Oral Histories

Interview of Edward Biberman

Landscape painter.
Los Angeles Art Community: Group Portrait, Edward Biberman
Los Angeles Art Community - Group Portrait
Biographical Note:
Landscape painter.
Corey, Emily
Biberman, Edward
Persons Present:
Biberman and Corey.
Place Conducted:
Biberman's home in Hollywood, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Emily Corey, Intern, UCLA Oral History Program; B.A., History, UC Santa Barbara; M.L.S, UCLA.Corey prepared for the interview by accessing Biberman's files and personal papers, including catalogs of his shows and articles. In addition, the interviewer read his two published autobiographical works, The Best Untold and Time and Circumstance.
Processing of Interview:
Editing was done by the interviewer, who checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings and edited for punctuation, paragraphing, correct spelling, and verification of proper and place names. Her work was closely supervised by Joel Gardner, Editorial Supervisor, Oral History Program. The final manuscript remains in the same order as the original taped material. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed.Biberman reviewed and approved the edited transcript. He made few changes, additions, or deletions.The index was compiled by Emily Corey and Joel Gardner. Joel Gardner wrote the introduction. Other front matter was prepared by Program staff.
8.5 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series includes interviews with prominent Los Angeles-based visual artists and other members of the art establishment whose careers span the period from the 1920s through the 1970s. It documents the art community of the pre-World War II period and the rise of Los Angeles as a nationally recognized art center in the postwar period. Funding for this series was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Father and mother — Childhood in Philadelphia— Encouragement to paint — Entering the Wharton School—Philadelphia and the arts—Brother , Herbert Biberman — Enrolling at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts — Teachers — Move to Paris, 1926 — The arts in Paris— Friends and contacts—Summer in Brittany, 1927 — Atmosphere of Paris — Support and shows in Europe.
Effects of stay in Paris— Show at Galerie Zak--At Neue Kunsthandlung, Berlin—Berlin in 1929--Response to show--Paris dealers and collectors.[Second Part] (December 8, 1975)Digression: theatrical interests— First (and only) sculpture, 1930--Return to United States from Paris, 1929 — Move to New York-Art scenes compared--Selling works: Montross Gallery--"Forty-six under Thirty-five" at Museum of Modern Art--Effects of New York-- The Mexican painters.
Influence of New York--The Mexican movement — Development of mural art— Portrait painting: Martha Graham — Gale Sondergaard — Katharine Cornell: a furor — Summer in Taos, 1930— The Southwest — Desert Light --Traveling show for College Art Association.
First visit to California--Appeal of the state — Artistic environment — New York, 1931-36 — Move to California, 1936 -- Social considerations in painting--Portraits--Political organizations -- Murals: Los Angeles Federal Building--The government and art.
The Mexican mural movement— Los Angeles Federal Building murals — Venice Post Office mural — Marriage to Sonja Dahl--Influence of the war and the war years -- Sepulveda Dam -- 8 A.M. --Race relations.
Portraits: Dashiell Hammett--Paul Robeson— Lena Home — The Informer -- Ravages of the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities-- Blacklist and the artist--Herbert Biberman's imprisonment -- "The Time of the Toad"--Trip to Mexico City, 1951 — Portrait of Rosaura Revueltas.
Paintings concerned with buildings--Variety of subject interests--Attitude towards non- objective art—Abstract expressionism--The artist and culture — Levels of human experience — Lecture series for UCLA Extension Division.
"Gray list" during the McCarthy era— Cooperative galleries- - The Best Untold — The theoretical side of art — Communication--Technology and art-- Perspective--Color — Color and structure.
Oils and silk screens— Serigraphs— Exhibitions — Dealers— Museums compared to galleries -- Lack of contemporary work in museums— Art in Los Angeles--Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art — "Dialogues in Art," television show — Choosing artists to appear.
Influence of the sixties—Portraits of Aldous Huxley and Linus Pauling--Visit to New York— Time and Circumstance - -Art and the sixties — Retrospective , 1971 — Discussions and lectures— Eroticism- Freedom in the arts--Royalties for artists.
Martin Luther King portrait--Vietnam War paintings --Current paintings — Motivation and discipline-- Impulse --Prints --Series of paintings—An artist's ideal community.