Bornhuetter, Robert L.

1935 – 2020

Robert L. Bornhuetter was Professor Emeritus of Printmaking at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois.  His art is an accumulation of human experiences as a student and a teacher. Originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Bornhuetter studied printmaking (intaglio, relief, lithography and seismography) as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Arts in 1957.  In 1960 he completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana where he was a graduate assistant.

He was employed by California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland for a year.  Then he was offered a position as chairman of the art department at Nazareth College of Kentucky (in Bardstown) to effect accreditation and transition to a four-year college degree.  After eight years offering courses for the bachelor of fine arts degree program, he was offered a position with the School of Art at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb where he specialized in drawing and printmaking.  He instructed classes in lithography and intaglio; and was elected as coordinator of the graduate programs in art, and as chair of the studio area for ten years.  Bornhuetter retired in May 1996.

Over the years Bornhuetter had been involved nationally and internationally in thirty states and several countries exhibiting in a total of one hundred and sixteen shows, and had also twenty-two solo exhibitions.  His work is included in numerous collections in Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Virginia, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Florida, North Dakota, Australia and Brazil.

During his tenure at Northern Illinois University Bornhuetter had sabbatical leaves to visit Italy, France, Austria, Germany and Brazil.  In Milan, Italy, he worked in the Grafica Uno Studio of the internationally known printmaker, Giorgio Upiglio, and produced several editions of etchings and lithographs.  Bornhuetter’s solo exhibition at the Gallerita in Milan, Italy, paid homage to Italian Renaissance art with a presentation of silverpoint drawings with watercolor of abstract architectural forms and mythological subjects.  His second show in Milan was at the Galleria l’Originale showing his Brazilian lithographs.

Following his sabbatical In Brazil, Bornhuetter visited São Paulo twelve times working at the internationally known studio, Ymagos.  He was influenced by the Brazilian culture and preference for color, enhancing his life-long interests and expanding his image awareness inspired by marketplaces, parks, the natural South American environment, and by visiting other Brazilian cities.