Rae Solowey

Interviewee: Rae Landis Solowey (wife of artist Ben Solowey)
Date of birth/age at interview:  1907/79
Interviewer: Joan Stack (WBUX radio show host)
Interview date:  February 2, 1987
Interview location: Cross Keys Restaurant, Doylestown, PA
Interview length: 19 minutes
Time span discussed:  1914 to 1978

Summary: This radio interview is of poor quality due to restaurant background noise.  On her WBUX radio show, Joan Stack previews a Ben Solowey show at the Bucks Arts Council with the artist’s wife Rae nine years after the artist passed away.   The interview is being preserved due to the importance of the artist.


Time markers:
00:00 – introduction of the exhibition
01:12 – Ben’s early effort to gain work by drawing actors, theatre personalities
04:29 – stories about three Ethel Barrymore drawings
07:19 – Ben’s art no gimmicks, people understood
07:56 – many self-portraits, few models on the farm
08:33 – much of life was spent posing, she looked at them objectively
09:22 – Ben saw a portrait in his mind before he approached canvas; his portraits better than most
12:58 – Ben 14 when he came to the USA from Poland; gravitated to drawing and art, studied at several schools in Philadelphia and Europe
13:56 – made his living as a fine artist, not a commercial artist
14:20 – moved to Bucks County farm in 1942 due to war, seven years without water, heat, lights
15:21 – did different subjects, loved flowers, portraits
16:10 – several good friends, George and Helen Powell
17:36 – show promotion and advertisement
18:40 – concludes with sweet words about the memory of her husband

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