Oral history interview with Salvatore Scarpitta

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.scarpi75
Creators:
Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-2007
Cummings, Paul
Dates:
1975 January 31.-February 3
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
67 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Interview of Salvatore Scarpitta conducted 1975 January 31.-February 3, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Scarpitta speaks of his family's background; growing up and going to school in California; moving to Italy and going to art school at 17; attending the American Academy; his experiences in Europe after the war broke out in 1940; being arrested and interned for 18 months in Italy and escaping; joining the United States Navy; getting thrown out of the American Academy after being accused of being a Communist; his abstract paintings; moving back to America after Leo Castelli saw his work; his painting techniques; his thoughts on futurism and cubism; why he shifted from working on a canvas to tearing it apart and using it as materials; his use of color; how his interest in race cars influenced his art work; building race cars; living in New York and the art scene there; his successful art show on the Piazza San Marco in Venice; the reason for using belts in his paintings; how certain paintings led him to building sleds; his feelings about Leo Castelli; and teaching art. He recalls Phil Guston, Jack Levine, Franz Kline, Bill de Kooning, Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, and many others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Salvatore Scarpitta (1919-2007) was a sculptor.

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 others.

General
General
Originally recorded on 2 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 11 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Futurism (Art) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1939-1945 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Automobile racing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Abstract Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cubism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Castelli, Leo Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levine, Jack, 1915-2010 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Academy in Rome 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/