Oral history interview with William Dawson
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.dawson90
Creators:
Dawson, William, 1901-1990
Blum, Betty
Dates:
1990 April 11-23
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
173 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of William Dawson conducted 1990 April 11-23, by Betty Blum, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
Dawson speaks of his childhood in Alabama; coming to Chicago in 1923; working as a porter and janitor; the beginnings of his art career after retiring in 1965; making carvings from found objects; the process of discovering and creating forms; his first exhibition at the Lincoln Park Public Library; his first sales to collectors, including Phyllis Kind and Roger Brown; gaining exposure through collectors and eventually getting discovered; the beginning of his work in painting; his exhibition at the Corcoran in 1982; work methods; and inspirations and ideas.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
William Dawson (1901-1990) was a self-taught painter and sculptor from Chicago, Illinois. Dawson was born in 1901 in Huntsville, Alabama, came to Chicago in 1923, and after retiring from a career as a janitor and porter, he began sculpting and painting. He died July 1, 1990.

Administration
Sponsor
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
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 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 58 min.

Digital Content

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art, American Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Folk artists -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Self-taught artists -- Illinois -- Chicago -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, Roger, 1941-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kind, Phyllis, 1933-2018 Personal 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/