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Max Nixon Legacy Metalwork
October 27 • 10:00 am - November 27 • 5:30 pm
Exhibition: Max Nixon Legacy Metalwork
Dates: October 27 — November 27, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 27, at 2 p.m.
Location: White Lotus Gallery, 767 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97401
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00-5:30
White Lotus Gallery is proud to present Max Nixon Legacy Metalwork. Max Nixon (1915-2000) was a professor of Metal Arts and Weaving in the Art Department at the University of Oregon from 1958 until his retirement in 1981. Then, he continued his teaching career as artist-in-residence at the EMU Craft Center till 1992. A mid-century modernist in his metalwork, Nixon employed clean lines and gentle organic curves. He also pioneered the incorporation of different, often recycled, materials in his creation. The exhibit showcases Nixon’s work through the years, including jewelry made for and worn by his wife, Hattie Mae, teaching samples, and one-of-a-kind boxes.
Born in Haverhill, Kansas, Nixon earned a BFA degree from Kansas University in 1939 and immediately after was awarded WPA funding to create a sculpture to honor the Mennonite farmers in Newton, Kansas. After having taught at the Kansas Art Center for a couple of years and gotten drafted to serve throughout Europe during WWII, Nixon pursued further study in jewelry and metalwork, bookbinding, and weaving at the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester, NY, Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and Mills College in Oakland, California. His teaching took him to Honolulu, Hawaii, and Utica, New York, where he set up a jewelry and metals program at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute.
In 1957, Nixon returned to Eugene, Oregon, where he had taught at the University of Oregon the year prior, to marry Hattie Mae Rhonemus. Then, he began his long tenure at U of O teaching metal arts and weaving. Throughout his career as a professor and then as artist-in-residence at the Craft Center, which Nixon helped establish in 1972, his teaching inspired numerous students and artists. He and Hattie Mae provided additional invaluable services to the University and the Eugene community by giving lectures and volunteering at various museums, executing gifts for retiring Architecture and Allied Art (AAA) faculty, and assembling a 75-year timeline of AAA faculty members. For their lifelong contribution, the couple was jointly honored with the Eugene Arts and Letters Award in 1991. Nixon and Hattie Mae died respectively in 2000 and 2018, and their legacy continues to live on through the lives they touched and the artworks they created.
Attached image: Silver box with hinged lid and 6 jade pieces by Max Nixon. Engraved and embellished. 4” (L) x 3” (W) x 1.75” (H).