Inside Rensselaer
Pat Forni '38: Geometric Abstractions
* Pat Forni '38: Geometric Abstractions
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Pat Forni ’38 will show his geometric abstractions at the Shelnutt Gallery in the Rensselaer Union throughout the summer. A youthful 91, Forni took up doodling geometric designs in 2004 after retiring from a 50-year career at Mohawk Paper Company in Cohoes. These exuberant images became the inspiration for this body of work.

Forni was born in West Stockbridge, Mass., and moved to Lee as a young child, graduating from high school in Lee in 1934. During his summer vacations he worked in the paper mills that surrounded Lee. He received a scholarship to Rensselaer and majored in chemical engineering, receiving his B.S. degree and the Outstanding Student Ricketts Prize. After Rensselaer, he received a four-year scholarship to attend the graduate program at the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wis., receiving M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in 1942.

Paper was his career — first working at Kimberly Clark in Wisconsin, where he received a patent for a special camouflage material. After a few years, he was offered a position at GE in Pittsfield, where he received a patent at GE for the “Bazooka Tube.” In 1950, he was called by the government to come to Washington, D.C., as manager of the Pulp & Paper Division for the Marshall Plan. In 1952, the Institute of Paper Chemistry recommended Forni for a position at the Mohawk Paper Company in Cohoes and Waterford, where he remained until his retirement in 2004.

For more information, call Mary Udell, curator, at 851-7044, or Erika Rau, Union assistant coordinator, at 276-6505.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 11, July 7, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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