Professor of Sculpture DeWitt Godfrey

Annie McKay

Associate Professor of Art and Art History Dewitt Godfrey is settling back into life in Hamilton after spending the last year on sabbatical. During that time, Godfrey, who teaches sculpture, was kept extremely busy through several large projects and a trip to Japan with the Colgate study group. Outside of his duties as a professor, Godfrey is a sculptor who is known for his large, steel, public installations.

The first project Godfrey did while on sabbatical was a commission for Lexarts in Lexington, Kentucky. The piece, called “Concordia,” was installed in June 2012 atop of the Lexington Laundry Co., and leans against the taller wall of the Downtown Arts Center, resembling architectural buttressing. The 14,000-pound sculpture contains 15 steel cylinders.

“Culture and community, they support each other; you don’t have one without the other,” Godfrey said of his installation. “If there’s symbolism in this, that’s what it is.”

Later in the summer, Godfrey finished two other projects. One, called “Lincoln,” installed at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in July, is composed of 80 cylinders and is his largest sculpture to date. The second, “Space Invaders,” was installed at the Lehman College Fine Art Building. “Space Invaders” is made up of cylinders that wrap in and around the structure of the lower level of the building.

In the fall of 2012, Godfrey lead Colgate’s Japan study group for the first time, where he taught a course on gardens in Kyoto and a comparative culture class. Godfrey lived in Japan with his wife 25 years ago, so he found the chance to revisit for a semester to be a very enjoyable experience.

Since being back at Colgate, Godfrey continues to work on a project with Charles G. Hetherington Professor of Mathematics Tom Tucker, Slovenian mathematician Tomaz Pisanski and Daniel Bosia of the engineering firm AKT in London. Working off of their grant from the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute, the four are collaborating on a project that serves as a melding of math and design that will be installed in the stone courtyard outside of the Ho Science Center. Godfrey and Tucker also collaborated on a sculpture called “Tucker’s Group of Genus Two,” which can be seen now in the basement of the Ho.

Godfrey is also happy to be back at Colgate in time for the senior projects.

“It’s always an exciting time of year. It’s an anxiety-producing and thrilling time of year,” Godfrey said. 

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