Published: October 23, 2012
The University of Richmond Museums has mounted two new exhibitions on view through December 9 at the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, in the George M. Modlin Center for the Arts.
The 2012 Harnett Biennial of American Prints is the tenth competitive national exhibition organized by the University of Richmond Museums and is a celebration of contemporary printmaking by artists throughout the United States. The juror, Carl Solway, president of the Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, selected prints by 47 artists from 25 states from entries submitted by 149 artists.
Also on view is “Buckminster Fuller, Inventions: Twelve Around One” featuring a portfolio of prints, projects and three-dimensional works spanning the career of Buckminster Fuller (American, 1895‱983), one of the most influential engineers and designers of the Twentieth Century.
Called the “Leonardo da Vinci of our century,” in Time Magazine , Richard Buckminster Fuller was born in Milton, Mass., and spent much of his childhood on Bear Island, off the coast of Maine. Fuller attended Milton Academy in Massachusetts, later studying at Harvard University and years later he received his ScD from Bates College, Lewistown, Maine. In between his studies he worked as a mechanic in a textile mill and later in the meat-packing industry as a laborer. He served in the US Navy in World War I as a shipboard radio operator, as an editor and as a crash rescue boat commander.
In the summers of 1948 and 1949, Fuller taught at Black Mountain College, N.C., where he began reinventing the geodesic dome, a project that would make him famous. For the next half-century, Fuller developed many ideas, designs and inventions, including inexpensive and practical transportation, shelter and housing. He documented his life, philosophy and ideas in a daily diary called the “Dymaxion Chronofile,” and in 28 additional publications.
The exhibition features a portfolio of 13 projects spanning Fuller’s career. Each of the prints is a screenprint on transparent Mylar of the patent drawings for an invention overlaid on an image of the realized version of the project. Among the designs included are Fuller’s “Dymaxion Car,” patented in 1933 and known for its pioneering automotive aerodynamic design, and “Geodesic Dome” †the design for which Fuller is most well known. Also included are several of Fuller’s stainless steel sculptures, his screenprint “Dymaxion Air-Ocean World Map,” and his “Dymaxion Rowing Shell” designed with two parallel 21-foot-long fiberglass hulls.
“Buckminster Fuller, Inventions,” is organized by the University of Richmond Museums and curated by Solway, publisher of the “Buckminster Fuller, Inventions: Twelve Around One” portfolio.
During his lifetime, Fuller was awarded 28 United States patents, 47 honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.
For additional information, www.museums.richmond.edu or 804-289-8276.
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