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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Interviewee: Roy C. Craven
June 15, 1992
M: This is June 15 . I am interviewing Mr. Roy C. Craven, Jr., former director of
the University Gallery at the University of Florida and professor of art for the
Department of Art. Mr. Craven, would you please spell your name for the record?
C: Craven. In fact, my father changed it. It was plural at one time. He was named
Cravens, and he changed the name to Craven. That is an interesting historical fact.
M: Tell me where you were born and where you grew up.
C: Well, I was born [on July 29, 1924] in a place that no one has ever heard of. It is
called Cherokee Bluffs, Alabama. My father [Roy C. Craven, Sr.] was a mechanical
engineer and worked on a hydroelectric dam there. Once the project was over, we
[the family] moved back to Tennessee, which was the home of both of my parents.
Both of them were from Tennessee originally, from small towns near Knoxville and
Chattanooga. [My father was born in Bon Air, and my mother in Wartburg.] We
moved back when I was six months old to Chattanooga, and that is where I grew up
and received both my high school education and my undergraduate work in college,
at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
M: Tell me a little about your parents and if you have sisters and brothers.
C: My mother [Edna Morris Craven] was kind of a self-trained musician. She owned a
piano which was kind of unusual [in that] it was a baby grand, not an upright. I
guess a lot of homes had uprights or player pianos or whatever in the early part of
the century. She had a baby grand, and she played classical music, as well as
popular light opera, like Victor Herbert. So all the children grew up listening to
music. All of my brothers and sisters--I have two sisters and a brother--became
musicians. I was the only one who went into the visual arts. [laughter]
My older sister by five years [Regina] was a very good pianist. She never performed
professionally, but she kept up her music, and she was like our mother. She
learned to play the piano very well and did it all by ear originally. She got married,
and her husband was an executive for General Motors. They lived mostly in Ohio.
So her music career was more or less on a personal basis.
My younger brother [James, but we called him Jay] stayed in Chattanooga and was
the music superintendent for Hamilton County for a number of years. He played in
the Chattanooga Orchestra and the opera in Chattanooga for many years. He is a
clarinetist. Now he still is involved very strongly in music. He is not only the first
chair clarinetist of the Chattanooga Symphony but also the personnel manager.
My [younger] sister [Jayne] has just retired from the [position of] the head of the arts
and music library in Hamilton County [Ohio], in Cincinnati. She spent something like
thirty-five years, I guess, working at the main library there, which has one of the
[largest] major music and art holdings outside the New York Public Library. It is the
next biggest in the country, and she was head of that section up until this year when
she retired. She is a violist and performed in various musical groups and
symphonies in the Cincinnati area. She also is a harpsichordist. She just recently
returned to Chattanooga to retire, so she is going to be involved in music there.
That is roughly what the siblings are up to.
M: So you escaped music and went into art, or did you also learn music?
C: I love music, and have made about three different large collections, first of 78 [rpm]
records, then 33 [rpm records], then tapes, and now CDs. Music is very important to
me in my life. I am an appreciator of that art, [but I am actively] not involved with it.
The visual arts have always been [my favorite]. In fact, I was corrupted in my youth.
I always felt that I never got an education when I was young. Even [in] grammar
school, when all the other students would be doing their lessons, I was pulled out [of
class] to do the drawings on the board for the different holidays. At Thanksgiving or
Halloween or Christmas I had to get my colored chalks and fill the blackboards up
with scenes of the Nativity or whatever, and I always felt that I had been robbed of
my education. [laughter] It was only when I got to be more or less adult [that] I
started clamping down to educating myself. But anyway, that is the way I started.
Even in high school I took art and was very much involved in that.
When I was fourteen I started working in the local cinema, the movie houses. In
those days--it is unusual to think about it now--we had huge, big cardboard frames
that were dismountable, and they covered the whole facade of theaters. Each week
while the movie was showing there would be a big pictorial display about the content
of the movie with photographs that were mounted on these boards. These were all
painted in showcard paint. There were stills [photographs] from the movies, like
Gone with the Wind or whatever, and you would put [a still] in a Bell opticon
[opaque] projector, which projects the image up to six feet high. You [would then]
lay out the design of Clark Gable's face with highlights, middle ground, and shadow.
Then you would get your showcard paint and paint it.
It makes me laugh in the perspective of contemporary art today, because a lot of
contemporary artists have gone to projecting slides or doing exactly what I was
doing at fourteen and fifteen years old with the fronts of theaters. Obviously, at that
age I was helping. I was an apprentice first. Later I worked at the major theater in
Chattanooga, which was the Tivoli Theater. We did that sort of weekly display
where you had to paint these things. So my art schooling, you might say, was a
practical one of doing these big what they call hoardingss" in India. They refer to
them as "cinema hoardings." I like that term. [laughter] [It was] sign painting in a
way, basically, because it had a lot of lettering as well, and a lot of glitter. You would
sprinkle little shiny things on all the stuff. [laughter]
M: That is interesting. Did you, at that point, decide that you wanted to continue to be
C: Yes, that was pretty much what I had figured out. Even at that time I was
experimenting with photography. Photography has been a very important part of my
life, too. And part of that training was at that time.
I worked in two theaters. [The first] one was the secondary theater [the Rialto], and
[the other was the] Tivoli. We still did some of the art renderings, you might say,
there, but a lot of it was photography. We would copy photographs and blow them
up and use big photographs, so there was a lot of darkroom work and things like
that. I had been taking pictures and processing my film, even at thirteen and fifteen
years old, in the basement of my mother's house with her washtubs and everything.
So I learned that.
Then World War II came along. When I was drafted into the army, I was fortunate
enough, I think, to have been assigned to the [Army] Air Corps because of my
photographic and art background. I was in the photographic section of air corps
during World War II. I continued that; [I] went to air force school near Denver,
Colorado, at Lowry Field.
When I came out of that, I was fortunate again. I have been very lucky in my life
because I have had wonderful opportunities that have kind of presented themselves.
Instead of going to the South Pacific or Europe and getting killed, perhaps, I was
sent to India, of all places--halfway around the world--and that fascinated me
immediately. I thought, My God, what a wonderful place to be! Since we had all
sorts of photographic equipment and we flew around a lot (we had planes we could
fly), I was able to cover all of India, just about, especially northern India. [I] had
cameras and photo labs and everything available to me. I took thousands of
photographs of things I saw in India that I did not know a damn thing about but was
very interested in.
After that, that bent me in another direction. I became very intrigued about what
these things were, so I started studying them. That became kind of my art history
training once I found out what these [objects in the] photographs were. I am still
trying to find out. [laughter] So, in other words, the art and photography fed into
Then, when the war ended, I came back to this country unharmed. I had wanted to
pursue the art career, and I was going to enroll in the Chicago Art Institute. One of
my friends from the army was also up in Chicago going [to the art institute], and I
wanted to go there. So I went up to Chicago to apply to get in the art institute, and I
found out that they had so many people [enrolled]--Gls were coming back on the GI
Bill--that a drawing or a painting class that would have about fifty or sixty or seventy-
five people in it [was filled to overflowing]! Not only were [students] in the studios;
they were out in the halls looking through the doors. I thought: This is ridiculous. I
am not going to come up here for this.
So I went back and enrolled at the University of Chattanooga, where there was a
very fine teacher, a man named Stuart Purser, who ultimately came here to Florida
[as a professor of art in 1951]. So everything kind of ties together. He was a painter
and teacher and chairman of the art department at that time in Chattanooga. My
wife, whom I had known in high school and who was also interested in art then,
Lorna Andreae, was at the university. After we had been there a couple of years,
we got married. [laughter] After we finished our courses at the university we went
on to New York from there, to the Art Students League [of New York in New York
City]. She had a scholarship, and I had my GI Bill.
The other thing about photography before I left Chattanooga was that I had a rather
interesting experience as press photographer for the Chattanooga Times for a year
or so. I enjoyed that profession so much that I deliberately resigned from it. I was
spending more time covering news events and doing photography for the
newspaper than I was tending to my college education. I became very concerned
that I was going to end up being a newspaper photographer and not an artist, which
I had decided had to be my profession. But that was a very valuable experience.
In fact, the Chattanooga Times, interestingly enough (as you may or may not know),
was the father of The New York Times and was owned by the Ochses and the
Sulzbergers. [Adolph S. Ochs was publisher and owner from 1896-1935, and Arthur
H. Sulzberger published the Times from 1935-1961. Ed.] They were a couple of
printers during the Depression who came from Knoxville, Tennessee. They had
saved their money and bought the kind of run-down Chattanooga Times. They
designed the typographical format [and] the editorial policy and all the things that we
know that The New York Times ultimately became were hammered out in
Chattanooga first. Then they used their savings that they made on that newspaper
and went to New York and bought the old, defunct New York Times and revamped it
on the format of the Chattanooga Times.
So while I was in Chattanooga, it was very interesting, because many of the younger
generation of the Ochses and the Sulzbergers and people who ultimately became
internationally known reporters and everything would come and be "cub" reporters in
Chattanooga, and then they would transfer to Washington or New York. Charles
Bartlett, who was the young reporter from Palm Beach, wore seersucker suits. I
was very impressed by that; he always looked so distingue from Palm Beach.
[laughter] He became the chief correspondent for The New York Times in
Washington. He introduced Jack Kennedy to Jacqueline [Bouvier]. Bartlett was
dating Jacqueline before Jack was. I guess he knew her through the Palm Beach
connection. Bartlett and I would go out and cover stories. I remember once we
covered the Ku Klux Klan and went to some of the cross burnings and everything. I
am getting off the subject.
M: It is fascinating.
C: I do not know if you want to hear this or not. [laughter]
M: It is real interesting. Go ahead and finish.
C: The one story that was kind of interesting was that at the end of World War II, all the
wonderful people who hate each other, what I call the "200 percent Americans" who
hate everybody, were called the Columbians. The Klan had started revising itself
after World War II, and there was one man (whose name I cannot remember) who
was going around with a new organization called the Columbians. He was trying to
recruit young veterans who might have southern prejudices and so forth into his
organization. He was going around to different towns in the South, and he had
arrived in Chattanooga. Well, the Chattanooga Times really did not like to give too
much promotion to the Klan or any of these hate groups. Anyway, this was a man
who was in the national news.
We went down to cover him, and Bartlett was along on that. In fact, there was a
bunch of local "leading citizens" meeting with him who were, I guess, considering
being part of his operation. They were in a hotel room in a seedy part of town.
Bartlett had been there interviewing him, and I came up with a camera. He [Bartlett]
wanted to get a picture of the man. (I cannot think of his name right now.) They
want publicity, but then they act like prima donnas. He said: "It is too much trouble.
Just come on in and take a picture of me in the corner here with the phone as if I am
on the phone." In the meantime, all these other guys who were in the room who
were the local people pulled their coats up over their heads, turned around, and hid
their faces because, especially with a camera in the room, they did not want to be in
the picture. So I took a picture of the man and thanked him. The Speed Graphic
was the kind of camera that has a film carrier in it. [It used] sheets of [4" x 5"] film [in
a carrier that] you push in the back and take out. It has two sides to it. And you
have a flash gun. So I had taken a picture of this man, and I said, "Thank you, Mr.
At that point these guys started coming out of their coats. By then I was at the door
of the hotel room, so I pushed my camera around and fired off a shot and got
pictures of these guys hiding behind their coats, which was kind of a nervous thing.
Of course, they all came clumping out of the room and surrounded me and Bartlett
and said: "Now, you are playing with fire. You cannot treat us this way." They were
such sterling characters. [They said,] "We want that film." I got the feeling that if we
did not give it to them, something would happen. So I deliberately pulled the carrier
out of the camera and deliberately turned it over. But as I pulled it out, I flipped it,
which is what you do. You flip it [for the first exposure] and put it back in real quick
[to take the second]. You get used to doing that if you are covering sports events or
whatever. So when I pulled the carrier out, I flipped it so fast that they did not
[notice], then I turned it over deliberately, opened up the end, and slid the sheet of
film out and handed it to him. [He said,] "That is better." They went and
disappeared back in the room. So Bartlett and I got on the elevator and started
down a little shaken up. He said: "You did not give them the film, did you? Why did
you give him the film?" I said: "I do not think I did. I do not know. I am so rattled, I
am not sure that I did it right." We hurried back to the paper and processed the film,
and there they were.
M: And you got the picture.
C: The next day it was reproduced in the paper. It said, "Do you know any of our
leading citizens?" [laughter] I got a lot of threatening phone calls after that. At night
people would start calling me [and saying things like,] "You think you are pretty
smart, don't you?" [laughter] Anyway, how did we get into that?
M: I can see why that would be exciting, and you could possibly be distracted from
[your art studies].
C: Exactly. When you have fun like that and can get money for it, why do anything
M: But you did finish your degree in fine art?
C: Yes, I got my B.A. in fine art at Chattanooga [in 1949]. As I said, Lorna had a
scholarship to go to the [Art Students] League, so we went to New York and lived
there for a year and went to school.
M: Now, at that time, could you get college credit for the league?
C: No. This was before that all started. In fact, there were very few institutions of
higher learning in the United States that gave any [degrees in art] other than art
history. They would give art history degrees but not for painting and creative
aspects of the arts.
M: So your teachers were Yasuo Kuniyoshi and George Grosz?
C: Where do you get all this? [laughter] You have been doing your homework.
M: How did they influence you? What direction did they steer you in?
C: George Grosz, of course, was an internationally known artist, and Kuniyoshi was
very well known, especially in the early part of this century, as one of the leading
[painters]. He was [born] Japanese, but he was an American artist.
I also worked with a man named Peter Pienning. You would be interested in him. I
took graphic design from him at the league. He was a German, like George Grosz
was. He had gone to the Bauhaus and worked with German-American architect
[Walter A.] Gropius and [Swiss artist] Paul Klee and all those people. He [Pienning]
had been the art director for Vogue magazine in Paris, and then he had come from
Paris to be the art director of Vogue in the United States. Then he quickly became
kind of an independent art director. He could make much more money [that way]
rather than just working for a publication. [He] did a lot of work for Ford Motor
Company and other big industries in the country at the time. He would come in
twice a week and crit our works--that is about what it amounted to. We would work
with him; he would ask what we were interested in, and we would kind of make up
our own campaigns. Then he would come in and critique what we had done in the
interim, since he had seen it. He was an interesting man, too, as well as Grosz.
[Grosz], of course, was an interesting personality as well as an important historical
figure, since his drawings, especially before he left Germany, were so pointed.
Everyone admired his heroism of standing up against the Nazis. But he finally had
to come to this country or be killed. That is why he was teaching there.
He was very sincere about giving criticism to students, and he would make sure he
saw everyone when he was in class. We had benches where we would draw or
easels for painting, and he would go around and work with each student, especially
if you were drawing. He was very conscious, again, I guess, of his reputation. One
thing he never did, which a lot of art professors do (and which I disagree with, too, to
a degree, although I have done it myself) was to work on a student's work. [The
idea is to] let them learn how to do it. Give them a demonstration, but do not start
redoing their drawings or whatever. George Grosz would come around and give
criticism by drawing up in the corner of your page--not on your drawing. Then when
he would get up to leave, he would reach up and tear [off his demonstration sketch]
very carefully [with] two little tears [and] crumple up this paper and put it in his
pocket. You were not going to get an original George Grosz from him! [laughter]
He was good.
I remember his talking once about the line quality. That, of course, was what he
understood: drawing. He would make a drawing. He said: "If you draw a blade a
grass, the grass you see is what is above the ground. But you understand that the
blade of grass has to come from beneath." He said, "It moves up," and he would
make these beautiful lines. He would say, "It is continuity that gives it the life." I
always thought that was a pretty good idea. Everyone kind of looks on a superficial
outline of something. They do not understand how it moves, and that was a good
way of putting it. That [has] stuck with me over the years. [laughter]
Kuniyoshi was a very inspired and sympathetic teacher. He loved his students very
much and [was] very loyal to them. He left Japan when he was something like
twelve or thirteen years old because his father did not want him to become enrolled
in the military, which was taking on very strong powers at the time. So he sent him
to Seattle. He stayed a time out on the west coast. He picked fruit and everything
like that and slowly got into becoming an artist. Then he came to Woodstock in New
York and taught at the league for a couple of decades, where he had lots of very
important students. He forgot how to speak Japanese, and he never learned to
speak English exactly. He spoke a broken English which was very colorful and very
descriptive. He could make something really powerful [with his words]. He said:
"Two colors meet. It is not like man and man but like man and woman. Something
happening." So he had a way of expressing it very colorfully. You kind of
understood what he was talking about. [laughter]
M: Was there an overall style at the Art Students League, or was each teacher unique?
C: No. In fact, I guess its great drawing power was the very fact that they had a
tremendous range of different types of professors. (I use the term professors, [but I
mean] teachers. They were not professors in the academic sense.)
Kuniyoshi was a colorist, primarily, and did rather romantic imagery based on all
sorts of things. Another artist would be completely nonobjective or abstract [with] no
figures at all. Kuniyoshi loved figures and used to paint beautiful women in his work
many times. [It] had the complete range. You could choose.
The thing about the league [was that] you would sign up for a month at a time. If
you did not like the professor, you could not sign up for that one [the next time] and
change to someone else. It was up to the student completely to work with the
person he felt most comfortable with. So I think that was the great drawing card
about the league: you had this range of skill and knowledgeable people that are
teaching, and you could choose almost any milieu that you wished work in. It was a
very, very wonderful experience.
M: What a great time it must have been!
C: Yes, it was.
M: So you began to think about being a professional artist.
C: That is it. In fact, that is when I first started working in advertising. I did some
freelance work in New York City while I was taking classes. In fact, I was
encouraged. We were right in the big city, so therefore [people said,] "Why not get
involved in this?" We would [each] take our portfolio (like the things that we did in
Pienning's class) and go around and meet art directors in the afternoon, which I
spent a lot of time doing. It was the old story: "We will call you; do not call us." Most
times they were very flattering. You always had a very pleasant experience. Many
times they would show you what was going on. You would go to J. Walter
Thompson or any of these agencies, and you would meet art buyers or art directors.
That was an education as well, to know what was happening.
In fact, while I was there I did several works for Exxon--it was called Esso in those
days. I designed two covers for some of their technical bulletins. They used some
of my paintings, and we won national awards. [There is] the American Institute of
Graphic Arts in New York which sets a standard for [commercial art]. [It is] kind of
like the Art Directors Club. It is, in fact, I guess, a little older than the Art Directors
Club. One cover, at least, won a national award. So I felt pretty good. [laughter]
M: That is good. That is wonderful. I understand that you have some of your
photography or paintings at the Metropolitan Museum [in New York City].
C: I have had my work exhibited at the Met. Back at that time, in the late 1950s or
early 1960s, they used to have a biannual at the Metropolitan that was for American
artists. It was a very good program, and it was a national competition. One year it
would be for painting (any aspect of painting, like watercolors or oils) and drawing,
and one would be for graphic arts, which would be printmakers. Then the other was
for sculpture. I think they broke it down into those kind of two-dimensional and
three-dimensional works. So one year you have a national sculpture show, and the
next year you had a painting/graphics/drawing show. I was lucky enough to get into
one of those exhibits, which I felt good about, too, because that was about as good
as you could get at the time.
The artists complained because that was the time when the Abstract Expressionists
were coming up. They [the Abstract Expressionists] did not feel like they got into the
shows enough, so they started protesting the fact that the Metropolitan did not
sponsor the "cutting edge" (I guess that would be the term today) art. [They were
not sponsoring] enough of it. They sponsored "old-timey" art. Anything that was ten
years old is old-timey. [laughter] So really it was the objection of the artists--and
primarily the nonobjective artists at the time--who embarrassed the Metropolitan.
They [the museum] finally canceled the exhibitions, and I think that was a loss. It is
too bad. We need something like that today where living artists have a chance to
compete and be judged by their peers on a national level.
M: And the [New York] abstract artists sort of shut that process down completely?
C: They were a very important and very vocal part. They were in New York, and I can
remember they were out in front with placards literally protesting in the most vocal
and visual way.
M: Because they would not be accepted.
C: Some of them would and some would not. It is like any movement, I think: when it is
vital and underway and perhaps not completely accepted yet by the public, [its
members] are even more sensitive about being ignored. They felt, after all, that they
were doing the best art there was, and [they were asking,] "What is all this other
stuff cluttering the museums up?" [laughter] [There is] nothing new under the sun.
That happens today as well.
M: Then, in 1963, you received a senior Fulbright research grant?
C: That comes sometime later. From New York I wanted to go into teaching. I thought
[I could do it because] I had had some experience there in New York freelancing,
etc. But then we decided we would get a teaching job, so we went down from New
York and interviewed at a small junior college for young ladies in Virginia. For two
years [1950-1951] my wife and I were the art department in a place called Stratford
College in Danville, Virginia. That was a very pleasant experience, but we felt like
we were off in the middle of nowhere. After being in New York, it was kind of
frightening. We were the art world in this little community, practically [laughter], and
it was kind of lonesome. We felt like we were kind of cut off.
We stayed there two years, and then we went back to New York. We learned that
we were going to have a child, our son. We were living in a cold-water, walkup flat
on the east side of New York in a Puerto Rican district where you woke up in the
morning with garlic pouring up the air shaft. That made Lorna kind of ill, needless to
say [laughter], so we decided, "We have to get out of here." We had given up our
positions at Danville to go back and paint. We thought we would stay in New York
until we became great successes.
Neither one of us wanted to bring up children in Manhattan, so we went back to
Tennessee, and I got a job in an advertising agency rather quickly. We spent
another couple of years there.
But all the time I was there I was writing everyone I knew, trying to get a teaching
job, because I wanted to get my master's degree. You had to have a "union card" or
at least a master's to teach. Our old professor at Chattanooga [Stuart Purser] had
gone to Ole Miss [the University of Mississippi], and he was now in Gainesville [at
the University of Florida] as the chairman [of the Department of Art]. He hired me. I
said I wanted to come and work on a master's. He said: "I will tell you what. I will
give you a job. You can be an instructor if you want to be." Again, I was lucky. So
we came to Florida, and I got my master's, my M.F.A. [in 1956]. I worked [on my
painting] and did teaching at the same time.
C: At first I was hired to teach painting and drawing in Jacksonville for the University of
Florida. That was the art department's thing that Purser had going on off campus.
The University of Florida had an extension division at the time with programs off
campus. They still do, but that was the [one] time when it was in the arts. [It was] at
the Jacksonville Art Museum, which is a big, old, beautiful, Victorian building on
Riverside Avenue. [It] has subsequently [been] torn down, I believe. The University
of Florida had this program for teacher certification and anyone else who wanted to
take the classes. Most of the people in it were art teachers already, and they would
come. They got credit to revitalize their certificate of accreditation. So I taught
painting and drawing at the Jacksonville Art Museum for a year.
Then funding got cut off, and I came over here. That is when Purser said: "You
have had all this experience in New York. You can head up the design program." I
said, "I am not going to do it, because I think it is impractical." [laughter] I said: "It
cannot be very professional. We are so far removed from New York or anywhere
where there are advertising agencies and industry." He kept twisting my arm, and I
said: "All right. If I can set the program up the way I want it and [how I] think it
should be and teach topography and photography and all these things," which they
were not doing, ["I will do it. I also want to] hire someone else who has worked in
the field. Most of the people who teach graphic design have had no practical
experience out in the advertising world, and I think that is another lack. If I am going
to take this over, I want you to hire another art director." I got a friend I knew at the
league; we were in Pienning's class together. He had been working for
Wanamaker's [in New York City] and [had] several other art directing positions. So I
brought him down [in 1955], and we ran the program for a while.
M: Who was that?
C: It was a man named Don Denny. He stayed, I guess, three or four years, and we
had a very good program. In fact, we won a lot of national awards for [things like]
package design. There were some things [then] that students could enter that were
really good. St. Regis [Paper Co.] had a national competition, and we walked off
with the prizes rather consistently. In the first year they offered it we won, I think,
not only the first prize but the second prize as well. Our students did very well.
Anyway, our program was working.
Then all sorts of changes happened. Purser resigned because he felt the
department was not being supported by the dean and not getting enough money.
Then they hired a new chairman [Clinton Adams], and he said that anybody that did
not have a degree had to leave the department. Don, my friend, of course, had just
been working in industry, and he knew advertising and everything, [but he had no
academic degree]. So one of the first persons he [Adams] decided had to go was
Don, since he had no degree, even though he had the experience. [It was] the very
thing that I was saying: many times the people who know realities are not
necessarily academic, you see. That was an unfortunate thing. It kind of
disillusioned me, too. I was still looking at those pictures from India. I wanted to get
back to India. So my friend left, and I put in for a Fulbright.
I got that, and we went to India and lived there for a year. The Fulbright was a
research Fulbright; it was not a teaching Fulbright. My project was to get to know all
the contemporary painters of India. I put together an exhibit with an Indian friend,
Richard Bartholomew, who ran one of the best galleries in New Delhi. He was
Burmese, actually. He was a very good friend of mine. So he and I, after I had
traveled all over India photographing the artists in their studios and their paintings,
made a selection of ten artists. The Asia Foundation in San Francisco had an office
in New Delhi, and they underwrote the costs.
This exhibit came to Florida; it went to the Jacksonville Art Museum and showed
also down at the University of South Florida. [We had no place at UF to show it.] It
was going to open in Detroit, but it did not get here in time. India has a slight
"manana complex [laughter], so unfortunately it did not arrive in time. But it showed
[elsewhere as well]. I have forgotten now the venues. It went to several other
places out on the west coast. It went to the Philippines and Hong Kong and then
went back to India. So that was kind of the beginning of my museum experiences:
putting that show together and dealing with museums and artists and knowing how
to work out the logistics and all that.
So then I came back, and I was determined I was going to get out of here. I wanted
to teach Indian art history. I did not think there would be any future doing it here.
So I was looking for other jobs, primarily in bigger places, when we got back from
India. We had two children [a son Curtis and a daughter Hillary, and] they went with
us and went to school in India.
That year or so, while the show was touring the country, I was writing letters trying to
get jobs. Then we got the [college] "new complex." We old fogies still refer to it as
the "new complex" because it was [built in] 1965. In the complex there was to be a
big, huge hall that was designed initially for the display of architecture projects. In
other words, you need big spaces to pin up architectural drawings [such as] plans
and all the renderings that architecture students make. This was to be a crit hall for
architecture students. In the process, the dean at the time [Turpin Chambers
Bannister] was convinced that maybe instead of making it into a crit hall we could
turn it into a small gallery where we could have changing exhibits. So that was
done--at the last minute, actually. A year before the complex opened, the chairman
of the art department, a man named [Eugene E.] Grissom, and Dean Bannister had
asked me to become the first director of the gallery. So that is how I got into the
M: OK. You covered a lot of time right there. I was reading that at one point the
College of Architecture and Fine Arts was really struggling with their inadequate
facilities and staff and was even about to lose accreditation.
C: That is correct.
M: It was described as a slum and a living disgrace in a publication produced by the
department. What led to this late stage of deterioration, and why were we so
unequal to other colleges at UF?
C: I cannot answer why exactly at that time. I do not know enough about [what was
going on at the time]. Later, I knew about the political [aspects] and [the] budgeting
once I was in the gallery, but prior to that I was somewhat naive. In fact, when I was
hired by Purser to come down here I was rather shocked, because all the art
programs were being housed in old World War II army barracks that had been
brought over from [Camp] Blanding [in Starke, Florida]. [They were] disassembled
there and brought back to the campus and [re-]assembled here. Of course, those
buildings were temporary buildings. They were built during the war as a war effort
and were to be dismantled and destroyed. They were not expected to be
permanent. But here they had been brought to the campus, and here they were
lasting into the 1960s after the 1940s, for heaven's sakes. [They] were being glued
and patched up together. They were really a hazard to the students in many ways.
Boards would be replaced, but they would rot, [and] windows would not work.
Where the music building is today there were four of these barracks-like buildings
put together to make two long buildings. I would teach calligraphy at night. There
was no air-conditioning or anything. I can remember that the students would be
lettering, and their hands would just stick to the paper. Perspiration would be
pouring off of everybody's face. It was horrible in this tropical climate. [laughter]
M: Does this [college booklet] look familiar here?
C: There we go. That is it. That is the architecture court. That is the building
construction area. There they are. Building E is one especially remembered.
[laughter] Where did you get that? That is great. You really do have a lot of good
background. I have looked at that kind of a scene many times. [laughter]
M: All the students packed into the room.
C: Right. The only thing that is missing here is that generally in one of these windows
would be a window fan that would kind of pull the air through. But it would just pull
the hot air through.
M: Oh, I cannot imagine.
C: It was brutal.
M: Gainesville is particularly hot. I come from Melbourne. I noticed that this building
looks a lot longer than it actually is now. They changed that. What is this?
[MacDonald is pointing to an architectural drawing for the proposed complex. Ed.]
C: That is the gallery. [There are] two lecture halls over here, and this is the gallery
space. This is pretty much the way it came out. This is Stadium Road, and here is
13th Street. You are looking east. Here is the dean's office and the library and
other offices, the slide room, and so forth.
The other thing about this facility, too, which was interesting, [was that] when it was
built in 1965 we thought each section of the college should have its own structure.
This [first unit in the] complex was built primarily as a housing for architecture. All
the classroom space and everything was conceived on the module of drafting
M: Rather than painting or drawing or sculpture studios.
C: Exactly. Or even art history. We did have the two lecture halls over here, so those
did work that way. They said, "We will build this one first, and then the next one will
be the arts facilities for sculpture and [will have] kilns for ceramics and foundries for
casting metal and everything." Of course, we barely even have that now, much less
later. In fact, at this time photography was in a temporary building way down past
the Hub in what was the first building [that was used] originally for cancer research.
It is a little brick building about as big as this living room. [laughter]
M: The architecture and arts college had built the gallery at this point.
C: Yes, in 1965.
M: They did get the legislature to dispense some funds for the building in 1961, was it?
C: That is right [for] the allocation. Then they started the planning for it.
M: Then the gallery opened in 1965, and you became director in 1966.
C: Actually, I was the acting director for a year before the complex opened so we could
plan the exhibits. That was the phase I was telling you about. I was looking for a
job to get out of here. Then that position was offered [to] me, and I was rather
intrigued by [it]. So I took that, and I have been here ever since. [laughter]
M: Well, you have done a wonderful job.
Tell me about the collection and how it began. You must be responsible for the
University collection at the [Samuel P.] Harn [Museum of Art] now.
C: Yes, I guess you could say that. One of the things I felt very strongly about--and I
had some difficulty even with my colleagues [about this]--was that over the door of
that building it said the University Gallery. I felt very strongly that since we did not
have an art museum at the University, indeed, it should be the University Gallery. It
should serve as many of the programs [as possible], not just the art program. [I felt
that] any of the programs on campus that we could interrelate with, we should do so.
I felt very strongly that a museum or a gallery on a campus is a very unique and
wonderful learning tool. I think I have made the remark in some of my writings in the
past that a university without an art museum is like a university without a library.
The library is the heart of the university, where knowledge is housed and stored and
is available for everyone. [It is] the same way [with] a museum and a gallery. It
does the same thing with its collections that a library does. It makes the realities of
different world cultures and times of art periods and so forth available to the
students. Nothing is more valuable, I feel, because instead of reading about it or
seeing pictures, you are coming in contact physically and visually with the realities of
past cultures. And what could be a better learning experience than that? So that
was certainly the basic philosophy of how I looked upon the gallery.
Also, since we had no money, I had to rely on generating moneys. The college gave
us two positions in the gallery. We did [later] have three at one time, but one was
taken away from us [during a campuswide budget cut]. We started off with a
secretary and the director. [laughter]
M: Right. From what I understand, you began with a budget of $10,000 and an OPS
[Other Personnel Services] [position] of $1,700, and then thirteen years later you
had a budget of $10,000 and an OPS of $1,500, $200 less.
C: That is right.
M: And you managed to get accredited by the AAM [American Association of
Museums] during this time. How did that take place?
C: I think [it was largely due to] our programming. We were even building collections
and things like that at minimal, certainly. But the secret was that we did not live off
[the existing budget]. We had to get more money than we had, obviously. That was
true for the whole history [of the gallery] while I was there, and it is true now for
those who have inherited it, I am afraid. [It is true] even more so under the
conditions there now. So I realize that, having this kind of catholic attitude, it was
the University Gallery that permitted me to go to other colleges and units on the
campus and get money. Hopefully, they would support things that they would be
interested in. Engineering even helped us at times, for example, [and so did] the
people at the health college. But the two chief bodies that did this were the Center
for African Studies and especially the Center for Latin American Studies. I think
they saved the life of the gallery. I have given them credit in the past for that, and I
believe it. If we had not had the influx of money from the Center for the Latin
American Studies to put on a major exhibit each year, the University Gallery, for all
practical purposes, would have deteriorated into kind of just a little local art exhibit
hall without much of a life to it. It certainly would not have been accredited by the
American Association of Museums.
We did some shows that got attention in Latin America, [Europe,] across the United
States, and [in] places that we did not expect to be recognized. So it was not only a
survival technique [but] it was [also] a very valuable quality-enhancement reality that
emerged from that liaison, which was good.
M: I came across a chart that you made. You sent a letter.
C: Oh, you have some good stuff. [laughter]
M: Yes, I do. It was interesting, because the University of South Florida had a staff of
five and a budget of $39,000, and they were not accredited. They did not even have
a gallery. They just used the library. Then Santa Fe Community College had over
twice as much [in the] budget, and all they had was the second floor of the Learning
Resource Facility. This was in 1983 that you were still plugging away ...
C: Trying to get support from the University. [Let me tell you] one of the things about
Santa Fe, for example, that is interesting. [President] Alan Robertson was more or
less the man who made Santa Fe what it is today. He is retired now, but he started
at the University of Florida. He was the first director of development [of the
University of Florida Foundation] at the University of Florida. He understood the
value of art as a PR device for an institution of learning, which [is something], I am
sorry to say, [that] not too many of our administrators on the higher echelons of this
University in the past decades have understood. He understood that. Even when
he was still working at the University, he was one of the most cooperative and
positive individuals to help me go out and raise funds. We would take trips to
Tampa to get money to support exhibits that we wanted to do at the gallery. That
was unique even among the foundation [staff]. After he left, there was not at all that
understanding or concerted support.
Then, when he moved out to Santa Fe, he called me when they got their buildings
going up, and he said, "Roy, we are going to put a gallery out here." I said, "I am
sorry to hear that." [laughter] I said: "No. I am glad to hear it, because the more art
activity, the better." He said, "Would you help me?" I said, "Any way I can." He
said, "If you would advise me on how to physically put the gallery together, I would
appreciate it." So I went out and specified the kind of lighting and the kind of [wall]
coverings. We had carpeting on the wall that worked very well for us. The way that
the gallery was physically put in was actually an outgrowth of the University Gallery,
because Alan asked me to help him, and I did. I have been very pleased with their
program out there, by and large, although now they have fallen on hard times, too,
because of funding, unfortunately. But he told me: "We do not have the Fighting
Gators out here. We are going to have an art gallery." I said: "Alan, quit talking like
that. You make me feel like I am going out of business." [laughter]
M: It was going to put you out of business.
C: That is true. See, their foundation would go out [and raise money]. I do not know
what the percentage was, [but] a significant amount of the money that was
generated by their foundation actually was there to support that gallery. Of course,
that was not the case at all with the University Gallery on the campus of the
University. We got some support, but nothing like the focus support that they get.
That was, again, Alan's realizing that that was his real PR device in the community
and the state. So he did well with that.
M: How did the early collections start? Were they donated, or did you buy them?
C: No. First we had some minor collections. There was a dean who was here some
time back. I guess one of the first major collections that ever came to the College of
Architecture and Allied Arts, [as] it was called . When I was hired it was [still]
called the College of Architecture and Allied Arts. Then they changed their name to
the College of Architecture and Fine Arts. Then, after that, in 1975, ten years after
we moved into the complex, it split apart, and we came to have what is now today
the configuration of the College of Architecture and the College of Fine Arts.
[Rudolph] Weaver was the first dean of architecture. Obviously, I never knew [him].
[Weaver was the first director of the School of Architecture, which was organized in
1925. He was the architect for the buildings constructed on campus during the
1930s. Ed.] He must have been kind of an interesting man in the shadow of Frank
Lloyd Wright. [He was] interested in all sorts of things. He had a tremendous
collection of Japanese prints, and he gave those to the college. They kind of rattled
around in files and all sorts of places for a long time before there was any place to
put them. I would say that was the first major gift that started it, and there is some
very good stuff in there. Then when the gallery started, people just assumed the
University would want artwork. They would call me and want to give me [inaudible].
At first, it was kind of low [priority] because we had no [place to display them and no]
storage area. I thought, If I take these things, how am I going to show them? The
donors want them to be seen and used as education. That was kind of a dilemma.
The only space that the gallery had at its disposal was a space up above the lecture
halls across from the rotunda there in the same building, which had been designed
primarily as [a fall-out shelter]. These buildings were designed when civilian
defense was uppermost [in the] minds of people because they were sure we were
going to have an atomic attack from Russia any minute, so many of the buildings
that were built during the 1960s have rooms where cans of water and foodstuffs
were stored. Now, I may be wrong, but I think that this space in this lecture hall
(since it was up above a lecture hall and was not big enough for an office and was
too rough and so forth) was intended for that. We had them in Building C, which
was a long building. Up in the upper floor there, they literally stored water and
things for an atomic attack. So here was this room. So I said: "Well, at least I can
store [some things] in there. It is not air-conditioned or anything. It is not the best
place, but if I get works that are not too fragile, I can certainly do that." So then I
started accepting gifts.
The more I accepted the gifts, I realized two things. First of all, it kind of started
forming in my mind that [accepting gifts] had great virtue for two reasons: one, I
could always make the point that we did not have the facilities to store these things--
and we need it--and two, this would lead to the museum. I guess the third one was
one that was very important--and it is true today to a great degree--[and that was
that] unless you as an institution have valuable artworks of your own that other
people want to borrow, you are less likely to get loans from other institutions, who
are also protecting their materials and are loathe to have them circulated a great
deal. The demand now to borrow artwork from one institution to the other is really
intense. Unless you can participate and be reciprocal in offering what you have in
your collections to them, you cannot expect them to give to you. All this kind of
started coming into my mind. [I was] seeing that this was virtuous, even though we
did not have a place to put it. I thought: Well, I can hang it in the dean's office, and I
can hang it in the president's office and a few places around campus where they will
be in air-conditioning. [It is] not the best security, certainly, but if we keep track of it,
it will be all right.
That was the other thing that I was [adamant about]. I guess [this was due to] my
background as a photographer. I was dedicated that every piece of work that came
in had to be immediately (within the week or so that it arrived) photographed,
recorded, and put on cards.
M: Yes, which they still have in the Ham. I just went through them the other day.
C: Did you?
M: Yes. [They are] little, tiny photographs about 1/2 inch?
C: Yes. [They are] little contact prints of the 35mm negatives. We were very
dedicated, the people who helped me and I, to see that those things did get
registered correctly as they came in. That was another thing. The AAM people
[who] came down to accredit us could not believe we had done this, because they
had bigger museums that did not even do this. Of course, we were smaller, so that
made it a little bit easier for us to do it, but we did not have much of a staff, and it
was done at night and on the weekends. So the collection started that way.
Then, as those collections kept growing, I was going around the country, and
[through my] knowing museum people and meeting collectors, the University of
Florida started being identified, and people started sending us things from Cleveland
and New York and all sorts of places that you would not expect to have [such an
interest]. That was really good, because it meant [that] the more of this we got, the
better argument we had for making an art museum a reality.
M: I have a letter here to Mr. [Joseph] Sabatella [dean, College of Fine Arts]. This is in
1978. I guess I am kind of backtracking here. But you are mentioning how risky it is
to keep a $1 million art collection in an un-air-conditioned place. Also, there was a
suggestion at one time to ship the artwork to the Ringling [Museum in Sarasota] and
store it there.
C: I think a lot of people did not want to think they had to provide spaces and spend
money on this, and they were looking for [alternative] answers. I do not remember
that one specifically, but I can believe it. [laughter]
M: So basically in that letter you said [that] if the director or the secretary got sick we
would have to close. Did it make any difference? Did it make a dent?
C: I think a lot of people were sympathetic, and I appreciated what was being done.
But, again, the resources [were limited]. I always use the analogy [that] in the
College of Fine Arts--well, in the college before it became separate from the
architecture it was even more critical--there is the college, a Department of Building
Construction, a Department of Architecture, [the Department of] Interior Design, the
Department of Art, and, of course, we had music. Then the theater [department]
came in, though that came in later. But we had a college that was first of all
underfunded. In fact, that first sheet that was making comparisons between even
the galleries [clearly shows] the funding and student enrollments. I think you had
figures at one point that show that we even had more people in music and art
enrollments than some of these other institutions, yet many times their funding,
[their] budgets, were twice as big as they were here at the University of Florida.
Everyone assumed, with the University of Florida being the "flagship" of the state,
[that] we would have the major funding. Well, that was just not the case.
So the gallery, even though I felt that it was a very valuable, educational, and
instructional tool, did not generate what they later called FTEs [full-time equivalents].
In other words, we did not offer classes. We were not a teaching entity, like a
department, you see. Therefore, we were extra, and money had to placed where
students were enrolled. So it was like a huge family sitting down at a big, long table.
The gallery was seated at the end, and Daddy had a big bowl of soup, and he
passed it down. By the time it got down to the gallery, that bowl was empty, and it
was half empty for many of the others around the table to begin with. The financial
structure just was not there; the support was not there.
I do not want to point [fingers] or be critical of people, but I think a good number of
the top administrators were not sympathetic to the arts. They were much more
sympathetic to the sciences. Even in later times there was a preference for the
colleges that had the ability to get grants. Certainly, engineering and science and
these people can go to the National Science Foundation [and other organizations]
and get moneys, and that brought money in. Well, arts is a spending wing. They do
not generate money; they spend money. In fact, that was one of the [few] rationales
they mentioned. We had a committee once the museum started moving where we
had to design the program of what we thought the museum should do. That was
one of the things I felt very important to say up front: a museum is not a money-
making operation. It is a money-spending operation. But you have to work at
getting support to come into it to support and build it up. So even when we were just
a gallery with a minimal staff, it was dedication on the part of a lot of people that kept
it in the water and kept it viable.
M: In this letter in 1983 you were comparing the museum to other areas. Then, in
1983, you started going to and visiting other art museums around the country. You
went to [University Art Museum] at the University of Iowa [in Iowa City], you went to
[the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois in Champaign and the Indiana
University Art Museum in Bloomington,] Indiana, you went to the Whitney [Museum
of American Art] and the [Solomon R.] Guggenheim [in New York City], the Asia
Society [in New York City], the National Museum of [American] Art [in Washington,
DC], and the High Museum [of Art in Atlanta]. What were the purposes, at this point,
of your visits, and what did you discover? What opinions did you have? Was this
research for the Harn?
C: Yes. I have some dates here to jog my memory, too. When I came here [in 1954],
all the [architecture and allied arts] buildings were temporary. I remember walking
into the lobby of Building E, right behind Tigert [Hall], which is now where Little Hall
is. That is where the College of Architecture's offices were and the art department.
In the lobby there was a vitrine[-covered] pedestal. In it was a model--it said "The
University of Florida Center for the Arts"--and in it was kind of like a play-toy, block
building that said "Art Museum." So even before I arrived here people had a dream
that they wanted an art museum here on the campus. Needless to say, that was a
rather ephemeral dream at that point, in 1954.
Once the gallery got in place and our collection started growing, and [I was writing]
the kind of letter that you referred to, that one and even the one where we make
comparisons between other institutions, I finally got the dean of the college at the
time, [Robert S.] Bob Bolles (that was 1971), [to a point] where he asked for
priorities that our college had. [That] was the first time that the College of
Architecture [and] Fine Arts budget request to the upper administration identified an
art museum as a high priority. I wrote a two- or three-page rationale for that.
Among the reasons were indeed the drawing [and print] collections that we had that
could not [be] preserved correctly. So that was the beginning of it. We moved on to
kind of pushing this and so forth.
I guess the next point that would be important to remember is that a lot of things
happened in 1975. That was when the colleges split. In fact, I was on leave writing
a book. A group of local people who were interested in trying to enhance our
collections got together, and they wanted to form what eventually became the
There was a man in agriculture who was a great print collector, Dr. [Robert L.] Bob
Stanley. He went all over the world and collected prints. He kept trying to get us to
buy certain prints that he would identify. I said, "I have no money." He said, "We
should make a group that would buy these for you." A couple of people in the law
college and some in medicine and some in different areas of the community got
together. That was the beginning of the Gallery Guild.
M: In 1975?
C: Yes. Then, I believe it was in about 1979, after that letter you just read came, when
the guild was in place and so forth, I talked to the guild board and some of the
members about the museum, and they were interested, but they were having
enough trouble just raising moneys. This was part of this drive I mentioned a
moment ago about the fact [that] we had to go to the centers and other places to get
funding. The guild was indeed another lifesaver, because they came in and
substantially contributed money into the budget to bring exhibits. They would
guarantee at least one major show a year, you see.
By 1979 things had moved along to where we had to do something. We had all
these collections, and I had no place to put them any longer. I was putting them in
the air-conditioning ducts and things like that. [laughter] So I asked the dean at the
time, Joe Sabatella (who was the first dean of the college), [if we could set up a
meeting with] the president [Robert Marston, who was most supportive of the
gallery,] and Bob Bryan, the vice-president (I guess he became provost a little later).
Another important man to remember is Bill Stone, who was vice-president at the
[University of Florida] Foundation at the time. I said: "Could we just call them over
and have an afternoon meeting where I would lay this out for them, tell them what
we have in our collections, and ask them if they would support us in going out to the
public to raise money to build a museum? This institution is a major institution, and
it is long due for a major museum." So they came.
I will have to tell you what happened. It is intriguing. I told them that we had by then
a couple million dollars worth of art in our collections, and we realized that money
was very scarce. We were not asking them for money to come out of the budget or
for them to make any special pitch to the legislature. We just wanted to go public,
and the [Gallery] Guild would certainly be a vehicle for doing this. Dr. Marston
leaned back, and the first response to this, which startled me, and I imagine it even
startled him when he thought about it, [was]: "Roy, you say you have $2 million
[worth of art]. You could sell some of that art, and you could start your fund that
way." At first, I thought I had misunderstood him. If you sell off your art collections
to build an art museum, what are you going to put in it? I do not know whether that
was off the top of his head or whatever. Anyway, that was the first remark that we
got back. Then Bob Bryan said: "Roy, you have a building already over there. Why
not just put another floor on top of it?" I said: "We are not talking about the same
thing. We are talking about a museum."
Bill Stone was the man who understood this. He was a little like Alan Robertson to
that degree. The idea of an art museum to him was a very exciting concept. As I
say, we had had practically nobody in the foundation, up until Bill Stone came along,
who even understood what this meant to the institution.
M: What was his position?
C: He was vice-president in charge of development. In other words, he was in charge
of the UF Foundation. Their offices were in [the] Reitz Union at the time. So we had
the meeting. The bottom line was: "OK. We will agree to this, that you can go out
and raise money, as long as you do not approach our state representatives. We
have other projects and other priorities on this campus, and [although] we are
sympathetic to the museum, it is not a priority. Other things are." So we said, "That
is perfectly all right. All we want to do is go to the public." So that was really, you
might say, the switch. From that moment forward, the Foundation was sensitized,
and we moved toward thinking about how we could do this. [The president also
allotted the dean several hundred dollars out of the President's Concession Fund for
some initial expenses.]
In the meantime, Dave Cofrin, who was [a local physician and was] on the board of
the Gallery Guild, was there. I would say the three key players in the actual
establishment of the museum [include] a man called Bill Chandler, a local attorney
who had a very fine collection of American paintings from the end of the nineteenth
and early part of the twentieth centuries. He had this in his home, and he would call
me up and say, "Roy, I have all this art here, and if you do not get me a museum, I
am going to give it to somebody else." [laughter] So Bill would wave these
paintings in front of me. He gave us some, in fact. But he kept after me. He said, "I
am not going to give you any more if you do not get us a museum."
At the same time, somewhere in 1978 [or] 1979, a local doctor who just died the
other day, a man named Bill Hadley ...
M: Oh, he did die?
C: Yes, unfortunately. Bill Hadley was the president of the guild, and I remember we
had a meeting at Dave Cofrin's home. You said something about tracings or
something. You saw these plans that were drawn up for [a museum site on] 13th
M: Yes. I just read in a number of places where 13th Street [was the originally planned
C: You have not seen the plan?
C: I drafted, very crudely, that corner, and I showed a museum and a performance
theater [built] in tandem. Then the science museum, of course, was down on the
[other] corner. One of the initial concepts was to build the building in such a way
that parking, which was critical even then, could be put under the building; in other
words, [there would be] underground parking for both the performance hall and the
museum. They were conceived in the presentation that I put together to present to
the Gallery Guild. Of course, we were chiefly interested in the art museum, but a lot
of other people wanted a performance hall, so we felt those people would come
along with us.
It was at that meeting at Dr. Cofrin's home where Bill Hadley got [really interested].
He just flashed alive, and he was very excited about the idea. He talked to Bill
Chandler. He knew Bill Chandler; Bill was one of his neighbors. I have always
given credit, and I still will give credit, to the fact that we would not have an art
museum on the University campus if it had not been for Bill Hadley. He took it, and
he was very businesslike about going around and approaching the proper people.
Both he and Bill Stone, I think, are responsible for getting Dave Cofrin to give the
initial $3 million gift. It would not have taken place without that mix of those three
major people. I give Bill Hadley the main credit, because he was the one who could
do it and did it. He was president [of the Gallery Guild] at the time this transpired.
M: OK. So you went in 1983 to a number of museums.
C: Yes. Once the [Samuel P.] Harn gift was given [things fell into place quickly]. As
you know, it was given somewhat to disguise Dave Cofrin's identity. He wanted to
give it in the name of his wife's family. The money did not come from the Harn
family at all. It came from the Cofrin family. That is what happened.
M: I was not aware of that at all.
C: In fact, the name is in honor of Dave Cofrin's wife['s father].
Just before the money came in, there was another development at the foundation.
As I told you, Bill Stone was very interested in this, and he hired a young man called
Steve Aton, who became a full-time fund raiser for the museum. Very shortly
[afterwards], the gift was made.
Then we realized we were going to have to start working on the museum seriously.
We decided that a group of us [who] would be involved should go on these various
trips. I had seen most of these museums myself, but I wanted these people to have
the experience of knowing not just what a gallery looks like and how the artworks
look hung but how the trucks back [in and] out of a building and how the office force
works and how the security works and all these things. So we made an itinerary of
the places we would like to go to, and those included, as you recounted a moment
ago, not only some very impressive public museums but especially a selection of
university museums that we knew were good examples of a functioning campus
At the same time, almost parallel to this, we knew that the National Endowment for
the Arts in Washington gave national grants to institutions to generate high-quality
design, and we decided through the Planning Office of the University of Florida [that]
we would apply for an NEA grant to have an international competition. That is
where that started. Everything was happening very quickly. From about 1979
things were popping all over the place. Then, once the gift came in in 1984, they
really started popping.
M: So the design competition [for the museum] took place, and it was quite extensive.
There were 240 entries.
C: Gee. Goodness. I thought it was over 100, but I could not remember.
M: Initially there were 580 people who signed up, but then there were 240 official
C: We had international [entries]. We had people from Italy and everywhere else--
Spain, I think--that submitted.
M: You received $20,000 from NEA to do the publicity and that sort of thing?
C: Yes, and to execute the logistics of it as well.
M: I came across a document criticizing the competition at one point.
C: Who was that?
M: It was from Terence Williams from the American Institute of Architects in New York.
C: That is interesting.
M: He said a few things. There was insufficient site documentation, then there was a
later survey with different site boundaries, and [later there was] an addendum a
month before the final submissions were due. And then there were conflicting rules
about young students who had not had professional exposure yet. Also what was
required was experience over a three-year period.
C: The Planning Office, as I say, drafted this and did a very successful job of getting
the grant. John Carlson was the guy at the Planning Office, [and] I would like to give
him credit for it. He worked very hard at putting together the grant. Of course,
everybody worked on it, but his office, primarily, did all the logistics on it. Also, prior
to that, we had had the [Campus] Planning Committee of the University give their
approval to that site down there [on SW 13th Street]. There were about three or four
sites that we had considered. This was the one that was finally accepted by the
M: I have [notes that say] that it could have been built by the Reitz Union.
C: Yes, that was one site. Down by Lake Alice was another, I believe. There was even
talk of building across the street [from] where Norman Hall is. But we thought it was
best to have it closer to the [Florida] State Museum [now the Florida Museum of
Natural History] and also close to the [students in the] College of Fine Arts. So that
was what prevailed finally.
Now that you mention this, I remember this guy writing and raising those issues,
and, of course, I think the Planning Office moved to fulfill the criticism. My memory
is not clear on that because I was not directly involved in it.
M: So a person by the name of Thomas Porter won.
M: Then, unfortunately, he was not able to complete the project because [the state of
Florida became involved, and state law required a different selection process]. Mr.
[Budd H.] Bishop [director, Harn Museum of Art] told me when they received the
funding that [Florida Representative] Jon Mills was responsible for, then they had to
change the criteria for the architect. [They had to] change the process of finding an
architect. [During this same time period Santa Fe Community College had
approached Jon Mills about securing state funding for a performing arts center. The
University of Florida also was making initial plans to expand the Florida Museum of
Natural History. Mills offered the idea of combining all three projects into a single
package, the so-called Miracle on 34th Street, making state funding easier to
C: I do not know. By then it had gone beyond me, and I do not know what happened
afterwards. But I know the system, and I think I know what happened. It was there
at the very beginning. Anytime the state of Florida builds a building, the Florida
[branch of the] AIA [American Institute of Architects], which is a very strong lobbying
group in the state, like the printers in the state and a number of other suppliers of
things to state institutions, gets very upset when they think that anyone outside the
state of Florida is going to come in and build a building that they do not have first
crack at. They have tried to insulate and isolate any kind of structures that are
made and "supported" by the state [government] of Florida. Moneys eventually
come from private as well as state funds.
That meeting, when we met with the president [of the University] and Bob Bryan and
they said they had other priorities, did make the point. One of the things they [said],
and I want to underscore this, [was]: "Do not approach any of the legislators or any
of our representatives." The minute the money came in from David Cofrin, Mills
called and said, "Why have you not approached us?" [laughter] [This happened]
when we had been told explicitly to stay away from them. So that opened,
obviously, a whole new vista, and things started happening there.
The thing you are referring to now about having to change it has to do, I think, with
the fact that once state moneys became involved, the pressures from the
architectural community of Florida started pressing in and saying: "No, no, no. You
cannot go out and give this away." Well, as far as I am concerned, that could have
been effectively faced, and the original design could have been kept. There were a
number of local architects interested from the beginning of the project.
M: Do you remember where Thomas Porter was from?
C: He was from Ohio. In fact, if I am not mistaken, he is from Columbus, Ohio, where
Budd is from, even. [Budd Bishop's former position was with the Columbus Museum
in Columbus, Ohio. Ed.] I think that is correct. I am not sure. It has been some
time since I have thought about all this. But I am fairly confident that is what
We had taken the money from the NEA. They [even] had loopholes in their rules.
They said you did not have to give it to the winner, and just because you have a
contest you do not necessarily have to build. We realize there are a lot of conflicting
factors that finally come into a scene like that. But I think an argument that could
have been made--if someone had wanted to make it, and could have made it very
strongly--[was] that here we had gone and had an international competition, [had]
given the University all this publicity, had had interest shown by 200 entries or
whatever, and that the money coming from the NEA to a certain degree was a
contract, whether they insisted on it or not. So I think the thing could have been
M: Was there any penalty?
C: Again, see, all that stuff is so far back now I cannot remember it. I do think that they
had a caveat in there that they said they would accept the fact that the building
would not ultimately be built, even under these circumstances. But I think there was
a moral commitment, because they had funded the competition.
M: So at the same time that was going on, the site was changed, and then Jon Mills
called and put together a package deal for the legislature, and then what I think was
an extremely sophisticated campaign for private funding was launched.
M: Various groups successfully raised 60 percent of the necessary funds within a year.
I came across an outline of how you intended to aim your campaign and what the
special things were you would do.
C: Many people were involved. Incidentally, a lot of the players changed. Bill Stone
left and went to Harvard shortly before all this came to fruition, so the person at the
foundation who really had understood the mechanism from the very beginning and
understood all the ramifications of it was no longer there, you see. Personnel
changed. [We even got a new president, Marshall Criser.] A lot of the people that
came in now had to learn anew or fresh what had transpired and what was to
transpire. So the ground was shifting very quickly. Then, almost immediately, with
Aton and Stone, there had been a committee put together for the fund raising, and
that started and, as you say, went forward. But I give credit to the foundation and
primarily to Bill Stone for that kind of thing.
Then, once that started (I cannot remember the dates of these things), [there was
set up a] search committee to look for the founding director, which was carried on.
Dean Sabatella was the chairman of the search committee. We did [a national]
search, and there were people from the Gallery Guild like Mrs. [Caroline] Richardson
and, of course, Dave Cofrin and a couple of local attorneys and so forth [who were
on the committee].
Almost as soon as that got underway, the decision was made to take the museum
away from the College of Fine Arts and put it under the provost, who, if I may say
so, was hostile to the [museum] idea from the beginning to the end. That was to me
the crowning blow, that the man who [was against the idea of a new museum would
be put in charge of it]. This was Dr. Bryan, who, when [the museum] was mentioned
at the first meeting, said: "We need a new museum like we need a hole in the head.
We have the Florida State Museum [now the Florida Museum of Natural History]
over here, which is already an albatross. We do not need two of those." That was
his comment. [laughter]
M: What year was this?
C: That was that meeting with Marston and so forth when he said, "Why don't you sell
some of the art?" It was that same meeting.
M: What a meeting!
C: It was a very stimulating one. [laughter] Dr. Bryan was hostile to the whole idea.
Later, another thing that was fascinating to me was that someone one day said to
the dean in one of his meetings, "We are sorry to hear that the museum is no longer
in the College [of Fine Arts]." He said, "What?!" "It is under the provost now."
M: And the dean did not even know.
C: He did not know.
M: Was this Joe Sabatella?
C: [Yes.] In fact, he called the president's office and asked to talk to the president. He
said, "I have just heard, and I would like to confirm, that the museum project has
now been taken over by the provost's office [and] is not in the College of Fine Arts."
[Marshall] Criser, [who was president] at the time, said, "That is right." Dean
Sabatella asked, "Is there some documentation of this, or is anyone going to write
me a letter, or what?" [Criser] said, "Well, you know now." And that was it. It was
not even formalized by the consideration of having a document that such an issue
passed from one administrator to the other. That is still a mystery.
M: So it was a shock to everybody's system, and at that point, after all of the work that
had gone on ...
C: It was certainly a startling revelation, to say the least, to learn that you were no
longer involved in something you had worked for for a number of decades.
M: So how did the Gallery Guild feel about that?
C: The Gallery Guild, as you can understand, had been very supportive and worked for
it. They saw the museum coming to the University. I do not know that it was ever
interpreted to them. I mean, I never discussed it with them to any degree. There
was no reason to. They had been successful in their contribution in the sense that
they had worked to gain money from the community and so forth. The result had
occurred, so there it was. Now there was a different venue or administrative
structure. That is all.
M: So what were your duties at that point? What were you obligated to do with the
C: One of my last involvements was as chairman of a committee, the programming
[committee] for the Samuel Ham Museum of Art. Do you have a copy of this? Have
you seen that?
M: No, I do not have that.
C: You can see the members were Steve Aton at the foundation, Bob Bryan; Deering
Danielson of the agricultural [machines] John Deere [family], a very wealthy man
who was a member of the Gallery Guild board; Vince Gabianelli, who was a curator
[and chairman of the Department of Interpretation] at the [Florida] State Museum;
Lee Malone, who was the director of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and
a very distinguished museum professional; Terry McCoy, then assistant director
[and now director] of [the Center for] Latin American studies; John O'Connor,
professor in the department of art; Caroline Richardson, Gallery Guild; Joe
Sabatella, dean; and Robert Westin, chairman of the art department. We all sat
down for about six months and hammered out what the museum should do and
what its mission and funding [and] personnel [would be]. [We discussed] all the
things that it should have.
M: Was this assisted by a man named [Stephen] Prokopoff [director, Krannert Art
Museum, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL].
C: Prokopoff. Yes. He [later] came down from Illinois and critted this document and
was kind of the technical advisor to Bob Bryan--and Bob Bryan, again, exhibited his
hostility. [That is] the only word I can use. He kept thinking we were doing things
that were not correct. I never understood it. He even said to Prokopoff at the dinner
[laughter] in greeting him: "Well, we want you to look over this thing. Roy has
probably already told you that it is great, so you will probably write up that report,"
implying, "You have been brainwashed before you got here." I am sure he was
trying to be funny, but it was not funny as far as I was concerned. And the man was
a professional. [Bryan] was insulting this man he had brought down who really knew
what he is doing.
M: As if Mr. Prokopoff would change his opinion just because you asked him to or said
it was your baby.
C: Yes. Whatever the implication was, [it was unnecessary]. As I say, [Bryan thought]
it was a joke, [that] it was not very well thought out, and [his remark] implied that
something was going on that was not kosher, which it was not the case.
M: So do you think they used this document?
C: You read and see what you think. [laughter] Bob Bryan was in on all the
committee's meetings, and he heard a great amount of discussion. I think [in the
final report] there were something like twenty-three people, if I remember it now
[correctly, in the] bare-bone staffing of the museum, including security and things
like that. I am sure that he [Bryan] was concerned, because he saw the state having
to come up with all these different line items. How do you come up with twenty-
three to staff a whole new operation? I am sympathetic to that, and I understand his
concern. But that was one of the reasons I even said to him several times, "If you
would start putting a position into the budget now each year, you would not have to
do it all at once." There are ways of doing that. Of course, he was under pressure
from everybody else. That has been part of my problem all along. I understand
what the problems of administrators are. You cannot be Santa Claus to everybody.
Here was a huge thing coming down the pike [that] he is going to have to fund
some way or another. So I could understand his being anxious about it, to say the
least. That is understandable.
M: Are you talking about Bob Bryan?
C: Yes. He took the report and said, "This is impractical. Twenty-three positions? No
way!" He sat in the meeting, [and] he just took his pencil and wrote off about half of
them, down to fourteen or something, which was [ridiculous].
M: You are talking about staff?
C: Line items, yes. Staffing. Well, I was kind of amused, because I think if you go to
the Ham Museum and count their staff, they have just about twenty-four budgeted
people. So it came out to be tighter and more accurate than even I thought it was.
M: What was the state of the fund raising and the money that was available at that
point? Did they know yet?
C: We had not gotten into the current circumstances where the state was deprived [of
state tax revenue] and being cut to the bone. It had always been thin, and then
funding to the arts in general [had always been scarce].
M: But the legislature at this point had appropriated the money for the complex?
C: Yes, that had already been established. I think maybe at the time this document
was being drafted that had not come true yet. It was probably [still] in the works. Do
you see what I mean?
M: Yes. And this document is dated July 11, 1984.
C: That was just about the time, or very close to it, that we were in the process of
searching for a director, too. So all these things were kind of going on in tandem
with one another. [There was] a lot of activity that people were involved in. It is a
little hard and confused in my mind now to reconstruct it very clearly.
M: There was also a gift of $50,000 from The New York Times.
M: Applications went out to the Wentworth Foundation, the Chastain Charitable
C: We tried to get money from a number of different [foundations,] even the [Samuel
H.] Kress Foundation and several others. We were successful in some cases and
not in others.
M: Then there was a second NEA Challenge Grant by Steve Aton, but that fell through.
C: [We] did not make that one.
M: Then there was an idea for a chair in the art department, an eminent scholar [chair].
C: That did come to fruition and is still there. I talked to Dean [Donald] McGlothlin
[College of Fine Arts, Sabatella's successor] just a month or so ago about this. He
has plans, I think, at last, to implement this. When the museum became a reality,
Dr. Cofrin, who was most generous in all ways, said: "We are going to have the best
director in the world for this museum. I will be willing to put up $100,000 for it."
Again, [he was] very generous. I guess people had talked to him. He certainly did
not talk to me directly; he talked to others about this. I said to Dean Sabatella (when
we were reporting to him), "That is fine, but you do not need a scholar to run this
museum. You need an administrator. We can use the scholar to generate exhibits
for the museum. It should be an art history chair, not an administrative chair."
By then the thing had gone over to Bryan's office. I guess the dean knew some of
the administrative details, but they got completely away from me because I was not
involved in that layer of decision making. I was down below. I told Dean Sabatella:
"I hate to say it, but the museum profession is such that you could get a very fine,
excellent director for $55,000 or $60,000, a first-line man. Then you could use the
other $30,000 to hire a very fine assistant director," which is much inflated over what
you will find in most public museums. That is above their salary unless you go to the
Met or someplace where they may make $100,000 or something. But outside of
those [major] institutions, you are not going to find this kind of [salary] funding.
So when the time came--and I do not know how this decision was made--Bob Bryan
came up with the salary to hire the director. The money that Dave Cofrin had
directed initially toward the salary for the director was reserved for this distinguished
scholar chair. Art historians and several other people had input about what this
chair should do.
M: And there was even a letter to a man named Hugh McKeen, who had a Tiffany
C: Yes. [He is] down in Winter Park. We had several lunches with him in trying to get
him interested in adding a wing to the museum and his collection, which is a very
valuable and important collection, but he never did anything. He also was in contact
with the Lockhaven, which is now called the Orlando Museum of Art, trying to get
them to take the collection, but he was insisting they build a wing to put it in, and
they did not have the money to do that. As far as I know, there has been no
resolution of that collection yet. Mr. McKeen must be getting in his nineties now,
and he is going to die with no resolution on that thing. He just does not seem [to be
able] to make a decision.
M: I thought that had to do with the eminent scholar.
C: No, he was not involved in that. In fact, we saw him as a valuable adjunct to the
museum. He could have doubled the size of the museum. If he had guaranteed a
wing and given his collection, we would have been the [World] Center for the
Studies of Tiffany Glass at the University of Florida, which would have been
fantastic. We could still do it, because as far as I know it has not been decided. It
would be great. He is very sympathetic. He is a nice guy. I enjoyed him. He [also]
had been in India during the war, so we had a lot to talk about. [laughter] But that
never came to anything.
I believe the current dean [Donald McGlothlin] is about to move on that to see if he
can get that into the program.
M: So the money is still there, waiting to be given to an eminent scholar.
C: Yes, and I assume it is even gathering some interest as well, so there is that money.
There is another thing that has not been mentioned. It was really at the very
beginning of the story. In fact, [it can be considered] the first step to get the
museum identified. I had that budget (I mentioned the budget that Bob Bolles
mentioned the first time [on] the museum project), [and] we were able to establish
what we called a Center for Latin American and Tropical Art in the College of
Architecture and Fine Arts. I was made the director of this. It was to put an
emphasis of study on the arts and architecture of the tropical countries. Since
Florida was in the tropics [we had a vested interest]. There is the large Latin
American center here. Our collections--in the gallery certainly, and now in the
Harn--had been primarily African and Asian material. We thought we could make a
unique identity for the University in the arts by emphasizing that. To my knowledge,
no one else has done that yet. It is still there. I think Dean McGlothlin was going to
move on it, finally, after twenty years or something.
In the proposal to get that approved by the Board of Regents, which was approved
and does exist but is kind of dormant at the moment, was a rationale for the
establishment of a museum, and that was, again, the emphasis that the museum
had. In other words, the birth of the idea of the museum as it started to take and
coalesce as a priority of the College came out of the identity within that Center for
Tropical Arts and Architecture. I did not want to lose that point. That goes back. I
realize it is kind of like a footnote that ought to be earlier in our conversation.
M: [It was called the] Center for Tropical Arts?
C: [The] Center for Latin American and Tropical Arts and Architecture is the way it was
originally [named]. In fact, since the colleges have split, they have set up a Center
for Tropical Architecture [in the College of Architecture], and it is very successful,
which proves our point that it could have been a very important [arm of the what is
now the Harm Museum of Art]. Certainly right now [it] is a very important dimension
to architecture's program. The arts [part of the plan] has not been as successful.
M: I have not had a chance to read through [the entire document]. Well, maybe this is
the one I read through. There were a couple.
C: It told about the kind of programming, how the galleries would be [set up and other
M: I read Prokopoff's.
C: Yes. His is a response, I think, primarily, to the museum's program structure.
M: It seems as though they followed that.
C: I think maybe they have.
M: When I interviewed Mr. Bishop, he said that he went to great lengths to draw up
some plans for the spaces and the utilization of space. [See UF191 and UF193, UF
Oral History Archives. Ed.]
C: He would have had to, because they redesigned the building. It was a different
building, so he undoubtedly programmed that building.
One of the things that is in this report [of the museum program] that I feel pretty
strongly about is the funding. It is even more critical now, and I imagine Budd would
agree with me, [although he] may not agree with me in my answer. I have always
felt, since arts have been funded so poorly--all of the arts, not just the museum--by
the state, and you could not rely on tax support to keep the museum going to the full
measure, that to assure the support of the museum, not only financially but also
from a public point of view, we needed a board for the museum. This board should
be made up of wealthy and influential people in the arts from all over Florida.
Hopefully, [it would be composed] primarily of graduates of the University of Florida
who are successful in business and who are located in urban centers like Miami,
[Fort] Lauderdale, Orlando, Sarasota, St. Pete, Tampa, Jacksonville, and
Pensacola, so that you have this network out in the state. It does not have to be a
body that tells the director how to run things, but it is a support group for him to
establish his liaisons throughout the state. That is one thing that is very strong in
that recommendation, and Budd has not done that.
M: So there is no board of trustees.
C: [Right.] He does not [even] have a guild. He has memberships, but there is no
formal structure to those memberships, as I understand it. But I can understand not
wanting that [board]. [laughter] I think as economics get tighter and tighter and
tighter, it is going to be more and more difficult to come up with funding for a major
M: Yes, and perhaps these people all over the state could keep their eyes out for
M: But then they would also probably have a say-so.
C: Well, the University of Florida Foundation has a board of advisors. They are
structured exactly like this. They give input, and they create contacts out in their
communities, but they are really not part of the administrative structure of the
foundation. The people who run the foundation run the foundation. The same thing
would [occur] with the museum, you see? I am getting into things I should not be
talking about. It is not my problem anymore, thank God! [laughter]
M: I came across this letter from Mr. Bryan asking you to be a member of the search
committee to appoint the director. Three days later you wrote back and said that
you would be on the committee. [It was] a very short letter, like one line. The letter
from Mr. Bryan said: "It is our belief that the director be a scholar, a program builder,
a fund raiser, and an entrepreneur. This is a highly improbable combination of
attributes." It seemed to me that you had those attributes. How did you feel when
[someone else was chosen for the position]?
C: Long before we even got the money I was very frustrated on a number of points. I
liked running the gallery; I enjoyed that and so forth. But once we had gotten into
this program of building the building, [of] getting the museum in place, and it was
moving along, I knew that it would require someone who had a lot more energy than
I have now to do it. I also wanted to [do other things]. I have written books, and I
have a certain scholarly vita, but I felt I had a lot more research and things I wanted
to do. I was not getting these done, and my time is finite. We only live for a certain
period of time. So I never conceived of myself as being the director of this museum
at all. From the very beginning I made it very clear to the dean and everyone else
that [they should] just get a director. That is all I am interested in: seeing it get
there. I had no desire in any way to be the director.
M: So how many years were you with the University?
C: Thirty-six or thirty-seven. [I was] director of the gallery for twenty-three years. I
could have stayed at the gallery until I retired from the faculty, even after the
museum was going. But I had done the gallery, and I enjoyed my classes in Indian
art history, so I said, "I will stay on a little longer and teach those, because that is
something I really enjoy." I even got out of the gallery. I did not want to be involved
in the gallery, much less the museum. [I did not want to be] running it, anyway.
M: So what are your final opinions on the Harn and the community and how it has
affected us? What do you see as changed or improved?
C: We have the museum. That is the bottom line and the most exciting, marvelous
thing. I think it can grow, as it should. If I can be honest, I have some reservations,
as you read the outline of what we proposed as the program for the museum.
Incidentally, the gallery now is under the art department. I mentioned that back
when I was trying to get moneys from the Center for Latin American Studies and
places like that, a lot of my colleagues in the visual arts thought that I was not doing
my duty to them. What they were mostly interested in was contemporary art. Also,
they wanted me to have lots of student exhibits and everything. I said: "If we do that
then this is not a gallery. It is just a local, little instrument for teaching the art
department. That is fine. I think the art department should have that. But this is the
only thing we have now, and I think it should function for the University." That is
what I said about the University Gallery.
I went ahead with getting the collection and so forth. But it was decided, and it is
even in this report, that once the Harn Museum is on line it will be the museum in
true sense. It will be the institution that sponsors all the wide range and a great
variety of programming. It should be sensitive to the programming of the whole
University. The [University] Gallery now, since it does not have to carry that load,
can indeed be the instructional exhibition space for contemporary art and for student
work and things with the art department. [The staff there can] put an emphasis on
I am slightly disappointed that a great majority of programming at the Ham has also
been contemporary art and not of a wide historical range that I would envision that a
university museum should be exhibiting. Maybe this is a phase that we are going
through. We have had some of our collections shown. Even the Indian collection is
on right now, and our South Seas and our African materials are on display. But by
and large most of the exhibits that we have had have been primarily what I would
consider contemporary, modern shows.
M: Do you know the reasoning behind that?
C: No, I do not know.
M: Who is making the decisions?
C: I assume the director is.
M: The curator and the director?
C: The director, primarily.
M: I asked him in the interview if the museum was going to be representative of
contemporary art, and he felt like he could not put his confidence in contemporary
art. So that is interesting.
C: Yes, that is interesting, because most of the programming has been that. Even the
use of the materials that we have that some of the art historians could work with,
[such as Pre-Columbian, folk art, historical paintings, and photography, should be
available]. As I say, African [art] is out. We teach one class in Oceanic. Now that I
am not at the University we do not even teach India, so that material, in a way, does
not serve either currently. [Not that it would not be of interest to the public.] I hope
that is a thing that will be corrected shortly. In fact, I am going to teach temporarily
this fall--one class. But that is just an interim activity.
If you go to other University museums, [you will see that] they will show works that
go from primitive art of the Pacific and [will include] even African art, Roman art,
Greek art, Romanesque art, medieval art, Chinese art, Japanese art, [and] Latin
American art. [There is] a complete gamut of all cultures, as much as you have in
your collections and as much as you can actually book as exhibits. To me, this is
what a function of a university museum is. It should have this wide spectrum of
activities, and I hope that more of that can take place [at the Ham]. And I am sure it
M: OK. I guess that ought to [be enough. Thank you very much for your time, Mr.
Craven. This has been very interesting and informative.]