International Sculpture Center
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In 1960, sculptor and educator Elden Tefft organized the National Sculpture Conference at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Kansas, and with that conference the International Sculpture Center was born. Since then, the ISC has continued to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of its members as technologies move forward, beginning with the 1997 launch of Today, after 50 years of service to the field, the ISC's progressive programs, conferences, symposia, and publications serve a growing international membership and educate the profession and the public about contemporary sculpture.


Honoring Elden Tefft at the International Sculpture Center's 50th anniversary in 2010.

On Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The Founder of the International Sculpture Center, Elden Tefft, passed away. Elden organized the National Sculpture Conference at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1960 and with that conference the International Sculpture Center was born. Elden had long had a passion for sculpture, beginning at Lawrence High School, then continuing into his career at art school at the University of Kansas and Tulsa. During his lifetime, Elden built the first “lost-wax” foundry, traveled the world to teach the “lost-wax” method and bronze casting, and published numerous books and articles on sculpture. Please click here to read his entire obituary. Board, staff, friends, patrons and members are profoundly thankful for Elden's vision and passion that created the ISC, an organization that continues to support the sculpture community over 50 years later. The family suggests memorials in his name to the Benevolence Fund through Indian Ave. Baptist Church or to the International Sculpture Center and may be sent in care of the mortuary at 120 W 13th St, Lawrence, KS 66044.

1976 The ISC held its first traveling conference in New Orleans.

1979 The ISC was encorporated and received non-profit status.

1980 The ISC held a conference in Washington, DC, with more than 2,000 in attendance, included a city-wide international exhibition of sculpture. That success encouraged the leadership of the newly incorporated International Sculpture Center to establish the ISC as a membership organization.

Cover of the very first Sculpture International magazine which would later become Sculpture.
1982 The first Sculptors International magazine, a bi-monthly publication, was published.

1983 The ISC introduced Tech Shops, a biennial consisting of a series of workshops on a variety of sculpture techniques and aesthetics.

1985 The name of the magazine changed to Sculpture. That same year, the ISC sponsored World Congress of Sculpture Organizations, Chicago.

1986 The ISC founded the International Slide Registry.

1988 The ISC started the Critic in Residence program which ran until 1994.

Image of ISC Lifetime Achievement Award, copy of Head from the figure of a woman [Cycladic; Keros-Syros culture]
1991 In order to recognize the acheivements of sculptors, the ISC introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award

1993 The ISC introduced the Patron's Recognition Award which recognizes individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the advancement of contemporary sculpture.

1994 The Student Award for Outstanding Acheivement in Sculpture was established.

1995 Maquette was encorporated into Sculpture magazine.

1996 The ISC introduced the Outstanding Educator Award.

1997 The ISC launched

1998 The artist slide registry went digital.

ISC Publications
2006 The ISC inaugurated the ISC Press, which has since published three books including Landscapes for Art: Contemporary Parks, A Sculpture Reader: Contemporary Sculpture Since 1980, and Conversations on Sculpture.

2007 The ISC's e-Newsletter was created.

2009 The Digital version of Sculpture magazine was launched.

2010 Marked the commencement of the Traveling Student Awards Exhibition and launch of the International Initiative and the 5 year strategic plan. Also, the 22nd Annual International Sculpture Center conference was held in London.

Untitled 2008 by Myeongbeom Kim (2008 Student Award winner)
Beyond 2010

As the ISC board, staff, members, and supporters look to the future of the sculpture community, we are guided by the five goals of the ISC Strategic Plan 2019-2021. Using the strategic plan as a roadmap, the ISC is examining, improving, and expanding our programs for our constituents in the years ahead.

The next three years will see increased member benefits, new publications, growing international ties, and advanced relationships with and between sculptors, organizations, collectors, and patrons. Simultaneously, our capacity and stability as a non-profit arts organization will strengthen. We look forward to your participation and support during these exciting years. Download the complete ISC Strategic Plan 2019-21 here.