Robinson Fredenthal (1940-2009) came to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania. His graduate studies in architecture were interrupted by the onset of Parkinson’s Disease, after which he turned from an architectural career to the sculptural exploration of geometry and its limitless possibilities of combination. Through the creation of precise models, most of which are now part of the Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania, he was able to guide assistants to fabricate his large works.
From his wheelchair, Fredenthal taught welding to the sculptor of industrial steel, Dina Wind (1938-2014), whose monumental sculpture Spring & Triangle ”speaks” to White Water across the expanse of Woodmere’s front lawn.
Fredenthal’s distinctive and immediately recognizable geometric forms command spaces across Philadelphia at 1234 Market Street, on Penn’s campus at 34th and Walnut, and at nearby Morris Arboretum, immediately adjacent at Woodmere.
Peter Saylor, FAIA and principal at JacobsWyper Architecture, said, "I knew Robin, and he was among the very greatest minds of his generation. He brought an architect’s sensibility to sculpture in his ability to bend geometry to the creative spirit of his imagination. I wish that he was with us today to see his magnificent sculpture at Woodmere together with Bertoia’s Free Interpretation of Plant Forms (1967) and other great works of sculpture that now make Woodmere a center of gravity for sculpture in the region."