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August 22, 2010

Leroy Lamis

Leroy Lamis, 84, died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, in Austin, Texas. Mr. Lamis was a sculptor and long-time professor of art at Indiana State University. His Plexiglas sculptures, known for their geometric elegance, were exhibited throughout the United States and Europe and are in the collections of leading museums and private collectors.

Mr. Lamis was born in Eddyville, Iowa, and moved to Los Angeles during the depression. As a teenager, he worked at MGM studios in Culver City. He attended New Mexico Highlands University and received a master’s degree from Columbia University in New York. He married Esther Sackler in 1954, taught at Cornell College in Iowa, then moved to Terre Haute, Ind., in 1961, where he taught studio art and art history at Indiana State University until his retirement in 1988. In 1970, he was Artist in Residence at Dartmouth College. He was a fixture in the Wabash Valley art community and had exhibits at the Swope Art Museum, Indiana State University, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Lamis journeyed to New York City with his modern cubist sculptures in tow. He found immediate success with art collectors in New York, being invited to join the Contemporaries Gallery. In 1964, his sculptures were featured in the Whitney Museum Annual exhibit, and in 1965, Lamis’ pieces were selected to participate in one of the most important modern art exhibits of the era, The Responsive Eye at The Museum of Modern Art.

From 1965 to 1971 his sculptures were shown and sold by Staempfli Gallery in New York City, where he had three one-man shows. From 1968 to 1969, his one-man show toured throughout the country including exhibits at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, J.B. Speed Museum, Louisville, John Herron Museum, Indianapolis, Des Moines Art Center, La Jolla Museum of Art, and Tacoma Museum of Art. In total, his artworks were featured in over 100 individual and group exhibits around the world.

His works are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection, Washington, the Albright-Knox Museum, and The Brooklyn Museum, and in the private collections of Seymour Knox, Howard Lipman, SI Newhouse Jr., Roy R. Newberger, Denise Rene, and Robert Sarnoff among other collectors.

He is survived by Esther Lamis; sons, Alexander Lamis of New York and Jonas Lamis of Austin; and seven grandchildren.

Memories and condolences are requested at the memorial website:

leroylamis.org. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Leroy Lamis Art Student Scholarship Fund are being accepted at the website.

 

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