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Richard Howard Hunt (born September 12, 1935) was an American artist and sculptor. One of his works, Sentimental Scale & Wedge, sits outside the Justice Center in Cleveland along West 3rd.

 

In the second half of the 20th century, Hunt became "the foremost African-American abstract sculptor and artist of public sculpture." Hunt, the descendant of enslaved people who were brought to the United States from West Africa, studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1950s. While there, Hunt received multiple prizes for his work and was the first African-American sculptor to have a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1971.

 

Hunt has more than 160 public sculpture commissions in prominent locations in 24 states across the United States, more than any other sculptor. With a career that spans seven decades, Hunt has held over 150 solo exhibitions and is represented in more than 100 public museums across the globe. Hunt has also served on the Smithsonian Institution's National Board of Directors.

 

Hunt's abstract, modern, and contemporary sculpture work is notable for being in exhibitions and public displays as early as the 1950s, when there was social pressures against Black artists at the time. Naomi Beckwith, Deputy Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, declared Richard Hunt "one of the most innovative artists of the Twentieth Century." President Barack Obama has stated, "Richard Hunt is one of the greatest artists Chicago has ever produced." Hunt died in December, 2023, at the age of 88.

 

Sentimental Scale & Wedge is two separate metal pieces: one is freestanding and upright with a sloping four-sided base exploding into a curvilinear mass on top; the second is a horizontal rectangular piece sitting flush against the wall which begins at two inches thick and grows as it wraps around the building's corner, bursting into another mass of curves.