Brown, Jeff and McNulty, John

Part 1 of 3 was recorded at John and Jeff’s house on May 22nd, 2018. The interview covers the following themes:

  • Jeff’s childhood in Tucson during the 1950s with descriptions of Pueblo Gardens and Sunland Vista.

  • Tucson demographics.

  • Jeff’s move to the Silverbell and Grant area in the late 1950s. Descriptions of the Santa Cruz river, downtown Tucson, and diversity on the west side and at John Spring School. Dancing.

  • Attending Tucson High from 1963-67. Social groups, race, the assassination of Martin Luther King and ensuing student walkout. Increasingly adversarial relationship between students and adults throughout the 1960s. Dances, music, fashion.

  • John’s childhood in Watertown, NY during the 1950s and 1960s. Family dairy. Catholic school, SUNY Potsdam, art and ceramics.

  • Move to Tucson in 1972 and first impressions of the city. Grant Road Tavern, Talley-Ho Bar, and the Tucson art crowd.

  • The Tucson Art Center.

  • Work at Arizona Picture and Frame.

  • John’s stint as a folk-choir singer.

  • Hitchhiking in Tucson.

  • Impressions of downtown Tucson in 1972, including the aftermath of urban renewal.

  • Living in Barrio Viejo.

  • Destruction of Snob Hollow mansions.

  • Jeff’s co-purchase of the Velasco House in 1970 and historic preservation.

Part 2 of 3 was recorded at John and Jeff’s house on June 14th, 2018. The interview covers the following themes:

  • John’s experience at the Tucson Museum of Art, starting in 1973. The Tucson Art Center, Corbet House, Fish Stevens and Romero House.

  • John’s attempts to save the Art Center from being closed despite dwindling city support for the museum.

  • Activities and students at Tucson Art Center during the mid-1970s.

  • The Tucson art scene from the 1970s to 1980s: galleries, events, figures, the division between contemporary and Western art, and the city’s art market.

  • Music, celebrity, and the coolness of the Tucson Convention Center.

  • Jeff’s coming-out experience in the early 1970s. Tucson's gay scene: bars, music, discrimination, relationship between gay community and other communities, dating and relationships, dancing. John’s coming-out experience.

  • The outbreak of AIDS, losing friends, and political awakening of gay community.

Part 3 of 3 was recorded at John and Jeff’s house on July 3rd, 2018. The interview covers the following themes:

  • Ted DeGrazia and his role in Tucson’s art community.

  • Ash Alley and Old Town Artisans.

  • Cele Peterson.

  • The changing face of downtown Tucson from the 1970s to 2000s, specifically focused on retail and art spaces. Broadloom City as an art and party space. 4th Avenue sidewalk culture.

  • Jeff’s launch of high-end fashion store J Kareiva Menzwear and downtown Tucson’s commercial and artistic decline in the 1990s and 2000s.

  • Jeff’s experience working at Goldwater’s in El Con Mall. The end of professionalized, high end retail.

  • John’s management of the Tucson Museum of Art’s store from the mid-1970s to mid 2010s. Changes in museum-going and art-buying demographics.

  • The Dunbar Spring neighborhood from 1980s to 2018: changing racial demographics, gentrification, water harvesting.

PeopleAengus Anderson