Oral history interview with Gerhardt Knodel

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.knodel04
Creators:
Knodel, Gerhardt
Adamson, Glenn
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2004 August 3
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
7 Items
Sound recording: 7 sound files (5 hr., 23 min.)
digital, wav
77 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Gerhardt Knodel conducted 2004 August 3, by Glenn Adamson, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Scope and Contents
Knodel speaks of his German heritage; his parents each immigrating to Los Angeles; growing up in Los Angeles and being part of the German community; his father building houses; the influence of his childhood environment on his artwork; taking art classes in school; participating in theater and set design; studying art at Los Angeles City College; collecting textiles; transferring to UCLA; teaching high school art; the influence of Abstract Expressionism on his early work; quitting teaching and studying fiber arts at University of California, Long Beach; traveling to numerous countries, and their influence on his artwork; researching and lecturing on fabric as environment; how the fiber art movement has evolved and changed; early exhibitions and the need for more venues; the fiber art community in the 1960s and 70s; the importance of University art programs; moving to Michigan and teaching at Cranbrook; the importance of scale and context in his work; making large scale pieces to fit within an architectural space; working on commission for public projects; working with the community in Pontiac, Michigan on a commissioned piece; the influence of the history of textiles; being director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art; putting figures on to textiles; the decline of the fiber art movement; and the benefits of schools such as Cranbrook. Knodel also recalls Bernard Kester, Mary Jane Leland, Laura Andreson, Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks, Neda Al-Hilali, Lenore Tawney, Claire Zeisler, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Jack Lenor Larsen, Christo, Kiki Smith, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Gerhardt Knodel (1940-) is a fiber artist from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Glenn Adamson is a curator and, art historian from Wisconsin.

Administration
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 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 23 min.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Abstract expressionism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Decorative arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Textile crafts -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
California -- Los Angeles -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Michigan -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fiber artists -- California Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Abakanowicz, Magdalena Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Albers, Anni Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Al-Hilali, Neda, 1938- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Andreson, Laura Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Christo, 1935- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hicks, Sheila, 1934- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kester, Bernard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Larsen, Jack Lenor Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leland, Mary Jane Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Kiki, 1954- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tawney, Lenore Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zeisler, Claire, 1903-1991 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Los Angeles City College -- Students 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
University of California, Los Angeles -- Students 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/