Preserving Oral History

In 1973 Camille and Jim purchased a loft at 491 Broadway Avenue, in the heart of SoHo. Their home soon became a mecca for visual artists like Howardena Pindell, the playwright George C. Wolfe, collector and historian Delilah Jackson, and the novelist John A. Williams, all of whom sought out like-minded individuals to share their work, aspirations, and common love of art.

Eventually, the meetings in the loft grew into more formal salons, where a variety of creative folk converged to break bread and discuss the social, cultural, and political issues of the day. Within this context, Camille and Jim began recording artists’ stories. In 1981 the duo began publishing Artist and Influence, a journal dedicated to preserving the oral histories of artists, art historians, filmmakers, and writers. Over the decades, Billops and Hatch coordinated more than 1,500 interviews, with a little more than 400 appearing in print.

George Wolfe

Barbara & Carlton Molette

Elizabeth Catlett