Remembering Isc Founder Elden Tefft

Sculpture, May 2015 | Go to article overview

Remembering Isc Founder Elden Tefft


Bronze sculptor, teacher, and International Sculpture Center founder Elden Tefft, 95, died at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas, on February 17, 2015 from complications of a fall and ongoing heart problems, according to his son Kim Tefft.

Tefftwas born on a farm in Hartford, Kansas, and moved to Lawrence at the age of eight. As a student at Lawrence High School, he studied with Bernard Frasier, who became his mentor and inspired his passion for sculpture. Tefft's studies at the University of Kansas were interrupted by World War II. While in the South Pacific, he honed his wood carving skills and developed an art therapy program for wounded soldiers.

After the war, Tefftreturned to the University of Kansas, where he founded the sculpture program and taught for 40 years. His sculpture ranged from wood and clay to stone and bronze, the medium for which he is best known. During his tenure, he built two bronze foundries at the university and consulted on and built many other foundries throughout the world. He actively encouraged artists to build their own bronze-casting facilities in order to control the entire process. Many of Tefft's pieces are installed across the University of Kansas campus, including the monumental Moses and Academic Jay.

Tefftpublished numerous books and articles on sculpture, specifically on bronze casting, wax sculpting, waste mold casting, and head and figure molding. In 1960, he established a biennial conference that brought together sculptors from around the world. …

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