Skip to main content

Ed Dwight (American, b. 1933)

Published onDec 12, 2022
Ed Dwight (American, b. 1933)

Ed Dwight (American, b. 1933)

A man whose resume reads: former Air Force Test Pilot, America’s First African American Astronaut Candidate, IBM Computer Systems Engineer, Aviation Consultant, Restaurateur, Real Estate Developer and Construction Entrepreneur can best be described as a true renaissance man. Ed Dwight has succeeded in all these varied careers. However, for the last 40 years, Ed has focused his direction on the Fine Arts- Gallery Paintings & Sculptures, Large-scale Memorials and Public Art projects. Since his art career began in 1978, after attaining his MFA in Sculpture from the University of Denver, Dwight has become one of the most prolific and insightful sculptors in America. 


Born on September 9, 1933, in Kansas City, Kansas, Ed Dwight has been an artist since his youth. He is a graduate engineer, a former USAF Test Pilot and America’s first African American Astronaut candidate. After successful careers as an Air Force Officer/Pilot, and real estate and construction entrepreneur, Ed has dedicated the last 33 years solely to his artistic endeavors.

In 1975, while in the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) Program at the University of Denver, Ed was commissioned by the Colorado Centennial Commission to create a series of bronzes depicting the contribution of Blacks to the American Frontier West. The series of 50 bronzes was exhibited for several years throughout the United States, gaining widespread acceptance and critical acclaim. In 1979, while the series was on exhibit at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (National Park Service), Ed was encouraged to create a bronze series portraying the history and historical roots of Jazz. The series created, entitled "JAZZ: An American Art Form," now consists of over 70 bronzes characterizing the creation and evolution of Jazz from its African and European roots to the fusion of contemporary music.

In 1978, Ed’s first large-scale commissioned work was the abolitionist Frederick Douglass. This life sized monument was commissioned by the National Park Service and is on display at the Douglass Museum in Anacostia, Maryland. Since this commission, Ed has completed over 128 Public Art & Large scale Memorial installations throughout the United States. He has also created over 18,000 gallery sculptures and is represented in several galleries throughout the country.

In 2009, Ed was honored with the commission to create an historical life size sculpture presentation of President Barack Obama’s first inauguration scene. The scene includes the President, The First Lady, the two Obama girls and Chief Justice John Roberts administering the oath. The exhibit is on tour throughout the U.S. in museums & other venues.

Currently, Ed operates a 30,000 sq. ft. studio/gallery and foundry in Denver. He employs several artisan craftsmen. He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from his Alma Mater Arizona State University and hundreds of“Living Legends Awards” from around the Country for his achievements & contributions to racial progress through his many Memorials & Public Art. Museums, institutions and art appreciators throughout the world rigorously collect Ed’s sculptures.

Source: Ed Dwight Studios, Inc.

No comments here
Why not start the discussion?