Oral history interview with Charles Alan

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.alan70
Creators:
Alan, Charles, 1908?-1975
Cummings, Paul
Dates:
1970 August 20-25
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
37 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Charles Alan conducted 1970 August 20-25, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
Alan speaks of studying scene and stage design; attending Yale School of Drama; doing illustrations for various publications; traveling and studying in Europe; working as a set designer for MGM and Warner Brothers; his experiences working at the Downtown Gallery; his thoughts and recollections about Edith Halpert; leaving Downtown Gallery and starting his own gallery; his opinions on the future of small galleries in New York; museum purchases; Edith Halpert's art collection; selling his gallery to Felix Landau; and various thoughts concerning the art world. He recalls Norman Bell Geddes, Edith Halpert, Stuart Davis, Julien Levy, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Kirk Askew, Raymond Breinin, Ben Shahn, George Washburn, Edward Root, Joe Hirshhorn, John Marin, John Marin Jr., Lawrence Allen, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Harnett, Julian Levi, Jack Levine, Karl Zerbe, Bruce Conner, Richard Baker, Paul Sachs, and many others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Charles Alan (1908?-1975) was an art dealer from New York, New York. Alan attended Horace Mann School, graduating in 1924. Attended Yale School of Drama in 1925, then worked as a set designer for MGM and Warner Brothers. In 1930, Alan became a theatrical set designer and director. After serving in the Army in World War II, he worked for Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery. In 1952, he opened the Charles Alan Gallery, specializing in contemporary art. Alan closed the gallery in 1970 to become a private dealer.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These interviews are part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.

General
General
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 58 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Set Designers -- United States -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Allen, Lawrence Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baker, Richard Brown Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hirshhorn, Joseph H. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landau, Felix, 1924-2003 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levi, Julian E. (Julian Edwin), 1900-1982 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marin, John, 1870-1953 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marin, John, Jr., 1915?-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Root, Edward Wales, d. 1956 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Geddes, Norman Bel, 1893-1958 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Conner, Bruce, 1933-2008 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harnett, William Michael, 1848-1892 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Askew, R. Kirk (Ralph Kirk), 1903-1974 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Breinin, Raymond, 1910- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levy, Julien Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Washburn, George Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yale School of Drama -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/