SYMPOSIUM: RUTH DUCKWORTH: LIFE AS A UNITY
When Ruth Duckworth arrived in Chicago from London to teach at the University of Chicago’s Midway Studios in 1964, she planned to stay for a year. Instead, she lived in the city for nearly fifty years until her death in 2009—more than half her life. It is strange, then, that she is still primarily known as a “British studio potter,” rather than as an innovative Chicago sculptor, deeply engaged in the natural world, her adopted city, and advanced artistic developments in the U.S. in the 1960s and ’70s.
This symposium makes use of art historical advances of the last several decades to examine her Chicago work in a new light. It investigates the influence of geomorphology and the nascent environmental movement in her work, beginning with her commission to create a complete environment of clay tiles in the vestibule of the newly built Hinds Geophysical Laboratory, moving through her monumental tile mural “Clouds Over Lake Michigan,” into wall works in high relief, “Mama Pots,” and clay sculptures.
FREE, but space is limited. Advanced registration is requested.
The symposium is organized by Laura Steward, Curator of Public Art at the University of Chicago, in conjunction with the Smart Museum of Art’s fall 2023 exhibition Ruth Duckworth: Life as a Unity.
This symposium is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring and elevating Chicago’s rich art and design histories and diverse creative communities.
9:30am- Meet at the Smart Museum at 5550 S Greenwood Ave, view objects in the Study Room. Light refreshments available in the Smart Museum Lobby.
10:30am- Walk over to Logan Center at 915 E 60th Street, stop at various sites along the way. Arrive at Logan Center for the conference before 11:00am
11:00am-11:15am- Welcome (Laura Steward and Bill Michel)
11:15am-11:45am- Matthew Groves (presentation and discussion)
12:00pm-12:45pm- Jack Schneider (presentation and discussion)
12:45pm-2:00pm- Lunch Break
2:00pm-3:00pm- Sequoia Miller (presentation and discussion)
3:15pm- 4:00pm: Student Panel, moderated by Amber Ginsburg, University of Chicago
UChicago Undergraduate Panelists:
- Natalie Jenkins
- Kina Takahashi
- Kate Ferrera
- Kendra Thornburg-Mueller
4:00pm-4:30pm- Closing remarks- Laura Steward
4:30pm- Reception- Kiln House. Refreshments will be provided.
The conference begins with object viewing at the Smart Museum of Art (5550 S. Greenwood Avenue) before moving to the Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th Street, Performance Penthouse). A closing reception will be held in the Kiln House.
Image: Ruth Duckworth looking at the maquette for Earth, Water, Sky at the Smart Museum of Art in 2005. Photo by Jim Newberry.