Richard Hunt, American (1935 - )

My career in sculpture began in 1955. It was then, while still a student, I began to exhibit my sculpture around Chicago in all sorts of places-art fairs, small galleries, local art centers, and the like. During the twelve years that followed, my sculptural development grew as a private, independent, studio-based, self-generated activity that responded to the stimuli I supplied and the skills I could master.

Then in 1967, I began work on Play, a commissioned sculpture which my studio could not accommodate. I started to work on sculpture for the first time outside of my studio, on a time and material basis in a metal fabrication shop, with the help of other men and machines. Play, as I look back on it, began what has been a second career for me, that of a public sculptor. The dimensions of this second career, which remains inextricably linked with the first, were not clear in that beginning, and have only become apparent to me with time and reflection on its course.

Work in the factory contrasts with work in the studio, where the sculptor's head, hand, and hammer can shape an idea in a spontaneous generation, which is frozen in time as it is fused with the torch's heat. Outside the studio, the sculptor's horizons broaden to the limits of the possible; that is to the extent the sculptor can conceive of, and master, the interactive possibilities. These possibilities are often realized through the creative interaction of the artist with patrons, or patron groups in their conception, and with engineers, technicians, and tradesmen in their execution. Outside of the studio, the sculptor's internal dialogue gives way to the dialogue that a sculpture sets up with the environment the sculpture is created for.

Public sculpture responds to the dynamics of a community, or of those in it, who have a use for sculpture. It is this aspect of use, of utility, that gives public sculpture its vital and lively place in the public mind.

The challenges utility brings to the sculptor's mind and art, are as varied as the people and the sites encountered with each commission. As sculptors in our time respond creatively to the challenges that the opporutnities for the greater utilization of sculpture impose, we establish links with the greatest traditions in sculpture, and with the largest and most diverse audience sculpture has ever had.

Richard Hunt


September 12, 1935 - Chicago, Illinois


Public Schools, Chicago, Illinois
University of Illinois, Chicago
University of Chicago
1957 B.A.E., School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Awarded James Nelson Raymond Foreign Travel Fellowship
1957-58 Travel and study in England, France, Spain, Italy
1958-60 U.S. Army

Fellowships, Prizes, Awards

1956 Logan Prize, The Art Institute of Chicago
1961-62 Logan Prize, The Art Institute of Chicago
1957 Palmer Prize, The Art Institute of Chicago
1962 Campana Prize, The Art Institute of Chicago
1962-63 Guggenheim Fellowship
1965 Tamarind Artists Fellowship, Ford Foundation
1970 Cassandra Foundation Fellowship
1993 Lincoln Academy of Illinois

Honorary Degrees

1972 Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois
1973 Dayton Art Institute School
1976 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1977 Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois
1979 Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colorado
1982 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
1984 Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
1986 Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois
1987 Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois
1991 Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
1996 Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois
1997 Governors State University, Park Forest, Illinois

Professorships & Artists Residences

1960-61 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
1960-62 University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois
1964 Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
1964 Cal Arts (formerly Chouinard Art School) Los Angeles, CA
1965 Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana
1968 Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois
1968-69 Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
1969 Wisconsin State University, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
1969 Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
1970 Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois
1975 University of Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana
1977 University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
1977-78 Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
1980 The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
1982 Utah State University, Logan Utah
1985 Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
1988 Eastern Michigan University, Yipsilanti, Michigan
1989-90 Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
1990 Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Michigan
1990 State University of New York, Binghamton, New York
1997 Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Professional & Cultural Activities

1968-74 National Council on the Arts
1970-75 Illinois Arts Council
1972-76 Board of Directors, College Art Association
1974-97 Board of Directors, American Council for the Arts
1974-81 Board of Trustees, Ravinia Festival
1983-92 Board of Trustees, Ravinia Festival
1994 Board of Trustees, Ravinia Festival
1975-79 Board of Trustees, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
1977-97 Visiting Committee on the Visual Arts, University of Chicago
1978-79 International Exhibitions Committee, USIA
1978-83 Yale University Council Committee on Art
1979-84 Board of Governors, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
1980-88 Commissioner, National Museum of American Art Smithsonian Institution
1980-82 Board of Trustees, American Academy in Rome
1981-89 Board of Trustees, The Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago
1982-88 President &Founder, Chicago Sculpture Society
1983-87 National Chairman, Alumni Council, School of the Art Institute
1984-88 Advisory Committee, Getty Center for Education in Arts
1984-96 Director, International Sculpture Center
1985-91 Board of Governors, School of the Art Institute
1994-97 National Board of Directors, Smithsonian Institute
1998 American Academy of Arts & Letters

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