Archives of American Art

Oral history interview with Alfred Leslie

Collection ID:
Leslie, Alfred, 1927-
Berman, Avis
2018 Sept. 14
Physical Description:
1 Item
sound file (2 hrs., 34 min.) Audio
digital, wav
33 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Alfred Leslie conducted 2018 September 14, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art, at Leslie's studio in New York, N.Y.
Scope and Contents
Leslie speaks of his family history; his work as a gymnast; changing his surname; living with deafness since childhood; his early involvement in the Art Students League; enlisting and training in the U.S. Navy; his early artistic, musical, and literary production; studying and making art at NYU, Subjects of the Artist School, Studio 35, and The Club in the late 1940s; changes in his critical reputation and creative practice in the 1950s; his emergence as a filmmaker; the process of making The Last Clean Shirt; reflections on his work's engagement of its viewer; and reflections on the nature of discipline. Leslie also recalls Kimon Voyages, Flora Loebel, Leo Castelli, Lisa Bigelow, Caresse Crosby, Helen Frankenthaler, Nancy de Antonio, Barbara Rose, Ivan Olinsky, Frank DuMond, Reginald Marsh, Robert Beverly Hale, John McPherson, Harold Becker, Saul Colin, Grace Hartigan, Harry Jackson, Esta Teich, Allen Ginsberg, Tony Smith, Robert Goodnough, Robert Iglehart, William Baziotes, Hale Woodruff, Carl O. Podzus, Merce Cunningham, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Motherwell, Aristodemos Kaldis, Milton Resnick, Joop Sanders, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Machiz, Ted Loos, Frank Stella, Eberhard Kornfeld, Arnold Rüdlinger, Walter Gutman, Harold Kanovitz, Frank O'Hara, Tony Schwartz, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Interviewee Alfred Leslie (1927- ) is an artist in New York, N.Y. Interviewer Avis Berman (1949- ) is an art historian and author in New York, N.Y.

Funding for this interview was provided by the Lichtenberg Family Foundation.
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.
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Terms of Use
The Archives of American Art makes its Oral History Program interviews available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. Quotation, reproduction and publication of the recording is governed by restrictions. If an interview has been transcribed, researchers must quote from the transcript. If an interview has not been transcribed, researchers must quote from the recording. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Conditions Governing Access
This interview is open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
System Details
Recorded on Olympus WS-300M.

Related Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds the papers of Alfred Leslie.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Filmmakers -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
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Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001