Oral history interview with Mary Merkel-Hess
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.merkel10
Creators:
Merkel-Hess, Mary
Riedel, Mija, 1958-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2010 August 24-25
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
5 Items
Sound recording: 5 sound files (4 hr., 11 min.)
digital, wav
86 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Mary Merkel-Hess conducted 2010 August 24 and 25, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Merkel-Hess' home, in Iowa City, Iowa.
Scope and Contents
Mary Merkel-Hess speaks of growing up in the rural Midwest; deciding pursue an artistic career; studying philosophy at Marquette University and earning an MFA the University of Wisconsin-Madison; becoming part of the art community in Iowa City; beginning her artistic career in metalsmithing and later transitioning into fiber mediums; using basketry and papermaking methods along with a variety of materials to devise original techniques; the role of light, balance, juxtaposition in her fiber sculptures; working from both natural and human impacted landscapes; traveling extensively through Europe and Japan; attending the Armory Show and SOFA Santa Fe; interacting with galleries such as Browngrotta Art Gallery and Olson-Larsen Galleries; completing public and residential commissions; supporting herself through the sale of her work. Mary Merkel-Hess also recalls Chungi Choo, Heikki Seppä, Tim Barrett, Alma Eikerman, Shereen LaPlantz, Jack Lenor Larsen, Tom Grotta, Marlene Olson, Wendy Haas, Katie Gingrass and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Mary Merkel-Hess (1949-) is fiber artist in Iowa City, Iowa. Mija Riedel (1958-) is an independent scholar and writer in San Francisco, California.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript available online.
Sponsor
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
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 memory cards. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr.,11 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
Fiber artists -- Iowa City -- Iowa Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Basket making Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metalsmithing Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papermaking Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Philosophy Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Europe -- description and travel Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japan -- Description and Travel Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- Iowa City -- Iowa Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women sculptors Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barrett, Tim, (Papermaker) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Choo, Chunghi Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eikerman, Alma Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grotta, Thomas Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Larsen, Jack Lenor, 1927-2020 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seppä, Heikki Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Browngrotta Arts (Gallery) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marquette University -- Faculty 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
University of Wisconsin--Madison -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Santa Fe Armory Show (1977 : Santa Fe, N.M.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
SOFA West Santa Fe 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/