Robert Bassler, '57 (BardCorps)

Interviewee

Robert Bassler

Files

Download

Listen to the interview (57.9 MB)

Download Seclusion in Blithewood Fountain (192 KB)

Download Bob sitting with fire trucks (2.0 MB)

Download Exploring the campus and the art department freshman year (7.4 MB)

Download Moderating twice (3.1 MB)

Download The Student Fire Department (8.1 MB)

Download The Hungarian refugees, Pete Seeger, and Eleanor Roosevelt (4.4 MB)

Download Working for Harvey Fite at Opus 40 (10.8 MB)

Download Lightning storms at Blithewood and creating the fountain (25.3 MB)

Significant Quote

“I got a C. I had never gotten a C in art, ever. I was a straight A student, I mean I wasn’t a straight A student in everything but I was a straight A student in art to the point of getting a scholarship to art school... then I come to Bard and I get a C. I was totally mystified.”

Class Year

1957

Academic Program

Studio Arts

Interviewer

Helene Tieger, '85

Description

Bob Bassler was originally drawn to Bard for its focus on visual arts and its lack of exams at the time. As he puts it, he was enticed by Bard's "small classes, for starters, a lot of dependence upon individual research, few lectures, very few lectures." He recalls his freshman year as a "disaster," and in the following year he initially failed moderation into the art department. However, at the behest of his friends, Bob was given a second chance to moderate, and succeeded at Bard from that point onward "with flying colors." Bob describes his experiences with the art department and the transition from painting to sculpture; his work with the Student Fire Department; and his encounters with Bard's various visitors, including refugees from the Hungarian Revolution, Pete Seeger, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Bob remembers his time in class with Harvey Fite, and working for Harvey at Opus 40 for seventy cents per hour. He also recalls his experience creating the Blithewood fountain sculpture, Seclusion. All in all, Bob says of his time at Bard, "The minute I stepped on that ground I knew it was the place for me [...] It was an enormous learning experience on all levels."

Keywords

Peter Stone, Harvey Fite, Stefan Hirsch, Heinrich Bluecher, Orient Hall, sculpture, Student Fire Department, Cal Avery, Dick Avery '56, Buildings & Grounds, laundry service, Hungarian refugee students, Pete Seeger, Eleanor Roosevelt, Opus 40 residency, Blithewood Fountain, Seclusion

Location

Alumni/ae Building

Interview Date

10-18-2012

Interview Duration

1:03:12

Rights Management

The use of any image or audio from the Bard College Archives without permission is prohibited.

Seclusion image.jpg (192 kB)
Seclusion in Blithewood Fountain

Student Fire Department.jpg (2047 kB)
Bob sitting with fire trucks

Exploring the campus and the art department freshman year.mp3 (7586 kB)
Exploring the campus and the art department freshman year

Moderating twice.mp3 (3212 kB)
Moderating twice

The Student Fire Department.mp3 (8333 kB)
The Student Fire Department

The Hungarian refugees, Pete Seeger, and Eleanor Roosevelt.mp3 (4505 kB)
The Hungarian refugees, Pete Seeger, and Eleanor Roosevelt

Working for Harvey Fite at Opus 40.mp3 (11103 kB)
Working for Harvey Fite at Opus 40

Lightning storms at Blithewood and creating the fountain.mp3 (25876 kB)
Lightning storms at Blithewood and creating the fountain

Robert Bassler, '57 (BardCorps)

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