Oral history interview with Emerson Woelffer

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.woelff99
Creators:
Woelffer, Emerson, 1914-2003
Karlstrom, Paul J.
Art Schools in California Oral History Project
Dates:
1999 March 26
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
55 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Emerson Woelffer conducted 1999 March 26, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art's Art Schools in California Project, in Woelffer's studio/home, Los Angeles, California.
Scope and Contents
Woelffer briefly discusses his own student experience at the Art Institute of Chicago (1933-1937), and focuses more on his teaching at Moholy Nagy's Institute of Design in Chicago, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (1954-1960) where he was head of the fine arts department, and the many years in Los Angeles as an educator at Chouinard Art School (now California Art Institute) and Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design). Woelffer recalls Chouinard students who were the most "far out," among them Larry Bell, Joe Goode, and Ed Ruscha. He credited the free-wheeling stimulation of Los Angeles itself as the source for these experimental artists who were different from those in Chicago. In his final remarks, Woelffer emphasized the importance of drawing to the training of an artist.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Emerson Woelffer (1914-2003) was a painter and educator from Los Angeles, California. One of the leading senior modernists working in Los Angeles, Woelffer was invited in 1960, by Mitch Wilder, to head the fine arts department at Chouinard Art Institute where he taught until it was moved to Valencia and transformed into California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript available on-line.
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. Other interviewees in the Art Schools in California Oral History Project include: Leo Holub, Charles Linder, Paul Carey (1993), and Paul Carey and Stephanie Caloia (1997), with funding provided by the Bente and Gerald E. Buck Collection.

General
General
Originally recorded on 2 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 50 min.

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

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art teachers -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching -- California Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Schools -- California -- Los Angeles Function Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles, Calif.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Otis Art Institute Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Schools in California Oral History Project 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/