Archives of American Art

Oral history interview with Robert Morris

Collection ID:
Morris, Robert, 1931-2018
Kitto, Svetlana, 1980-
2018 April 19-20
Physical Description:
4 Items
sound files (3 hr., 49 min.) Audio
digital, wav
47 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Robert Morris conducted 2018 April 19 and 20, by Svetlana Kitto, for the Archives of American Art at Morris' home in Ulster County, New York.
Scope and Contents
Mr. Morris discusses growing up in Kansas City, Missouri and his early memories of domestic support of the war effort during World War II; his early experiences making art and visits to the Nelson Gallery; his father and experiences in the stockyards in Kansas City; his close friendships growing up; his anti-war feelings and involvement in the Art Strike protests of Vietnam War at the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum and the Senate; his education at the San Francisco Art Institute; his experiences in the Korean War as an engineer, courier, and policeman; his return to the United States and experiences at Reed College in Oregon; his relationship with Simone Forti and moving together to San Francisco; his experience as a railroad switchman; his memories of Anna Halprin; his exploration with Forti in theater and dance; his studies in art history at Hunter in New York City, teaching and beginning sculpture; writing his thesis on Brancusi; his friendship with John Cage; his early sculptural work; his time in 1961 living in Yoko Ono's studio; his separation from Simone Forti but ongoing collaborations; his memories of Max's Kansas City; His memories of Judson Dance Theater; his collaborations with Carolee Schneemann and an in depth description of Site; his composition of Waterman Switch with Yvonne Rainer; his reaction to criticisms of his performance work; his thoughts about filming dance; his memories of Column; his relationship to The Green Gallery and Richard Bellamy; his perceptions and reactions to the critical response to his sculpture; his joining Castelli and the evolution of his work, making large Minimalist pieces, and felt pieces; his explorations of various materials; his encounters with collectors; his refusal to be interviewed; his creation of Earthworks; his relationship to Robert Smithson; his creation of the Blind Time Drawings; his friendship with Lynda Benglis and the controversy over his poster made in Exchange; his involvement with mirrors; his experience of his retrospective at the Guggenheim; his purchase of his home in upstate New York and moving out of New York City; his work with photoshop, and "curses" in his contemporary work.
Scope and Contents
Memories of Carl Andre, Tony Smith, Leo Steinberg, William Rubin, La Monte Young, Yvonne Rainer, Mark di Suvero, Henry Flynt, Mickey Ruskin, Howard Moody, Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs, Robert Rauschenberg, Gordon's Fifth Avenue Gallery, Joseph Beuys, Donald Judd, Robert Scull, Marcel Duchamp, David V. Hayes, Virginia Dwan, Ed Fry, Donald Davidson, Thomas Krens, David Antin, Craig Kauffman, Rosalind Krauss, Alan Buchsbaum, Ryan Roa, Nick Jacobs.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Robert Morris (1931- 2018) was a sculptor and conceptual artist in Ulster County, New York. Svetlana Kitto (1980- ) is a writer and oral historian in Brooklyn, New York.

Funding for this interview was provided by the Lichtenberg Family Foundation.
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
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.

Digital Content

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.
System Details
Recorded on Tascam DR-100MKII R00329.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Conceptual artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001