Oral history interview with John Mason

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.mason06
Creators:
Mason, John, 1927-2019
Smith, Paul J.
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2006 August 28
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
47 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of John Mason conducted 2006 August 28, by Paul Smith, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Smith's office, in New York, N.Y.
Scope and Contents
Mason speaks of his childhood in rural Nevada; early interests in photography and jazz; moving to Los Angeles to attend the Los Angeles County Art Institute, now Otis College of Art and Design; attending Chouinard Art Institute; experiences working at Vernon Kilns and with the head designer Elliot House; opening Glendale Boulevard Studio with Peter Voulkos; his association with Ferus Gallery; and teaching experiences at Pomona College, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Irvine, and Hunter College. He also discusses the development of the Hudson River series exhibition; solo exhibitions at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA Louver Gallery, Pasadena Art Museum, now Norton Simon Museum of Art, and others; participation in group exhibitions such as, "Sculpture Off the Pedestal" at Grand Rapids Museum of Art; imagery found in his work including the orbit, the figure, the torque, the spear form, the vertical form, the cross or X form, symmetry and the monolith; an interest in Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan; the architectural qualities in his work; the foresight of Buckminster Fuller; and the accelerating change in technology that has taken place over the course of his career. Mason recalls Susan Peterson, Kenneth Price, Paul Soldner, Mac McClain, Fred Marer, Millard Sheets, Edward Kienholz, Walter Hopps, James Melchert, John Coplans, Richard Ballard, Richard Koshalek, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
John Mason (1927-2019 ) was a ceramicist of Los Angeles, California. Paul Smith (1931- ) is Director Emeritus, American Craft Museum of New York City, N.Y.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
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 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 26 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire audio recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ceramicists -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews 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
Sullivan, Louis H., 1856-1924 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Soldner, Paul Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peterson, Susan, 1925-2009 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Melchert, Jim, 1930- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kienholz, Edward, 1927- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coplans, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sheets, Millard, 1907-1989 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopps, Walter Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Koshalek, Richard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Price, Kenneth, 1935-2012 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McClain, Mac Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marer, Fred Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ballard, Richard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Otis Art Institute -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles, Calif.) 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/