An art exhibit inspired by United States Patent Books from the early 1960s is on display in the Dennis Gallery of the Austin College Forster Art Complex through April 21. The exhibit, titled Patent Pending, features work by 30 artists using a variety of media.
Exhibit curator Jon Whitfill will give a talk about Patent Pending on Monday, April 17, at 1:30 p.m. at the Austin College Forster Art Complex, room 210. The exhibit and lecture are free and open to the public.
This invitational collection began when Whitfill sent original, de-commissioned patent books dated 1961 to 1965 to U.S. and international artists. They, in turn, sent back a piece of art that was inspired in some way by their book. Some artists responded to the physical nature of the thick, mustard-colored volumes, while others responded to the books’ contents. All books document the inventions and proposed inventions during this innovative time in history. The exhibit highlights the spirit of human inventiveness, the bizarre and technical aspects of the patent process, and a good dose of mid-century kitsch.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book College’s That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of 1,250 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 12:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates and inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.