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Smith, Alvin, 1978 November 14

 Item — Multiple Containers

Scope and Contents

Artist Alvin Smith delivered a lecture on 11/14/1978 (2015-0002/RR268). Smith is a visual artist active in New York City. Smith's piece, St. Mary and Mississippi, is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Hale Smith introduces painter and educator Alvin Smith. Alvin Smith speaks about Afro American art in general and about his own work as a creative artist.


  • 1978 November 14

Conditions Governing Access

Links to digitized content are included in the finding aid.

Biographical / Historical

Born in Gary, Indiana in 1933, Alvin Smith was largely influenced by the Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s. This form of painting prioritised dramatic brushstrokes and explored ideas about organic nature, spirituality and the sublime. Much of the focus was on the formal techniques of painting, and ideas of action painting were unified with the political freedom of the United States society. Important Europeans who came to New York and provided inspiration for American artists included Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers and Hans Hoffmann, who between them set the foundations for much of the United States’ explosive cultural growth in the subsequent decades. Influential artists of the Abstract Expressionist Generation included Jackson Pollock (who innovated his famed drip, splatter and pour painting techniques), Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Frank Kline, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still and Adolph Gottlieb. It was a male dominated environment, but necessary reassessment of this period has emphasised the contributions of female artists such as Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Louise Bourgeois, amongst others. Smith is known for his mixed media painting, teaching, illustration and lives in New York.

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1 Reels (Magnetic tape audio recording) : RR 268 1 reel, 1:04:02; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester.

Language of Materials

From the Series: English

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
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Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US