Artist, author and former RISD faculty member Arnold Prince died peacefully in his Connecticut home on April 5 at the age of 89. An assistant professor in the Sculpture department from 1972–80, he was best known for his large-scale carvings in wood and stone and for his internationally distributed textbook Carving Wood and Stone: An Illustrated Manual (Prentice Hall, 1981). Prince immigrated to New York City in the 1950s from the island of Saint Kitts in the British West Indies, studied sculpture at the Art Students League of New York and began his teaching career at a Harlem high school.
photos courtesy of RISD Archives
Although his tenure at RISD was short, his impact was lasting. “I had considered Ceramics as my major until I took a carving course with Arnold Prince,” writes alumna Betsy Weiss van Die 80 SC. “I was so taken with his Caribbean charm and teaching techniques that I changed my major to Sculpture. He was not only a great teacher and incredibly talented sculptor, but we became fast friends. I consider Arnold to be my most influential mentor at RISD.”
Prince went on to teach at North Adams State College in Massachusetts and earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Rhode Island (URI) in 2000. His bronze sculpture of Civil Rights leader Arthur Hardge is on permanent display in front of URI’s Multicultural Building.
A memorial celebration honoring Prince’s life will be held at Eastern Connecticut State University on Friday, June 6.