Originally recorded on 4 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr., 8 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Allan Rohan Crite conducted 1979 January 16-1980 October 22, by Robert F. Brown for the Archives of American Art. Also participating in the interview is Crite's assistant, Susan Thompson.
Crite describes his family background and his youth in Boston. He gives great detail about his childhood interest in art and the art classes he took as a child, sharing drawings he did then with the interviewer. He remembers his art education at the Museum of Fine Arts School and involvement with the Society of Independent Artists. Crite discusses his ideas about the Episcopal church, his religious beliefs, and his interest in the liturgy and spirituals in his artwork. He recounts his engagement in the Navy, participation in the WPA, and work with the Rambusch Company. Crite describes paintings he did of street life in black communities of Boston in the 1930s, a series of portraits, and paintings he did to illustrate spirituals and the Episcopal liturgy. He speaks about race relations and explains his motivations for an educational project in progress entitled, "The Cultural Heritage of the United States: a Rediscovery," promoting a multicultural view of American history. The last segment of the interview includes Susan Thompson, a fabric artist and close friend collaborating with Crite on projects mostly of a religious nature, including vestments and altar cloths.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Allan Rohan Crite, 1979 January 16-1980 October 22. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available online.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Allan Rohan Crite (1910-2007) was a painter and illustrator from Boston, Massachusetts.
This interview is part of the Archives' Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001