Oral History | Emergency resources for artists

table of paint brushes and paints
Photo by Khara Woods on Unsplash

The Oral History Archives at Columbia (OHAC) has a number of collections related to artists and the art world. This investment in documenting artistic practices and lives includes collections such as: New York’s Art World Project, Apollo Theater Oral History Project, Bennington Summer School of Dance Project, Popular Arts Project, and the Elizabeth Murray Women in the Visual Arts Oral History Project.

Also notable is the INCITE/Columbia Center for Oral History Research Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project. The collection features, “firsthand accounts, as told by the artist’s family, friends, and many collaborators” detailing Rauschenberg’s practice and artistic community.

The project came to mind upon seeing announcements about a new medical emergency grant for artists, a partnership between the Rauschenberg Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts. Creative Capital also has a listing of arts resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have a listen* to oral histories with artists for insights into how creatives use, respond and live through precarious situations such as the one we’re collectively facing now.

*OHAC’s collections are part of a library-wide, Mellon Foundation-funded analog-to-digital reformatting project. Digitized audio and transcripts, when available, are added to the Digital Library Collections (DLC). The DLC is searchable by subject, keyword and proper names.

For collections available only onsite, please bookmark the Columbia University Libraries’ alerts website for details about when the RBML will re-open, as well as review OHAC’s FAQ. You can also find online library resources here.