Oral history interview with Robert O. Preusser

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.preuss91
Creators:
Preusser, Robert O. (Robert Ormerod), 1919-1992
Brown, Robert F.
Dates:
1991 January-October
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
106 Pages
Transcipt
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Robert O. Preusser conducted 1991 January-October, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
Preusser discusses the establishment of an art department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his involvement with it first as a visiting lecturer and then as a professor of visual design. He speaks often of Gyorgy Kepes, whom he had known at the Institute of Design, Chicago, in the early 1940s, and who recruited him to M.I.T; he also discusses other faculty members, like Minor White, professor of photography. He gives attention to his courses at M.I.T., 1954-1985; early computer design projects by students; his writings on the importance of visual arts to technology; and his supervision of educational programs at M.I.T.'s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, 1974-85. An extensive part of the interview is held in an exhibition of Preusser's work at the M.I.T. Museum (April 4, 1991), discussing in particular his incorporation of various plastic and metallic materials in his works from the 1960s and 1970s. He speaks as well of the importance of his inclusion in group exhibitions at the Downtown Gallery, New York, ("Newcomers," 1951, and "Recent Arrivals, 1952) and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston ("Collectors Exhibition," 1954), and of his exhibitions at the Boris Mirski Gallery and the Joan Peterson Gallery, Boston, during the 1950s and 1960s, and at various galleries in Houston during the 1980s. Other topics of discussion are his early art instruction in his native Houston, Texas, by the painter Ola McNeill Davidson, 1930-39; further training in painting and design at the Institute of Design, Chicago, 1930-39, 1941-42; Newcomb School of Art at Tulane University, 1940-41; service with a camouflage unit in the U.S. Army, 1942-45; classes at the Art Center School, Los Angeles, 1946-47; his teaching at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1947-54, and at the University of Houston, 1951-54, and his role as co-director of the Houston Contemporary Arts Association, 1948-50.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Robert Preusser (1919-1992) was a painter and art instructor from Houston, Texas and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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
Poor sound quality. The first 35 minutes of the interview have been lost.
General
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 18 min.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art -- Study and teaching -- Massachusetts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching -- Texas -- Houston Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Camouflage (Military science) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Texas -- Houston -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davidson, Ola McNeill Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
White, Minor Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Center School (Los Angeles, Calif.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boris Mirski Gallery (Boston, Mass.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Center for Advanced Visual Studies Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, Mass.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Joan Peterson Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. School Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newcomb College. School of Art Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Houston 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/