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Minnesota Artists Oral History Project: Interview with Byron Bradley
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Byron Bradley was born in Anoka, Minnesota. He grew up in Minneapolis and attended public schools there. He became interested in art as a child and attended classes at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for a year. His life direction took him away from art until 1944, when he began classes at the Minneapolis School of Art. He studied under Gustav Krollman among others, and graduated in 1949. Awarded the Vanderlip Scholarship, he attended the Skowegan School of Painting in Maine for a summer, where he studied with Henry Varnum Poor. He also traveled and studied in Europe with classmates Bob Kilbride, Tom Mickelson, and Dave Ratner. When he returned to Minneapolis, he found it necessary to work at other jobs to support his painting. He established the Kilbride Bradley Gallery with Bob Kilbride in 1951, and did layout and illustrations for The Potboiler, the newsletter which represented the Gallery's public relations. In 1953 he began teaching drawing at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He also became involved in teaching at the Grand Marais Art Colony with Birney Quick. He and Quick continued to run the Colony after the Minneapolis College of Art and design discontinued their association with it. He became involved in the art supply aspect of the Kilbride Bradley Gallery and moved away from teaching at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In 1968, Kilbride and Bradley split off the art supply business from the gallery and he opened his own store, K B Art Supplies, while continuing to teach at the Minnetonka Art Center and the Grand Marais Art Colony. Shortly after Quick's death in 1981, he disengaged from the Colony, putting his energy into the successful running of his store and his own work as an artist. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: In this interview, Bradley discusses his early education under teachers Syd Fossum, Briggs Dyer, Bill Ryan and Bernard Arnest. He describes the excitement of the Minneapolis School of Art, the cross section of students, how people got drawn into the aspect of art they were best at. He explains how he worked at other jobs to support his painting, speaks of the evolution of the Kilbride Bradley Gallery, its rental program, his participation in State Fair Art shows, as well as the Biennials. He describes the ways he found most successful in running an enterprise as well as his development as an artist, the effect that Grand Marais had on his work, the conflict between technique and feeling in his art, and the changing mix of students at the Colony. He reflects on the transition from teacher to art supply Colony, from teacher to art supply store owner, and the need to keep generating new ideas in business as well as art. He presents his point of view on visual orientation and observation and how that translates to art, as well as his priorities in the art supply business. He shares how artists were chosen to exhibit for the Gallery shows, and sets forth his view of what makes, one of his own paintings successful.
1 hour sound cassette
18 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
01:00:05 running time
Interviewee: Bradley, Byron M.
Interviewer: O'Sullivan, Thomas
Made in: Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 1 (Library Call Number)
AV1991.141.1 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota Artists Oral History Project'