Oral history interview with Jere Osgood

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.osgood01
Creators:
Osgood, Jere, 1936-
Gold, Donna, 1953-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2001 September 19-October 8
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
64 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Jere Osgood conducted 2001 September 19 and Oct. 8, by Donna Gold, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Osgood's home, in Wilton, N.H.
Scope and Contents
Osgood describes his early childhood years in Staten Island, N.Y.; the influence of his architect grandfather and handyman father; his early interest in architecture; visiting museums with his mother and aunt; Vermont vacations; high school; and reading "Popular Science," "Popular Mechanics," and "Wildlife Magazine." He describes his architecture studies at the University of Illinois and the subsequent use of parabolic and catenary curves when making bowls; attending the School for American Craftsmen in the 1960s when it was "thriving"; selling bookends at America House; exhibiting in "Young Americans" (Museum of Contemporary Crafts, 1962); teaching at Boston University; studying bookbinding and weaving in a folk art school in Denmark in 1960; the distinction between "furniture makers" and "furniture designers" in Denmark; working in his father's basement workshop; setting-up a workshop in Connecticut; the appeal of root forms; developing lamination techniques; making curved forms; and experimenting with various woods. Teaching at the Philadelphia College of Art, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Boston University are discussed in detail, as are his typical workday, his design process and means of evaluating form, the growing craft industry, and sculptural furniture. Osgood recalls his teacher Tage Frid.
Scope and Contents
He also discusses his works of art including Elliptical Shell Desks, a walnut Semainaire, Writing Desk (1986), Angels in the Snow (1986), and Cylinder Front Desk (1989). He comments on selling his work at Pritam & Eames (East Hampton, N.Y.); the influence of Wharton Esherick on his career in the late 1950s; commissions; furniture making at RIT and the North Bennett School in Boston; his experiences teaching at Penland, Haystack, Arrowmont, and Peters Valley Craft Center; his involvement with organizations such as the New Hampshire Furniture Masters' Association, American Craft Council, and The Furniture Society; the importance of good photography; the economics of the craft business; and his appreciation of pure form.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Jere Osgood (1936- ) is a woodworker from Wilton, N.H. Donna Gold (1953- ) is an art writer from Stockton Springs, Maine.

Administration
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 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 12 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 46 min.

Related Materials
Oral history: Renimiscenses of Jere Osgood; Columbia University. Oral History Research Office, Box 20, Room 801 Butler Library, New York, NY 10027.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Furniture design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture making -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture making -- Denmark Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture making -- Equipment and supplies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture making -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Woodworkers -- New Hampshire -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Decorative arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type 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/