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Bruce Metcalf Portrait

Bruce Metcalf

Also Known as: Bruce B. Metcalf

Amherst, Massachusetts 1949

Active in:

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photo Caption:
Courtesy Bruce Metcalf.

Luce Artist Quote

“Most of the work is both narrative and symbolic. The pieces tell visual stories about life---tales about personal relationships, about the struggle for peace of mind, about how misery is often self-inflicted, and other themes.” Artist’s statement, Pictures from the Floating World: Constructions and Drawings by Bruce Metcalf, 1982


Bruce Metcalf earned a B.F.A. degree in 1972 at Syracuse University and an M.F.A. at the Tyler School of Art of Temple University in 1977. Metcalf taught at Kent State University in Ohio from 1981 to 1991. He has been a contributing editor of Metalsmith magazine for nearly two decades and teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Metcalf uses various materials, including wood, metal, and Plexiglass, and diverse techniques for his jewelry, small sculptures, and wall reliefs. Employing disparate images drawn from personal experience, he contrasts familiar, mundane objects with the unfamiliar in an effort to create whimsical yet restrained works of art that comment on the human condition.

Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard Risatti Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Bruce Metcalf employs a variety of materials and techniques in his work, drawing from personal beliefs and experiences to present “tiny secular passion plays” that acknowledge both the dignity and the flaws of the human condition. The artist enjoys the democratic aspect of jewelry, stating that the audience is “whoever is near: passerby; checkout clerks; strangers on an elevator.” His work offers “a diary and a collection of souvenirs” to provoke reflection and inspire the imagination.