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Gummer in 2011
December 12, 1946 |
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
|Education||Herron School of Art and Design
Yale School of Art
|Spouse(s)||Meryl Streep (m. 1978)|
Don Gummer (born December 12, 1946) is an American sculptor. His early work concentrated on table-top and wall-mounted sculpture; but, in the mid-1980s, he shifted his interest to large free-standing works, often in bronze. In the 1990s, he added a variety of other materials, such as stainless steel, aluminum and stained glass. His interest in large outdoor works also led him to an interest in public art. His wife is actress Meryl Streep.
Critic Irving Sandler (writing in Art in America, January 2005) has noted that Gummer's work is recognizably rooted in constructivism, but also writes that "in extending and deflecting Constructivist art in a new direction, Gummer has rendered it peculiarly contemporary." Sandler also writes that Gummer's works "give postmodern life to classic principles of abstract composition." 
Early life and career
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Gummer was born in Louisville, Kentucky and grew up in Indiana. He studied at Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, and then at the Herron School of Art (also in Indianapolis) from 1964 to 1966. From 1966 to 1970, he studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, and then completed his studies at the Yale School of Art where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA), and studied with David von Schlegell.
Gummer's first solo show was in 1973. Since then, his works have been featured at two dozen solo shows at museums and galleries around the East Coast and Midwest. His work has also been exhibited in group shows.
Gummer's commissioned works have included Primary Compass (2000), a site-specific outdoor permanent sculpture at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio and a sculpture/fountain in Historic New Harmony, New Harmony, Indiana. One stainless steel and stained glass sculpture, Southern Circle, standing 25 feet (7.6 m) tall and weighing approximately 20,000 pounds, was commissioned by the city of Indianapolis and dedicated in October, 2004. "Primary Separation", a permanent installation at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, was completed in 2006.
Gummer was briefly married in the early seventies to Peggy Lucas, but divorced shortly after. Gummer married actress Meryl Streep in 1978. They have four children: musician Henry Wolfe, model Louisa, and actresses Mamie and Grace. Gummer and Streep are active philanthropists who donate to a range of arts organizations and educational institutions, including Vassar College, Opus School in Harlem, and the Silver Mountain Arts Foundation.
- The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio;
- Chase Manhattan Bank, New York;
- Chemical Bank, New York;
- Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, Evansville, Indiana;
- The Equitable, New York;
- Hiroshima Lying-in Hospital, Hiroshima, Japan;
- International Creative Management, New York;
- House of Music (1993) - Kitakyushu International Center, Kitakyushu, Japan;
- Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark;
- McCrory Corporation, New York;
- Joseph E. Seagram Company, New York;
- Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Cyberinfrastructure Building, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (2013)
- Open Eyes and The South Tower, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Don Gummer; Peter Plagens; Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science; Butler Institute of American Art; Indiana State Museum. The lyrical constructivist : Don Gummer sculpture (Chesterfield, Mass. : Chameleon Books ; Evansville, Ind. : Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, 2001) (Worldcat link) ISBN 0-915829-70-3; ISBN 978-0-915829-70-5; ISBN 978-0-915829-70-5
- Douglas G Schultz; Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Eight sculptors : an exhibition (Buffalo : Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1979) (Worldcat link) ISBN 0-914782-25-8; ISBN 978-0-914782-25-4
- Joseph Thompson; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Don Gummer : primary separation (North Adams, Mass. : Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 2006) ISBN 0-9764276-2-1; ISBN 978-0-9764276-2-9
- Sandler, Irving. "Deconstructive Constructivist," Art in America (January 2005), pp. 111–115.
Media related to Don Gummer at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Sandler, Irving. "Deconstructive constructivist: over more than 30 years, Don Gummer has moved from architecturally influenced installations to intricate, large-scale sculptures that give postmodern life to classic principles of abstract composition", Art in America (January, 2005). A copy of the article, with citation, is available for reading at the artist's website.
- Indianapolis' Newest Piece of Public Art, Herron School of Art eNews, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.