Williams, Richard E.

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Williams, Richard E.

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Dates of existence

1921-

History

Richard E. Williams was born in Dormont, Pennsylvania in September, 1921. He received a B.A. in Sculpture from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in 1943 and completed a M.F.A. in Printmaking from the State University of Iowa in 1954 (during this time, he also served as an aircraft electrician in the Army Air Force for three years). In the fall of 1954, Williams accepted the position of Director for the School of Art at the University of Manitoba—a position he held until 1973. In 1969, he became a Canadian citizen.

During his career at the University of Manitoba, Williams was involved in various art organizations. He was a founding member of the Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC) in 1957, was a member of the UAAC Executive from 1967-1977, and served as President of the organization from 1970-75. He also served on the Board of Governors at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from 1956-1977 and was the regional representative for the Western Canadian Art Circuit. During the 1950s and 1960s, Williams was largely responsible for initiating the nationally-recognized “Winnipeg Shows” exhibitions.

Williams made many contributions as a member of the community of artists in Manitoba and has been recognized for several collections and works. He was commissioned for several local projects, including: the 1959 Concrete Sculpture for Polo Park; a stainless steel wall relief for the Investor’s Syndicate Building (1959), and an official portrait of former Manitoba premier Howard Pawley (1991). His work is owned by several organizations, including: the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Harvey Gaul Memorial (Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh), and Des Moines Art Centre (Iowa).

After stepping down from his position as Director of the School of Art, Williams continued to teach at the University of Manitoba until his retirement in 1987. In 1990, he received the honorary title of Director Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. During his retirement, Williams continued his work as an artist, and completed several collections, including the “The Naked Block Party” series in 1997 as well as several works depicting the Annunciation. Richard Williams continues to reside in Winnipeg.

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williams_r

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Draft

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Partial

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Anna Shumilak and Daniel Elves (November 2008). Revised by N. Courrier (December 2019).

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