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Teaching Through Touch: Works by Chaim Gross

The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation

Opening Reception November 7, 2018, 6-8 pm

October 13, 2018 - March 30, 2020

Photo of a thin, tall sculpture of a large, triangularly shaped bird with its beak in the center of a crowd of three smaller birds. The birds are crafted in geometric, pointy shapes.

Photo by Strongmeyer Fine Art Photography

Black and white photo of a rectangular shaped sculpture of a seated woman. Her hair flies back from her head and has pock mark textured detailing. Her limbs are rounded out and stacked upon each other, with her elbow resting on her knee and her other leg tucked behind.

Photo by John D. Schiff

Press Release

The 70-year career of American sculptor Chaim Gross (1904-91) is partially defined by his role as a sculpture teacher. One of his main tenets was the importance of utilizing touch in understanding the three-dimensional nature of sculpture. Although a common thread among sculptors themselves, this very rarely makes it to the viewer, who is often distanced from the work. Gross was a great proponent of the use of natural materials, especially as his initial fame was a result of his direct carvings in wood. These sculptures retain not only the rich textures of the wood, but also contain chisel marks and other evidence of the sculptor’s hand, left to convey varied surfaces and materials. This exhibition allows visitors to have a hands-on experience with the work of one of the most significant twentieth-century American sculptors, but also delves into his various methods, materials, and his educational mission that is continued through the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation.


The exhibition includes sixteen drawings and twelve sculptures in wood, bronze, and stone. The exhibition follows the Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design.


Curated by Sasha Davis, Executive Director, and Brittany Cassandra, Collections and Programs Manager

We would like to thank JBI International (established as The Jewish Braille Institute) for generously supplying our Braille and large print guides for the exhibition. JBI International is a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the cultural needs of the visually impaired, blind, physically handicapped, and reading disabled of all ages and backgrounds.