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Artist Biography: Gordon Gund
Gordon Gund was born in 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was educated at Groton School in Massachusetts and later graduated from Harvard University. Gund served as an officer in the U.S. Navy in the Western Pacific from 1961–65.
Gordon Gund’s interest in working in wood, clay and bronze began more than 30 years ago. He was exposed to art at an early age – Gund still remembers attending Saturday morning art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art with his siblings. During his college years he studied watercolor, and during his time in the navy he became an avid photographer. Gund’s interest in sculpture began when a friend introduced him to wood carving – his first carvings were of shorebirds, fish and seals. Working with professional sculptors, Gund continued to expand his sculptural capabilities by learning how to make clay sculptures and ready them for plaster and bronze castings. A six-foot version of one of his earlier bronze works Flukes is on permanent display at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ; the Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH; and the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro in NJ.
“While it is not my principal vocation, sculpting has been not only my principal avocation; it has increasingly occupied my mind (often in the middle of the night) in recent years. While with my eyes I can’t see the shapes I create, I feel them over and over again with my hands and my mind, and the result is in my mind forever. Like most sculptors, I use a variety of models for reference and get lots of opinions, but only I can be blamed for the final result. It takes me more time and patience than most with sight and letting go is generally felt with more uncertainty. So, it is extremely satisfying to finish something that I have doubted along the way, woken up with in the middle of the night, spent a lot of time on and given a lot of love. It is especially satisfying and enjoyable when others I care about truly like the result when it is finally done.”
Gordon Gund is predominantly known for his successful endeavors as a businessman, investor and prominent philanthropist. He is the Chairman and CEO of Gund Investment Corporation in Princeton, NJ, is the lead director of the boards of the Kellogg Company and Corning, Inc., and is also the former majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team. In 1970, Gund lost his sight from retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and in 1971, along with his wife and others, he co-founded the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) to help find treatments and cures for RP and allied inherited retinal degenerative diseases like age-related macular degeneration. He serves as Chairman of the FFB which is headquartered in Columbia, MD.
Private collection: Mercedes Bass, New York, Aspen
Gordon Gund has been featured in several publications including: The Atlantic Salmon Journal (PDF 8.6 MB), Spring 2009, By Donald Christ
Video Interview with Artist Gordon Gund
The Atlantic Salmon Journal (PDF, 8.6 MB)
Spring 2009, By Donald Christ