September 22, 2014

Fuller’s work, legacy are focus of Morris Library gala

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The spotlight will shine in October on R. Buckminster Fuller and the legacy of the late Southern Illinois University Carbondale designer, educator, architect, inventor and visionary. 

SIU’s Friends of Morris Library and the RBS Dome NFP are sponsoring several special events, Oct. 17-19.  The annual Friends of Morris Library Gala, set for 6 p.m. Oct. 18, will feature a special presentation of “R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE,” written and performed by D.W. Jacobs, from the life, work and writings of Fuller.  The presentation will be in the first floor rotunda and Hall of Presidents in Morris Library. 

The one-man play is written and performed by D.W. Jacobs, playwright, director, actor, producer and co-founder of the San Diego Repertory Theatre.  The 2 ½-hour show features Jacobs as Fuller and examines Fuller’s life and his work, ranging from Fuller’s meeting with Albert Einstein to his environmentally friendly focus on life and his creation of the Dymaxion car and the geodesic home.  Video clips will also be shown. 

The evening includes hors d’oeuvres and wine.  Tickets are $100 per person.  

Fuller taught at SIU Carbondale from 1959 to 1971. He died in 1983. 

The special guest for the evening will be Allegra Fuller Snyder, Fuller’s daughter.  Snyder, who lives in New York, is Fuller’s only living descendent and is, in her own right, an acclaimed dancer and university dance ethnology professor.  

A Sunday brunch at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 19 in the library will feature exhibits from the library’s Fuller Collection, along with other Special Collections treasures.  Tickets are $35 each. 

Business attire is suitable for the gala and the brunch and reservations are due by Oct. 10 for both events.  To purchase tickets, contact Kristine McGuire at 618/453-1633 or by email at   Proceeds will benefit the Friends of Morris Library Fund, used to support the educational mission of Morris Library. 

In conjunction with the library gala and brunch, the RBF Dome NFP will be hosting tours of the Fuller dome home, located at 407 N. Forest Ave. in Carbondale. Built in April 1960 by Fuller and occupied for more than a decade thereafter by Fuller and his family, the home is undergoing a massive restoration project.  The first phase, including roof and door replacement and other exterior shell work, recently wrapped up at a cost of about $189,000.  

Fundraising is now underway for the second phase, which will restore the home’s interior.  The estimated cost is $100,000 and donations are being accepted.  The goal is to open the home as a museum by 2015. 

The tours are free, but organizers welcome donations toward renovation costs.  Tours will be offered during these hours: 

  • Friday, Oct. 17, 5-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 18, 1-4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 19, 1-4 p.m. 

Thomas T.K. Zung, president of Buckminster Fuller, Sadao and Zung Architects and author of “Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for the New Millennium,” will be on hand to sign purchased copies of his book during dome home tours Oct. 18 and 19. 

For more information about the Buckminster Fuller Dome Home, contact Jon Davey, professor of architecture and president of RBF Dome NFP, at