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"The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one's self a fool; the truest heroism, is to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed."--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance, 1852. From the series Great Ideas.

1975 Richard Hunt Born: Chicago, Illinois 1935 chromed and welded steel 32 x 50 5/8 x 33 3/4 in. (81.3 x 128.7 x 85.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Container Corporation of America 1984.124.122 Not currently on view


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"The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one's self a fool; the truest heroism, is to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed."--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance, 1852. From the series Great Ideas.
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"The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one's self a fool; the truest heroism, is to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed." Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance, 1852

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In 1950 the Container Corporation of America began commissioning artists to create works for its advertising campaign, "Great Ideas of Western Man." For the title of this work, Richard Hunt selected a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1852 novel, The Blithedale Romance. He was drawn to Hawthorne's tale of how a utopian commune is ruined by its members' selfish actions and its look at the differences between living in the city and in the country. The artist takes the city’s "junk," in this case car parts, and welds them together to form organic shapes that evoke what Hunt described as "the sense of freedom one has in contemplating nature." Here, discarded fenders appear to struggle in all directions, as if they were trying to expand. Hunt implied different stages of growth by giving the core a dull finish and the appendages a polished shine that suggests a newborn organism.

Keywords

Abstract

Architecture - vehicle - bicycle

Fantasy

sculpture

metal - steel

About Richard Hunt

Born: Chicago, Illinois 1935

More works in the collection by
Richard Hunt

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