Fulton's Workshop is the intersection of industry and art

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A mistake that’s easy to make is to frame business as one thing and art as its antithesis, the former a matter of efficiency and profit and the latter looser, but a new wing at the Dunn County Heritage Museum in Menomonie, shows the two are twined. The 15,000 square foot wing, called Holtby Hall, houses the museum called Fulton’s Workshop, which celebrates industrial arts. Industrial arts is descriptor from way back that still succinctly conveys the art in industry. Just as business can be bolstered by an artist’s touch, creativity can be parlayed into profit, and Fulton’s Workshop shows how one man did these things and invites others to do the same.

The Artistic Engineer

Fulton Holtby was a teacher, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota for 41 years. As a teacher, he displayed a gift for making the complex comprehensible. His creativity in the classroom transferred to the business sector, where he was an inventor, collaborating with a colleague on the first aircraft flight recorder and fabricating heart valve replacements and suture clamps for the pioneering Dr. Christiaan Barnard.

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