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Robert Dell papers, circa 1977-2013

Dell, Robert, 1950-

Engineer, Sculptor

Collection Information

Size: 0.5 Linear feet

Summary: The Robert Dell papers measure 0.5 linear feet and date from circa 1977 to 2013. The collection documents Dell's early career as an artist including key fellowships, residencies, and exhibitions. Correspondence is both professional and personal and relates to Robert Dell's public art projects in Iceland and the United States, grant applications, and personal matters. Noteworthy correspondents include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the sculptor William King, among others. Printed material includes broadsides, exhibition announcements, maps, posters, and clippings related to Dell's work, installations, and exhibitions. Also included is a drawing of Dell's sculpture Hitavaettur from April 1991.

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert Dell (born 1950) is a sculptor and engineer living in New York City. As a visual artist Dell completed a formative residency at the MacDowell Colony in 1977 where he befriended the sculptor William King. In 1988 he was awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship to Iceland where he created his best-known sculpture Hitavaettur , which means "guardian of geothermal hot water" in Icelandic. This work epitomized Dell's combined engagement with earth sciences and sculpture and laid the foundation for his work as an engineer and inventor. In 1991 Dell completed a Research Artist Fellowship at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies after exhibiting Hitavaettur at the MIT Museum the previous year. Robert Dell is the founding director of the Center for Innovation and Applied Technology and the Laboratory for Energy Reclamation and Innovation at the Cooper Union, where he is also Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He is the primary author of ten patents as well as many peer-reviewed scientific articles.


The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Robert Dell in 2013 and 2019.

Language Note

English .