Clement Meadmore's Awakening

A guest post by Jonathan D. Lippincott, author of LARGE SCALE: Fabricating Sculpture in the 1960s and 1970s. You can learn more about LARGE SCALE at

As I mention in the preface to Large Scale, one of the great challenges in creating my book was deciding which photographs to include from the many thousands of images in the Lippincott company archive. In going through the collection, I was amazed by the range of sculpture being made during the 1960s and 1970s. To have so many talented artists in one place, each working out their ideas about sculpture, was quite remarkable. I would like to share here some images that further illuminate the work done at Lippincott.

I wanted to start with Clement Meadmore, because I have an interesting document about one of his early works with Lippincott. His sculpture, Awakening, 1968, was built for the Australian Mutual Provident Society in Melbourne, Australia. This was one of the very few sculptures made at Lippincott that was not installed by the Lippincott crew, and so a book of assembly instructions, with accompanying photographs, was put together to send with the sculpture to its final destination. I have reproduced the complete text and the photographs here.

The text provides narration for the photographs, but some other information may be helpful. Like many sculptures made at Lippincott, the large overall dimension of Awakening made it necessary to execute the work in several sections small enough to put on palettes for shipment. In this case, due to the necessity of long-distance travel, each of the three components of Meadmore’s piece was just under the maximum size allowed in a shipping container. In photograph 2, the large opening at the left shows the cross braces inside the piece that help maintain the shape. The holes for the bolts are visible around the edges of this opening. The smaller opening visible inside the piece is the access panel in the sculpture, which allowed the person placing the last bolts inside the sculpture to climb out of the sculpture once the assembly was complete. Photographs 3 and 4 show the pins that align the different sections when they are bolted together, and assure that the corners and planes all line up correctly.

In the accompanying text, the last line is "I have not included a photograph of the piece in its final position to allow you the pleasure of a most rewarding surprise." To see the completed sculpture, and learn more about Clement Meadmore and his work, click here.

(Credit for all photographs: One of an edition of two. Cor-Ten steel. 15' x 27' x 24'. Australian Mutual Provident Society, Melbourne, Australia. Photographs (c) Roxanne Everett/Lippincott’s LLC. Art © Meadmore Sculptures, LLC / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Reproduction in any form is strictly prohibited without written permission from all copyright-holding parties.)