Oral history interview with Chunghi Choo

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.choo07
Creators:
Choo, Chunghi
Milosch, Jane
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2007 July 30-2008 July 26
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
75 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Chunghi Choo conducted 2007 July 30-2008 July 26, by Jane Milosch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home, in Iowa City, Iowa.
Scope and Contents
Choo speaks of establishing the Metalsmithing and Jewelry program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City; the elaborate equipment, tools, and safety protection used in the studio; her experience teaching silent metalforming at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine; participating in international workshops and seminars in Korea; the extensive world traveling she does with her husband, Dr. Charles Read, including destinations in Scandinavia, Thailand, Austria, Italy, and South Africa, among others; the house she designed in Iowa City; her love of the city and being surrounded by treasured friends, a supportive university, and beautiful environments; an interest in creative cooking and appreciation for diverse dishes from all around the world; her childhood and young adulthood in Inchon, Korea; growing up with an appreciation for beautiful art objects and classical music; an early interest and talent in drawing; attending Ewha Women's University as generations of women in her family had previously; experiences during the Korean War and April 19 Revolution in 1961; coming to the United States in 1961 as a student; studying English, ceramics, enameling, and stone cutting for one semester at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C.; attending Cranbrook Art Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and studying metalsmithing with Richard Thomas, ceramics with Maija Grotell, and weaving with Glen Kaufman; living with Mrs. Loja Saarinen during her three and a half years at Cranbrook; teaching general craft at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids from 1965-1968; pioneering the mixed-media studies with her students at UNI; accepting the challenge to build a metalsmithing and jewelry program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 1968; learning and teaching electroforming; the development of the electro-appliqué technique; extensive donor support and fundraising for the Metalsmithing and Jewelry program and its students; finding inspiration in nature, East Asian calligraphy, classical music, and travel; her long friendship with Jack Lenor Larsen and the great influence he has had on her work; being represented in major art museums and institutions world-wide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum fur Kunsthandwerk in Frankfurt, Germany, and many others; the joy she has when her students succeed and surpass her; and plans for future work, writing projects, and travel. Choo also speaks of the 2008 flooding of Iowa City and the state of Iowa during which her studio was severely damaged and many things were lost. Choo also recalls Park, No Soo; Lee, Sang Bong; Ruth Kao; Stanley Lechtzin; Yuho Fujio; David McFadden; Paul J. Smith; Rosanne Raab; Cody Bush; Jocelyn Chateauvert; Mary Merkel Hess; Sandra Mayer-VanderMey; Kee-ho Yeun, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Chunghi Choo (1938- ) is an educator, metalsmith, jeweler, and textile and mixed media artist from Iowa City, Iowa. Interviewer Jane Milosch is a curator from Silver Spring, Maryland.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Author
Sponsor
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
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 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 27 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 22 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Women artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asian American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Decorative arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Korean War, 1950-1953 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelers -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelry making -- Equipment and supplies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelry making -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelry making -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metal-work Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Korea (South) -- History -- April Revolution, 1960 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thomas, Richard C., 1917-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bush, Cody Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chateauvert, Jocelyn Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaufman, Glen Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fujio, Yuho Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grotell, Maija Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McFadden, David Revere Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kao, Ruth Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lee, Sang-Bong Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Larsen, Jack Lenor Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mayer-VanderMey, Sandra Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Saarinen, Loja Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Raab, Rosanne Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Merkel-Hess, Mary Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Park, No Soo Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Paul J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yeun, Kee-ho Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Iowa -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Penland School of Handicrafts -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Northern Iowa Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Victoria and Albert Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ihwa Yŏja Taehakkyo Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum für Kunsthandwerk Frankfurt am Main Corporate 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

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/