George Rickey Sculpture Archive

George Rickey adjusting and testing the balance and movement of a maquetteGeorge Rickey adjusting and testing the balance and movement of a maquette. Art © Estate of George Rickey/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

South Bend-native George Rickey added time and motion to sculpture.  At this moment, his kinetic sculptures are in motion around the world, activated by indoor air currents or powered, outdoors, by the whim of the wind.  In their silent, graceful movements his hypnotic sculptures reveal the play of natural forces––such as gravity and wind––upon works of art that have carefully considered physics to control the time and limits of their movements.

They are, indeed, poetry in motion: once elegiac totems to the passage of time; now also markers of time their maker passed in our midst.

The Snite Museum’s George Rickey Sculpture Archive features one outdoor sculpture installed within the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park on the south edge of campus, two sculptures in the Mary Loretto and Terrence J. Dillon Courtyard, and nineteen indoor sculptures, some of which are on view within the Snite Museum entrance gallery.  They are all generous gifts of the George Rickey Foundation.

The Foundation is also placing Rickey’s professional and scholarly papers at the University of Notre Dame Archives.  Rickey archive material includes business correspondence with clients, museums and galleries; engineering drawings and specifications; photographs, videos and films of Rickey’s sculptures; as well as a computer database of sculptures created by Rickey. The published works include essays written by George Rickey on various topics, including the manuscript for his, Constructivism: Origins and Evolution, and essays written on George Rickey by other authors.

The Archive is documented within Passages of Light and Time: George Rickey’s Life in Motion, which is available as a pdf at the Publications section of this website.