Archives of American Art

Oral history interview with Hester Diamond

Collection ID:
Diamond, Hester
Richards, Judith Olch
2017 October 4-5
Physical Description:
87 Pages
2 Items
sound files (3 hr., 14 min.) Audio
digital, wav

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Hester Diamond conducted 2017 October 4-5, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art and the Center for the History of Collecting in America at the Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection, at Diamond's home in New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Ms. Diamond discusses the lives of her parents and grandparents in New Jersey as European immigrants; her life as a student during World War II attending Hunter College in Manhattan, and her exploration of the city's art museums, especially the Museum of Modern Art; her early interest in modern art and her friendship and subsequent marriage with Harold Diamond; her work as a social worker and Mr. Diamond's work as a school teacher, and their growing interest in the New York museum and gallery scene; their time working part-time for Martha Jackson at her gallery; their organization of a traveling exhibition in the United States for the British sculptor Barbara Hepworth; their first trip together to Europe in 1955 and their subsequent introduction to the business of art dealing; Mr. Diamond's illness and death and Ms. Diamond's transition out of the art dealing business. Ms. Diamond also describes her first work as an interior designer for J. Seward Johnson; her subsequent decision to leave the decorating business; her second husband Ralph Kaminsky and his daughter Rachel Kaminsky; the shift of her art collecting focus towards Renaissance paintings; her help founding the Medici Archive Project; her relationships with fellow collectors and curators; her new interest in Spanish sculpture; and her third husband, Dr. David Wilson. Ms. Diamond also recalls Ben Nicholson; Nan Roberts; E. L. Hodgkins; G. David Thompson; Joseph Hirshhorn; Alastair Stair; Eugene Thaw; Shepard and Birgitta Schreiber; as well as Dr. Jacques Koerfer; Thomas Ammann; Edward Goldberg; Robert Strassler; Maryan Ainsworth; Jon Landau; and Rose Fried, among others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Hester Diamond (1928-2020) was an art collector in New York, New York. Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is former executive director of iCI in New York, New York.

Funding for this interview was provided by Barbara Fleischman.
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
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

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.
System Details
Recorded on Tascam DR-100MKII R000327.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Collectors: A Project in Partnership with the Center for the History of Collecting in America at The Frick Collection Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
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Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001