We were saddened to learn that Richard H. Reinhardt died late last year. He had been an Artisan member since the Society's founding in 1989. Known for his exploration of new ideas, outstanding craftsmanship, and teaching skills, Reinhardt was an inspiration to his students. Below is his obituary which appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Richard H. Reinhardt, 77, of Newtown Square [PA], a silversmith and jewelry maker who spent more than 50 years at the University of the Arts [in Philadelphia] as a student, teacher of crafts, and school official, died of bladder cancer on December 29 at Paoli Memorial Hospital.
During the 1950s, Reinhardt founded the jewelry and metalsmithing programs and was chairman of the crafts department at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art.
When the school became the Philadelphia College of Art in the 1960s, he was chairman of the industrial design department. He was named associate dean of faculty in 1965, became dean five years later, and served until 1976.
He taught silversmithing and jewelry making for eight years, then returned to the dean's office for two years to help establish the University of the Arts. He retired in 1986.
Widely known as a silversmith, he exhibited his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Philadelphia Art Museum, and in museums in Rochester, NY; Amsterdam, Holland; and elsewhere. His work is included in the permanent collections of museums in Boston and Philadelphia, and in the Smithsonian.
In a retrospective show at the University of the Arts last spring, Inquirer art critic Edward J. Sozanski called attention to Reinhardt's "Superb craftsmanship" and said his career "demonstrates that craftsmanship can readily transmute into art, even when the craftsman isn't striving consciously to produce art."
He added: "After more than a half-century of hammering silver, Reinhardt appears to be having fun with it by seeing how far he can push traditional silversmithing techniques. It's inspiring to encounter an artist so long at the bench who not only still enjoys his work but who continues to grow in its practice."
Reinhardt began studies at the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art (as the art school was then known). He left during World War II to work as a draftsman and to serve in the Marines as a drill instructor.
He returned to school after the war, earning his degree and staying to teach. When he retired, he was named professor emeritus and made an honorary doctor of fine arts.
He is survived by his wife, Hazel; two children, five grand-children; and five great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Richard H. Reinhardt Scholarship Fund at the University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102.
Social Security Death Index
Name: Richard H. Reinhardt
Last Residence: 19073 Newtown Square, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Born: 8 Sep 1921
Died: 29 Dec 1998
State (Year) SSN issued: Vermont (Before 1951)
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