The Wildenstein Plattner Institute’s (WPI’s) Tom Wesselmann Oral History Series accompanies its forthcoming Tom Wesselmann Digital Catalogue Raisonné.
Constance W. Glenn is an acclaimed art historian, curator, writer, and collector. She is the founding director of the University Art Museum at California State University Long Beach, where she also established the Graduate Certificate Program in Museum Studies and taught courses in art history and museum studies. Since the 1960s, she has been an avid collector with a particular interest in Pop Art and the works of Tom Wesselmann. Over the course of several decades, she formed a professional relationship and personal friendship with the artist, collaborating with him on multiple exhibitions and purchasing numerous works. Highlights of the interview include descriptions of the burgeoning Kansas City art scene in the 1960s, trends in Glenn’s history as an art collector, memories of her relationship with Tom and Claire Wesselmann, and thoughts on the unique and lasting nature of Wesselmann’s works.
KEYWORDS: Pop Art, Tom Wesselmann, 20th century art, modern art, Jack Glenn, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, California State University Long Beach, Claire Wesselmann, Andy Warhol, Merce Cunningham, Susan Buckwalter, Peter Brant, art collectors, art dealers, Ivan Karp, Leo Castelli, Sidney Janis, Art in America, Great American Nude, Postwar American art, Neo-avant-garde, Larry Rivers, Virginia Dwan, Dwan Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning, John Weber, Ted Coe
Jeffrey Sturges is the current Director of Exhibitions for the Estate of Tom Wesselmann. He first worked as a studio assistant for Tom Wesselmann in the 1990s, taking time in between to explore the gallery world and his burgeoning interest in photography, and returned in 2004 just prior to after the artist’s death. Highlights of the interview include discussions of Sturges’ early experiences in Wesselmann’s studio and his first encounters with Wesselmann’s art, the transition from a working studio to an estate, stylistic and symbolic interpretations of Wesselmann’s work, and the unique nature of Wesselmann’s record keeping and titling practices.
KEYWORDS: 20th century art, abstract expressionism, art critiques, artists’ estates, artists’ studios, assemblage, Claire Wesselmann, collage, dimensionality, exhibitions, Great American Nude, Green Gallery, modern art, Pop Art, retrospectives, Robert Rauschenberg, Sidney Janis Gallery, Still Life series, Tom Wesselmann