Study for Richmond Cycle

Copied Richard Hunt, Study for Richmond Cycle, 1977, soldered, bolted, and burnished copper with wood edging, 1960 3424 34 in. (48.3154.362.9 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program, 1977.47.14, © 1977, Richard Hunt

Artwork Details

Study for Richmond Cycle
Not on view
1960 3424 34 in. (48.3154.362.9 cm.)
© 1977, Richard Hunt
Credit Line
Transfer from the General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program
Mediums Description
soldered, bolted, and burnished copper with wood edging
  • General Services Administration — Art-in-Architecture Program
  • Study — sculpture model
  • Abstract
Object Number

Artwork Description

Study for Richmond Cycle began life as a model for a huge plaza sculpture outside the Social Security Administration building in Richmond, California. Richmond Cycle is composed of two distinct parts that are separated spatially but united visually by virtue of shared materials and surface finish. The large biomorphic mass that seems to emerge from the ground and then arc back calls to mind a living form, an enormous tree that has fallen to the earth or a primordial animal taking its last breath. Together the elements evoke the cycle of life in which age and the weight of experience are paired with the lightness and promise of youth.

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012


Media - 1979.159.44 - SAAM-1979.159.44_1 - 56988
Sculpture Down to Scale: Models for Public Art at Federal Buildings, 1974 – 1985
May 31, 2019November 22, 2020
Artists used preliminary models—or maquettes—to communicate their ideas. Varied in scale, format, and level of finish, the nine models in this exhibition offer windows into the creative process, with work by Jackie Ferrara, Sol LeWitt, Claes Oldenburg, and Beverly Pepper, among others.