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portrait of Reinhardt

Richard Reinhardt

1921 - 1998

Richard Reinhardt was born in Philadelphia in 1921. He developed an interest in art in elementary school. He even started to take Saturday classes to be more involved in art. In high school Reinhardt took college prep courses. A part of his curriculum was a sheet metal course his dad taught. He learned tinsmithing and some iron working in that class. Reinhardt's father encouraged him to get a degree and study art education. So Reinhardt enrolled in the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts. One semester he slipped into a jewelry class taught by Douglas Gilchrist. At the end of his junior year, Reinhardt quit school in favor of the war effort. He worked as a patent draftsman for Edward G. Budd Company which made trains and tanks. Six months later Reinhardt enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was eventually stationed in South Carolina as a drill instructor. In September 1942 he married Hazel Scott. She lived with Reinhardt until a few days before the birth of heir son. Soon after his son's birth, Reinhardt was shipped to Guam to be a platoon Sergeant.  He left the marines as soon as he could and returned to school. He was required to take a craft class as a part of the art education curriculum. The class was Crafts for Elementary Schools and was taught by Virginia Cute. He learned leatherworking, carving, etching and jewelry making. This was the only formal jewelry class Reinhardt ever attended.

The Museum School's enrollment grew from three hundred to twelve hundred student over the course of one summer. This was due to the flood of returning GI's. Reinhardt was asked to teach a perspective drawing class and assist Cute in her metals class. He graduated in 1947 and continued to teach at the Museum School. Reinhardt won a national competition to attend a Handy and Harmon conference in the summer of 1948. There he learned raising and stretching techniques from Baron Erik Flaming, court silversmith to the King of Sweden.

In 1953 Cute left the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts to head the Occupational Therapy Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Reinhardt then became the director of the jewelry and silversmithing. department. Throughout his time at the Museum School he sifted from department to department to administration to department again. Finally he was the Dean of Visual Arts in 1985.

Richard Reinhardt's work followed his ideas on discontinuous continuity. His work incorporated forged and fabricated elements that seemed to be moving, continuously. He made bracelets, buckles and wedding crowns for commissions. Most of the work was executed in sterling silver.

Reinhardt was valued by the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts (now known as University of the Arts). He was associated with the school as a student, teacher, chairman and dean for almost half of the history of the school.