Illinois State Museum

L. Brent Kington: Mythic Metalsmith


The L. Brent Kington: Mythic Metalsmith exhibition revisits Kington's early cast silver and bronze toys of the 1960s, his pivotal pieces of forged iron and steel while transitioning into blacksmithing, a series of forged iron kinetic weathervanes, painted Icarus pieces, and follows ultimately to his larger, contemporary abstract sculptures to present us with crosiers, spires, and crescents. This exhibition is comprised of objects borrowed from private and museum collections.

L. Brent Kington is recognized and honored as pioneering the resurgence of blacksmithing as a truly American art form. In spite of the many well deserved plaudits and laurels bestowed upon him, he remains an artist who has never lost touch with the simple delights and joys that are inherent in the creative process.

In this online exhibit, you will discover how Kington's work began, was influenced and changed by teachers, other artists, cultures, and life. See the slide shows images of his toys, weathervanes, and sculptures. Print out the text of the site in pdf form. If you are an art student or teacher, enjoy doing the activities in the lesson plans. Check out the Boy Scout Metalsmith badge. Roll your mouse over bolded words of the text to see definitions.

Major support for this traveling exhibition and for the online exhibit is provided by the Illinois Arts Council through the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces Initiative.


Terry Scrogum, Director of the Illinois Arts Council, Debra Tayes, Curator of the exhibition, L. Brent Kington, and Kent Smith, Director of Art for the Museum at the opening of the L. Brent Kington: Mythic Metalsmith exhibition at the Southern Illinois Art Gallery.


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View of "Mythic Metalsmith" exhibit at ISM Southern Illinois Art Gallery, Whittington, Illinois
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