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Guide to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation oral histories 2008.030

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Brett Dion and Maria Santiago

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 22, 2017
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Gunn, Theodore, 2008 January 31

Biographical / Historical

The artist Theodore "Teddy" Gunn, born 1931, was raised primarily in the Upstate New York town of Saugerties before moving with his family to the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. During a lengthy career, Gunn worked with many of New York City's most respected arts and cultural institutions. In his thirty-two-year career with Restoration, he served as the director of the Center for Arts and Culture from 1970 to 1994. He served as a founding trustee, acting director, and exhibition coordinator at Harlem's Studio Museum; and served as a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Committee for Community Programs. He served on the board of directors of many of New York City's influential institutions, including the Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association, the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, the Washington Heights Arts Show, and The Rotunda Gallery. He died in 2010.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Theodore "Teddy" Gunn discusses his introduction to Restoration at its inception, in the 1960s. He describes the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and community of Brooklyn around that era, and how it's progressed over the last thirty years. Gunn calls its evolution, gentrification, and eventual inclusion of many races and peoples "totally American." He speaks of his thirty-two-year career with Restoration, and reflects on Restoration's role in shepherding community improvements via social, cultural, educational, and outreach programming. Gunn also describes his proudest achievements and legacy at Restoration. Interview conducted by Judith Anglin.

Conditions Governing Access and Use

Access to the interview is available onsite at the Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online on the Oral History Portal. Use of the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires permission from BHS by contacting

Subject Names

  • Gunn, Theodore
  • Inniss, Charles E.
  • Kennedy, Robert F.
  • Thomas, Franklin A.

Subject Organizations

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Subject Topics

  • Art -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Arts -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community development corporations -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Cultural facilities -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Gentrification -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Nonprofit organi-ations -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Philanthropists -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)