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Early Kenneth Campbell


Late Kenneth Campbelll

The American sculptor Kenneth Campbell was born in West Medford, Massachusetts. He was the second son of inventor-industrialist Alphonse S. Campbell, and a great grandson of William Campbell, a Scottish seaman who jumped ship and settled in Boothbay, Maine in 1811. Kenneth Campbell studied painting at the Massachusetts  College of Art, the Art Student's League and the National Academy of Design.  In 1952, he turned from painting to carving. His first carvings were made from large pieces of fenestrated driftwood he found on the outer shore at Provincetown.


In 1956, Campbell relocated from Boston and Provincetown to New York. By that time, he was carving primarily in marble. During a trip to Yugoslavia in 1984, he began casting editions in bronze of some of the smaller stone carvings.


In his early years, Campbell was particularly influenced by long talks with the painter Karl Knaths, and was associated with Myron Stout, Adolph Gottlieb (an early purchaser of Campbell's sculpture), Leo Manso and Jack Tworkov. In New York, on the recommendation of Philip Pavia, he became a member and officer of The Club, an active part of the Abstract Expressionist avant-garde centering around Tenth Street, and one of the few sculptors in that group who worked in stone. During the 1960s, Campbell was active in The Sculptor's Group, which included Louise Nevelson, David Smith, George Sugarman, Abe Schlemowitz, Pavia, and other artists. Through Karl Prantl, the Viennese sculptor who represented Austria in the 1986 Venice Biennale, Campbell had considerable contact with stone carvers in Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Japan (1968-1986).

Campbell's marble carvings are in the collections of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian (Sara Roby Collection), Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker Art Center, Brooklyn Museum, Kalamazoo Art Institute, Bristol Myers Collection, Adolph Gottlieb Foundation, Storm King Art Center, Symposion Europaischer Bildhauer (Austria), Sculpturfeld (Germany), New York University, New York City Technical College, and Bukovicka Banja Sculpture Park (Yugoslavia).


Group shows in which his work was represented include Art of the United States: 1670-1966 and American Art of the 20th Century (Whitney Museum of American Art); Whitney Sculpture Biennials (1962-68); shows at the Art Institute of Chicago (67th Annual American Exhibition, 1964; Collector's Choice, 1966); and the Pavilion of Contemporary American Art at the 1964 New York World's Fair (American Art Today).


Campbell was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an award in art from The American Academy of Arts and Letters and The National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Richard Davis Memorial Award for Sculpture (Audubon Artists), the Fourteenth Annual New England Exhibition Award for Sculpture (Silvermine Guild), the Hallegarten Prize, and the Saltus Silver Medal (National Academy of Design).  He received purchase awards from the Ford Foundation and the Longview Foundation.


Campbell's stone carvings are abstract. They aim for a refinement of line which is essentially classical, but which also reflects the artist's interest in Oriental art and philosophy. Campbell worked directly, with hand tools, in American marbles from Georgia, Vermont, Tennessee, and Alabama.  Many pieces are in a laminated technique that facilitates combining and contrasting stones of various colors.

Campbell's smaller marble carvings are monolithic (single unit) pieces twenty to forty inches high. Larger pieces, which can be disassembled, are from six to ten feet high, and consist of stacked units secured by concealed stainless steel pins. Campbell, a student of the three-dimensional arts of Egypt, India, and China, but also of menhirs and megaliths, called the stacking technique Stone on Stone, the title used for most of his exhibitions. The artist executed four monumental site works installed in Maryland, Austria, Germany, and Yugoslavia.


The vast majority of material on this site was compiled by Patricia Sloane (1934-2001) with the help of Catherine Gallitelli.  Sloane was a painter, an art historian, an author and married Kenneth in 1959.  She was a professor of fine arts at NYC Technical College - CUNY, wrote several books on the ways we relate to color as well as a book on T.S. Elliott poems.  Since she was both an art historian and enthusiastic about Kenneth’s work she took on the project of creating a catalog of his sculptural works.  Unfortunately, she died before being able to complete the task. 


Alan S. Campbell is Kenneth’s son by his first marriage and also a fan of his work and an admirer of Pat’s enthusiasm and tenacity.  He collected Pat’s work and put in a format that worked with CreateSpace to generate a book titled Kenneth Campbell Sculpture - Catalog Raisonné that is available on Amazon.  This web site is a subset of the images and information that is available in the catalog raisonné.

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