Bruce Bassett Moving Image and Sound Archive, Storm King Art Center

Record Group, 2019-002
Date(s) of record-keeping activity
1991 – 2002
Approximately 50 cubic feet of multi-format materials, including film, video tape, audio recordings and transcripts
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Reproduction
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Storm King Art Center Archives and the copyright holder.
Scope and Content
The collection holds materials acquired by Storm King Art Center from Bruce Bassett and his Estate. Various audiovisual formats feature interviews with sculptors associated with Storm King Art Center, including Magdalena Abakanowicz, Mark di Suvero, Andy Goldsworthy, Gil Hawkins, Patricia Johanson, Richard Serra, Kenneth Snelson, Isaac Witkin, and others. Interviews with Founding President H. Peter Stern, Landscape Architect William A. Rutherford, Sr., members of the Stern family and other supporters of the Art Center also included.

Born in New Jersey in 1925, Bruce Bassett worked as a television and film producer for NBC studios in New York City for over 20 years. As a documentary film maker focused on the art world, he wrote and produced several full-length feature films, including Portrait of an Artist: Jacques Lipchitz (1977), The Creative Adventures of Isamu Noguchi (1980), Sculptors at Storm King (1992, 2003), and Two Men at Storm King (2005).

In 1968 Bassett met artist Jacques Lipchitz and they began collaborating on an extensive oral history project which lasted until Bassett’s death in 2009. Bassett founded two organizations to support the project: the Jacques Lipchitz Art Foundation (1968-1975) and Histor Systems (c. 1991-2001). Funds were raised to interview Lipchitz in Italy about his work and art collection and over 200 hours of audio interview were filmed. The film Portrait of an Artist: Jacques Lipchitz was created from this extensive footage as well as an innovative interactive program that allowed viewers to ask questions of Lipchitz and have him answer through video segments. The film and program were first shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s retrospective exhibition of Lipchitz’ sculpture in 1972. The interactive program was later presented at Krannert Art Museum of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001, and eventually hosted online on the Israel Museum’s website.