Robert Ebendorf: A Forty Year Tribute Exhibition

Robert Evendorf
Robert Ebendorf

Craft as personal expression is as energized and effervescent as ever in the objects created in this tribute exhibition by Robert Ebendorf.

Take it all in like fine chocolate.

Florida Craftsmen Gallery is proud to be able to share a glimpse into the heart, soul, and endurance of this master metalsmith -- an icon of our contemporary American craft phenomenon and our own material culture.

It was during his tenure at Stetson University that Bob became involved with the Florida Craftsmen organization and was instrumental in the organizationís growth along with many local founders such as Louis and Elsa Freund.

His close relationship with the Freunds continued throughout their lifetime and left an indelible mark on Bob and hundreds of others who they touched through their artwork, philosophy and friendships.

Necklace detail, found objects
Robert Ebendorf

Bob Ebendorf was honored this past year with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Florida Craftsmen because of his unending dedication and support of the organization throughout his 40-year artistic career. This recognition is timely for Florida Craftsmen as Robert Ebendorf served as distinguished juror for Florida Craftsmenís 50th Anniversary Exhibition and participated in our 50th Anniversary Conference festivities in DeLand, Florida in 2003.

He has most recently been honored with a solo retrospective exhibition spanning forty years of work and collaboration, traveling to major institutions across the U.S.

"This exhibition coincides with the March, 2004 Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference (SNAG), held in Florida for the first time, where Bob is a featured conference presenter. We welcome him back to Florida and congratulate him on his many Lifetime Achievements. Just like his extensive body of work, Bob Ebendorf is an amazing, spirited individual. Working, learning and enjoying a lasting friendship with Bob over the last thirteen years has been a privilege for me personally ñ his creativity is contagious and he has always been able to ëconnect my dots."

- Michele Tuegel
Executive DirectorFlorida Craftsmen, Inc.

"Discovery and creativity are everywhere for him. His visual attachment to his environment does not distinguish between life and art."

- Marjorie Simon

A master craftsman and leader in the studio jewelry movement, Ebendorf combines traditional goldsmithing techniques, collage and uniquely unconventional materials ñ crab claws, sea glass, plastic, paper ñ and recycles industrial objects ñ buttons, beer bottle caps, wire mesh, tubing ñ to create dynamic, mysterious and sometimes shocking jewelry. His work counters cultural preconceptions about jewelry as the stuff of costly gemstones and precious metals, and leads to a new definition of this form.

From the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum; The Jewelry of Robert Ebendorf: A Retrospective of Forty Years. Passed+Present,Then+Now:

"The creativity of my jewelry lies not simply in the intellectual repositioning of familiar objects, but in more physical transformations of material, that, in the end, astonish the viewer. And it is exactly this sense of astonishment that gives my work their value. It is the profound incongruity between what they are made from, and what they are now that so engages the imagination."

"The jewelry and objects are not simply about refashioning the mundane. They reaffirm the value of that which otherwise might be without value. By reassessing the meaning of artifacts of daily life, they often reverse the idea of what is precious. If one of the purposes of artistic expression is to locate and reaffirm values in our world, then my work is all the more relevant as a mode of contemporary expression."

- Robert Ebendorf

Robert Ebendorf Abbreviated Biography

Born: September 30, 1938, Topeka, Kansas

Education: University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, BFA,1960; MFA,1962State School of Applied Arts and Crafts, Oslo, Norway, 1963-64

Teaching Experience: Stetson University, DeLand, FL; University of Georgia, Athens, GA; State University of New York, New Paltz, NY; Santa Monica College of Design, Art & Architecture, Santa Monica, CA Current Position: Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor, East Carolina University School of Art, Greenville, NC

Grants/Awards: Fulbright Grant 1963-1964Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant 1966-1967National Endowment for the Arts 1970American Crafts Council Fellow 1994 Lifetime Achievement Award, Florida Craftsmen 2003

Museum Collections: American Craft Museum, New York, NYBoston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York, NYCorning Museum of Glass, Corning, NYKunstindustrimuseet, Oslo, NorwayMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NYMint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Quebec, CanadaNational Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia National Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Korea North Carolina Arts Council, Raleigh, NCRacine Art Museum, Racine, WI Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DCVictoria and Albert Museum, London, England Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Robert Ebendorf: A Forty Year Tribute Exhibition

Calendar of Events

May 14 - June 26, 2004
Juried exhibition of artwork created by Pinellas and Hillsborough County high school students. Florida Craftsmen Gallery, St. Petersburg.

Cultivating Myths, a solo exhibit by St. Petersburg mixed media artist Celeste Simon, Florida Craftsmen Gallery, St. Petersburg.

June 11 - July 30, 2004
Florida Craftsmen's 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Traveling
Public Opening Reception: June 11. Gadsden Arts Center, Quincy. Call (850) 875-4855 for hours.

July 9 ­ August 21, 2004
Roots/Ráizes: A Harmony & Contrast in Cultures with Packard de la Vega
Felipe Packard and Ricardo de la Vega combine influences of Mexico and Florida.

Deane Kellogg: New Works
Solo exhibition by this St. Augustine sculptor in the Esther Klein Memorial Gallery.

September 10 ­ October 22, 2004
Rocky Bridges: Bridging the Art of Craft
Solo exhibition of a new series of mixed media wall pieces and objects by this acclaimed Tarpon Springs artist.

John Penrod: New Works
Solo exhibition by this Tallahassee woodturner in the Esther Klein Memorial Gallery.

November 5­ December 31, 2004
A Season of Giving: Members Holiday Show and Sale
The Holiday Exhibition is an 18-year tradition in St. Petersburg that features gifts made by hand and objects of desire by 250 Florida fine craft artists.