Rudolph "Rudy" Otto Pozzatti
January 14, 1925 – March 27, 2021
Rudolph (Rudy) Otto Pozzatti passed away on Saturday morning, March 27, 2021 in his home at Meadowood Retirement Community surrounded by his family members. Rudy was born in Telluride, Colorado on January 14, 1925 to Mary Mimiolla and Innocente Pozzatti, who had immigrated to the U.S. from Italy early in the 20th Century.
Rudy graduated in 1942 as the valedictorian of Silverton High School in Colorado. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1948 and also a Master of Fine Arts in 1950 from the University of Colorado. His undergraduate studies were interrupted in 1943 when he was inducted to serve in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. He served in the 659th Field Artillery of the 7th Army for three years including combat experience in northern France, Germany and the Battle of the Bulge. Rudy was immensely proud of his military service where he achieved the rank of sergeant.
When he returned from Europe in 1946, he married his childhood sweetheart Dorothy Bassetti. Rudy and Dorothy had known each other since they were five years of age. They were married for 74 years, and they never stopped being in love.
Rudy accepted an Assistant Professorship in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Nebraska in 1954. In 1956, he and his family moved to Bloomington where he established the Printmaking Department in the Indiana University School of Fine Arts following the invitation of the visionary Dr. Henry Hope. Rudy remained at Indiana University for the rest of his academic career, and in 1972 he achieved the rank of Distinguished Professor. Rudy was passionate about teaching and devoted remarkable time and energy to teaching and mentoring. He worked with hundreds of graduate students and thousands of undergraduates during his time at IU. Students came to Indiana University from across the United States to have the opportunity to learn from him and many remained in contact. He retired from IU in 1991. In 2018, as Professor Emeritus, he received The President’s Medal, which is the highest honor that can be bestowed on outstanding faculty at Indiana University.
In 1979, in collaboration with Indiana University he founded and served as the Director of Echo Press in Bloomington. Guest artists came from all over America to have editions of their works printed under the guidance of Rudy’s master printmaking skills, which were and still are regarded as world-class.
Rudy received multiple grants to support his artistic work including two Fulbright Grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and awards from the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. He served as a representative of the U.S. State Department for cultural exchange visits to Russia (1961) and the former country Yugoslavia (1965).
Rudy’s artwork is in the permanent collections of over 100 public museums and private collections including: the White House, the Art Institute of Chicago, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Yale University Art Museum, the Toronto Museum of Art, the Museum of Art, Sydney, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Pushkin Museum, Moscow.
Rudy is survived by his wife, Dorothy, his five children, Valri Chiappetta (Vince), Rudy Pozzatti Jr. (Mary McCormick), Gina Candelaria (Nick), Mia Williams and Illica Pozzatti, and his grandchildren Jocelyn Olman (Evan), Meghan Wolff (Josh), Jaimee Williams, Rachel LaMonica (Bryan), Anna Pozzatti (Tom Crichton), and his great grandchildren, Ruby, Roxanne, Easton and Kinley.
Rudy’s family wishes to say thank you to his compassionate caregivers, especially Ginny Knowlton, who made sure every day started with as much ease and happiness as possible. They also wish to thank the many friends who enriched Rudy’s and Dorothy’s lives and who kept him in their thoughts and prayers. Thank you to the entire IU Health Hospice Team for their care and support of the Pozzatti family. Rudy will be missed by everyone who knew him.
In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family requests individuals consider making a donation to the charity of their choice in Rudy’s name. Online condolences may be given at www.DayDeremiahFrye.com
A Celebration of Life Service is Pending at this time, Private Family Entombment
Rudolph "Rudy" Otto Pozzatti
April 10, 2021
Deeply saddened to this news; it seemed like Rudy would live forever. Such a generous, exceptional man in word and deed! Even after he retired from IU, he continued to encourage and enrich the students there.
He included some of us in helping him print an intaglio/relief edition; what a memorable experience! He invited us to his home for dinner and took time to inspire us. After I left IU he even took the time to write me a recommendation and a personal letter. Rudy was larger than life and I count myself very fortunate to have been blessed by his great spirit.
April 8, 2021
Rudy was a wonderful man; he was a beloved friend and longtime colleague and collaborator of my father at IU. My parents loved his artwork, and they inspired a love of his work is both me and my sister. We will remember him very fondly, and we send condolences to the whole family.
April 8, 2021
Dear Pozzatti Family,
I was so saddened to see that your beloved patriarch had died. I first met Rudy at the YMCA. Whenever my husband Mike and I would see him at art openings or events at Meadowood he was always so warm and gracious. He was such a talented and unpretentious man. He will be missed, but his wonderful work will live on.
April 8, 2021
My family has known the Pozzatti family for years. Our mother worked doing domestic work for the Pozzatti crew during this family's formative years in Bloomington. I inherited Mr. Pozzatti's print, "Trees in winter light" from our mom. It brings me great pleasure daily. I had to evacuate during the wildfires back in October and I failed to grab my "Rudy Pozzatti" print. I was sad until I realized our lodge was NOT damaged by the wildfires in Grand County, Colorado. This talented man, loving father and gentle, creative soul will be missed greatly. God bless all the family as you deal with this tremendous loss.
April 7, 2021
My deepest sympathies to the Pozzatti family and all their friends. My fellow grad students and I got a chance to work with Professor Pozzatti in the summer 1998, and it was an incredible experience for us all. Professor Pozzatti taught us so much in short time, and his generosity, kindness, and sense of humor really brought us all together. Professor Pozzatti was a wonderful person, as well as a legendary artist and teacher. May he Rest In Peace.
April 4, 2021
Dear Pozatti family, I am sorry to hear of Rudy’s passing. He was a great mentor and friend. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
April 4, 2021
My sincere condolences to the Pozzatti family for their loss of husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, Rudy, a brilliant artist and old-world gentleman. I am the proud owner of 8 of his works, including "Enchanted Land/Seven Views" (1984), my first purchase of his work at Rosemary Fraser's Gallery. His art - prints and drawings - are prized highlights of my collection. Mia and Illica were favorite students of mine at BHSN. Dottie and her family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Andrea (Andi) Haynes
April 4, 2021
So sorry to hear of Mr. Pozzatti's passing.
Our family lived next door to yours in Park Ridge-- I was a small child but I remember your mom and dad as being very warm and friendly neighbors. One year, when your family went to Italy, we looked after your dog Cosmo. When you returned from the trip, your father gifted to my folks a gorgeous oil painting titled 'Cathedral'. It hung in our living room over the fireplace until my mother died in 1987. The painting was passed to my oldest brother Larry and his wife Jane, and it now hangs in their home. It is a beautiful reminder of your father.
Please accept our sincerest condolences--- The Haynes Family
Bridgette Z. Savage
April 3, 2021
Studying printmaking with Rudy in 1975, 1976, and 1977 was an incredible experience. The print shop had just moved out of the old Barge Bakery building, and into the "new" space at Central Stores. For me, working alongside graduate students, Rudy and Marvin Lowe was a dream. Rudy was never too busy to talk about process, always gentle and insightful in critique. His excitement for innovation was matched by his genuine desire to see each student master skills and expertise in using the shop. Over the years, our paths would cross, and his wonderful smile and warmth would always make each conversation a memorable experience. Once, when I was touring the Fine Arts Museum with a class of fifth graders, he made a point of stopping and chatting about the importance of "growing up with art". Another time, we happened to meet in a gallery, and had an impromptu discussion of African art styles as we toured the show. At Echo Press, he took a precious hour to let a group of young printmakers that I brought on a field trip see the inner workings of a custom Fine Art printshop. The last conversation I enjoyed with Rudy was two years ago at an opening he shared with a beloved daughter, in the gallery space at Meadowwood. What a gift to have known him! Someone like Rudy doesn't leave an empty space when they have gone on--they leave the world a richer place for having been here.
April 3, 2021
Mia, I was saddened to hear that your dear Dad passed away! Please know I’m thinking about you. BJ Walls
April 3, 2021
When I received an award for the art educator of the year, at the Convention Center here in town, I remember my walking off the stage platform (and in my returning to my seat) Rudy got up from his seat and gave me a big hug. I will never forget that moment. I felt so appreciated and acknowledged. I am so happy to have know Rudy and am so sadden by his passing . He will always hold a place in my heart.
April 2, 2021
Dear Pozzatti family,
It was my privilege to have a wonderful, protracted conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Pozzatti a couple of years ago at By Hand Gallery. We spoke of all things Bloomington and University School. He was so proud of his children and their progeny. I acquired my first piece by him that day: Red, Blue, and Blond (2015) and done when he was 90 perhaps? It compelled me to search out another piece by him, one that would be reflective of his efforts as a young man and that would serve as my “bookends” by him. This winter I finally found “Starlings”, a wood block ed.20 done in 1957. I was born the year before when he arrived in Bloomington and my father was an 18 year old father and freshman at IU. It gives me much comfort and I lose myself in its intricacies. He was a boundless talent and it is my honor to have his works on my wall. Thanks to the day he decided to come to Bloomington. We are all better for his presence. Our sincerest condolences,
Kelly and Kristine Walsh
March 30, 2021
Among Rudy's many accomplishments was his service on Indiana University's committees and programs. Thoughtful leadership is gift and Rudy shared his gifts. He believed in providing student-athletes of many sports with the opportunity to enjoy and display their own form of artistry. He articulated his perspective while serving on the IU Athletic Committee, which guides and oversees the Athletic Department for the Board of Trustees. He supported the inclusion of a broad span of non-revenue sports, rather than limit IU to just Football and Basketball in an era of limited budgets. His vision was true. Thank you, Rudy, for all that you have done.