Oral history interview with William Keyser, Jr

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.keyser03
Creators:
Keyser, William A., Jr. (William Alphonse), 1936-
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2003 April 25-May 2
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
107 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of William Kesyer Jr. conducted 2003 April 25 and May 2, by Edward S. Cooke Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Victor, N.Y.
Scope and Contents
Keyser describes his childhood, including his early interest in construction through his father's home wood shop and the Soap Box Derbies of the 1950s; his participation in the Fisher Body Division automobile design competition and science fairs in high school; studying engineering and sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University; working at Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company; his studies at Kent State University and the School of American Craftsmen at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT); his teaching positions at RIT and Ohio University; the curriculum he established at RIT and the goals and structure of the woodworking program; he discusses moving away from teaching in the 1990s; the advantages and disadvantages of commissions; his liturgical and speculative work; the influence of furniture and art movements on his furniture; the importance of his family and his Catholic faith; the benefits of university involvement and summer arts programs; his travels in New England and Scandinavia; being well received as a regional artist; the importance of publications in furniture and art; four objects that were terminal points in his career; and the future of woodworking. He also recalls Mel Someroski, Tage Frid, Michael Harms, Jere Osgood, Wendell Castle, James Krenov, Craig McArt, Doug Sigler, Daniel Jackson, Robert Johnston, Lamar White, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
William Keyser, Jr. (1936- ) is a woodworker from Victor, N.Y. Edward S. Cooke, Jr. is a professor.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript available on line.
Author
Sponsor
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. 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
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.

General
General
Originally recorded on 6 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 55 min.

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
Woodworkers -- New York (State) -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture making Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coaster cars Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Decorative arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie Mellon Univ.) -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rochester Institute of Technology -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America Corporate 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/