Oral history interview with George McNeil

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.mcneil65
Creators:
McNeil, George, 1908-1995
Seckler, Dorothy Gees, 1910-1994
Diller, Burgoyne, 1906-1965
Dates:
1965 June 3
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
18 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of George McNeil conducted by Dorothy Seckler for the Archives of American Art. McNeil speaks of his childhood and his family; becoming interested in art during high school; attending Pratt Institute, and not being satisfied there; deciding to drop out of Pratt after attending a lecture from Vaclav Vytlacil; going to the Metropolitan Museum every day drawing and analyzing paintings; meeting Arshile Gorky while at the Metropolitan Museum; attending the Art Students League; studying with Hans Hofmann; the start of the American Abstract Artists; his involvement in the WPA's mural project; attending Teachers College at Columbia before joining the Navy; re-entering the New York art scene during the forties and liking it very much; meeting and being influenced by Pollock; his views on the state of painting; how his work has evolved; the various stages in the way a painting developed for him; how The Club and the Eighth Street Club has influenced him; the ideas discussed at The Club, and how he feels surrealism was not a big influence on them; Jackson Pollock's influence on abstract expressionism; artists he admires or has admired; and his thoughts on the contemporary art scene. He recalls Vaclav Vytlacil, Arshile Gorky, Jan Matulka, David Smith, Dorothy Dehner, Edgar Levy, Leo Manso, Burgoyne Diller, Irene Rice Pereira, Hans Hofmann, Jo Hopper, Giorgio Cavallon, Linda Lindaberg (Cavallon), Mercedes Kahls, George Byron Brown, Albert Swinden, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollack, Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, and many others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
George McNeil (1908-1995) was a painter and a printmaker in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives' 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 others.

General
General
Originally recorded on 2 sound tapes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 49 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Abstract expressionism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Surrealism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mural painting and decoration Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, David, 1906-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Matulka, Jan, 1890-1972 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pereira, I. Rice (Irene Rice), 1902-1971 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dlugoszewski, Lucia, 1931-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manso, Leo Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vytlacil, Vaclav, 1892-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levy, Edgar Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopper, Jo N. (Josephine Nivison), 1883-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tworkov, Jack Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dehner, Dorothy, 1901-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cavallon, Giorgio, 1904-1989 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pratt Institute. Art School -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Work Projects Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Abstract Artists 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/