David Roland Smith

David Smith working on Sitting Printer, 1954. Photograph by the artist, taken at his workshop in Bolton Landing, New York.

I recently had the opportunity to delve a little deeper and learn about a famous sculptor who taught at Indiana University for the academic year of 1954-1955.  David Roland Smith came to I.U. to temporarily replace full-time Professor of Sculpture Robert Laurent who was on sabbatical serving as an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Room and at the same time conceptualizing the early designs for IU’s Showalter Fountain.  In May 1954, Henry Hope, Director of the School of Fine Arts, confirmed the arrival of Smith and welcomed him to I.U.  During spring 1954 and fall of 1955 Smith taught multiple classes including First Year Sculpture I & II, Second Year Sculpture I & II, and a Graduate Sculpture course. Shortly after arriving in Bloomington, Smith rushed off to Venice, Italy as the United States delegate to the International Conference on Plastic Arts.  His sculptures were also included in the International Biennial Exhibition of Art which preceded the conference in Venice. 

Indiana Daily Student, September 28, 1954 - Smith travels to Italy for International Art conference

Now you may be wondering who is this Smith guy and how did he achieve this level of success?  Smith began his training at the Cleveland Art School while still in high school.  After graduation he studied at Ohio University for a year and quickly moved to Notre Dame University, where he would only stay for a short time. During summer breaks he spent his time working at the Studebaker automobile factory in South Bend, Indiana where he began honing his skills as a riveter as well as soldering and spot-welding.

David Smith, Construction in Rectangles, 1955, steel painted, 78 x 10 7/8 x 10 1/2 inches. Private collection. Created while Smith was at I.U.

By 1927 Smith ventured off to Washington, D.C. and then New York City where he met Dorothy Dehner, a young painter studying at the Art Students League (ASL). By December of that year they were married. From 1927-1932 Smith studied at the ASL under many artists including the American realist painter John Sloan, drawing instructor Kimon Nicolaides and Czech modernist painter Jan Matulka.

After more traveling and a variety of jobs, Smith and Dehner finally bought a fixer-upper in upstate NY where they would spend the next decade.  Along the way Smith continued to travel, meet more artists, and became very interested in combining constructed forms and paintings.  Smith continued to blossom as an artist by expanding and using a wide array of mediums including: wood, wire, stone, aluminum rods, soldered materials and – my favorite – “found” materials, all the while slowly building his art studio which became known as Terminal Iron Works.  By the time Smith arrived at I.U. in 1954 he had already produced a multitude of pieces and participated in a wide array of exhibits.

Indiana Daily Student, September 28, 1954 - Midwestern Art Conference held at I.U., October 28-30, 1954

Although Smith was only at I.U. for a brief time he continued to create art work and even participated in the Midwestern College Art Conference held at I.U. in October 1954.  Smith exhibited 13 sculptures and his 15 “medals for dishonor” at the conference.  His medals were cast before World War II and depict the horrors of war.  He said he got the idea for the “medals” from German war medallions that were used for propaganda during the war.  Check the medals out for yourself here.

After his time was up at I.U. he continued to travel the world and create, up until his tragic death in 1965.  To learn more about David Smith and his art work check out the David Smith Estate.

"David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy," installation view of exhibition, at Whitney Museum of American Art until January 8, 2011. Left to right: Tanktotem VII, 1960, Construction in Rectangles, and Circle IV, 1962 (all: painted steel). Photograph by Jerry L. Thompson

To see more of David Smith’s work in person you can visit the exhibition David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy, currently on view at the Whitney Musuem of American Art through January 8, 2012.

"David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy," installation view of exhibition, at Whitney Museum of American Art until January 8, 2012. Left to right: Cubi XXI, 1964, anc Cubi I, 1963 (both stainless steel). Photograph by Jerry L. Thompson.

Lynton K. Caldwell papers

 Indiana University’s Lynton K. Caldwell became known as the “grandfather of biopolitics,” “the father of the environmental impact statement,” and “one of the most influential people in the entire protection movement” (Indiana Alumni, May/June 1993, p.12). He devoted his life to researching and debating environmental science. Caldwell was an Arthur F. Bentley Professor Emeritus of Political Science and professor emeritus of public and environmental affairs at IU. He held the degree of Ph. B. (Bachelor of Philosophy, 1934) and Ph. D. (Doctor of Philosophy, 1943) from the University of Chicago, an M.A. (Master of Arts, 1938) from Harvard University, and an LLD (Doctor of Laws, Honorary, 1977) from Western Michigan University.

Caldwell began his teaching career at IU as an assistant professor of government at IU South Bend from 1939-1944. He returned to IU Bloomington in 1965 where he taught political science as well as public and environmental affairs until his retirement in 1984. He also served on the faculty of several other institutions of higher education including the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to his teaching career, Professor Caldwell held staff and consulting assignments for United States Senate, Congressional Research, and the United Nations, just to name a few.

Dr. Caldwell was a recognized authority on environmental policy. One of Caldwell’s major accomplishments was the origination the environmental impact statement in the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “[The] National Environmental Policy Act, was one of the first laws ever written that establishes a broad national framework for protecting our environment. NEPA’s basic policy is to assure that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that could significantly affect the environment.” The legislation was signed by President Nixon at the beginning of 1970. NEPA resulted in the establishment of, among other important environmental legislation, Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Clean Air Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. Caldwell was recognized internationally as one of the early leaders in the study of environmental policy, law and administration, and his work influenced the course of national legislation in the environmental protection movement. He continued to play an active role in environmental affairs and was the catalyst for the establishment of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in 1972.

Caldwell was an avid researcher and writer from 1943-1993. His collection of papers held by the University Archives includes his dissertation, “Contributions to thought on Public Administration: Hamilton and Jefferson,” (1943); over books and collaborative works including: Environmental Policy, Law, and Administration: A Guide (1979), Biocracy: Public Policy and the Life Sciences (1987), The National Environmental Policy Act: An Agenda for the Future (1998) and International Environmental Policy: Emergence and Dimensions (1984), which received the Sprout Award from the International Studies Association in 1985.

Dr. Caldwell passed away in 2006.

Interested in learning more about Lynton Caldwell or would like to access his collection? Contact the Archives!