John Rackham, Sculptor, (1948-2009)

John writing

John Rackham of NW Portland, a talented sculptor and painter, died on April 28. John was born December 7, 1948. He grew up moving throughout the Northwest, and attended Reed College, graduating in 1975 with a degree in political science.

He then studied bronze casting, intaglio printmaking, real stone lithography and drawing at Portland State. John had a successful career as a sculptor in New York, where he taught at The Sculpture Center and held exhibitions at numerous NY galleries, and served on the Board of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. His ability was rewarded with numerous commissions. The best-known of these was The Fred Astaire Award, designed by John in 1982, and still given annually as a prestigious recognition for best Broadway dancer.

John returned to Portland in the early 1990s with his family to provide a good environment for his beloved daughter Rosa. In Portland John supported his family as a contractor, carrying on a family tradition of hard work and high quality. He remained throughout his life a brilliant artist, a skilled craftsman and a loving father. He is survived by his daughter Rosa and his wife Maggie, his brothers Howard and Chad, all of Portland.

 
studio portrait
 

John with bamboo sculpture