Artist & Teacher

    Robert C. Koepnick (1907-1995) studied at the School of the Dayton Art Institute and at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He was a well-known Dayton sculptor and headed the sculpture department at the Dayton Art Institute (DAI) from 1936-1975. Schools such as University of Dayton and Antioch College hosted their art programs at DAI during this time. During WWII Mr. Koepnick worked as a sculptor for the Aeromedical Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

    Mr. Koepnick’s work is prominent in Dayton, including the chapel at St. Leonard’s Center, the cast aluminum reliefs on the gates of the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, a relief on the Dayton Metro Library, and a bronze of Huckleberry Finn in the permanent collection of the Dayton Art Institute. His sculptures have been on exhibit in museums across the U.S., including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. A large number of his works were ecclesiastical or architectural and consisted of a variety of media including terra cotta, ceramics, bronze, aluminum, and marble. Mr. Koepnick received an honorary degree from University of Dayton shortly before his death in 1995. In 2011, the University of Dayton Archives and Special Collections accessioned his personal papers and numerous sculptures. 

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    Events and Programs

    Join University of Dayton Libraries for events and programs that celebrate Koepnick's work and life as artist and teacher:

    • Koepnick's Marian Heritage from March 5 to May 3, 2014
      in the Marian Library Gallery
    • Art for Citizens and Celebrants: The Sculpture of Robert C. Koepnick 
      from March 16 to Sept. 5, 2014 (closes at 1:00 p.m.) in the Roesch Library Gallery

    The Libraries will host various public programs to highlight themes within the exhibit:

    • Opening event for Art for Citizens and Celebrants, included brief remarks from exhibit curators Steve Germann and 
      Pamela Houk. Free and open to all. Sunday, March 23, 2014, 2 - 4 p.m. 
    • Wednesday Workshop at ArtStreet: Sculpture demonstration by John Koepnick, son of Robert, and Virginia Hess, 
      student of Robert. Free and open to all. Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 6 - 8 p.m., ArtStreet Studio E. 
    • Reception for Dayton Art Institute Alumni and local artists, Sunday, June 1, 2014, 2 - 4 p.m. Free parking available in lots A, B and P.
    • Silent Auction, registration is free and open to all. Sunday, June 1, 2014 - Saturday, August 2, 2014 4 p.m.
    • Silent Auction Bid Closing Event: Saturday, August 2, 2014. 3 - 5 p.m.

    For additional information or special accomodations, please contact the dean's office at 937-229-4265.

    Dayton Art Institute exhibit

    The Dayton Art Institute will mount a small related exhibit featuring two bronze sculptures by Mr. Koepnick from its collection July 12 - Sept. 28, 2014. The exhibit will honor Robert Koepnick's forty year teaching contribution to the former School of the Dayton Art Institute and his status as one of the region's most valued artists. It will also highlight the long institutional relationship between the Dayton Art Institute and the University of Dayton.


    Remembrances of Bob Koepnick

    Submit your memories or stories of Bob Koepnick using this form or by emailing University Archivist Jennifer Brancato at Personal stories from students, colleagues, friends, or family may be included in the exhibit or programs.

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