Edwin C. "Ted" Rust
died last week at the age of 99. As the longtime director of the Memphis College of Art
, and the Memphis Academy of Arts
before that, he was an icon in the art world of our region. He can take credit, more than anyone else if you ask me, for turning the college into an institution with national credibility. He was also a talented sculptor, a brilliant administrator who had a knack for finding and nurturing the best artists and teachers, and a true gentleman in every sense of the word.
It was an honor to know him, and though he is gone, his memory lives on in all the public art he created throughout our city, from the sweeping sculpture of Rhodes College President Charles Diehl on that school's campus to the wonderful plaques (below) that adorn the Memphis Dermatology Clinic in Midtown.
Ten years ago, one of my colleagues at Memphis magazine profiled Rust in a cover story. You can read about it here, and you should. Rust definitely made Memphis a better place.