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Half Union Street Studios - Okay Ikenegbu and Oleg Lobykin with Artist Marie McInerny, ISC Conference

Since 1960, the ISC has continued to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of its members as technologies move forward, beginning with the 1997 launch of to our redesign in 2020.

Today, after 60 years of service to the field, the ISC's progressive programs, conferences, symposia, and publications serve a growing international membership and educate the profession and the public about contemporary sculpture.

Early Years

1960: Elden Tefft, Sculptor, educator and founder of the sculpture program at K.U. organized the National Sculpture Conference at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, Kansas. Expecting 35 or 40 people, 100 people showed up for the workshop.

From this workshop he established a biennial conference that brought together sculptors from around the world and with that the International Sculpture Center was born and has become the world’s largest association of art sculptors.

Tefft working on the university seal, 1955. University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 41/ Faculty: Tefft, Elden Prints (Photos)


1976: The ISC held its first traveling conference in New Orleans.

1979: The ISC was incorporated and received non-profit status.

1980: The ISC held a conference in Washington, DC, with more than 2,000 in attendance, included a city-wide international exhibition of sculpture. That success encouraged the leadership of the newly incorporated International Sculpture Center to establish the ISC as a membership organization.

Lynda Benglis, Wing, 1970, Cast aluminum, 67 x 59 ¼ x 60 inches (170.2 x 150.5 x 152.4 cm), New Orleans Museum of Art, 2015.123, Museum Purchase with Funds Provided by The Helis Foundation and additional funds from the Frierson Art Fund, Photograph by Cheim & Read, New York


1982: The first Sculptors International magazine, a bi-monthly publication, was published.

1983: The ISC introduced Tech Shops, a biennial consisting of a series of workshops on a variety of sculpture techniques and aesthetics.

1985: The name of the magazine changed to Sculpture. That same year, the ISC sponsored World Congress of Sculpture Organizations, Chicago.

1986: The ISC founded the International Slide Registry.

1988: The ISC started the Critic in Residence program which ran until 1994.

Cover of the very first Sculpture International magazine which would later become Sculpture.


1991: In order to recognize the achievements of sculptors, the ISC introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award.

1993: The ISC introduced the Patron's Recognition Award which recognizes individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the advancement of contemporary sculpture.

1994: The Student Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sculpture was established.

1995: Maquette was incorporated into Sculpture magazine.

1996: The ISC introduced the Outstanding Educator Award.

1997: The ISC launched

1996: The artist slide registry went digital.

Robert Duncan presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Betye Saar (2018 recipient)


2006: The ISC inaugurated the ISC Press, which has since published five books including Landscapes for Art: Contemporary Parks, A Sculpture Reader: Contemporary Sculpture Since 1980, and Conversations on Sculpture.

2007: The ISC's e-Newsletter was created.

2009: The Digital version of Sculpture magazine was launched.

ISC press publications


2010: Marked the commencement of the Traveling Student Awards Exhibition and launch of the International Initiative and the 5 year strategic plan. Also, the 22nd Annual International Sculpture Center conference was held in London.

2015: ISC inaugurated International Sculpture Day, or ISDay, an annual celebration event held worldwide on April's last Saturday to further the ISC’s mission of advancing the creation and understanding of sculpture and its unique, vital contribution to society.

2017: Developed a new residency program which includes collaborations with Mana Contemporary, Grounds for Sculpture and Josephine Sculpture Park.

2018: Redesigned Sculpture magazine. ISC created a new look, size and content with a fresh perspective on contemporary sculpture.

2019: Created and launched a new independent publication website for Sculpture magazine .

Sculpture Magazine’s January/February 2019 first redesigned cover

2020 and beyond

2020: As we move into the next decade we are excited about new technologies and new ways to work and communicate together. We are planning to launch a new website and a member platform that will enhance and strengthen communications with our constituents. It will be a place to share and promote the work that we all do as well as offer opportunities to members giving increased visibility, more opportunities and a way to stay connected to those who really matter.

We will continue to recognize excellence in the field and provide meaningful, current, thought provoking content, in print, on line and in person.

Gonzalo Casals speaking at Sculpture Parks in the Urban Core at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – ISC Conference