Richard E. Williams fonds
Call Number: Mss 263, Pc 223, Mc 22 (A.08-18)

Title: Richard E. Williams fonds.

Dates: [192?]-2006.

Extent: 1.75 m of textual records and other material.

Biographical sketch: 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 an 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 of 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 (U.A.A.C.) in 1957, was a member of the U.A.A.C. Executive from 1967 to 1977, and served as President of the organization from 1970 to 1975. He also served on the Board of Governors at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from 1956 to 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.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Richard Williams' wife, Pauline, in 2008.

Scope and content: The fonds is arranged in 14 series, including biographical information, education, publications/speeches/lectures, academic career, professional career, organizations, correspondence, areas of personal interest, other artists, sketches, photographs, negatives, posters, and scrapbooks.  In addition to the textual records, the fonds totals 42 sketches, 104 photographs, and 34 negatives.

Source of supplied title: Title based on contents of fonds.

Restrictions: Financial information, student grades, some correspondence, and letters of reference have been restricted.

Accruals: No further accruals are expected.

Finding aid: An on-line finding aid is available at the link below:

MSS 263, PC 223, MC 22 (A.08-18).