Edwards, Melvin, 1971-1987
Scope and Contents
Edwards spoke on 10/24/1978 (2015-0002/RR3), 10/26/1971 (2015-0002/RR141), 11/9/1971 (2015-0002/RR142 reel 1), (2015-0002/RR143 reel 2), 2/29/1972 (2015-0002/RR144), 11/28/1972 (2015-0002/RR145), 10/23/1973 (2015-0002/RR146), 9/30/1975 (2015-0002/RR147), 11/16/1976 (2015-0002/RR148), 9/20/1977 (2015-0002/RR149 reel 1), (2015-0002/RR150 reel 2), 9/25/1979 (2015-0002/RR151), 11/18/1980 (2015-0002/RR152), 11/24/1981 (2015-0002/RR153), 11/2/1982 (2015-0002/RR154), 10/11/1983 (2015-0002/RR155), 10/29/1985 (2015-0002/RR156), 9/23/1986 (2015-0002/RR157), 9/22/1987 (2015-0002/RR316), and 4-10-1990 (2015-0002/AC7).
AC 7 Prof. Melvin Edwards (sculptor) discusses his career and major works that he has created through a slideshow.
RR 141 Melvin Edwards was introduced by Edward O'Connor. Edwards was the reicipent of several grants which allowed him to travel around Africa. In this lecture, Edwards discusses his travels and African art, which is impossible to generalize. This presentation covers art that dates about (from 1971) 2000-2500 years ago and is illustrated by slides.
RR 142-143 Mel Edwards presents a slide show which he describes as a composite of things cultural in West Africa through the eyes of an artist.
RR 144 The evenings discussion is art and its relevance to the Black Experience. Mel Edwards (sculptor) is substituting for William Majors (printmaker), who was originally scheduled to speak. Edwards speaks about his own, and other Black artists, work.
RR 145 Introduced by Professor James Eversole, Mel Edwards presents a slide show illustrating his work over the last ten years or so.
RR 146 Introduced by Hale Smith, Edwards gives a survey of his work to illustrate his thinking. He encourages the audience to ask questions at any time.
RR 147 Introduced by Hale Smith, Edwards is s sculptor who works in steel. His slide show is a survey of his work for the past twelve years.
RR 148 Melvin Edwards presents a slide show (2 carousels) illustrating his work and things and ideas that are related to his work.
RR 149/150 Melvin Edwards begins with a brief personal history. He presents his work and somethings that are important to him. He shares his hope that audience will find the combination of the slides of his art and his presentation meaningful. (RR149 and RR150 are the same program)
RR 151 Hale Smith introduces former UConn professor, Mel Edwards. Edwards presents a slide show illustrating the past fifteen years or so of his work.
RR 152 Hale Smith introduces former UConn professor, Melvin Edwards, who left to become head of the Newark branch of Rutgers University. A sculptor since about 1960, Edwards makes a slid presentation and lets the slides speak for themselves.
RR 153 Melvin Edwards speaks in general about his own work preceded by a brief, but in-depth, survey of Afro-American artists' work from the early 20th century.
RR 154 Hale Smith explains the clutter in the auditorium is in preparation for a laser light program the following day (11/3-4 at 8pm). Melvin Edwards is introduced by Professor Smith as an outstanding sculptor (steel), who also paints, draaws, etchings and engravings and printmaker--in other words, an allround visible artist, who also helped create the BEA course. Edwards provides a brief personal history and explains that his work is abstract, not in style, but in the dictionary meaning--whatever he creates has been developed from other visual phenomena; a distillation of various other things to make something new.
RR 155 Hale Smith asks how many were puzzled by last week's talk--"Marvelous, you may wish to pay attention to the tape." Smtih credits Edward O'Connor and this speaker with developing the BEA course. Melvin Edwards was a professor in the Uconn Art department who now teaches at Rutgers University. Edwards speaks about his work and what influences it.
RR 156 Opens with Edward O'Connor explaining seating for an exam, followed by an announcement that grades are posted. Introduction begins about 0:01:05. Melvin Edwards explains that it will be a casual slide program program but questions are welcome. Scuplture is visual art in three dimensions that can be subtractive (i.e. carving) or additive.
RR 157 Mel Edwards received a lengthy introduction before beginning a slide show of most of his works from about 1960 until 1985.
RR 316 Professor Leon Bailey introduces Melvin Edwards, sculptor. Edwards presents a slide show that begins with an image of a quilt made by his grandmother.
Conditions Governing Access
Links to digitized content are included in the finding aid.
Biographical / Historical
Melvin "Mel" Edwards (born May 4, 1937) is an American contemporary artist, teacher, and abstract steel metal sculptor. Additionally he has worked in drawing and printmaking. His artwork has political content often referencing African-American history, as well as the exploration of themes within slavery. Visually his works are characterized by the use of straight-edged triangular and rectilinear forms in metal. He lives between Upstate New York and in Plainfield, New Jersey.
He has had more than a dozen one-person show exhibits and been in over four dozen group shows. Edwards has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, New Jersey.
Melvin Eugene Edwards, Jr., was born May 4, 1937, in Houston, Texas. He was raised in Dayton, Ohio for five years, but by middle school age the family moved back to Houston. He was a creator from a young age and was encouraged by his parents with his father building his first easel when he was 14 years old. Edwards was introduced to abstract art by a high school teacher. While attending high school he started to take art classes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
In 1955 he moved to southern California to pursue studies at Los Angeles City College. Edwards transferred schools to study art and play football at University of Southern California (USC), where he received his B.F.A. degree in 1965. While attending USC, Edwards took a history course that was rooted in a European-centric view, which upset him and fueled him to learn more about African history. This inspired his travel to Africa five years later.
He attended Los Angeles County Art Institute (known as Otis College of Art and Design) during breaks from USC to study sculpture with Renzo Fenci. Additionally, he was mentored by Hungarian-American painter Francis de Erdely, and studied under Hal Gebhardt, Hans Burkhardt, and Edward Ewing.
In 1965, he went on to teach at the Chouinard Art Institute (now known as the California Institute of the Arts) until 1967. He moved to New York City in 1967. Additionally he taught at Orange County Community College in New York (1967-1969), and the University of Connecticut (1970-1972).
In 1972, he began teaching art classes at Livingston College of Rutgers University, (now part of the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences). By 1980 he was a full professor and teaching at the Mason Gross School of Creative and Performing Arts at Rutgers University. By 2002, he retired from teaching.
Edwards married poet Jayne Cortez, herself a frequent lecturer to the Black Experience in the Arts course.
[Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Edwards /https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/life/2015/09/24/professor-showcase-artwork-rutgers/72399726/]
19 Reels (Magnetic tape audio recordings ) : RR 3 1 reel, 0:55:32; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 141 1 reel, 1:02:59; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 142-143 2 reels, 1:04:31, 0:14:19; combined 1:18:41tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 144 1 reel, 12:53:33; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 145 1 reel, 00:34:21; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 146 1 reel, 00:53:35; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 147 1 reel, 00:55:21; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 148 1 reel, 00:58:39; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 149/150 (same program) 1 reel, 01:04:35; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 151 1 reel, 01:02:28; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 152 1 reel, 01:04:44; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 153 1 reel, 00:50:57; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 154 1 reel, 01:06:33; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 155 1 reel, 01:01:05; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 156 1 reel, 01:19:18; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 157 1 reel, 01:09:31; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. RR 316 1 reel, 00:52:16; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester.
1 Cassettes (audio cassette recording) : AC 7 0:47:33; 0:33:37; run time of the combined digital recording is 01:21:06.
Language of Materials
From the Series: English
- African American artists Subject Source: Fast
- African American sculptors Subject Source: Fast
- African Americans Subject Source: Fast
- African Americans in popular culture Subject Source: Fast
- Black Experience in the Arts Course (University of Connecticut) -- Sound recordings Subject Source: Local sources
- Sound recordings Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Reel: 2015-0002/RR3 (Audio)
- Reel: 2015-0002/RR141 - RR150 (Audio)
- Reel: 2015-0002/RR151 - RR157 (Audio)
- Reel: 2015-0002/RR316 (Audio)
- Reel: 2015-0002/RR3 (digitized)
- Reel: 2015-0002/RR141 - RR150 (digitized)
- Reel: 2015-0002/RR151 - RR157 (digitized)
- Reel: 2015-0002/RR316 (digitized)
- cassette: 2015-0002/AC7 (Audio)
- cassette: 2015-0002/AC7 (digitized)
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