Richard Lippold Foundation

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Artist Biography

1915 Born: May 3, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Father: Adolph Lippold, mechanical engineer. Mother: Elsa Schmidt. Both of German extraction.
1933-37 Studied: School of the Art Institute of Chicago and University of Chicago; major in industrial design. Studied music and dance (modern and folk) six years.
1935 Winter, travel in Mexico.
1937 Summer, travel in Southwest U.S. and Mexico.
1937-41 Designer for Cherry-Burrell Corporation (including travel between factories in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Baltimore, Chicago and New York); freelance partnership in own studio, Milwaukee.
1940 Married Louise Greuel (dancer). Daughters: Lisa (1943), Tiana (1947). Son: Ero (1959).
1940-41 Taught: Layton School of Art, Milwaukee.
1941 Summer, travel in Mexico. Fall, left Milwaukee, gave up designing to teach at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
1942 Began work in wire sculpture (self-taught), also wrote music. Sculptural construction: Self Portrait with Louise (spring) and The Murderer (fall). Both sculptures made in Ann Arbor.
1942-43 Sculptural constructions: The Hysteria of Pomposity and The Bud Knows All. Both sculptures made in Ann Arbor.
1943 Sculptural construction made in Ann Arbor: Spring Sky (fall), destroyed by Lippold in 1944.
1944 Sculptural constructions made in Ann Arbor: Candle Plant (winter), later destroyed by Lippold. Night Song (summer, part one after Stefan George). Resigned University of Michigan, moved to New York City. Lived for a year on proceeds of sale of Hammond organ (a wedding gift) to devote time to a decision between pursuing music or sculpture, and to allow his wife to study further with Martha Graham and Merce Cuningham. Sculptural constructions made in New York: White Bloom (November), destroyed by Lippold and Bird in Hand (December).
1945 First public showing: two works in William Valentiner’s "Origins of Modern Sculpture" show, St. Louis Museum and Detroit Institute of Art. Sculptural construction: Night Song (February, part two after Stefan George); Winter Thoughts (February), destroyed by Lippold in 1947; The Fatal Glass (February); Moment of Revelation (March); The Hills Are Not Empty (April); Broken Heart (May); Night Flowers (May), destroyed by Lippold in 1948; Sonnet To Orpheus No. 1 (June, after Rilke), destroyed by Lippold in 1948 and The Friendly Ones (June). All made in New York.
1946-47 Taught: Goddard College, Vermont. Acquired farm near White Mountains.
1946 Sculptural constructions made in New York: The Dead Bird ((January, after Diirer); Tragic Baroque (June), destroyed; New Moonlight (July); Sonnet to Orpheus No. 2 (August, after Rilke); Little Garden Pleasures (November) and Act for Two (December).
1947 First one-man show: Willard Gallery, New York. Exhibitions: "Sculpture Today," The Toledo Museum of Art. Sculptural constructions: New One (January, for Marian Willard), destroyed; Gemini (February); Variation Within a Sphere No. 1, Variation Within a Sphere No. 2, Variation Within a Sphere No. 3, Variation Within a Sphere No. 4, Variation Within a Sphere No. 5, (March through July, for John Cage); Embrace (August, sketch in wire), Embrace (September); Luminous Curtain Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, New York, destroyed); Project for the Terrace Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio, (September, unrealized) and Departure (October), accidently destroyed by Corcoran Gallery in 1951. Article by Lippold: in Arts and Architecture (August).
1947-52 Head of art department Trenton College, New Jersey. Also taught one year, part time, Queens College, New York (1947-1948).
1948 Summer, at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, artist in residence. Second one-man show: Willard Gallery, New York. Shows and exhibitions: "Mobiles and Articulated Sculpture," California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Franciso; and "Sculpture," Clay Club Sculpture Center, New York. Sculptural constructions made in New York: Primordial Figure (February); Whisper (May); Devotion I (August); Variation Within a Sphere No. 6 (November, for Anni Albers); New Moonlight (December), duplicate for Louise Lippold); Fallen Acrobat (December, circus piece no. 1), and Hand-Piece: A Star (October, for Ray Johnson). Article by Lippold: "I to Eye," The Tiger's Eye (June).
1949 Show: "Sculpture Group," Willard Gallery, New York. Sculptural constructions made in New York: Devotion II (January) and Cortege (March).
1950 Third one-man show: Willard Gallery, New York. Sculptural constructions: Variation Within a Sphere No. 7: Full Moon (April 1949-February 1950); Variation Within a Sphere No. 8: The First Bubble (May); Harvard Project: Model #1, (May, commissioned by Walter Gropius), destroyed by Lippold in 1950; Harvard Project: Model #2 (June) and World Tree (December, Graduate Law Center at Harvard University).
1951 Shows and exhibitions: "Sculptor and Visiting Artist," Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, New York; "I Biennale In Sao Paolo," Museo De Arte Moderna, Sao Paolo, Brazil; "Exhibition of Works of Abstract Artist of Three Nations," Riverside Museum, New York. Sculptural constructions: Reunion (January); Aerial Act (February, Circus Piece no. 2); MW: Butterfly (March, for Marian Willard); Trio (October); Golden Angel of the Torah (fall, commissioned by Max Abramowitz for Kennedy Airport Chapel, unrealized), and Alone (December). Article by Lippold: "Sculpture?" Magazine of Art (December).
1952 Fourth one-man show: Willard Gallery, New York. Other shows and exhibitions: "Exhibition of Modern Sculpture," American University, Washington, D.C.; "Fifteen Americans," The Museum of Modern Art, New York; "Contemporary Religious Art," Union Theological Seminary, New York. Sculptural constructions made in New York: Juggler in the Sun (January, Circus Piece no. 3); Egg I; Star II, and Star III; Egg II; (January); Ganymede (March); Four Seedlings (August, for Louise). Article about Lippold:"Designing in Space," Craft Horizons (June).
1952-65 Taught: Hunter College, N.Y. Professor of Art.
1953 Sculptural constructions made in New York: Golden Prow (January); Variation Within A Sphere No. 9 (January); Bird of Paradise I (May); Golden Princess I (June, for Tiana Lippold); Golden Princess II (June, for Lisa Lippold); Plant Couple; Three Seedlings, and The Last Tree (November); Little Landscape, and Main Rain (December, for Mr. and Mrs. William Burden) Monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner (model, exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and awarded prize in final International Sculpture Competition, Tate Gallery, London); Variation Within a Sphere No. 10: The Sun (fall 1953 through July 1956, commissioned by Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Article about Lippold: "Museum of Modern Art," Holiday, (November).
1954 Travel to Germany at invitation of German government, also to Austria and Paris. Exhibition: "Invitational Drawing Show," Beloit College, Wisconsin; "Contemporary Sculptors' Drawings," Ohio State University, Columbus. One-man shows: "Richard Lippold Sculpture," The Arts Club of Chicago; Layton Art Gallery, Milwaukee; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Sculptural constructions made in New York: Young Venus (April) and Summer Star (May).
1955 Travel to England. Travel through France after installation of Variation Within a Sphere No. 7: Full Moon at Musee de Louvre, Paris, in Salute to France Festival. Exhibitions: "Fifty Ans D'Art Aux Etats-Unis," Musee de Louvre, Paris; "Sculpture in Silver from Islands in Time," Towle Silversmith Company, Connecticut and The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn. Included in "The New Decade," Whitney Museum, New York and San Francisco Museum of Art. Sculptural constructions made in New York: Meteor (January) and Bird of Paradise II (December, for his parents). Article about Lippold, "A Voir," Vogue (French edition). Moved to Lattingtown Harbor, Long Island.
1956 "The New Decade" continues, University of California, Los Angeles and Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs. Articles about Lippold: "A Wire Sun's Golden Rising," Life (July); "Lippold Makes a Construction," Art News (October); "Temoignes Pour la Sculpture Abstraite," by Pierre Guiguen, Paris. Article by Lippold: "How to Make a Sculpture," Art in America (winter).
1957 Exhibition: "Irons in the Fire," Contemporary Art Museum, Houston. Sculptural constructions: A Luminous Curtain (Spring, first phase, commissioned by Carnegie Foundation, New York), destroyed. Study for a Universe (summer, for Daily News Building, New York, commissioned by Max Abramowitz, unrealized), and Flower Fountain (summer, for United States Pavilion at the Brussels' World Fair, commissioned by Edward Durrell Stone in 1956, unrealized).
1958 Travel to Spain and France. Sculptural constructions: Radiant I (January, for Inland Steel Building, Chicago, commissioned by Inland Steel Co. with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill). Fountain of Fire and Water (summer, for an Akron, Ohio plaza, commissioned by Robert Dowling with Edward Stone, unrealized). Articles about Lippold: "New Eye on the Sun," Vogue (February); "Lippold's Plastiche Sonne," by Eduard Trier, Forum (February); "Fresh Aspects of American Art" by Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Art in America (winter). Creative Arts Award, Brandeis University, including one-man show.
1959 Travel to France, Rome and Spoleto. Sculptural constructions: A Star in an Egg (April, for Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Ayres); Seagram Building Construction No. 1 (June, commissioned in 1957 by Philip Johnson and Phyllis Lambert for the Four Seasons Restaurant, New York); stage set for the John Butler's ballet, The Sybil (July, for Menotti's Festival of Two Worlds, Spoleto, Italy); Seagram Building Construction No. 2 (July, for Four Seasons Restaurant); Fountain of the Expanding Universe (summer, for Sterling Forest, commissioned by Robert Dowling, 1958, unrealized); The Seed (September); Great Lone Star (December, for Longview National Bank, Texas, commissioned by the Longview National Bank with Morris, Crain and Anderson); Four Seasons (Four Seasons Restaurant, Seagram Building, New York). Article about Lippold: "The Four Seasons: Collaboration for Elegance," by Karl Linn, Progressive Architecture. Received Honor Award, Chicago chapter, American Institute of Architecture.
1960 Travel continues in France. Exhibition: "Aspects de la Sculpture Americaine," Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris. Sculptural constructions: Spirit Vine (La Viene Vigne) (January, commissioned by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, 1957, installed in October 1960 in France); Trinity (June, for Benedictine Priory Church, Portsmouth, Rhode Island, commissioned by Shirley Burden in 1957 with Pietro Belluschi, architect). Article about Lippold: "Richard Lippold," by Rosamund Benier, L'oeil (April). Articles by Lippold: "To Make Love to Life," College Art Journal, (summer) and "Alienated Affections in the Arts," Daedalus 89 (winter). Received silver medal from Architectural League, New York, and citation from Municipal Art League, Chicago.
1961 Travel to Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark. Sculptural constructions made in New York: Homage to Our Age (January, installed for J. Walter Thompson Co., New York, commissioned in summer 1958); Diana (June, commissioned by Mrs. Lallie Gates-Lloyd, Philadelphia); Pipe Organ Grill (July, artist's studio) and 0rpheus and Apollo (fall, model). Articles about Lippold: The New Yorker (April) and "Churches," (June). Received onorary membership, Phi Beta Kappa, New York.
1962 Fifth one-man show: Willard Gallery, New York (small works and commissions, 1952-1962). Sculptural constructions: Orpheus and Apollo (December, commissioned by Lincoln Center, New York; Max Abramowitz, architect); Fountain: Fire, Water, Metal (project for City Federal Savings and Loan Bank Union, New Jersey; Edward Stone, architect; unrelized). Articles about Lippold: “190 Foot Sculpture by Richard Lippold to Hang in Philharmonic Hall," by John Canaday, The New York Times (March 15, 1962). Article by Lippold: "Projects for PanAm and Philharmonic Hall," Art in America (summer).
1963 Travel to France, Italy, Turkey, Greece, England, Ireland and Scotland. Exhibition: "Exhibition of Members," American Academy, Institute of Arts & Letters, New York. Sculptural constructions made in New York: Flight (April, commissioned by Walter Gropius for PanAm Building lobby, New York), Homage A Faberge (December); Sun Cradle (fall) and Summer Star II (fall). Commission from Art in America for design of twentyfive dollar gold piece. Articles about Lippold: "Orpheus and Apollo," Time, January 4; "Profile: A Thing Among Things," by. Calvin Tomkins, The New Yorker (March 30). Received Certificate of Merit, Municipal Art Society, New York. Elected to Institute of Arts & Letters, New York (vice-president from 1966 to 1970).
1964 Juror, International Sculpture Competition, Geneva. Travel to Madiera, Italy, France, and Switzerland. Sculptural commissions: Musaeus' Tablets (spring, model for future project at Lincoln Center, unrealized), Jersey Meadows (fall, commissioned by Newark Museum, New Jersey); Bird of Paradise III commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller), and a medal for Brown University (spring).
1965 Exhibitions: Renaissance Gallery, Chicago. Sculptural constructions: Summer Morning (model for Ducommon house, Bel Aire, unrealized); Celebration (fall); Gemini II (1965-1966, commissioned by Jesse Jones Foundation for the Jesse Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, Houston; Caudill, Rowlett & Scotts, architects). Article about Lippold: "Perceptions of the Spirit in Twentieth Century Art," by J. & J. Dillenberger. Article by Lippold: "Illusion as Structure," in G. Kepes Structure in Art and Science, New York, Braziller Publisher.
1966 Exhibition: "Art of the United States," Whitney Museum, New York. Sculptural construction made in New York: Untitled (fall).
1967 Exhibition: 44th Pittsburgh International Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh. Sculptural constructions: The Beautiful Burdens (spring), and Baldacchino (1967-1970, commissioned by Pietro Belluschi and Luigi Nervi for St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco; McSweeney, Ryan & Lee Associates, architects).
1968 Sixth one-man show: Willard Gallery, New York (commissioned works, 1962-1967). Sculptural constructions: First Kiss (spring) and Couple (summer, commissioned by Mr. & Mrs. James H. Clark, Dallas). Article about Lippold: "The Phenomenon of Lippold: Our Foremost Public Decorator," by Hilton Kramer, New York Times, January 14. Received honorary D.F.A. Ripon College, Wisconsin.
1969 Travel to Morocco. Sculptural construction: Homage to North Carolina (1969-1970, by competition with Calder, Agam, Stella, Nevelson and Bontecou).
1970 Exhibition: "Art in Air and Space," Miami Art Center, Florida and Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida. Sculptural constructions: Youth (Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, Alabama) and Zora's Little Sun. Received Fine Arts medal from American Institute of Architecture. Honorary member, Guild for Religious Architecture.
1971 Sculptural construction made in New York: Bird Of Paradise IV (spring, for Tiana Lippold).
1972 Exhibition: "Drawings in Space," Katonah Gallery, New York. Sculptural constructions made in New York: Girlplant (1972-1973) and Man (1972-1973).
1973 Seventh one-man show: Willard Gallery, New York (seven individual works 1967-1973). Exhibition: "Nineteen Sculptors of the 40's," The Art Gallery, Santa Barbara, California. Sculptural construction made in New York: Woman and Open Book (Christian Science Center, Boston. I.M. Pei, architect).
1974 Exhibitions: "The Artist's Use of Paper," Museum, Stony Brook, New York and "Sculpture of the Forties," Santa Barbara, California. Sculptural constructions: Homage to Milwaukee (model) and Encounter (for Fairlane Towne Center, Dearborn, Michigan).
1975 Exhibitions: "Sculpture: American Directions 1945-75," National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C. (October-November); "Portraits Of Speakers," Arts Club of Chicago. Sculptural constructions: Flora Raris (summer, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Atlanta) and Homage to H.I.H. the Late King Faisal (King's retiring room, Conference Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).
1976 Exhibitions: "Variation No. 7: Full Moon," "200 Years of American Sculpture," (Whitney Museum biennial exhibition) Whitney Museum, New York; "American Directions: Sculpture," New Orleans Museum of Art. Sculptural construction: Ad Astra (two models for National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., and realized sculpture).
1977 Exhibition: "Art in Architecture," Meadowbrook Gallery, Oakland, California and Rochester, Michigan. Sculptural constructions: Untitled (Grand Court, Columbia Mall, Columbia, South Carolina), In Skyspace (airport, Kish Island, the Persian Gulf, Iran).
1977-78 Exhibitions: "Private Images: Photographs by Sculptors," Los Angeles County Art Museum; "Perceptions of the Spirit in 20th Century American Art," Indianapolis Museum of Art; University Art Museum, Berkley, California; Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas, and Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Ohio. Six works for Kish Island, the Persian Gulf, Iran. Article about Lippold: "An Artist's Point of View," Architectural Record (December).
1979 Sculptural construction: Two Hanging Lamps (Triple Bird Of Paradise V and Homage to Canaveral, unrealized).
1979-80 Exhibition: "100 Artists - 100 Years," (centennial exhibition), The Art Institute of Chicago.
1980 Sculptural construction: Wings of Welcome (Hyatt Regency Hotel, Milwaukee).
1981 Exhibitions: "International Exhibition, Contemporary Art Since 1939," Cologne, Germany; "Sculptors' Drawings Over Six Centuries: 1400-1950," The Drawing Center, New York; "Decade of Transition: 1940-1950," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; "Classic Americans," Stanford University, California; "Thirty Years of Public Sculpture in Illinois: 1950-80," Lake Museum, Peoria, Illinois. Sculptural constructions: Crucifixus Et Resurrexit (project for the Duomo, Viterbo, Italy, unrealized) and Winged Gamma (for Park Avenue Atrium Building, New York. Ed Durrell Stone office, architect).
1982 Exhibition: "Curator's Choice: 1942-63; A Tribute to Dorothy Miller," Rosa Esman Gallery, New York. Sculptural constructions: Cornucopia (atrium, International Headquarters, Southland Corporation, Dallas, Texas, unrealized). Article about Lippold: "The Many Masks of Modern Art," by T. F. Wolff, The Christian Science Monitor (September).
1983 Sculptural constructions: Sun Wing (House of God interior, Shiga Sacred Garden Kyoto, Japan) and Sun Tree (House of God exterior, Shiga Sacred Garden, Kyoto, Japan) Counterpoint with Architecture, (exterior for Deutsche Bank, Frankfort, West Germany, unrealized). Articles about Lippold: "A Sculptor's Glistening Sunbursts and Spider Webs," Architecture (February) and "Richard Lippold's Wired Universe of Gold and Silver," by A. D. Oppenheimer, Smithsonian Magazine (February).
1984 Exhibition: "Artists at Hunter," Hunter College, New York. Sculptural construction: Untitled. (One Financial Center, Boston). Article by Lippold: "Beauty," Architecture (May).
1984-85 Exhibition: "The Third Dimension: Sculpture of the N.Y. School," Whitney Museum, New York; Fort Worth, Texas and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio.
1985 Exhibition: "Flying Tigers: Painting and Sculpture in New York," Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island and College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts. Group show: Newport Harbor Art Museum, California. Sculptural constructions: Copper Crystal (model, Crystal City, Virginia), To the Sea and to the Sky (First Interstate Bank, Seattle); Lotus Flower (Bahai Temple, India, unrealized); Primal Energy (Sohio Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio) and Counterpoint with Architecture (for Deutsche Bank interior, Frankfort, West Germany). Article about Lippold: "Imaging the Holy," by Joseph Cardinal, Faith & Forum (fall).
1986 Group show: Parrish Art Museum, Long Island, New York. Sculptural construction: Copper Crystal, (Crystal Park II Building, Crystal City, Virginia); Homage to South Korea (Dae-Han Building, Seoul, Korea) and Orchidea (Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore).
1987 Exhibition: "Portraits of Members: American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters," American Academy, New York. Sculptural constructions: Exchange (World Trade Center lobby, New York) and Firebird, Orange County Center for the Performing Arts, Costa Mesa, California.
1988 Exhibitions: "Seven Sacred Sculptures" (eighth one-man show), St. Peter's Church, New York and "XLIII Esposizione Internazionale D'Arte," La Biennale Di Venezia. Sculptural constructions: Ex Stasis (Venice Biennale International Exposition); Gold Crystal, (Crystal park IV Building, Crystal City, Virginia) and Flowering Sun: Sculpture and Tapestry (One Skyline Towers, Alexandria, Virginia).
1990 Exhibition: "Richard Lippold: Sculpture: A Retrospective," Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee . Catalogue. Sculptural constructions: Untitled (Emerald-Shapery Center atrium, San Diego, California) and Untitled works. (Montrone Residence, La Jolla, California) in progress.