Oral history interview with Elsa Flores
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.flores97
Creators:
Flores, Elsa
Rangel, Jeffrey J.
Dates:
1997 Feb. 18-Apr. 30
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
11 Sound cassettes
Sound recording (60 mins. each)
analog
209 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Elsa Flores conducted 1997 Feb. 18-Apr. 30, by Jeffrey Rangel, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
The interviews took place in Flores' studio, in South Pasadena, Calif., over four sessions. Flores discusses her parents' diverse backgrounds and her difficult childhood and adolescence; the development of her political consciousness; her involvement with Chicanismo; her interests in art, photography, and music, including being a member of California State University, Los Angeles mariachi band; her art, which she considers more biographical and mystical than ethnic; her use, initially, of a dark palette to distinguish her work from that of her husband, Carlos Almaraz, and changing to a brighter, more optimistic palette after Almaraz's was diagnosed with AIDS. She recalls Almaraz's energy and genius; his struggles with AIDS and his search for alternative healing methods; finding solace in Kauai; and his request to have his ashes strewn around Kauai at his favorite places. Flores comments on the difficult period after Almaraz's death; her devotion to their daughter; keeping Almaraz's work at the forefront of public awareness; and her own art career.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Elsa Flores was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her mother was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, and her father was of Arab descent, born in Chile after his paretns fled the Middle East. Elsa studied at the Art Center College, California State University, and the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. Almaraz and Flores married in 1981 and their daughter Maya was born in 1983. They collaborated on California Dreamscape, a mural commissioned by the California Arts Council and is located in the Reagan State Building in Los Angeles.

Administration
Sponsor
This interview received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.
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
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painters -- California -- Los Angeles Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chicano art movement Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Latino and Latin American artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women painters Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Almaraz, Carlos 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/