Oral history interview with Mordi Gassner
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Gassner, Mordi, 1899-1995
Pennington, Estill Curtis
1982 Apr. 16
Physical Description:
3 Items
sound files Sound recording
digital, wav file
24 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Mordi Gassner conducted 1982 Apr. 16, by Buck Pennington, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
Gassner speaks of growing up in Brooklyn, NY; attending Parsons Design School (then called New York School of Fine and Applied Art); opening a studio and designing signs for the Strand Theater; walking from El Paso, Texas to Phoenix to improve his eye condition; beginning work in Hollywood and working on set designs for Douglas Fairbanks and Cecille DeMille; moving back to New York to teach art in a Big Brother program; creating his mural, Mural Monument to Modern Culture; receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship and spending two years in Florence before returning to New York during the Depression; being invited to work back in Hollywood for Disney Studios and with Ernest Schoedsack only to have the films cancel production; his one-man show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; his involvement with the Artists' Union and the American Artists' Congress; creating Op art during World War I, and later designing visual aids for the armed services during World War II; becoming the art director of ABC [American Broadcasting Corporation]; working later at the Metropolitan Opera as a scenic painter; moving to Drakes Branch, Virginia after his retirement.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Mordi Gassner (1899-1995) was a muralist, designer, educator of New York, N.Y. and Drake's Branch, Va.

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 is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These interviews are 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 others.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
System Details
Originally recorded on 2 cassettes.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art, American Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art teachers -- Virginia -- Drake's Branch -- Interviews Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Designers -- Virginia -- Drake's Branch -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muralists -- Virginia -- Drake's Branch -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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