Oral history interview with James Melchert
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.melche02
Creators:
Melchert, Jim, 1930-
Pritikin, Renny
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2002 September 18-October 19
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
46 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of James Melchert conducted 2002 September 18-2002 October 19, by Renny Pritikin, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Oakland, California.
Scope and Contents
Melchert speaks of his decision to pursue painting instead of educational psychology; his introduction to ceramics while learning to teach it at a small college in Illinois; taking a summer course with Pete Voulkos; moving to California and working as Voulkos' studio assistant at the University of California, Berkeley; his friendship with John Mason, another potter; the difference between the philosophies of Mason and Voulkos; teaching at the Art Institute in San Francisco; and the book Exercises in Style [Raymond Queneau], upon which he based his series of "a"s.
Scope and Contents
Melchert also discusses several of the group exhibitions he has been involved with; John Cage and the influence of Silence; his interest in photography; the similarities and differences between his early work and more recent work; working with tiles; his teaching techniques and how he engaged his students; the is craft art question; the Milwaukee Art Museum; and the function of pottery. Blunk also recalls Steve DeStaebler, Manuel Neri, Nate Olivera, Joan Brown, Henry Takemoto, Michael Frimkiss, Richard Koshalek, Bob Irwin, Bob Arneson, Bruce Nauman, Russell Lynes, Garth Clark, Suzanne Foley, Richard Shaw, Marilyn Levine, Theresa Cha, Jim Pomeroy, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
James Melchert (1930- ) is a ceramist from Oakland, California.

Administration
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 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 47 min.

Digital Content

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
Ceramicists -- California -- Oakland -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Decorative arts Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form 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/