Oral history interview with Mary Fuller McChesney

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.mcches94
Creators:
McChesney, Mary Fuller
Landauer, Susan
Women in the Arts in Southern California Oral History Project
Dates:
1994 Sept. 28
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
145 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Mary Fuller McChesney conducted 1994 Sept. 28, by Susan Landauer, for the Archives of American Art, Women in the Arts in Southern California Oral History Project, at the artist's home, on Sonoma Mountain, Calif.
Scope and Contents
Fuller McChesney discusses her childhood and growing up during the Depression; her student days at the University of California, Berkeley; the political response on the campus to WWII and the Japanese interment; her experience working as a welder in the shipyards which she considers her introduction to sculpture; her introduction to the art community in San Francisco through the cooperative Artists' Guild Gallery; her association with the Abstract Expressionists at the California School of Fine Arts in the 1940s; her foray into writing fiction and her success as a mystery writer; her work on the Archives of American Art's oral history project documenting the WPA art project in California; her first significant publication on the San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism, Period of Exploration, and the interviews she conducted in the mid-late 1960s for the project.
Scope and Contents
She describes her attitudes and philosphies about art; living at Point Richmond with her husband Robert McChesney, Edward Corbett, Hassel Smith, and poet Weldon Kees during the late 1940s; her impressions of the Cedar Bar and New York artists during the mid-late 1960s; her own artistic evolution and career as a sculptor; the intellectual and artistic sources of her work; her subjects and techniques; her public commissions; her audience and market; and her experiences and perspectives as a woman artist and feminist. She recalls Edward Corbett, Willem De Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Weldon Kees, Douglas MacAgy, Bea Mandelman, Conrad Marca-Relli, Agnes Martin, Robert McChesney, David Park, Ad Reinhardt, Louis Ribak, Hassel Smith, Clay Spohn, Clyfford Still, and Esteban Vicente.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Mary Fuller McChesney (1922- ) is a sculptor and art historian of San Francisco and Petaluma, Calif.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Available online.
Author
Sponsor
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. Funding for this interview was provided by the Margery and Harry Kahn Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Communal Fund of New York.

General
General
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 58 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
Women artists -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- California -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art historians -- California -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Abstract expressionism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- San Francisco Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Corbett, Edward, 1919- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diebenkorn, Richard, 1922-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kees, Weldon, 1914-1955 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
MacAgy, Douglas, 1913- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mandelman, Beatrice Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Martin, Agnes, 1912-2004 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McChesney, Robert Pearson, 1913-2008 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Park, David, 1911-1960 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ribak, Louis, 1902-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Hassel, 1915-2007 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spohn, Clay Edgar, 1898-1977 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Still, Clyfford, 1904-1980 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vicente, Esteban, 1903-2001 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women in the Arts in Southern California Oral History Project 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/