Edward McCullough

Edward McCullough was born Sept. 18, 1934 in Danville, Illinois, and raised in Chicago. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1955-59, then attended Illinois State University, earning his BS degree in 1962 and his MS degree in 1966. From 1966-80 he taught at Illinois Wesleyan University, School of Art, where he rose to the rank of associate professor. He twice served on the Illinois Arts Council’s Visual Arts Panel, first from 1979-81, and again from 1992-93. He received an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1980-82) and has been an artist-in-residence at several schools, including the University of Texas, Simpson College (IA), and Augustana College (IL). In 1984 he was awarded an Artist’s Technical Assistance Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Since 1991 he has worked as an adjunct professor of art at Columbia College in Chicago.

His work has been included in outdoor sculpture shows at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC (1993); Rhoneymeade Sculpture Garden, Center Hall, PA (1993); DeLand Museum, DeLand, FL (1991); Elon College, NC (1989); and the Romanek Sculpture Garden, Chicago, IL (1988), just to name a few. He has been a regular exhibitor at the Chicago International Art Expositions, and Chicago’s Navy Pier, most recently in Pier Walk ‘98, National Group Show (1998). One-person shows include the Mitchell Museum, Mt. Vernon, IL (1987); Loyola University, Chicago (1988); Columbia College, Chicago (1990); and Luther College, Decorah, IA (1992-93). Selected collections which include his works are at the Apollo Corporation, New Richmond, IN; the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire; the University of Illinois at Urbana; Augustana Hospital in Chicago; Equitable Life Corporation, Des Moines, IA; and the State of Illinois Building in Chicago.

McCullough’s work at Luther College is part of the Elegy Series, ten works that dominated much of his creative effort during the 1980s. "Little did I know in the spring of 1980, when I undertook this ten-part series with the building of Elegy #1, what was in store for me," he said. "Throughout these seven years there’s been inspiration derived from the poem cycle, The Duino Elegies, written between 1912 and 1922 by the late German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke; thus the title of Elegies given these sculptures. And from the beginning to end this inspiration has consisted of responses – to wit, the ten pieces of sculpture – to that source which Rilke’s poem cycle was also a response: nature, in the widest sense of the word, and our transitory place among all else that’s transitory within this common source." An anonymous donor purchased Elegy #10 for the Luther Fine Arts Collection in 1993.

In the mid 1990s McCullough began a new series of works based, in part, on his experiences at sea in the Navy. Like the Elegy pieces, the Meridian sculptures are characterized by an elegant relationship of abstract forms that fold into and expand out of themselves in an evolving pattern of shifting light, cast shadows, and natural changes in the environment. Giselle Atterberry has described McCullough’s work as "robust" and "gestural," with a "calligraphic grace," qualities readily apparent in the Meridian sculptures. The new pieces are constructed primarily from stainless steel, which lends a sense of reflected color to the work. In addition, the relationship of sculptural forms to text is more obviously addressed through the artist’s small book, Songs at the Meridian, which he describes as "an integral part of the work." Works from the Meridian Series can be found in several locations, including the McLean County Arts Center and the Central Illinois Regional Airport, Bloomington, IL, and the Admiral Michael Boorda Memorial in Momence, IL. Meridian VII was commissioned for the Chicago Police Headquarters Building and installed December 2002.

Source of Biography
Atterberry, Giselle, New Art Examiner, Oct. 1985;
Marquis Who’s Who in American Art (24th Edition), New Providence, NJ, 2001-02.
Related collection
Outdoor Sculptures