Robert Isiah Russin
Contemporary (post 1945) Sculpture
(New York City, NY, August 26, 1914 - December 13, 2007, Los Angeles, CA)
Robert Isiah Russin is known for his large-scale bronze, marble, and stone public art installations in metropolitan centers and rural areas across the United States.
Born in New York to Russian parents in 1914, Russin’s devotion to art during his childhood was immediate. Inspired by the lively artistic community across New York’s districts, he enrolled at the City College of New York in 1932 and managed to receive a B.A. and M.A. in Fine Arts in 1936 and 1938, respectively. Russin would commit to private commission work between 1939 and 1945 until his physically ill family in Wyoming requested his immediate assistance. His move to Wyoming in 1946 would become a catalyst for his creative development as he quickly became enamored by the large expanses of untamed wilderness surrounding his family’s ranch.
Russin would take advantage of Wyoming’s artistic and professional opportunities. He accepted a role as a professor of sculpting at the University of Wyoming in 1947, a role that he would preside over for nearly 40 years. His appreciation of Wyoming’s unique environments would become realized in 1959 with the premiere of a 13-foot-tall bronze bust of Abaraham Lincoln overlooking the now-defunct Lincoln Highway. Russin would continue to create public works at hospitals, colleges, and libraries until his death in 2007 at the age of 93. Of note, his son would place his father’s and mother’s urns next to Lincoln’s bust along with a plaque stating: “The State of Wyoming is proud to honor Robert I. Russin and Adele M. Russin in recognition of their contribution to art, culture and education.”
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