RON1OK, so this is one of those long stories that I will try to keep short. When I was a kid, my mom was a big fan of arts and crafts and frequented art fairs and the like. Sometime in the early 70’s at one of these fairs, my parents ran across an artist who worked with metal sculpture, his name, Ron Schmidt.

My parents invested in a large wall sculpture by Mr. Schmidt which took a very prominent place in our home. I grew up with the “Ron Schmidt” as it was referred to, as other families may have referred to their “Picasso” and the like.

Anyway, it was a lovely piece of art that was very much dated in that mid-century wall sculpture kind of way. At some point in the late 90’s the family “Ron Schmidt” was sold by my parents to a collector for a fair price, but it was another part of my childhood that faded away.

Meanwhile, my older brother started in on the mid-century design resurgence a few years back and remarked the one thing he wish we still had was the infamous Ron Schmidt – which ironically he helped sell for my parents.

Well last Christmas I drew this brother’s name in the family grab and I thought it would be cool if I could find a vintage Ron Schmidt to give him. So I searched and there were a few out there, but the prices were way over the limit we set – and by the way they were selling for way more than my parents’ sold their piece.

During my search I discovered something really surprising, Ron Schmidt was still alive and still creating his metal sculptures. I went on his website and placed an order for a modest piece (the pieces of the scale of the one I grew up with were over the limit as well).

A couple of days after I ordered the piece my phone rang with a Florida phone number. I had no idea who it could be but I answered anyway. I said hello and a voice said: “Hi there, this is Ron Schmidt, you ordered one of my works…”

Seriously, this was like if Paul McCartney or someone was calling me. I was so excited. After we settled the business (he had questions about shipping) we chatted and I told him the story of how I grew up with his work and how his name was a household name in my family.

He was thrilled to hear the story and although he did not remember my parents per se, he said it was likely one of his first shows and he remembered the piece, which was named “Skyline.”

I was honored to speak with the man.

RON2Meanwhile, my brother opened the gift, a small piece evocative of the one we knew, and was thrilled. But even better, my mother was so entertained by the story and that I tracked Mr. Schmidt down and a little piece of our family history lives on.

About artist Ron Schmidt: “While the world around us echoes our modern-day customs, working with metal using age-old traditions still plays an important role in the world of art. Creating each beautifully intricate piece from common cut steel nails, Ron Schmidt’s creations are a reflection of his unrivaled artistic vision. The Michigan native has been an innovator in the field of dimensional art since the 1960’s, but it wasn’t until late in that decade that he began working with metals and a welding torch. The result was the creation of abstract sculptures that have graced the walls of countless homes, businesses and of exclusive art galleries all around the country.”

Learn more about artist Ron Schmidt here.

See a gallery of Mr. Schmidt’s work for sale here.