Minnesota Artists Oral History Project: Interview with Francis Meisch
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Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Francis R. Meisch was born 1915, in St. Paul, Minnesota where he attended both public and parochial schools. With supported from his family to achieve his early ambition of becoming an architect, he attended the University of Minnesota; studied art under Elmer Young, Ivan Doseff, and S. Chatwood Burton; and earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree with distinction. He continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studied under John L. Reid and Samuel Chamberlain, and was awarded a Masters in Architecture degree. Following graduation from MIT he taught architecture at North Dakota State College in [Fargo] until called to serve as a designer on National Defense projects during World War II. After the war he returned to Minneapolis, Minnesota, as an architect for Northwest Airlines. He was employed as an architect by NcEnary and Krafft from 1950 to 1954; the Cerny Association from 1954 to 1964; Haarstick, Lundgren and Associates from 1964 to 1971; and Peterson, Clark and Associates from 1974 until his retirement. He was active in the Minnesota Artists Association from 1943 through 1961. He began exhibiting dry points in 1937 and watercolors in 1942. He has exhibited in more than 170 exhibitions and has to his credit sixteen one-man shows. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: In this interview Meisch details family support for his choice of vocation and discusses his education and work experiences. He gives details about education and architecture during the Depression, pre-World War II years - including the classes offered through the WPA Art Center - and the more relevant learning he gained on the job. He speaks of working under Burton and Doseff and relates the broad scope of employment which taught him surveying, hydraulics, and engineering. He learned dry point at MIT but his mobile lifestyle did not permit the facilities necessary for him to continue printmaking. He speaks of the influence upon him of the Walker, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the University of Minnesota galleries, as well as the cultural advantages offered by the local symphony orchestras. He discusses his involvement in the Minnesota Artists Association, and reflects on how it increased opportunities for artists to exhibit their work, particularly women. Mention is made of the economics of painting, his local and regional reputation as an artist, and the pitfalls of the present art scene economically. Meisch shares his use of photography to compose his works and explains how he came to his method. He recalls his mentors and models, why they are important to him and the changes in his own life style with retirement.
Quantity 2 hours sound cassette
22 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 01:11:25 running time
Creation Interviewee: Meisch, Francis R.
Interviewer: O'Sullivan, Thomas
Interviewer: Meehan, Susan
Made in Edina, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Edina, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 01/23/1987
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 1
Accession Number AV1991.142
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota Artists Oral History Project'

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