Henry Burtt Richardson (born March 1961) is an American sculptor. He works primarily in the medium of plate glass.[1]

Early life and Education

Richardson was born in Syracuse, New York and grew up outside of Washington, DC. His family was involved in medicine: his father, H. Burtt Richardson Jr, was a paediatrician and academic, [2] his mother, Gladys, a paediatric health educator, [3] and his uncle, William C. Richardson, was President of Johns Hopkins University and the Kellogg Foundation. He studied geology and art at Haverford College, graduating in 1983. He is Quaker, which inspires the continuing theme of "inner light" in his work.[4]

Works and Process

Connecticut 9/11 Memorial, Danbury
Chiseled Glass orb, Frost Art Museum, Miami

Richardson began as a realist painter. He became certified in concrete and steel in order to walk the beams on building sites, and these became the subjects of his early paintings. He became familiar with building materials, including concrete and glass, and together with his geology background, began to explore the possibilities of plate glass as an artistic medium. [5]

Richardson treats glass as a transparent stone, using a hammer and chisel to shape it. He has developed a method of bonding the layers together with a polymer silicate and UV light. The layers are then sculpted into large abstract spheres, columns and spirals which appear "ethereal" and light despite their weight. [6] As the work evolved, Richardson began adding color, mixing his own pigments and infusing them into the glass.[7]

Richardson was commissioned to design the memorial to the Connecticut victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. [8] His work may also be found in numerous public and private collections. [9] [10] [11] In 2012, he was named the Artist of the Year by the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) Stars of Design Awards. [12]

9/11 Memorial

Richardson conceived the Connecticut 9/11 memorial in Danbury as a twelve foot glass column. The void within evokes the towers that no longer stand. The names of the 152 Connecticut victims are engraved on a sheet of glass that rises through the void. The memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2004. [13]

Healing the World (Tikkun) series

Tikkun, inspired by the Hebrew phrase Tikkun olam, or "healing the world," was first shown at the Miami-Miami Beach Sculpture Biennale. These orbs, or hollow spheres, are constructed from layered arcs of fractured glass, fused together to form a crystalline whole. The bonding technology, together with precise calculations, permits the construction of very large forms. The orb at the Frost Art Museum Sculpture Park at Florida International University measures six feet in diameter and weighs approximately 5,000 pounds.[14]

Ice Cave series

Richardson's background and interest in geology and climate change took him to Iceland, where he studied the ice beaches and glaciers, how the ocean carved the glaciers and the transmission of light. The ice sculpture series is based on these travels. [15]


  1. ^ Williams, Arthur (2005). The Sculpture Reference Illustrated. Gulfport, MS. p. 179. ISBN 0-9755383-0-6. 
  2. ^ "H B Richardson's Scientific Contributions". ResearchGate. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  3. ^ Pettis, Jasmine. "Creating family, neighborhood networks to raise healthy, resilient children". ACEs Connection. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  4. ^ Ferguson, Lori. "From Rocks to Glass". Haverford College Magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  5. ^ Pantovich, Mila. "Henry Richardson's Artistic Genius: Creating Spheres from Sheets of Glass". www.justluxe.com. Luxemont LLC. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  6. ^ Ferguson, op cit.
  7. ^ Kahle, Laurie. "Henry Richardson's Glass Sculptures Go on Display in Naples, Florida". www.forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  8. ^ Pelland, Dave. "9/11 Memorial, Danbury". CTMonuments.net. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  9. ^ Tully, Kathryn. "What do Artists and Hedge Fund Managers Have in Common?". forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  10. ^ Heyman, Marshall. "To Learn about Art, Party with the Artists". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  11. ^ McCombs, Audrey. "The Art of the Menorah". Savannah Now. Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  12. ^ "Stars Of Design Sixth Annual Award Ceremony And Reception At Design Center Of The Americas". Soul of Miami. 
  13. ^ "9/11 Memorial". City of Danbury. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  14. ^ Garland, Sissi. "Master Glass Sculptor Henry Richardson to Speak at the Frost". FIU News. Florida International University. Retrieved 16 January 2018. 
  15. ^ Christopherson, Jody. "Climate Change: A Conversation about Art, Investment, and Science". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 

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