Brenner Sculpture Collection
The heart of the Brenner Sculpture collection is 73 sculptures created by the artist Bernard Brenner. In addition, the artwork is supported by an archive of photographs, slides, sketchbooks, drawings, computer-generated art, news articles, and publications about Brenner’s work.
Most of Brenner’s sculpture was in cast bronze or forged steel, and was created from the 1950s to the 1990s. His pieces are abstract and expressionistic. He completed more than two dozen public commissions, exhibited in over 100 group shows, and had more than 20 one-man shows. Brenner collaborated with other artists, including long working relationships with J. Fuhrman and Greg Leavitt.
In 2008, WPI received a gift of 73 sculptures from the artist’s daughter, Rebecca Brenner. Professor Diran Apelian, Director of WPI’s Metal Processing Institute, was a student and colleague of Brenner and with Ms. Brenner selected the pieces which WPI received. The WPI artworks were principally created in the 1990s. In addition to several installations throughout Gordon Library, a number of the sculptures are on display at the Metal Processing Institute in Washburn Hall.
Bernard Brenner was born in Philadelphia in 1927. After serving in the Army Air Force, he graduated from Dakota Wesleyan. After graduation, Brenner began painting and sculpting full-time. Later he attended graduate school at Temple University, where he studied clinical psychology. He worked for over 10 years as a clinical psychologist for the Devereaux Foundation, a school for children with mental disabilities, and during this time conducted studies on the use of art in therapy. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Drexel University as a professor of the humanities. Bernard Brenner died in Pennsylvania in 2004.