Extent12.5 Linear Feet
Date1948 – 2007
Scope and ContentThe Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Lecture Archive contains the complete extant sound recordings of a distinguished lecture program established by The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1952 (though the earliest recordings may predate that year). By the mid-1950s, Skowhegan was recording eight or more lectures a year and now averages ten to twelve lectures a year. The lectures were given by visiting and resident faculty and other artists and now include some of the twentieth century's most famous names. By 2007 Skowhegan had records of 624 lectures by 449 artists; ninety-three artists spoke more than once and some artists (such as William Zorach and Alex Katz) have given as many as ten lectures. Not all recordings have been preserved or released by Skowhegan. Thirty-eight recordings are missing from the master collection and thirty-three recordings have not been released to the public for various reasons. Those lectures are still listed below in their proper place in the chronology. The Skowhegan School has also endeavored to transcribe as many lectures as possible. To date, paper and electronic transcripts exist for 366 lectures. The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture cautions though that the lecture transcripts are an adjunct, not a substituion, for the sound recordings; the transcripts are unedited and un-vetted by the lecture participants and should be considered an imperfect representation of the audio recording. Most lectures refer to slides and other visual aids; those materials are not available but scholars can contact the Skowhegan School to ascertain the material's existence.
Administrative/Biographical History Element
The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture was founded in 1946 on farmland near the town of Skowhegan in central Maine. The school provides an unstructured studio space and environment for artists to focus on their work. Faculty consist of resident and visiting artists who provide studio visits and regular criticism. Admission is highly competitive and the school regularly accepts only sixty-five students annually, often out of hundreds of applicants. Students are allowed to attend only once and most are provided at least partial scholarship. Since 1952 the school has also hosted regular public lectures by faculty and other artists. The ever-growing rosters of faculty, students, and lecturers now contain many of the most accomplished artists of the twentieth century and after. The lectures by themselves, as well as the school as a whole, have become an acknowledged vital part of the American art world and an importance resource for the study of post-war art history.
System of Arrangement
The lecture recordings and their transcripts have been arranged in chronological order in a single series; a number of lectures whose dates are unknown or only surmised have been placed at the beginning of the collection.
Conditions Governing Access and Use
The records are open for research and contain no restricted materials.
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture