name it, I've been there, okay; any, any school in Chicago [Illinois], I've been to. So I had my portfolio, and I was looking through it. And there was lady standing there, and she said, "Who did those paintings?" And I said, "I did." She said, "You're kidding." She said, "When you get back to Chicago you should contact my boss. I work for a home show company [Color Your World (ph.)], and we sell art, and, and we're always looking for artists." And I said, "Oh, you're kidding." So anyway, I called when I got back. And the guy came out, and he said, "We, we've never, ever sold any African American art at all, but let's try it." So this had to be around in the '70s [1970s], '79 [1979].$$Seventy- okay, all right.$$About '79 [1979]. And he said let's try it and see how it works. So I remember doing five little jazz musicians. And he said you know--what, what I would do is paint an original on a little eight by ten [inch] canvas. He said, "Let's do ten of each, and we're gonna try to sell them in Minnesota--in Wisconsin--and see how it goes." So he called me. He said, "Annie [HistoryMaker Annie Lee], do me twenty of each. We sold those right away." And I'm like, "Really?" And he said, "Do twenty of each." So I did twenty of each, and he called back. He said, "I can't believe it." He said, "These things are going like hotcakes. Do fifty of each." And I did fifty, and he came back and he said, "Just paint until you get tired." He said, "We're not gonna--we don't pay you much money per piece, but we'll buy volume from you, plus it'll help your name get known around the country." He said, "We start in Wisconsin. We sell in ten different states." He said, "And we'll just start selling these all around all the states so your name will get out there." (Laughter) I'd come in from work and I'd paint from seven in the--I'd get in maybe about 5:30 from the railroad [Chicago and North Western Railway; CNW Corporation], and I'd start painting at maybe 6:00. And I'd paint 'til 3:00 in the morning every day, all day. I was--it got so until I hired people to erase the eraser off, you know, the, pencil off the painting. I had somebody--it was, I had kids on the neighborhood to help me. And I loved every minute of it. And (laughter) I, I always remember my neighbor came over one day and she said, "Annie, stop, stop, stop; you've got to stop." She said, "You're gonna paint yourself into a coma, stop it." I had an operation on my wrist 'cause I got acute tendonitis from painting. And I went up to Mayo Clinic [Rochester, Minnesota], and I remember painting with the cast on coming back. I was making two or three thousand dollars a month. I was like, ho, besides the railroad. And, and I said me, I can do whatever I wanted. I remember opening my son [Howard Lee, Jr.] a fish market. And then he got killed while, during that time.$$Okay.$$And with the, with the, with that added income I was able to, you know, just do most of the things I wanted to do and help my kids and stuff.$Tell me about your artwork. Do you remember your first piece?$$I remember the first piece that I did that I paid to have produced. Okay, I re- yes, I do remember the first print. My friend Dan [ph.], who grew up with me, who owned the art gallery, he came by my house--well I'm doing the home show companies, okay.$$Right.$$And Dan came by my house, said, he said--I had a painting of some trees that I'd done, and he said, "Who did that?" And I said, "I did." And he said, "I didn't know you could paint." I said, "Yeah, I painted all my life." He said, "Can, may I take that piece to the gallery and see if I could sell it?" I said, "Sure (laughter)." He called me the next week and said, "Annie [HistoryMaker Annie Lee], guess what. I got a check for you." I said, "A check for what?" He said, "I sold the painting." I'm thinking oh, you got to be kidding. And so he, he, he said look, come on. May--not--the home show company and Dan are two different things. Dan said, "Annie, do you think you could do some paintings? And maybe we'll give you a one woman's art exhibit." I said, "Yeah, but I don't have any paintings." He said, "Well, we'll just start working on it, and we'll wait 'til you get enough." So, it took about two years to get enough paintings for me to have a show. Meanwhile, I'm doing these little musicians and things for the rail- for the home show company. So it was two different things. I tried to keep them separate. And so Dan, one day he said, "Annie, may I take three of your paintings and make prints out of them," like this (gestures off camera). And I said, "Yeah." And it was one that I liked myself, and I said man, I should make a print out of that, but I can't afford it 'cause it costs about three thousand dollars at the time. And you know, that's a lot of money to be spending on hoping it'll sell, but it was 'Blue Monday' [Annie Lee]. And I went on and did it anyway, and today that's still my best seller.$$What was the inspiration for 'Blue Monday'?$$The railroad [Chicago and North Western Railway; CNW Corporation]. That's the way I looked every morning going, getting up going to that railroad. And I, and one day I said, "I know somebody's got to feel bad like, too. I hate, I hate that job, and I know I'm not the only one going to work on a job that they hate." I hated the prejudice. I, I, I mean it was just awful. So, that was 'Blue Monday.' That's the way I looked.$$So it was that, sort of like a, a (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I sketched it.$$--of yourself (laughter).$$Yeah, yeah, it was me.$$Okay.$$It was me. I sketched the picture on the way to work, and came home, and painted it in a, in a half an hour. And usually, it takes a while to paint a picture. I painted, and then I went and made the prints. And it's still the best seller today.$$Now, the, the artwork that you were giving to the home show people, what was the name of that company?$$It was called Color Your World [ph.].$$Now--$$And another company was called Artistic Impressions [Artistic Impressions, Inc.]. So I ended up work, working for two or three of them.$$Now, would that be original art that you were giving to them?$$(Nod head).$$And what size was it?$$Eight by tens [inches].$$Eight by ten. And how much were they sell, selling for?$$They might would sell them for fifty or sixty dollars. And at first they started giving me like five dollars apiece, and then they gave me ten dollars apiece. And then they'd sell, and then they went up; I was getting twenty-five dollars apiece. You know, it really, it moved up.$$Okay, so Dan is the one who paid for--$$No.$$--'Blue Monday'?$$No, I paid for 'Blue Monday.'$$Oh, you paid for 'Blue Monday.'$$Dan did 'Six No Uptown' [Annie Lee], the women playing cards. And he did a little boy playing ball called 'Full Count One and Two' [sic. 'Full Count Three and Two,' Annie Lee], and he did one called 'Stretch One, Two' ['Stretch 1&2,' Annie Lee], women doing aerobics. And Dan said, "Okay, Annie, I'm gonna take a chance on you." He said, "I just think this is gonna sell." So he ran an ad in Essence magazine. And it was just a little fourth of a page 'cause it cost a mint to run an ad in Essence. And he ran this little ad, and that was it. He said, "This is the best thing I ever did," he said. And it just took off like crazy.

William T. Williams

Artist William Thomas Williams, Jr. was born on July 17, 1942, in Cross Creek, North Carolina, to William Thomas Williams, Sr. and Hazel Williams. Williams’s family moved to Queens, New York, when he was four years old, but Williams would continue to visit North Carolina in the summertime.

In 1956, Williams met famed artist Jacob Lawrence, an encounter that helped him believe that he could be a professional artist. That same year, Williams was admitted to the High School for Industrial Arts in Manhattan, where he often frequented the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After graduating from high school as a member of the National Honor Society, Williams entered New York City Community College in 1960, and graduated two years later with his A.A.S. degree.

In 1962, Williams was admitted into Pratt Institute. In the summer of 1965, Williams attended a summer art program at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. Williams graduated with honors from Pratt Institute with his B.F.A. degree in 1966, then attended Yale University School of Art and Architecture, where he earned his M.F.A. degree in 1968. Williams returned to New York City, and with the help of his parents, rented a Soho loft that remained his home and studio throughout his career. Soon after, Williams married Patricia De Weese, with whom he had two children: Aaron and Nila.

Williams’s first exhibit was a part of a group exhibition called X to the Fourth Power; it was held at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York in 1969, a place he would return to for exhibitions numerous times. In 1971, Williams had his first show at the Reese Paley Art Gallery, where he sold out his entire exhibit. Throughout the 1970s, Williams’s work would be exhibited at a number of venues, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum in New York, the American Embassy in Moscow, and the Fondation Maeght in France.

In 1970, Williams became a professor of art at Brooklyn College, and in 1971, he began a summer residency as a member of the faculty at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, a position he would hold again in 1974 and 1978. Williams became the director pro tem at Skowhegan School in 1979.

In the late 1970s, Williams took his first trip to Africa, which influenced the style of his work throughout the 1980s. In 1984, Williams became a visiting professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and the following year held a solo exhibition at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Williams became the first black artist included in H.W. Janson’s History of Art textbook in 1986, and in 1987, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Williams continued to work throughout the 1990s, and his work was included in the To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities touring exhibit in 1999. In 2006, Williams was awarded the prestigious North Carolina Award, the highest civilian honor the state can bequeath.

Accession Number

A2007.118

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/29/2007

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Middle Name

T.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

High School of Art and Design

Yale University

PS 39 Henry Brostow School

J.H.S. 198, Benjamin N. Cardozo Junior High School

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Crosscreek

HM ID

WIL37

Favorite Season

Summer

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Do it right.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/17/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Potato Chips

Short Description

Painter and art professor William T. Williams (1942 - ) became the first African American artist included in H.W. Janson’s History of Art text in 1986. An abstract expressionist painter, he taught art at Brooklyn College, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Employment

School of Visual Arts

Fisk University

Virginia Commonwealth University

Brooklyn College

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William T. Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William T. Williams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William T. Williams describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William T. Williams talks about his maternal grandfather and step-grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William T. Williams describes his mother's musical background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William T. Williams describes his family's religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William T. Williams describes the Overhills estate in North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William T. Williams describes his father's U.S. Army service

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William T. Williams talks about his childhood in the North and South

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William T. Williams describes his family's food traditions

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - William T. Williams remembers his grandmother's garden

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - William T. Williams recalls his family's traditions in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William T. Williams describes his family's craftwork

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William T. Williams lists his schools and siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William T. Williams describes his neighborhood in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William T. Williams describes J.H.S. 198 in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William T. Williams recalls his early interest in art

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William T. Williams remembers meeting Jacob Lawrence

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William T. Williams recalls attending the School of Industrial Art in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William T. Williams describes his early artistic development

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William T. Williams recalls his commute to the School of Industrial Art

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William T. Williams describes his peers at the School of Industrial Art

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William T. Williams recalls his decision to attend the Pratt Institute

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - William T. Williams remembers his growing interest in painting

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William T. Williams describes the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William T. Williams recalls his relationship with Leonard Bocour

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William T. Williams remembers reencountering Jacob Lawrence

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William T. Williams remembers the Yale School of Art and Architecture in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William T. Williams describes the exclusion of black artists from galleries

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William T. Williams recalls discrimination at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William T. Williams remembers teaching at the School of Visual Arts in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William T. Williams recalls acquiring his studio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William T. Williams remembers protests against the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - William T. Williams describes his decision to decline a museum guard position

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - William T. Williams recalls his artist residency program at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - William T. Williams remembers his early art career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William T. Williams remembers founding the Smokehouse Associates

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William T. Williams describes the black arts community in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William T. Williams recalls the exclusion of black artists from museums

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William T. Williams remembers his first solo art show

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William T. Williams remembers exhibiting his artwork in France

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William T. Williams describes his artistic influences

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William T. Williams remembers his inclusion in the 'Whitney Annual'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William T. Williams talks about his philosophy of art

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William T. Williams reflects upon his growth as an artist

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - William T. Williams describes his interest in teaching

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - William T. Williams reflects upon aging as an artist

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - William T. Williams remembers his trip to Nigeria

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - William T. Williams describes the shift in his art career

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William T. Williams recalls his residency at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William T. Williams describes his courses on African American art

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William T. Williams talks about being a father

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William T. Williams recalls directing the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William T. Williams remembers the emergence of pop art

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William T. Williams remembers Jean-Michel Basquiat

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William T. Williams talks about the value of work by artists of color

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William T. Williams describes his generation of African American artists

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William T. Williams talks about the next generation of artists of color

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William T. Williams describes teaching at the City University of New York

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - William T. Williams describes teaching in the South

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - William T. Williams describes the shift in his artistic style

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - William T. Williams describes his painting, 'Cape Split'

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - William T. Williams describes his painting, 'Batman'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William T. Williams remembers his role in the opening of the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William T. Williams recalls his exhibition at the Museo Alejandro Otero in Venezuela

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William T. Williams describes his award from the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William T. Williams reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William T. Williams describes his hopes for his paintings

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William T. Williams describes his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William T. Williams describes his children

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William T. Williams talks about his approach to business

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William T. Williams shares his advice to aspiring artists

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - William T. Williams describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - William T. Williams reflects upon the impact of affirmative action policies

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - William T. Williams talks about African American museum curators and directors

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - William T. Williams remembers his parents' support

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - William T. Williams narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

11$8

DATitle
William T. Williams remembers his grandmother's garden
William T. Williams talks about his philosophy of art
Transcript
But I think that the, the porch, the extended porch in the late evenings, you know, after everything had been done, the exchanging of stories, the laughter, the joke-telling, I would never exchange any of that experience for anything that I, you know, that could have come if I wasn't there. One of the, the fond memories, and I always kind of relate this, is my [maternal] grandmother [Sophia Davis Jackson] made all of the kids rake the yard in the late evenings. And this was a ritual every day, work is over, dinner is over, kids have to go out and rake the front yard and she would meticulously instruct us of how to do it. You couldn't just rake it, the patterns that were there, she was really very particular about the patterns and forces us to go back and really kind of manicure this yard the way she wanted it manicured. And the odd thing, I was in Japan many, many, many years later, and saw a temple where the sand had been raked and it was like a thunderbolt had hit me, between that experience as a child and raking the yard out front, and this experience of having seen that in Japan. Two things came together, and an aesthetic experience came to me, you know, the, it was more than just her implanting labor for us, she was implanting an idea about an aesthetic and about a, a kind of spiritual environment that she was cultivating, and certainly she was transmitting a kind of body of information to us as well.$$Where had that information come from, do you know?$$I have no idea. My grandmother's house had flowers on three sides. It is the thing that she spent the most time in, in this garden, other than working. Once work was over, there were two passions, the yard out front and the garden, and there were just endless flowers. There were some in the ground, some in buckets. She would move these jars and buckets around, but that's, that's what I really remember about the South, a great deal of that.$So when you were living in the area [New York, New York] and you had all of the, like Camille [HistoryMaker Camille Billops] and all of you guys were in this, you know, this very small area, was there any opportunity ever to collectively do something amongst yourselves?$$Yes. Yeah. I organized, early in 1970 I organized this show called 'X to the Fourth Power.' 'X to the Fourth Power' was a show of Mel Edwards [Melvin Edwards], [HistoryMaker] Sam Gilliam, myself and a white artist named Steve Kelsey [Stephen Kelsey], another Yale [Yale School of Art and Architecture; Yale School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut] graduate. The thrust of the work were people that were making really large-scale paintings 'cause Steve was working, you know, like his painting, I think in the show is eight by eighteen feet. Sam was working very large, I was working ten by ten, and you could not, if you looked at the work, you could not separate the work in terms of this thing called quality. What you could see was that there was a commonality of an interest in a certain modern idea of art making. You could see different sensibilities like Sam's sense of color was drastically different than Steve's sense of color and how color was going to be used. And certainly different than my sense of color. You--if you could look closely, you could see all of these sensibilities, the difference in sensibilities. Well, I think what that show did, The New York Times reviewed it, Sunday New York Times, gave it center stage in terms of talking about it. And the critic was sensitive enough to bring up the issue and suggest that here were four artists that were working on the highest level and that it, it is the dialogue about race becomes secondary and maybe unimportant in relation to this exhibition. Later on, Sam and I and Mel showed together a great deal. There were a number of shows that were organized during that time that were all African American artists, but the overriding thing was alright we were African Americans but it was quality of the art in the exhibition. There was another show called 'Five Plus One' [ph.] that Sam Hunter organized. Again, along artists that were in this case, primarily abstract, but again the underriding thing again was what are the difference in the sensibilities, what are the difference in the aesthetic, what are the difference in the ideas among these artists. And that's the way we tried to, to focus and tried to do this. There were endless panels I was on during that period of time, where the issue of black art came up, the issue of art in the community, and (pause) I think what we always tried to do during those times, we had a lot of conversations with, among ourselves. We had a lot of conversations with artists that were not abstract. We had a lot of conversations with, with writers, try to come to terms with what we were trying to do as artists. What is the role and the responsibility of the artist, you know, I mean, those discussions (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) What were those answers? What were some of those answers for you, the role and responsibilities?$$Well, it depends on if you see yourself as a vehicle. In other words, if you see yourself as a vehicle for culture, and that you have an internalized experience and you may have the God-given ability to communicate those experiences to other people, then you are just a vehicle for maintaining those experiences and transmitting those experience to other people, and that's the primary function and role of the artist, as you are a God-given medium to do that. Now I liked that idea a lot because it forces an incredible responsibility upon the artist that you not only have to see that, you have to internalize that and you have to realize why it's important to preserve that. I, I like that way of making art and thinking about it because it, it, it's an, it's an accumulative responsibility of every lady that ever touched me in the church, my head and said, "Hey Scooter Boy." Every uncle that I had that came home tired and took the time to ask how I was doing, to all of those kind of disappointments that people have. It seems to me part of what an artist does is you become your collective consciousness of all of that and it's not you to illustrate that, but to realize that that experience that you've internalized is all of that's contained in it. There's pain, there's joy, there's all of these other things contained in it.

Cedric Smith

Artist Cedric Lamar Smith was born on May 17, 1970 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a young boy, he moved with his mother, Geraldine Smith, to Thomaston Georgia. Smith attended Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur, Georgia.

After school, he began working as a barber. Smith did not consider art as a career until one of his clients, who was a self-taught artist, invited Smith to his art studio. Smith was inspired by his client’s work. As a self-taught artist, Smith creates a personal genre of work. He draws on a wide range of influences and sources, both traditional and contemporary, including landscape art, pop art, brand advertising, and photography. Much of Smith’s current work is devoted to redressing the absence of African Americans in advertising and on the labels of popular brands.

In 1998, Smith held his first solo exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia. His work can be found in the New York Historical Society museum and public collections, the Coca-Cola Company (Atlanta, Georgia), the Francis Walker Museum (Thomaston, Georgia), the Tubman Museum (Macon, Georgia), King & Spalding LLP (Atlanta, Georgia & London, United Kingdom), the Washington, D.C. Arts Commission, and Philander Smith College (Little Rock, Arkansas).

Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.027

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/23/2007

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Southwest DeKalb High School

Rosalie Wright Elementary School

Utoy Springs Elementary School

Frederick Douglass High School

Lithonia High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Cedric

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

SMI17

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Never Grow Up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

5/17/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Savannah

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Catfish

Short Description

Painter and photographer Cedric Smith (1970 - ) was an artist whose work was found in the Tubman Museum, the New York Historical Society museum and public collections. Much of Smith's work was devoted to redressing the absence of African Americans in advertising and on the labels of popular brands.

Employment

Salem Crossing Barber Shop

Self Employed

Favorite Color

Burnt Orange

Timing Pairs
0,0:4263,79:10428,134:13134,191:13626,201:25988,396:33796,530:34944,560:35436,568:35764,573:39782,648:46260,725:46670,798:47326,808:50606,914:60958,979:80094,1287:80442,1292:83242,1354:83712,1371:90104,1510:90574,1517:95650,1612:112774,1832:113189,1900:124058,2013:125516,2188:145340,2558:148060,2611:152060,2713:153260,2724:169070,2916:169700,2923:171905,2957:172535,2964:176243,3052:176607,3057:183523,3200:184069,3207:192720,3278:194568,3327:220459,3752:226565,3871:227772,3921:231393,4001:239565,4088:241290,4124:248826,4217:249150,4222:249717,4235:250041,4240:255468,4362:263550,4457:271478,4590:272031,4599:272505,4606:272821,4611:277877,4717:288090,4871$0,0:4370,49:5060,56:19564,145:20196,150:28400,246:30920,293:41540,433:41948,441:43784,480:44328,491:55412,746:57724,800:57996,805:58744,820:60376,852:72059,953:72474,959:72806,964:84182,1133:91670,1337:93464,1388:109180,1596:115060,1704
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Cedric Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Cedric Smith lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Cedric Smith describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Cedric Smith describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Cedric Smith describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Cedric Smith talks about his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Cedric Smith describes his schools in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Cedric Smith describes his neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Cedric Smith remembers Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Cedric Smith recalls his arrest in Lithonia, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Cedric Smith remembers the Milledgeville Intensive Treatment Unit in Milan, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Cedric Smith reflects upon the importance of art education

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Cedric Smith recalls his decision to pursue a career in art

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Cedric Smith remembers selling his early paintings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Cedric Smith recalls his first art show at the Archer Locke Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Cedric Smith describes his artwork

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Cedric Smith describes his artistic influences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Cedric Smith talks about the titles of his artwork

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Cedric Smith describes his interest in photography

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Cedric Smith talks about his hobbies

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Cedric Smith describes the photography of Jack Spencer

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Cedric Smith reflects upon the African American community's perception of art

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Cedric Smith describes his exhibitions in Savannah, Georgia and New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Cedric Smith talks about selling his artwork in galleries

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Cedric Smith describes his favorite art pieces

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Cedric Smith talks about the museums that collect his artwork

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Cedric Smith describes his tattoos

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Cedric Smith talks about his mother and daughter

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Cedric Smith talks about his depictions of African American history

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Cedric Smith reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Cedric Smith describes his advice for aspiring artists

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Cedric Smith reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Cedric Smith narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

4$2

DATitle
Cedric Smith remembers selling his early paintings
Cedric Smith talks about his depictions of African American history
Transcript
I didn't save up any money. I, I just basically, I gave him [Thomas Flowers] a week and within two days I remember like just painting some paintings and stuff, like small paintings, but then that week came up and I was sitting and thinking like, oh man, maybe I made the biggest mistake because I, I hadn't made any money. And I said well, I'm just going to shoot for it anyway. So I remember my last day at work [at Salem Crossing Barber Shop, Lithonia, Georgia], I remember going home and doing these huge paintings. I did like five paintings that were like four by five feet and I remember putting them in the truck and taking them down to this gallery to see if they wanted to show them, but once I pulled up it was this older white woman getting out of her car and I'd seen her around there a couple of times. She use to work, she worked in one of the galleries, so she said, "What have you got there?" And I said, "Some paintings, I'm going to take them in here and see if they would want to see them or anything or like them." She said, "Let me see what you got." So I pulled them out and she looked at them, she said, "Well these are nice." And she said, "What are you going to sell them for?" And I remember saying, "I don't know," because I didn't know how to price or nothing like that and so I remember saying, I think I said something like, eight, eighteen, eighteen, I said, "Eighteen [$1,800]." And she said, "Oh no, you can do better than that." So I thought she was talking about lowering the price, which I think that's what she was talking about, lowering the price. So I said, "I don't know, fourteen?" And she was like, "Eh." And I said, "Okay twelve?" You know, I'm thinking you know, well what's the problem here (laughter), do you like it or not, and she--and I said, "Twelve," and she said, "Oh, okay." She said, "I'll tell you what, now help me put it into my truck." And I said, "What do you mean?" She said, "I'm getting them." But I'm like, "Are you kidding?" And she said, "No." She said, "I'm writing you a check now." And I remember putting them into her truck (laughter) and you know, she wrote the check and she gave it to me and I folded, I didn't even look at the check, I just folded it and I stuck it into my pocket like, like nervous like, I can't believe this, like before she change her mind or something like that. And I remember she said, "Okay now, go and cash it and have it and have a good time, you're on your way." I remember her saying that and I'm like, okay. So I got in my truck and I'm driving down Peach Street and all of a sudden I feel like I'm some rich person, like I can go eat anywhere I want to right now and I did all this driving up and down, up and down Peach Street and I say, "Why am I sitting here, I haven't even cashed the check yet?" I go to the--I, I forgot the name of the bank, I went to the bank, reached for the check, open it up and it was twelve thousand dollars and I was saying twelve hundred (laughter). So, so I being this good person, I was suppose to be or whatever, I went back to her and I said, "No, I wasn't saying twelve hundred," I said I was--I mean I was saying, "I was saying twelve hundred." She said, "No, that's what I want to pay you, so go cash the check." And my career just went from there. It just, all of a sudden I was doing more paintings and they were you know, galleries were picking them up and they were selling them and it just went from there.$$Wow. That's a fascinating story. Did you, do you know who this woman was?$$Oh my God, it's like as soon as you ask me I couldn't (laughter). Oh my God. I can't think of her name right now. I, oh she would kill me too because I (laughter), I can't think of her name right now.$$And, and the gallery that she owned was on Peach Street.$$No, she didn't own it, she was just actually working there. What I found out, her husband owned a CPA [certified public accountant] firm in Atlanta [Georgia] so she didn't have to work, so she was just basically there just to get out of the house and I, I know her first name is Jean [ph.]. I can't think of her last name now, but her first name was Jean. And it's so funny like she bought those five paintings and then I had a show like maybe a year later and she came to the show and bought two more paintings and she brought some friends, they bought some paintings you know, so, I, that was like I say, like and once again, I always think like things happen for a reason. I thought you know, that was meant to happen.$$Did you have any more contact with William Tolliver?$$Actually he lived right down the street from where we were staying, so I use to go to his studio late at night, sit with him while he'd paint, ask him questions or just hang out with him. And once again, I, I was still continually cutting their hair. I was cutting his hair and cutting his two sons' hair.$I just wanted to touch back on the fact that you talked about Public Enemy being an inspiration. Will or has any political influence shown up in your work?$$Somewhat, I, I, I once did--well I do all these paintings like I said about the positive images and stuff and then I felt like a lot of people weren't understanding why I was doing the positive stuff, so I remember at one time I started doing, showing the negative portrayals just to show them why I was doing the positive things, so what I did, did was, I started picking--since I'm heavily into advertising, old advertisements, I started picking like, slave advertisements, like how they're advertised in the papers and stuff and I started duplicating or mimicking more so what it would look like in the papers or what a wanted poster would look like, or, or a sales receipt or something like that and then it went from that to, I'm heavily into the, the minstrel thing, how the black face and stuff like that. So now I've started doing these images of, showing like the posters how, you know, they would have, you know, presented it to the public to showing the guy in the black face and stuff, so, it's, or doing something showing, "Colored seated in the rear." I might do a--I did a painting, I had a, a Greyhound [The Greyhound Corporation; Greyhound Lines, Inc.] symbol up there and then I showed this, this old, this older couple sitting like in a waiting room and then beneath them I had like a weathered looking thick sign saying, "Colored seated in the rear." So that's probably as far as political I will get, but I still--the only reason I'm going that route, like I say once again, is to show them why I'm doing the positive imagery.

Robert "Buck" Brown

Cartoonist and painter, Robert “Buck” Brown was born Bobby Brown on February 3, 1936 in the “Browntown” suburb of Morrison, Tennessee. His parents, Doris Lemmings Brown and WPA worker Michael Fate Brown, separated when Brown was five years old. Moving to Chicago, Brown attended A.O. Sexton Elementary School and Englewood High School. At Englewood, Brown placed second in an art contest where the winner was sculptor, Richard Hunt. Brown graduated from Englewood High School in 1954. In 1955, Brown joined the United States Air Force and gained notoriety for his cartoons. By 1958, Brown was attending art classes at Wilson Junior College, driving a Chicago Transit Authority bus and sketching the dramas of everyday life. Attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Brown submitted his cartoons to various publications, and one was accepted by Hugh Hefner of Playboy magazine in 1961. Brown graduated with a B.F.A. degree in 1966.

After nearly fifty years, Brown was best known for his cartoons painted in acrylic colors. His famous naughty "Granny" became a permanent fixture in Playboy magazine. Brown, whose fame came at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, drew more white characters than black ones. However, Brown often depicted establishment types, like the U.S. Cavalry besieged by Indians or other people of color.

Brown not only made a name for himself as a cartoonist but also as a painter of humorous paintings. Some of his paintings were part of Bill and Camille Cosby’s art collection. Another celebrity singer, Johnny Mathis, had a wall in his office covered with Brown’s golf cartoons. His cartoons and illustrations had also appeared in Ebony, Ebony Junior, Jet and Esquire magazines.

Brown passed away on Monday, July 2, 2007 at age 71.

Accession Number

A2007.022

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/20/2007

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

Englewood High School

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Kennedy–King College

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Morrison

HM ID

BRO41

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/3/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Death Date

7/2/2007

Short Description

Painter and cartoonist Robert "Buck" Brown (1936 - 2007 ) was well-known for his "Granny" cartoon, which appeared in Playboy magazine. His other works ran in the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebony, Jet, The New Yorker and other publications.

Employment

Playboy

Chicago Transit Authority

U.S. Air Force

Ebony, Jr.

Dollars & Sense Magazine

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:4200,36:4980,57:5292,62:11454,210:13950,280:24516,387:41190,540:68342,812:68990,829:82345,988:100454,1192:101945,1233:111060,1346:114870,1354:117334,1388:132389,1586:133803,1607:144529,1722:152772,1820:160118,1878:173377,1988:183920,2140:192390,2263:216099,2571:216504,2577:216828,2582:221230,2626:238936,2822:241582,2866:261015,3150:283577,3369:289210,3404$0,0:2305,16:2851,57:8584,176:25018,338:28550,380:74533,842:89588,1028:90260,1036:98036,1110:123274,1551:124058,1561:124450,1566:134466,1642:161764,2008:162331,2017:176279,2176:215496,2759:216356,2770:224430,2841:226000,2858
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert "Buck" Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown lists his favorites, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown lists his favorites, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown talks about his relationship with Alex Haley

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his family's work

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his childhood in Morrison, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls listening to the radio with his paternal grandmother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown talks about haints in Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers his early interest in drawing

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his father's service in World War I

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his parents' marriage and separation

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers the segregated South Side of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers listening to the radio with his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers Chicago's Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls Englewood High School, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his artwork in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls Englewood High School, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers working with Hugh Hefner at Playboy magazine

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers living on his own from sixteen years old

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers his decision to join the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls racial discrimination in the U.S. Air Force, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls racial discrimination in the U.S. Air Force, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers leaving the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls drawing a caricature of his commanding officer, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls drawing a caricature of his commanding officer, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers working for the Chicago Transit Authority, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers working for the Chicago Transit Authority, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls attending Chicago's Woodrow Wilson Junior College

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls how he began working for Playboy magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his style of painting for Playboy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown talks about why he left Playboy magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his retirement from Playboy magazine

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes the creation of the Granny comic strip

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon the reception of his cartoons, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon the reception of his cartoons, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes racial discrimination in the cartoon industry, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes racial discrimination in the cartoon industry, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his work with Ebony Jr.! magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his work under affirmative action

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon the career of artist Leroy Neiman

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his body of work

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown talks about his favorite cartoonists

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his family

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Robert "Buck" Brown talks about haints in Tennessee
Robert "Buck" Brown describes racial discrimination in the cartoon industry, pt. 1
Transcript
Oh, I was telling you earlier when, when the haint story that would always get (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, your brother's [Howard (ph.)] haints, yeah, that one, yeah.$$No, no, no, no, this, this--I, I really don't, I can't identify who it was, but somebody was sick. And somebody went up to see about him. And they got there and everything was dark. It was dark outside, it was dark inside. And so, they struck a match to light this candle, and something blew it out. And, you know, I'm under the cover saying, "Oh Lord." And they struck another match, lit the candle, and something blew it out. Say, "I'm going to light one more match, and if he blew this out, I'm gone," and, sure enough, blew it out. And I said, "Oh, Lord," and, you know, being young and frightened, this scared me to death. It was always something like that.$$Look, it's real dark out in the woods, right, out in the country?$$Oh, that's where they invented dark. We went up to McMinnville [Tennessee] to a fair, you know, a little jive thing what, you'd hit the bottle, throw a ball at the bottles and stuff. And I, I went out with my uncle who had a truck. He had so many kids, that's what he needed to carry them in. But we was asking him, having a good time, said, "Well, we'd better go." So, we drive back with the wind blowing and stuff like that. And we get about a third of a mile from my grandma's house, and I'm waiting for him to turn to go up by grandma's house. And he's--my uncle hollers, hollers back, "See you later, Bobby [HistoryMaker Robert "Buck" Brown]." I said, "What?" I had to get down on that road. I could just barely see the difference between the dust and the, the weeds and stuff, and knowing that I, I was in a rattlesnake valley. And so, I'm tiptoeing, and that wasn't good enough, so I finally broke into a full run, and didn't stop until I got to grandma's house. That gave me a, a description of terror, very, very dark. And yet, you know, we'd be sitting on a front bench some nights, and you hear somebody coming out of the road whistling, you know, singing, and--$$Can you see much by moonlight in that kind of situation? When the moon is full, can you see anything?$$I imagine you can. And if you got things on your mind, other than, you know, snakes, I, you know, I know they get snakes down there 'cause I remember as a--well, before I came to Chicago [Illinois], we were going to a festival at Vervilla [Tennessee] I think the name of it is. And I was riding on the mule with my dad [Michael Brown], and Uncle Doc [Doc Brown (ph.)] had his mule and stuff like that. And everybody stopped, and here's the biggest rattlesnake you'd ever want to see in the middle of the road. So, my uncle got off his mule and got a big, big pole, and did him in. Now, this is early in the morning. And on the way back that night, the, the rattlesnake's tail was still switching, you know, I guess, the nerves and impulses and stuff. And that has always terrified me. That land down here is, is laying fallow, you know. Everybody got up and went north and stuff like that, and moved to town, or what have you. As a matter of fact, we went through there last year. And I counted five or six deer. And I'd never seen deer down there at any time. So, you know, it's, it's going back a while. So, I know, I know the rattlesnakes are going, "Come here, Bobby, come here, come here (laughter)."$$(Laughter).$You were saying that there's, believe it or not, there's racism in the cartoon business?$$Yeah (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, okay.$$I don't, you know, it's not a mean, spiteful thing where it, they look up, and see that you're a boo-boo, and change this thing. They eliminated the characters in my comic strip--just kept the two soul brothers. And, but somebody told me that they were trying to get the syndicate acclimated to where they could sell my strip to the little tiny out-of-the-way, the boonies, and stuff like that. So, you could make five dollars a month off, off of them if you were lucky. So, you know, there wasn't, there wasn't, you, you weren't going to make it as, as a black Jim Davis or a Charles Schulz [Charles M. Schulz]. And so, I couldn't get it to the point where they liked it any longer. And so, one night, we decided to call it a day. And I was tickled to death because, you know, it was driving me up the wall, you know, 'cause I had to be more than what I was, you know. And I was raising hell when it started out. So, I ran into the president a couple of years after, up in Milwaukee [Wisconsin], at a cartoonist get-together. In fact, we were in the same golf cart together.$$Now, who is this, the--$$Mike Cargeria [ph.].$$Okay.$$He was the head of the Tribune Syndicate [Chicago Tribune Syndicate] at the time. And we, finally, after we warmed up and loosened up and stuff, we talk, started talking about it. And I said, "Mike, you know, it don't matter whether I'm pink, purple, or polka dot. I create so much humor in my life. I just want to be able to use that, you know, to, to get something going. I don't have to do a black strip or, you know, or do something about Eskimos. Just let me be funny." He kept saying, "Send me something." So, you know, the newsstands on the corner, the guy selling papers and magazine--okay, I had a little guy who, at one of these newsstands, and he got the newspapers on the front and (unclear). And he deals with the traffic coming in four different direction, and all the different people and stuff, and it worked as far as I was concerned. So, I did it up, Xeroxed it, and sent it off to them. They got it on a Monday. I had return mail Thursday and Friday again. Said, "Buck [HistoryMaker Robert "Buck" Brown], we took your latest submission, passed it around, and we all loved it. And we all agreed to amend that it would work better if it was black." I said, oh, Lord. So, at the time, I had a American Staffordshire Terrier. I kicked him up and down the right path about three weeks, you know, saying, why can't I just be funny? But then, you know, I said, "Well, hey," me and the devil were talking about this. So, I said, "If I want to be a syndicated cartoonist, have something to do every day. I guess I had to make the character black."