Oral history interview with Ramona Solberg

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.solber01
Creators:
Solberg, Ramona
Halper, Vicki
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2001 March 23
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
35 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Ramona Solberg conducted 2001 March 23, by Vicki Halper, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Solberg's apartment, Seattle, Washington.
Scope and Contents
Solberg speaks of her family background and childhood in Seattle; her jewelry studies with Ruth Pennington at the University of Washington in Seattle and her use of found objects; her service in the Unites States Army; attending the Edison Vocational School on the GI Bill and pursuing a masters degree in jewelry at the University of Washington; studies with Coralyn Pence; her travels to Mexico and her fascination with pre-Columbian objects; enameling in Norway; collecting beads from around the world; her book, "Inventive Jewelry-Making" (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1972); leading tours for a Seattle-based group, "Friends of the Crafts," to the Middle East, Asia, Antarctica, and elsewhere for 16 or 17 years; teaching at Central Washington State College and creating her first bead and found object pieces there in 1956; her fondness for turquoise, lapis, and coral; inviting Don Tompkins to teach at Central Washington State College; Tompkins's "tongue-in-cheek" use of metals; her desire to make jewelry that can "shake, rattle, and roll"; teaching and workshops; her use of preliminary sketches; her soldering technique; fasteners; the weight of her jewelry; the "restraints of jewelry"; her lack of interest in making matched sets and bracelets and rings; the lack of social commentary in her work; her series of pieces inspired by the book, "Watership Down;" the influence of Fred Woell and his use of "American throw-aways"; her involvement with the Northwest region of the American Craft Council; her association with a group of jewelers in the Northwest including Ron Ho, Laurie Hall, Nancy Worden, and Kiff Slemmons; making beaded fibulas; curating exhibitions such as Ubiquitous Bead (1987) and Ubiquitous Bead II (1998) at the Bellevue Art Museum in Seattle; exhibitions at Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery in Seattle and the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle; working in small spaces; getting into the exhibition Objects: USA "through the back door"; her status as an international artist; pricing her work; her pieces in museum collections; and her health. She recalls Russell Day, Jack Lenor Larsen, Sam and Frieda Maloof, John Marshall, Marvin Lipofsky, LaMar Harrington, Mary Lee Hu, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Ramona Solberg (1921-2005) was a jeweler from Seattle, Washington. Vicki Halper is a curator at the Seattle Art Museum.

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 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 13 min.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelers -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists 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
Day, Russell Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hall, Laurie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harrington, LaMar, 1917-2005 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ho, Ron Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hu, Mary Lee, 1943- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Larsen, Jack Lenor Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lipofsky, Marvin, 1938-2016 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maloof, Frieda Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maloof, Sam Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marshall, John, 1936- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pence, Coralyn Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Penington, Ruth, b. 1905 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slemmons, Kiff Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tompkins, Don Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Woell, J. Fred, 1934- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Worden, Nancy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Central Washington State College -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Edison Vocational School -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bellevue Art Museum (Wash.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Craft Council Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Washington -- Students 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

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/