Internationally Known Sculptor Richard Hunt to Speak at WIU


Richard Hunt

Sculptor Richard Hunt will be at Western Illinois University on Thursday, September 23 to give a public talk about his work and long career. He will speak at 6 pm in the Morgan Hall auditorium, room 109. This event is free and open to the WIU campus and Macomb community.

Richard Howard Hunt was born in 1935 in Chicago. He received a B.A.E. degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1957) and spent two years in the Army. After college, Hunt traveled to Europe on a fellowship. By 1967 he had embarked on a commission for the kind of large-scale metal sculpture for which he is famous, and in 1971 he became the first African American sculptor to have a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

Hunt has completed more public sculptures than any other artist in the country including: in Chicago, Candelabra for St. Matthew’s Methodist Church and Jacob’s Ladder at the Carter G. Woodson Library; and in Detroit, Flintlock Fantasy. Chicago is home to thirty-five of his large scale sculptures. Hunt continues to experiment, employing a wide range of sculptural techniques. Through his work, Hunt often makes comments on contemporary social and political issues. The artist is famous for his abstract works, suggesting recognizable human and natural forms.

Along with the scores of public works and numerous exhibitions, Hunt has received many prestigious awards, including Ford Foundation, Cassandra Foundation, and Guggenheim Fellowships. He has honorary degrees from fourteen colleges and universities. His twenty professorships or artist residencies include Western Illinois University (he isn’t sure when either). He has served on the Boards of Directors for prestigious arts associations including the National Endowment for the Arts; Illinois Arts Council; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Smithsonian American Art Museum; and American Academy in Rome. Hunt has spent most of his life in Illinois. The Dove, a metal sculpture by Hunt was installed in 1998 between Knoblauch Hall and the Western Illinois University Union, funded through the Illinois Capital Development Board.

In addition to the Thursday night public lecture, on Friday, September 24, Mr. Hunt will meet with art students.


Photo by Kendra Stanley Mills - Muskegon Chronicle 2008

For information about the Friday event contact the Department of Art at 309-298-1549.

Richard Hunt’s campus visit is sponsored by a 2010 Academic Support Grant from the Performing Arts Society. For more information contact Jo-Ann Morgan at

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