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MSU'S SPARTAN SCULPTOR - LEONARD JUNGWIRTH

Football Tower - 300 Spartan Way
On exhibit through Jan. 15, 2008

The MSU Museum is highlighting works on campus by Professor Leonard D. Jungwirth (1903-1963). Seven sculptures from the MSU Museum's collection will be augmented by photographs, a Sparty statuette and the artist's woodworking tools. While The Spartan may be MSU's best-known work, Jungwirth's art is more varied than Sparty may suggest. His work can be monumental or small, angular or streamlined, softly modeled or bearing obvious chisel marks. Whether free-standing or in relief, the pieces are characteristically figurative, with strong, clearly-defined forms and minimal detailing. Jungwirth was a dedicated art professor who taught at MSU from 1940 until his death. Born in Detroit, he worked in his father's wood carving shop before earning degrees at the University of Detroit and Wayne State University. He also studied religious sculpture in Munich. In the 1930s, he was an artist and supervisor in Detroit for the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project, a government program which paid artists to make work for public facilities during the Depression. His secular and religious sculptures were exhibited widely, often with his wife, painter Irene Gayas Jungwirth. Professor Jungwirth suffered a fatal heart attack after casting bronze at a local foundry with his students.

The Football Tower - 300 Spartan Way in the Spartan Stadium expansion - is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.