R. Callner
  About Richard Callner  

Richard Callner was born on May 18, 1927 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and spent most of his childhood in Chicago in the midst of the Depression. He died at age 80 on August 31, 2007. At the age of 17, during World War II, Callner dropped out of school and enlisted in the Navy. He began his formal study of art through the G.I.Bill at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1946.

From Wisconsin Callner moved to Paris for a brief period and studied at the Académie Julian, returned to Wisconsin to finish a Bachelors degree, and then made his way to New York City to study at the Art Students League. He received a MFA from Columbia University in 1952. In 1959 Callner was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to paint in France and England.

Upon completion of his MFA, Callner began a distinguished career as a studio art professor. He began teaching at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, went on to Olivet College in Michigan, and then to the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1966 he and his family moved to Italy where he served as the founding director of the Tyler School of Art in Rome. From 1975 to 1981, Richard served as head of the art department at the State University of New York at Albany. He played a key role establishing the school's MFA program in 1977, and taught graduate level courses until his retirement in 1991. Other achievements included a Fulbright fellowship in Yugoslavia and exhibitions and lectures under the auspices of the USIS in Germany, Finland, Hungary, Turkey, and Russia.

Private and public collections of Callner’s work include the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Istanbul, Turkey; the Gallery of Modern Art, Pristina, Yugoslavia; the Albany Institute of History and Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Detroit Institute of Arts; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the New York Public Library; Yale University Art Gallery; Cincinnati Art Museum; and the Worcester Art Museum. He is a respected and revered teacher to many area artists, and in 2003 the Albany Institute of History and Art held a 50 year retrospective of his work not only as tribute to the artist's career but also to acknowledge his influence and contribution to the cultural fabric of the region.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1982 and retired from teaching in 1991. He continued to create and produce his art, working until a few days before his death, undaunted with a determined spirit that served as an inspiration to all.

Copyright 2008- Carolyn Callner. All Rights Reserved.