Oral history interview with Margret Craver Withers

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.wither83
Creators:
Withers, Margret Craver, 1907-
Brown, Robert F.
Dates:
1983-1985
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
5 Sound cassettes
35 color slides
115 Pages
Transcript (1983-1984)
12 Pages
Transcript (1985)
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Margret Craver Withers conducted 1983-1985, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Scope and Contents
Withers discusses her childhood in Kansas; early education; and aptitude for drawing.Education in art and design, including studying crafts at the University of Kansas, 1925-29; her position as a grade school teacher in Kansas and as a crafts instructor at Wichita Art Association, 1930s; study with various master metalworkers, including Arthur Nevill Kirk, Arthur J. Stone, Leonard Heinrich and Wilson Weir in the USA, and Baron Erik Fleming in Sweden.Development of Hospital Service Program, with the support of Handy and Harman, precious metal refiners, during World War II, to train army therapists in metalworking for disabled soldiers; supervision in post-War period of Handy and Harman's Craft Service Department, producing films on hand-wrought silver, a traveling exhibition of outstanding contemporary silver, instructional brochures, and a series of workshops for American silversmiths, taught by European masters.Marriage in 1950 to Charles Withers, president of Towle Silver, and that company's policy of employing top designers; Towle's commissioning of works in silver from top modern sculptors; her making of silver holloware and jewelry for private clients; her re-invention of the en resille process for enameling (1959) and in the early 1980s her invention of a process for combining enamel, glass, and silver and gold leaf in jewelry; and her involvement in crafts organizations.She discusses her en resille enameling technique. [The 1985 session is transcribed, and is accompanied by slides of the work discussed].

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Margret Craver Withers (1907-2010) was a silversmith in Boston, Massachusetts.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Author
Sponsor
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
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 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 58 min.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Silversmiths -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jewelers -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metal-workers -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Silverwork Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Enamel and enameling 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
Fleming, Erik, Baron Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Heinrich, Leonard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kirk, Arthur Neville Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stone, Arthur J., 1847-1938 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weir, Wilson Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Withers, Charles C. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Handy & Harman (Firm) 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/