University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The University of Wisconsin Collection

Interview #16: Cadmus, Robert (1977)

View all of Interview with Robert Cadmus

Previous Previous subsection

Next subsection Next



 

00:00:08–00:02:36 Remembers creativity of fence around site...

Remembers creativity of fence around site of humanities building. In repainting, good stuff was always kept.

Listen to this section

00:00:08

RC

It seems now, obviously, one of the biggest activities on campus is movies, which is fine. But that maybe is a little less creative activity than there was. And the only example I can think of to support that is when the humanities building and the art center were being built, this is now in ’68, ’69, and ‘70ish, around there, there was a wooden plywood fence that went all the way around the block, and was completely painted, sort of one panel at a time, with either ads for concerts or appeals for peace, or just decorations, or birthday wishes, or whatever. And some of them were truly works of art. And every morning as I walked by the thing on my way to campus, it was always different. It had always been repainted. Some section of it. But the people who repainted always knew what was good and what was bad. All the really good stuff stayed till the end; it never got painted over. And all the things which just said “Happy Birthday John” on a black and white background, after two days, somebody would paint that over in the middle of the night with something else. So the quality of the stuff on the fence just kept going up and up and up, as all the bad stuff got replaced with better stuff, and all the good stuff remained. And I was just always impressed with it as sort of a unique art form.

LS

I’m glad you mentioned that. I had forgotten about it.

RC

I don’t know. I would hope that somebody somewhere has preserved those pieces of plywood, because there were some really nice things. [laughs] But I can’t put my finger on anything on the campus right now, that at least outwardly seems that creative. Obviously there are lots of creative people doing lots of creative things on campus, I’m not saying that. But just the nature of the campus just doesn’t seem to have that kind of spark to it.

LS

Well, the freedom–

RC

Maybe just because there’s no big fence. I don’t know. If somebody put up a big fence in the middle of campus again, maybe it would [clean up a little?].

LS

Outside of that wonderful sign that says “US Out of North America Now.”

RC

Right. [laughter]

LS

I worry that somebody is going to take that off.

RC

The other thing I like, and I don’t know who’s responsible for this, but the little vents in the ground that are painted like mushrooms. I’ve always enjoyed that. It was somebody. I don’t know, I doubt that Physical Plant is doing that.

Previous Previous subsection

Next subsection Next




Go up to Top of Page