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A Legacy: Robert Hodgell

Academic Pursuit by Robert Hodgell

A Legacy: Robert Hodgell (1922-2000)

Selected Museum and Public Collections

  • Library of Congress
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Des Moines Art Center
  • Joslyn Art Museum
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Kansas State University
  • Bergstrom Museum
  • Ringling Museum of Art
  • St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts


1922 Born in Mankato, Kansas
1940-46 Studio and Mural assistant to John Steuart Curry
1946 MS Applied Art, University of Wisconsin
1945-57 Artist in Residence at Des Moines Art Center
1954 -57 Illustrator Our Wonderful World (Children's Encyclopedia)
1957-58 Art Director University of Wisconsin Extension Division
1960 Joined Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckerd College) Art department as Associate Professor
1977 Left Eckerd College faculty to practice his art full time.
Bob also studied with Mauricio Lasansky.
2000 Died in Bradenton, Florida

In tribute to Hodgell, Jim Crane, Professor of Visual Arts at Eckerd College, said "I asked Bob a question: 'What keeps you going when no one is buying your work, writing about it or maybe even seeing what you are doing? What keeps you going through neglect, when no one cares if you make art or not?' Bob looked at me as if that haunting question had never occurred to him. He answered simply 'It is what I do.' It was what he did and who he was. It was his vocation in the oldest religious sense. It was his calling."

Students of those early days may recall fondly his "lectures" in general education when, with a seated model, he would do a full painting on stage within an hour, not saying a word. Most of those in the audience had never witnessed such an intense moment of the creative process in action.

Hodgell retired from teaching at Eckerd College in 1977 in order to pursue his art full-time. Virtually every day of his life was spent making works of art, and it is truly humbling to consider his prodigious output. Robert Hodgell passed away in March, 2000, but his art continues to delight and inspire us daily.

College Program Series

Each semester, selected events are designated for the College Program Series (CPS). The majority of events are open to the public, but please check the schedule as some events are reserved for members of the Eckerd College community. Learn more.


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