American artist Elliot Melville Offner (1931-2010) was a first generation American who welded together his eastern European Jewish immigrant roots with a classical artistic education at Yale and the most fundamental elements of American naturalism and folk art to create a new form American sculpture.

During his prolific five-decade creative career, he captured epic themes from the Holocaust and Auschwitz, to ecumenical and liturgical characters, to finally embodying sculptures of American wildlife with the poetry and complexity of flight and motion, while paying homage to his American and European artistic heritage.

Offner’s works can be found in public and private collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Hirschhorn Museum at the Smithsonian, the deCordova Museum, and Springfield’s Museum of Fine Arts, and at the Elliot and Rosemary Offner Sculpture Museum at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina.

Friend and fellow Smith College art professor John Davis summarized Offner’s art, and the artist himself, in saying, “Elliot captured the abstract beauty of movement in the natural world, always with a warmth and richness of surface that reminded viewers of the transformative power of the artist’s hand.”


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