Designer/Maker: Holt E. Murray – 20th Century American Sculptor
An exceptional sculptor and long-time San Jose/Santa Cruz-area educator, his first foundry was set up at his residence in San Jose and became the center for a co-operative group of young San Jose State graduate students, whose energetic efforts helped define the Bay Area as the nation’s epicenter for “Creative Casting.” This new process required that the artist himself become technically proficient enough to design and create a model in wax, invest the model and attach gates and vents, burn it out, pour the molten metal into the mold and finally finish the piece. These artists preferred creative control over the entire process. During the 1960s, in one decade, Holt Murray set up three foundry-studios of increasing size and capability, helped establish another and built the bronze-casting equipment for Cabrillo College. His work was shown in prestigious exhibitions like California Design 9, California Design 10 and Creative Casting, at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York. In retrospect, his achievements seem thoroughly remarkable.
Education: B.A. San Jose State University, 1959 General Secondary Credential, 1961 M.A. San Jose State University, 1962
Teaching: Instructor, Art Dept. San Jose City College, 1961-1966 Instructor, Art Dept. Gavilan College, Hollister, CA. 1966 Faculty, Art Dept. (part time) San Jose State College, 1960-1962 Adjunct Instructor, Art Dept. Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA. 1966- 1968 (Built bronze casting equipment for Cabrillo College) Full Time Instructor, Art Dept. Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA. 1968- 1996
Related Professional Experience: 1960-1964, Cooperative Foundry-Studio, 327 Martha St., San Jose, CA. (Built the first bronze casting studio in the San Jose area) 1963, early participant in establishing the Siren Works Foundry- Studio, San Jose, CA. 1964, Workshop on bronze casting, Fresno, CA. 1964-1969, Cooperative Foundry-Studio (Madrone), Morgan Hill, CA. 1968, Aluminum Casting Workshop for American Craftsman’s Council, Southwest Regional Conference (held at Madrone Studio facilities) 1969 Foundry-Studio, Corralitos, CA.
Selected Exhibitions 1961-1978: 11th Annual Designer-Craftsmen’s Exhibition, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA. 1961. Painting & Sculpture Exhibition, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA. 1961. 4th Annual Arts Festival, San Jose, CA., 1961 17th National Ceramics and Decorative Arts Exhibition, Wichita, KS., 1962. Two Man Show, Richmond Art Center, 1962. Fiber, Clay, Metal, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1962. 12th Annual Designer-Craftsmen’s Exhibition, Richmond Art Center, 1962. Jewelry International ’63, Plattsburgh, New York, 1963. 9th Annual Drawing and Small Sculpture Exhibition, Muncie, IN., 1963. 1st Annual Drawing and Small Sculpture Exhibition, Bellingham, WA., 1963. Four Man Show, San Jose Art Center, 1963. California Craftsmen’s 2nd Biennial, Oakland Museum, 1963. 6th Annual Arts Festival, San Jose, 1963. Creative Casting, Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, 1963. Five Man Show, Horse’s Mouth Gallery, Saratoga, CA., 1963. 10th Annual Drawing and Small Sculpture Exhibition, Muncie, IN., 1964. 7th Annual Arts Festival, San Jose, 1964. Sculpture and Painting Exhibition, Laguna Beach, CA., 1964. California Design IX, Pasadena Art Museum, 1965. 8th Annual Arts Festival, San Jose, 1965. Four Man Show, Fresno State College, 1965. Bay Area South Invitational, Richmond Art Center, 1968. California Design X, Pasadena Art Museum, 1968. Faculty Show, Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA., 1970 San Francisco Art Institute Centennial Exhibition, S.F., CA., 1971. 12 Annual Festival of Art, Hayward, CA., 1973. Tapestry in Talent, Invitational, San Jose, CA., 1978. Invitational Exhibition, Triton Museum, Santa Clara, CA., 1978. One Man Show, ’76-’77 Sabbatical Work, Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA., 1978.
Description: An early cast aluminum form from the artist’s Martha Street home-foundry ca. 1961/1962. Marked MURRAY – 34 on the base indicating it was his 34th successful casting.
Dimensions: 13 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 32 1/4″ high
Condition: Very good – with a very light dusting of mossy patina from years outdoors in the Redwoods.
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