John Henry Waddell (b. 1921)

Vishnu Schist, c. 1991
44 in x 20 in
John Waddell was raised in the Midwest and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He and his wife, Ruth, a close partner in his professional as well as his personal life, moved to Arizona in 1957. Here he headed the art education department at Arizona State University (then Arizona State College) for several years. During this time Waddell made sculpture his primary art form. The 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, in which four young girls died, became a pivotal event in his development as an artist. The monument he created in response to that tragedy, That Which Might Have Been, Birmingham, 1963, resides in the garden he designed for it at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Lincoln Drive in Phoenix. His sculptures are exhibited in many places in Phoenix, including Civic Plaza and the Phoenix Art Museum. The Waddells have lived in the Verde Valley since 1970 and make frequent visits to Grand Canyon, where they sketch and paint.

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Presented by the
Grand Canyon Association, 2000

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