Oral history interview with Paulus Berensohn

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.berens09
Creators:
Berensohn, Paulus
Shapiro, Mark, 1955-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2009 March 20-21
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
60 Pages
Transcript
7 Items
Sound recording: 7 sound files (4 hr., 13 min.)
digital, wav
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Paulus Berensohn conducted 2009 March 20-21, by Mark Shapiro, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Berensohn's home and studio, in Penland, North Carolina.
Scope and Contents
Berensohn speaks of growing up in New York City and his family; his brother Lorin Bernsohn, cellist with the New York Philharmonic; his problems with dyslexia as a child and yet his interest in reading and learning; an early interest in dance and the lack of support he received from his family; his admittance into Yale University, from where he quickly removed himself to attend Goddard College in Vermont; after Goddard attending Columbia University, Juilliard, and Bennington College while studying dance; studying under both Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham; his relationship with M.C. Richards; his first teaching job at Pendle Hill in Pennsylvania that lead to teaching at Swarthmore College for four years; his want to become a production potter while living on a farm in rural Pennsylvania where he created an artist commune; working with pinched pots and moving to Penland, North Carolina to teach workshops at the Penland School of Crafts; his book, "Finding Your Way With Clay," which started as a journaling and teaching project while at Penland; his interest in book art via his interest in journaling; the importance of clay as a healing material that connects humanity and the earth and his role as an advocate for clay; his work in and travels to Australia; recent photography projects and his busy and active schedule. Berensohn also recalls Remy Charlip, June Ekman, Fleur Cowles, John Cage, Robert Dunn, Yvonne Rainer, Carolyn Brown, Mary Oliver, Karen Karnes, Burt Supree, Toshiko Takaezu, Ann Stannard, Gerry Williams, George Kokis, Joe Bennion, Bill Brown, Jane Pieser, Ron Garfinkel, Jenny Mendes, Ian Anderson, Verne Stanford, Meg Peterson, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Paulus Berensohn (1933-2017) was a poet, ceramic artist, dancer, and educator in Penland, North Carolina. Mark Shapiro (1955- ) is executive director of Lumina Art Gallery, in New York.

Administration
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.

General
General
Originally recorded on 4 SD memory cards. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 13 min.

Related Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds the papers of Paulus Berensohn.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Artists' books Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramicists -- North Carolina -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clay Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Communal living Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dance -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries -- Authorship Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dyslexia Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photography Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Poets -- North Carolina -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Australia -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anderson, Ian, 1947- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bennion, Joseph W., 1952- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, Carolyn Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Callahan, Harry M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Charlip, Remy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cowles, Fleur Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cunningham, Merce Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dunn, Robert G. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ekman, June Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Garfinkel, Ron Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graham, Martha Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Karnes, Karen, 1925-2016 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kokis, George Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mendes, Jerry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oliver, Mary, 1935- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peterson, Mary Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pieser, Jane Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Raine, Yvonne Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Richards, Mary Caroline Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stanford, Verne Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stannard, Ann Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Supree, Burton Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Takaezu, Toshiko Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Williams, Gerald, 1926-2014 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bennington College -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Columbia University -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Goddard College -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Juilliard School -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York Philharmonic Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pendle Hill (School : Wallingford, Pa.) -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Swarthmore College -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yale University -- 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/