Celebrating irreverence: Eggheads

'Fatal Laff' in front of Mrak Hall

If you visit the UC Davis campus, chances are you’ll walk past one of the late art professor Robert Arneson’s Egghead ceramic sculptures. Since they began appearing on campus in 1991, the works of art have caught the attention — and often hit the funny bone — of visitors as well as the campus community.

Arneson’s sculptures epitomized the 1960s and 1970s Bay Area Funk art movement. Fusing offbeat humor and irreverence with Pop-inspired subject matter, he used everyday objects to create biting satire. In The Egghead Series, created by Arneson specifically for UC Davis, the fun is to figure out for yourself what the artist was saying about life. Five Eggheads are scattered across the UC Davis campus — some of the sculptures are tucked away and difficult to find.

Arneson taught on campus from 1962 until 1991.