Robert Eagerton was born in South Carolina in 1940. He is a Professor Emeritus of the Herron School of Art and Design and Honorary Professor at Hunan Normal University in Changsha, China. He received his BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in Atlanta, Georgia in painting and printmaking. Additional studies were in Vienna, Austria and Paris, France with graduate study at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in printmaking.
In the early 60’s, he along with partners, opened the Transfigurations Press in Sarasota, Florida. Transfigurations Press printed limited editions for artists using stone lithography, etching and black and white photography. In 1965 he began teaching at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana. He retired from Herron in 2005. Eagerton’s work has been exhibited internationally and his paintings and prints are in many private and public collections.
Robert Eagerton has been a painter and printmaker for over 50 years. For many of those years he produced his own very complex color lithographs from images drawn directly on lithographic stones in his studio. In 1986 he began to explore working on a Macintosh computer after being forced to abandon hand lithography because of health problems that had resulted from the chemicals involved in the stone lithography process.
Introduced to the very early Macintosh computer by a friend, Gale Livers, he became intrigued with the possibility of using computers and computer printers to continue his printmaking. The early computers and printers were very limited and, even when one was able to produce images on the screen that were powerful, it was years before printers were developed that could produce quality results that competed with stone lithography.
The breakthough began with his having access to an IRIS Graphics 3047 ink-jet printer that was procured with a grant from the university. He and a colleague at the university were co-founders of the IRIS Digital Graphics Center for Research at Herron School of Art and Design IUPUI. The IRIS printer was the first printer that allowed fine artists to produce images that rivaled, and in many cases exceeded, the possibilities of traditional hand lithography.
In 2008, Eagerton along with partners, including Mary Shaw who was the master digital printer at the IRIS Digital Graphics Center for Research at Herron School of Art and Design IUPUI, opened Heartland Printworks, a division of Virtu Fine Arts Services.
Heartland Printworks, was founded for the purpose of providing facilities for producing the finest quality digital prints possible. Along with the scanner, Heartland Printworks has printers capable of printing on the finest papers in sizes up to 64 inches wide by any length. The 3000 sq. foot facility is devoted to digital fine arts.