Gustav Nilson

Interviewee: Gustav Nilson
Date of birth:  1897/81
Interviewer: John Sutton
Interview date: August 8, 1978
Interview location:  Nilson home in Pipersville, PA
Interview length:  9 minutes
Time span discussed: 1940 to 1978

Summary: Gustav, in answering the interviewer’s questions, gives a view of Bucks County art activity from the early 1940s on. The description of the way artists made a living between the New York City and Philadelphia markets before and after WW2 underlines their struggle to make ends meet via their work. We do not get any insight into the artist’s creative processes or thinking.


Time markers:
00:00 – introduction; aware of Bucks County while traveling between New York and Philadelphia
00:45 – studied under interesting people; learned watercoloring
01:06 – living in Bucks good experience, has become well known locally
01:28 – difficult to earn a living as artist in Bucks County or anywhere.
01:45 – does not know much about the County’s art support system; own fault, at this age out of the general run of things
02:50 – glad to come to Bucks County 38 years before; did well here with art work; shows give good opportunities
04:39 – came here because a large client in Philadelphia; commercial art work stopped at the beginning of World War II
05:30 – paints scenes from Bucks County, New England, and Europe
06:14 – travel a fair amount
06:3 – good “coverage” in Bucks County to present art work, shows by art leagues and the Arts Council; interest here due to the long history of artists

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