Arthur C. Clarke

During my formative high school days, I became a fan of Arthur C. Clarke, the British science fiction writer, science writer, futurist, and inventor. It was the 1950s.

Everyone was talking about satellite communication and connecting people around the world through TVs and phones. And then—to great surprise– the Russian satellite Sputnik transmitted a “beep..beep..beep” from outer space. That changed the world.

TV, radio and newspaper coverage of the event obsessed over new communication possibilities. In my own semi-rural North Carolina world, rocket launching became a craze among teenagers and young adults. Although most of these small, crude rockets only managed an altitude of a few hundred feet, they represented a universally shared vision for the future.

In 2009, after forty years of bronze casting experience and a lifelong fascination with Arthur Clarke, I decided to do a portrait of him. I depicted him – after several versions in clay and wax-as he appeared often in the 1950’s: a contemplative man in midlife, looking to the future. The National Museum of Electronics in Maryland acquired this life-size bronze in 2019, where it  was installed in 2020 at the museum entrance. 

Sir Arthur now dwells among radar antennae, jet planes, and other marvels of the human imagination, inspiring others with his vision for where the future–and simply thinking about the future– can take us.

View some of Rubin’s Noteworthy Commissioned Pieces