Who is Beverly Pepper?
Beverly Pepper (born: Beverly Stoll) was an acclaimed American sculptor whose work was suffused with a quicksilver lightness that belied its gargantuan scale. She was known from the 1960s on as a sculptor of towering forms of iron, steel, earth, and stone, often displayed outdoors.
Beverly met the environmental artist Frederick Kiesler in her mid-20s. She has worked and lived principally in Italy since the 1950s. Throughout the years, Pepper received several awards and recognitions. She donated her personal archives to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids in 2016. These archives contain nearly 900 works which consist of sketchbooks, drawings, other works on paper.
Beverly was represented by Marlborough Gallery, as well as Kayne Griffin Corcoran. Corcoran presented the first major Los Angeles solo exhibition of her work in 2017.
Beverly Pepper Age
Pepper was aged 97 at the time of her death on 5th February 2020. She was born on December 20, 1922, in Brooklyn New York City, U.S.
Beverly Pepper Family
Beverly was born to Jewish immigrants, Beatrice (Hornstein) and Irwin Stoll. Her father was a furrier and sold carpet and linoleum. Her mother was a volunteer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Pepper’s mother and grandmother’s strong personality convinced her that she could make her own life far from Brooklyn. “There was nothing I ever thought would limit me because my mother and grandmother were very strong women. I didn’t know that’s not how women acted!”
Beverly Pepper Education
At the age of sixteen, Pepper entered the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, to study advertising design, photography, and industrial design. She started a career as a commercial art director. Pepper studied at the Art Students League of New York and attended night classes at Brooklyn College. This includes art theory with György Kepes, who introduced her to the work of Lasló Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray.
Beverly studied painting in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière having been drawn to post-war Europe in 1949. At the school, she attended classes with cubist painter André L’Hôte, and with Fernand Léger at his atelier. Stoll also visited the studios of Ossip Zadkine and Brâncuși.
Beverly Pepper Husband
Beverly married Curtis Bill Pepper, a journalist, in 1949. She settled with him in Rome, where he became Newsweek’s Mediterranean bureau chief in the early 1950s. In the city of Rome, Beverly and Pepper’s luminous social circle included Gore Vidal and Federico Fellini.
In the early 1970s, the couple moved to Umbria, where they bought and restored a derelict 14th-century castle near Todi, a medieval hill town. The couple was married for 65 years until Bill’s death on April 4, 2014.
Beverly Pepper Children
Pepper has a daughter Jorie Graham and a son John Randolph Pepper. Jorie is a poet while John is a photographer and theatre director.
Beverly Pepper Career
She began her career as a painter but after a trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia, in 1960, she was so awed by the temple ruins surviving beneath the jungle growth that she turned to sculpture. Her very first pieces were carved out of fallen trees from her Rome garden.
She was then asked to take part in the Festival of Two Worlds, held in Spoleto, Italy, in 1962. Pepper’s sculpture “Il Dono di Icaro” (“The Gift of Icarus”) — an iron-and-steel piece comprising a slender standard crowned by a horizontal band of airy, abstract scrollwork — was entered in the exhibition. This was what made her reputation and since then it stands outdoors in Spoleto.
Beverly Pepper Death
Beverly died on 5th February 2020 at her Todi home. She was aged 97. Her daughter Jorie confirmed her death.
Beverly Pepper Studio
She had her studio in Todi, a hill town in Umbria, Italy.
Beverly Pepper Sculpture Park
In September 2019, Beverly Pepper Sculpture Park opened in Todi, featuring works donated by the artist. Earlier the same year, the Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery in Los Angeles featured a retrospective of Ms. Pepper’s smaller-scale early work, and an exhibition of more recent Cor-Ten works opened at Marlborough’s downtown New York gallery.
Pepper also completed the construction of a new, sculptural amphitheater for the city of L’Aquila, in the Abruzzo region of Italy, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2009.
Beverly Pepper Awards
- 2013 International Sculpture Center Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award
- 2011 National Academician, National Academy Museum and School, New York, NY United States
- 2007 Pratt Alumni Achievement Award, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, United States
- 2003 Alexander Calder Prize for Sculpture, Alexander Calder Prize, Sache, France
- 2003 Pratt Institute Legends Award, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, United States
- 1999 Allied Arts Honor Award, The American Institute of Architects, Jefferson City, Missouri, United States
- 1994 Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts, Women’s Caucus for Art, Queens Museum of Art, Queens, New York, United States
- 1992 Award, Friend of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
- 1987 Accademico di Merito, Accademia di Belle Arti, Perugia, Italy
- 1987 Celebrity Path, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York, United States
- 1983 Doctor of Fine Arts, The Maryland Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
- 1982 Doctor of Fine Arts, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Beverly Pepper Net Worth
Pepper’s net worth is not yet disclosed.