February 18, 2014, Volume 60, No. 23
Professor Adkins, Fine Arts
Terry Adkins, professor of fine arts in the School of Design, died in New York on February 7 at the age of 60.
Professor Adkins had been on the faculty since 2000. “Terry has been an amazing teacher, artist, musician, provocateur, colleague and friend to all of us in and around PennDesign, in the department of Africana Studies where he held a secondary appointment and in the far larger world across which his works are seen and felt. Terry’s art, music and example will continue to inform our awareness and enrich our lives, at Penn and far beyond,” said Marilyn Jordan Taylor, dean and Paley Professor in the School of Design.
Professor Adkins had exhibited and performed widely since 1982. His sculptures were often inspired by, and dedicated to, historical figures, from musicians like blues singer Bessie Smith, guitarist Jimi Hendrix and composer Ludwig van Beethoven to the writer and activist W. E. B. Du Bois and the abolitionist John Brown. His latest work, three-dimensional representations of bird songs made from cymbals and percussion instruments will be on view in the Whitney Biennial 2014 from March 7-May 25, 2014.
An interdisciplinary artist and musician, Professor Adkins performed music throughout his career, forming the Lone Wolf Recital Corps in 1986, with which he performed widely, frequently as a component of art installations he produced.
Professor Adkins is a recipient of the Jacob H. Lazarus Rome Prize (Almanac January 20, 2009) and Fellowships from USA Artists (James Baldwin Fellow), the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Born in Washington, DC, Professor Adkins earned his BS from Fisk University in 1975, his MS from Illinois State University in 1977 and his MFA from University of Kentucky in 1979.
Professor Adkins is survived by his wife, Merele Williams-Adkins; children, Titus, C’17, and Turiya; mother, Doris; two brothers; and two sisters.
April 28: Professor Terry Adkins; 5-7:30 p.m.; Chinese Rotunda and Egyptian Gallery, Penn Museum.
Dr. Hughes, History and Sociology of Science
Dr. Thomas P. Hughes, Mellon Professor Emeritus in the department of the history and sociology of science in the School of Arts & Sciences, passed away February 3 in Virginia, at age 90.
Dr. Hughes taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1973 until 1994 and served as chair of the department of the history and sociology of science from 1977 until 1980. Before then, he chaired the department’s graduate group.
Prior to coming to Penn, Dr. Hughes served on the faculties of Sweet Briar College, Washington and Lee University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University and the Southern Methodist University, Institute of Technology.
He completed his PhD in 1953 from the University of Virginia where he did his graduate work in European history. He also earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1947 and 1953, respectively.
Dr. Hughes published books on American and European history with special attention to the history of modern technology, science and culture. The books he authored and edited include Networks of Power: Electrification of Western Society, 1880-1930; Human Built World; Rescuing Prometheus; and American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970, a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
Dr. Hughes was a member of the American Philosophical Society, US National Academy of Engineering, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Society for the History of Technology awarded him the Leonardo da Vinci Medal and the Society for the Social Studies of Science gave him the John Desmond Bernal Award. He was named a member of the Society of Fellows by the Johns Hopkins University. The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm awarded him an honorary doctorate in engineering in 2000 and Northwestern University conferred upon him a doctorate of humane letters in 2001.
Dr. Hughes was a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study, Berlin and a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm; Collegium Helveticum, ETH Zurich; Stanford University; Technische Hochschule, Darmstadt; New School for Social Research; and the Wissenschaftszentrum, Berlin.
Among his fellowships are the Guggenheim and Fulbright. He has chaired the NASA History Advisory Committee, the US National Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science; and served as president of the Society for the History of Technology.
Dr. Hughes is survived by his children, Lucian and Agatha, both Penn alums; four grandchildren; and long-time companion Mary Hill Caperton.
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