Listen to the interview (19.6 MB)
Helene Tieger, '85
Raised in a small coastal town in Massachusetts, Susan Playfair was introduced to Bard through Richard Gummere. She transferred to Bard and came to study with Ralph Ellison as a creative writing major. Because Ralph Ellison had already left the school, Playfair ended up taking a lot of sculpture classes which influenced her choice of majors. She describes sculptor and professor Harvey Fite as a hands-off instructor who was at the time engrossed in his work on Opus 40. After learning the basics, Playfair focused on casting in new materials, specifically resin. Playfair was made president of Blithewood when the building was still used as a dorm. "Lifestyles in America," a class taught by Ted Weiss, is frequently credited by Playfair as an influential course that informed her later life. Unlike the current Bard community, Playfair and the majority of her classmates would leave for New York City on weekends rather than attending social events on campus. As a student at Bard before the college had purchased Ward Manor, Playfair describes a sweet relationship with the elderly women who resided at Ward Manor.
Bob Rockman, Ralph Ellison, Blithewood, Student Council, Ted Weiss, Board of Governors, Harvey Fite, Opus 40, Reamer Kline, James Case, Stefan Hirsch, Ward Manor, Richard Gummere
BardCorps trailer, main campus.
Playfair, Susan, "Susan Playfair, '62 (BardCorps)" (2011). Oral Histories. 2.
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