Oral history interview with Tommy Simpson

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.simpso04
Creators:
Simpson, Tommy
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2004 May 6-July 2
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
6 Items
Sound recording: 6 sound files (3 hr., 54 min.)
digital, wav
89 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Tommy Simpson conducted 2004 May 6-July 2, by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Scope and Contents
Simpson speaks of growing up in rural Illinois; making things as a child; discovering his interest in art at Northern Illinois University; getting an MFA in painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art; using the wood shop at Cranbrook; exhibiting at various galleries in New York City and moving to Connecticut; showing work in the "Fantasy Furniture" exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Design; visiting Europe; the New York studio furniture market in the 1960s; writing the book, "Fantasy Furniture"; exhibiting in "Objects USA;" working as artist in residence at the Fairtree Gallery; teaching at the University of Hartford; his work ethic and productivity; living and working in Greenwich, Connecticut; the constraints of being classified as a furniture maker; teaching briefly at the Program In Artisanry and other schools; the increased public interest in fine woodworking in the 1980s; changes in the craft market; writing the book, "Two Looks to Home"; the influence of events on his work; his current interest in making whole interiors; working on commission; the current public interest in craft; expressing themes in his work; his working process in his studio; the future of fine woodworking; the difficulties of working with galleries; designing rugs; and visiting China. Simpson also recalls Zoltan Sepeshy, Wendell Castle, Paul Smith, Sam Maloof, Edward Zucca, Wendy Maruyama, Richard Newman, Judy McKie, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Tommy Simpson (1939- ) is a furniture maker and sculptor from Washington Depot, Connecticut. Edward S. Cooke, Jr. is a professor from Newtonville, 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
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 54 min.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Decorative arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture making -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
China -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Europe -- description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cabinetmakers Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- Connecticut Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Castle, Wendell, 1932-2018 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maloof, Sam Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maruyama, Wendy, 1952- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McKie, Judy Kensley, 1944- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newman, Richard, (Artist) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sepeshy, Zoltan, 1898-1974 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Paul J., 1931- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zucca, Edward Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boston University. Program in Artisanry -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museum of Arts and Design (New York, N.Y.) 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
Northern Illinois University -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Hartford -- Faculty 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/