Reminiscences of Alphonse Mattia: oral history, 1985
Scope and Contents
Description of childhood in inner-city Philadelphia; relationship with and influence of Italian immigrant father, impact on choice of career; reflections on Catholic school education; part-time work in hobby shop building models; decision to go to art school; pre-college summer program at Philadelphia College of Art (PCA), 1965; recollections of PCA 1965-1969; description of student and teacher work at PCA; first interest in industrial design; decision to major in woodworking; orientation of department to natural and organic based imagery, influence of Scandinavian Modern; interest in making one-of-a-kind objects; recognition in group exhibitions after finishing college; participation in "The Peace Show," Philadephia Museum of Art, 1970; selling of first pieces; work as foreman for actor's group restoring theatre; work in occupational therapy department at University of Pennsylvania; decision to go to Rhode Island School of Design for graduate school, MFA in industrial design, 1971-1973; influence of Professor Tage Frid; work at Virginia Commonwealth University teaching woodworking, 1973-76; reflections on development of work; discussion of differences between wood and furniture, decision not to make furniture; theory on history of wood movement; reflections on other woodworkers/ artists; creation of Society of Furniture Artists; discussion of woodworking programs around the country; resignation from Virginia Commonwealth University, 1976; work at School of Artisanry, Boston University,
(cont.) recollections of students and teachers; direction of school; self-description as teacher; interest in making more spiritually oriented work; conflicts and difficulties of working with an assistant; relationship with galleries; accessibility of work.
Copyright by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 1990.