When I was in college, at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Florham-Madison, I was an English major. However, I tried to concentrate a good deal of my electives in the fine arts or in theater. I wound up with a minor in fine arts, plus fifty extra credits I didn’t even need to graduate. I loved every minute of it and nothing was wasted. I owned an art gallery for ten years and represented many different artists during that time, most of whom were post-modernists.
Some of my fondest moments in college happened in the sculpture studios, with Professor Bradford Graves. We called him Brad, not Professor Graves. The studios were located in Twombly Hall back then, on the former Vanderbilt estate where Gloria Vanderbilt spent summers as a child. It was way off the main part of campus and it took forever to walk there. But studying sculpture with Bradford Graves, for me, was well worth every step. At the time, Brad was living in Greenwich Village and commuting to the Florham-Madison campus in a big old chevy van, with foggy windows, a few dents, and a lopsided bumper. He wore overalls stained with clay, had long hair often in a ponytail, and I never saw him without marble or limestone dust on his hands. He was also the nicest, kindest man I met in college and he became my personal advisor until I graduated.
When I met Brad, I remember falling in love with his work. He also taught at Princeton University, and Parsons. I still have a few pieces he worked on with me, which I will show sometime soon. Over the years I lost touch, until one day I opened my alumni magazine and saw that Brad had passed away at a very young age. Not long after that, I found a facebook page dedicated to Brad and his work, and I’ve been following his legacy ever since.
And now there’s a Sculpture Park in Kerhonkson, NY, where many of Brad’s pieces are on display for the public. As a huge fan of all abstract art, I will be going there this summer to see it for myself. Here’s more information below, and a few links to find out more about Bradford Graves, and his legacy. Here’s a link to Kerhonskon, which is located in the Hudson Valley region of NY.
BRADFORD GRAVES SCULPTURE PARK OPENS FOR THIRD SEASON
SATURDAY MAY 12 – SUNDAY OCTOBER 28, 2012
BY APPOINTMENT; Call 845 230 – 0521
Kerhonkson, NY – IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE
More than 200 sculptures on permanent display.
Admission Free – Donations Appreciated
Bradford Graves’ sculpture is complex. We see carved limestone slabs that look like the ruins of ancient walls. In front of them are horizontal pieces of limestone grooved in a geometrical pattern. One senses obscure, mystical meaning which is moving…Graves’ work is difficult to describe but very much worth seeing…Graves is a sculptor worth following. His work is original and very interesting indeed, and the Thorpe Gallery is much to be commended for showing such radical, yet resolutely untrendy work.
John Caldwell, March 8, 1981, The New York Times