Archives of American Art

Oral history interview with Robert Bechtle

Collection ID:
Bechtle, Robert, 1932-2020
Richards, Judith Olch
2010 February 8-9
Physical Description:
75 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Robert Bechtle conducted 2010 February 8 and 9, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art, at Bechtle's home and studio, in San Francisco, California.
Interview of Robert Bechtle, conducted by Judith Richards for the Archives of American Art, in Bechtle's home in San Francisco, California on February 8 and 9, 2010. This is a second interview conducted for the archives, continuing from an interview with Bechtle in 1980. The interview mainly focuses on how is work has changed or remained the same since 1980; in particular his lighting study from midday to morning and evening; the grouping of photos to create a painting; new technology; the continuing challenges of his work; dispelling popular notions about his work such as the idea of neutral light and the Americana symbolism of his cars; his teaching endeavors at San Francisco State University and California College of Arts and Crafts; and the transition from his gallery residency at OK Harris to Barbara Gladstone; Bechtle also recalls Ivan Karp, Chuck Close, Ralph Goings, Edward Hopper, Jerome Witkin, Rackstraw Jones, Kathan Brown, Wayne Theibaud, Mitzi Pederson, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Interviewee Robert Bechtle (1932-2020) was a Photorealist painter in San Francisco, California. Interviewer Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is former Executive director of iCI in New York, New York.

Funding for this interview was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art 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 administrators.

Digital Content

More Information
Originally recorded on 6 memory cards. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 56 min.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photo-realism Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001