Public Art at Williams

Public Art at Williams

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    Calligraph LC, 1967-1968
    Herbert Ferber (American, 1906-1991)
    Gift of Edith Ferber
    Photo by Megan Cross

    Sculptor and painter Herbert Ferber was born in New York City in 1906. In 1927, he simultaneously began both dental school and his study of sculpture. Ferber received his dentistry degree in 1930, and maintained a career as a first generation Abstract Expressionist sculptor and painter and, until the 1950s, a part-time career as a dentist. Mr. Ferber was one a few American sculptors in the 1940s who challenged the concept that sculpture should consist of a pedestal-bound solid mass. In 1944, he began working in welded hollow metal forms reminiscent of animal bones, fossils, and plant life that, as he was known to say, “pierced” space.

    Ferber’s first museum major retrospective was presented in 1963 at the Walker Art Center and his works are part of the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Whitney Museum of Art, among others.

    Situated in relationship with the monumental staircases at the back of Lawrence Hall, Calligraph LC was donated to the college by Edith Ferber, the artist’s wife.

    Ferber died in nearby North Egremont, Massachusetts in 1991.