Richard Hunt (BA 1957, HON 1979) is Chicago's most prolific and accomplished sculptor.
Chicago’s most prolific and accomplished sculptor Richard Hunt (BA 1957, HON 1979) attended SAIC as an undergraduate and received an honorary doctorate in 1979. His career, which spans more than 60 years, began at SAIC when the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York acquired one of his sculptures in 1956. In 1971, at only 35, the MoMA honored him with his first solo exhibition.
A Chicago native, Hunt has worked out of the same Lincoln Park studio space for more than 30 years, as well as a factory space in West Town for his larger projects. The city is dotted with his sculptures, including Freeform on the façade of the State of Illinois Building, Winged Form in the Aon Center, Illinois River Landscape in the James R. Thompson Center, Slabs of Sunburst West at the Richard J. Daley Library, and Jacob’s Ladder at the Carter Woodson Regional Library. In 2014 he was one of the recipients of the City of Chicago’s Fifth Star Award—an award that honors Chicago artists and arts institutions who have made significant contributions to arts and culture. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center and a 2010 Legacy Award from the United Negro College Fund. He was also elected into the National Academy of Design in 1999.
Recently Hunt was the focus of two major exhibitions, both before his 80th birthday—one, a survey of his career at the Chicago Cultural Center called Richard Hunt: Sixty Years of Sculpture, and the other at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago called MCA DNA: Richard Hunt.