Richard Penziner Papers, 1981-2002

Overview of the Collection

Penziner, Richard (Richard Lyle)
Richard Penziner Papers
1981-2002 (inclusive)
1.75 linear feet, (3 boxes)
Collection Number
Richard Penziner graduated from Montana State University with his Masters of Fine Arts in 1985 and went on to teach Furniture Design at MSU. This collection contains photographic representations of his sculptural and furniture design works throughout his education, teaching and personal career.
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
Telephone: 4069944242
Fax: 4069942851

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Richard Penziner (Richard Lyle, "Rico" Penziner) (1955-2012) was an artist who focused primarily on three-dimensional works. He completed his undergraduate studies at San Diego State University, a Master of Arts from the University of Iowa in 1981, and a Master of Fine Art from Montana State University (MSU) in 1985. At the University of Iowa his thesis focused on metal work and jewelry and at MSU his thesis focused on wood furniture and sculpture.

Following his studies at MSU, Penziner continued his studies in Italy, studying marble sculpting in Carrara. He would lead many art and cultural tours to Italy for students throughout his career, including at least one for MSU students co-lead by associate professor Harvey Hamburgh in 1994.

Penziner resided in Bozeman for much of his life after graduating from MSU, and taught Furniture Design. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and passed away in 2012.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection is comprised of photographic representations of Richard Penziner's sculptural and furniture design works. Photographs, slides and negatives depict his work as a graduate student at University of Iowa, as a graduate student at Montana State University and throughout his career. Most of the photographs and slides were taken in a studio setting and include individual works, close-up details of sections of those works, group shots of related works, and depictions of gallery displays of both individual items and groups of items. There are also a small number of photographs that capture unnamed MSU students in the workshop and the artist posing with completed works. Many of the slides have attached notes giving the titles of specific works, their dimensions, materials, and dates. The collection also includes one of his sculptural works.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Collection is open for research.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Many individual photographs have been grouped by type of item/furniture and may also be represented in one of the four portfolios that were included in the collection, and as slides. The original arrangement had duplicated groupings of photos based on the size of the photographs, but the archivist chose to house the different size photographs together based on the item type.

The three folders of wooden sculptures are loosely based on the original arrangement of the photos. They were partially grouped together in different locations amongst the original donation, so those folders have largely been separated by those original groupings.

The portfolio pages were kept in the order which they arrived in but were removed from black paper backings where possible so that adhesive materials would not damage the photographs over time. None of the portfolios were titled or dated, so the order of the portfolios was determined by the order they were found in the donation boxes. Portfolio C was originally housed in plastic sleeves, each holding 3-4 photos per page. The envelopes holding those photographs are numbered based on the original order the pages were discovered in.

Many work example slides were labeled using sticky labels. The adhesive on these slides has decayed over time and some of those labels had become detached in their original housing, and some additional labels became detached during the preservation process. Where possible the archivist has attempted to reattach these labels to the items they were originally attached to. Where this was not possible, some labels have been housed in the margins near the group of items they were found by (any pencil markings on the backs were made by the archivist in an attempt to keep them as close as possible to the items). For some labels, they were too far removed from the original items. These labels have been housed in a slide sleeve at the end of the folder.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Rachel Klapper, 2020

Processing Note

This collection was processed in February 2023. Durring proccessing duplicate items were removed from the collection and handled in accordence with the wishes of the donor.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Portfolio A
1 2 Portfolio B
1 3 Portfolio C
1 4 Portfolio D 1991-1993
1 5 Benches
1 6 Curved "Molly" Benches
1 7 Bar Stool
1 8 Stair Railings
1 9-11 Wooden Sculptures (1-3)
1 12 Store Fixtures
1 13 Tables
1 14 Buffet Table
1 15 Sculptural Gallery Display
1 16 Furniture Gallery Display
1 17 Lighted Stand
1 18 Cabinets
1 19 Home Furniture 1
1 20 Home Furniture 2
1 21 Humidors
1 22 Pyramid Cabinet
1 23 Stands
1 24 Room Divider
1 25 Maple Walnut Series
1 26 Kitchen Storage
1 27 Shelves and Mantles
1 28 Collaborations
1 29 Product Marketing Cards (and one bench photo)
1 30 Photos of Richard Penziner
1 31 Master's Thesis, University of Iowa 1981
1 32 Master of Fine Arts Thesis, Montana State University 1985
1 33 Biography created by Richard's wife (Rachel Klapper) and brother (Andy Penziner) 2023
2 1 Drawings
2 2 Slide Set Including Group Shot: Walnut and Maple Pieces 1993-1997
2 3 Slide Set Including Silk and Cherry Screens, and Tall Wall Pieces: Sea Turtles 1989-1991
2 4-5 Work Example Slides (1-2) 1986-2002
3 Self-portrait Sculpture

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Artists--Montana
  • Furniture --Montana--Bozeman
  • Furniture industry and trade--Montana--Bozeman

Corporate Names

  • Montana State University--Bozeman--Alumni and alumnae
  • Montana State University--Bozeman--Faculty

Form or Genre Terms

  • Artist files
  • Photographs
  • slides (photographs)