“Henry’s art was different,” said Simon Levin, a colleague and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. For example, Horn “would take old bits of computers and create them into structures which told a story,” Levin said.
After Horn died unexpectedly last March, it seemed fitting to distribute his works to colleagues as a way to honor the professor emeritus. More than 50 of his works are displayed in various offices, labs, and lounge spaces throughout Guyot and Eno halls. There’s also one at the Princeton University Press, where he served on the board.
Each work tells a story. Some draw inspiration from landscapes and nature, while others reflect on religious concepts. Most of his works feature defunct computer pieces Horn collected from old friends or by dumpster diving. Others incorporate carved wood, bottle caps, CDs, or pieces of metal.
Betty Horn, his widow and a research staff member in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, said her husband was deliberate in the messages he hoped to convey. For example, he did a series of work meant to represent neighborhoods and housing developments. She noted that these works have “a real ecological message about what we’re doing to the environment.”
Horn attributed his artistic output to an alter ego, J. Chester Farnsworth, and the tongue-in-cheek descriptions that accompany many of his works bring to life his commentary on the state of the world. “So much of [his work] was stored up on our third floor and nobody could see it,” Betty Horn said. “So why not have it out where people can look at it and think about what he had to say?”
More works by Henry Horn