Robert Arneson

Robert Arneson

Robert Carston Arneson (1930-1992) was an American sculptor and professor of ceramics in the Art department at UC Davis for four decades.


Arneson was born in Benicia, California, then a small blue-collar town. He graduated from Benicia High School and spent much of his early life as a cartoonist for a local paper. Arneson studied art education in Oakland, California and went on to receive an MFA in 1958.

Starting in the 1960s, Arneson and several other California artists began to abandon the traditional manufacture of functional items in favor of using everyday objects to make confrontational statements. The new movement was dubbed " Funk Art," and Arneson is considered the "father of the ceramic Funk movement."

Arneson used common objects in his work, which included both ceramic sculptures and drawings. He appeared in many of his own pieces — as a chef, a man picking his nose, a jean-jacketed hipster in sunglasses.

Even his [ Eggheads] bear a self-resemblance. Among the last works Arneson completed before his death, the last of the Eggheads were installed on campus at UC Davis in 1994. The controversial pieces continue to serve as a source of interest and discussion on the campus, even inspiring a [ campus blog] by the same name.

One of Arneson's most famous and controversial works is a bust of George Moscone, the mayor of San Francisco who was assassinated in 1978. Inscribed on the pedestal of the bust are words representing events in Moscone's life, including his assassination: the words "Bang Bang Bang Bang" and "Harvey Milk Too!" are visible in on the front of the pedestal.

Arneson died after a long battle with cancer.

In collections around the world

Arneson's fame is far-reaching, and his works can be found in public and private collections around the world, including the Chicago Art Institute, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Kyoto, Japan), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City) and the U.S. Embassy in Yeravan, Armenia.

The [ Nelson Gallery] at UC Davis, where Arneson was a faculty member, owns 70 of the artist's works, including The Palace at 9 a.m., which is currently on display in the gallery. The 70-square-foot earthenware sculpture, a depiction of his former Davis residence, is considered among his most famous sculptures. Several of his etchings and lithographs also are on display in the library.



* [ Hirschhorn Museum and Scultpure Garden]
* [ Robert Arneson's Eggheads]
* [ Egghead Blog]

External links

* [ A tribute to Robert Carston Arneson]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Arneson — is a surname of multiple notable people: * Dave Arneson (born 1947), an American game designer * Jim Arneson (born 1951), an American football player * Mark Arneson (born 1949), an American football player * Richard Arneson, a political… …   Wikipedia

  • Arneson — Dave Arneson David Lance Arneson (* 1. Oktober 1947 in Minnesota; † 7. April 2009 in St. Paul, Minnesota) gilt als der Erfinder des Pen Paper Rollenspiels und entwickelte zusammen mit Gary Gygax Dungeons Dragons …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Arneson River Theater — The open air venue was erected in 1939 and was designed by architect Robert Hugman and is named after Edwin Arneson, who was instrumental in securing funding for the Paseo del Rio. The stage is on the north side of river and the audience sits on… …   Wikipedia

  • Dave Arneson — Born David Lance Arneson October 1, 1947(1947 10 01) …   Wikipedia

  • Dave Arneson — David Lance Arneson (* 1. Oktober 1947 in Minnesota; † 7. April 2009 in St. Paul, Minnesota) gilt als der Erfinder des Pen Paper Rollenspiels und entwickelte zusammen mit Gary Gygax Dungeons Dragons. Leben und Werk Gary Gygax und Jeff Perren… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wally Hedrick — Infobox Artist bgcolour = #6495ED name = Wally Hedrick imagesize = caption = Wally Hedrick, c.1967, in studio working on The War Room (1967) birthname = birthdate = 1928 location = Pasadena, California deathdate = 2003 deathplace = San Francisco …   Wikipedia

  • George Moscone — 37th Mayor of San Francisco In office January 8, 1976 – November 27, 1978 Preceded by Joseph Alioto Succeeded by …   Wikipedia

  • Marguerite Wildenhain — (October 11, 1896 February 24, 1985), born Marguerite Friedlaender, was a French born American ceramic artist, educator and author. In the second half of her life, having emigrated to the U.S. in 1940, she conducted summer workshops at Pond Farm …   Wikipedia

  • University of California, Davis — Motto Fiat lux (Latin) Motto in English Let there be light Established …   Wikipedia

  • List of American artists 1900 and after — This is a list by date of birth of historically recognized American fine artists known for the creation of artworks that are primarily visual in nature, including traditional media such as painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking, as… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.