Archives of American Art

Oral history interview with Rosamund Felsen

Collection ID:
Felsen, Rosamund, 1934-
Ayres, Anne, 1936-
2004 Oct. 10-11
Physical Description:
5 Sound discs
Sound recording, master (5 hrs.)
2 5/8 in.
104 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Rosamund Felsen conducted 2004 October 10-11, by Anne Ayres, for the Archives of American Art, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Scope and Contents
Felsen discusses developing her gallery's stable of artists; forming a creative consciousness while working at Gemini GEL and being involved in high school theater; being unable to start a career because of the demand of raising four children; the influences of her older siblings; her marriages to Vern Hinderer and Sidney Felsen; engaging in the nascent 1960s Los Angeles art world; the founding of Gemini GEL with her husband, Sidney, and Stanley and Elyse Grinstein; her involvement with "political" artists like Jeffrey Vallance; working in the now defunct Pasadena Art Museum; that museum's downfall; starting a gallery with Timothea Stewart; her thoughts on other Los Angeles galleries of the 1970s; the influence of the Beatnik movement on L.A. art; the financial difficulties of exhibiting conceptual art; and the importance of art schools in forming a regional art scene. Felsen also mentions her ambivalent opinions of Feminist art; the exodus of a major portion of her gallery's artists; the importance of lawyers aiding artists; the characteristics of retrospective exhibitions on the Los Angeles art world; the differences between high art and design; her relationships with various collectors; socializing in the L.A. art world; the definitions of the terms "art world" and "taste"; the public's restricted access, because of admission prices and tastes, to contemporary art; how she splits funds after selling an artwork; the problems of dealing with artist's estates; the importance of her relationships with museum curators; and how she still retains enthusiasm for her work. Felsen also recalls Patrick Hogan, Lari Pittman, Michael Kelley, Man Ray, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Vallance, Thomas Kincade, Laura Owens, Meg Cranston, Keith Sklar, Ralph Rugoff, Tim Ebner, Virginia Dwan, George Wanlass, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Rosamund Felsen (1934- ) is a gallery owner in Los Angeles, Calif. Anne Ayres (1936- ) is a curator from Los Angeles, Calif.

Funding for this interview provided by the Art Dealers Association. 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.
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript available online
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
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art -- Economic aspects Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Political aspects Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- California -- Los Angeles Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gallery owners -- California Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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