The College was greatly saddened to learn of the death of Benefactor Fellow Jeffrey Rubinoff. Jeffrey was a Canadian sculptor and founder of the Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park on Hornby Island, British Columbia, where he lived and worked.
His interest in the interdisciplinary creative impetus of early modernism and understanding of art as a source of insight for the evolution of ideas led him to endow the Jeffrey Rubinoff Junior Research Fellowship (currently held by Dr Vid Simoniti).
Jeffrey was one of the great sculptors in steel of the second half of the twentieth century. In the 1970s and 1980s, while simultaneously pursuing a successful business career, he exhibited widely in the United States and Canada alongside Anthony Caro, Mark di Suvero and George Rickey, among others. However, in the early 2000s he withdrew from the business and art world and concentrated on creating an extraordinary sculpture park on Hornby island.
Jeffrey dedicated over four decades of his life to building the Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park. It is home to over 100 of his collected works. He constructed a place where his sculptures were framed by mountains, trees and the sea. In addition to displaying the work, his aim for the Park was to generate interdisciplinary discussion through an ongoing forum, a dialogue intended for both artists and non-artists. This aspiration to place art in conversation with philosophy, history and the sciences brought him into contact with Churchill College. The Jeffrey Rubinoff Fellowship, which he established here, supports an early career researcher in History of Art and related fields, working in the field of Art as a Source of Knowledge.
He was a penetrating and vital person, passionate about humanity, art, his work and his ideas, which were complex and challenging; and he was a great social companion, generous and funny. Those of us who visited Jeffrey and his partner Betty Kennedy on Hornby Island, and had the privilege of being introduced to his art by its creator, found ourselves inspired by the scale of his achievement, and embraced by his and Betty’s warm hospitality.