RIP Sculptor David Hostetler

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Famed Sculptor of Female Form Died Nov 18, 2015

Watch 10 minute documentary of sculptor David Hostetler talking about his work and inspiration:


The art world is saddened by the loss of another great sculptor.

Bored in high school, Hostetler joined the army mistakenly believing nothing could be worse than high school.

Wounded during a training exercise, he was introduced to art for the first time. He was given art supplies by a Red Cross volunteer. And so an art career was born.

Hostetler taught at Ohio University for nearly 4 decades after receiving his MFA there. He did his undergraduate work at Indiana University.

David Hostetler sculpture Dancing Lady 1

During his own career as a sculptor, Hostetler became known for his depictions of the female form. Apparently this was not a conscious decision on his part at first. He claims he was made aware of this pattern by others who repeatedly asked why he only sculpted women.

At first his response was simply, ‘why not women?’

Later he discusses his theme and inspiration more eloquently.

My sculpture is woman with the mark of the present and the past cultures on her. Timeless woman as an object, a goddess, angular, sensual, stylized; but always filled with grace and vitality that is woman. Woman to me is the ideal form, erotic yet pure, compositionary variable, yet identical every time.

His sculptures are largely in hardwoods, but he also created sculptures in bronze.

David Hostetler sculpture Asherah Root Goddess VIIHostetler was influenced by his grandfather, who was Amish. His female forms reflect other ethnic and cultural influences.

While we know Hostetler as a sculptor, he was also a farmer, an engineer, and a musician. His work and his spirit will be missed.


Thanks to Brian Gibson of WOUB for the original article, which can be read here.

Images of Hostetler’s sculptures and additional details are from the artist’s website

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