William Richards (1917 – 2004) Chromogenic Color Photographs

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  • September 05, 2021

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Lot 12 William Richards (1917-2004) Untitled.
Lot 74 William Richards (1917-2004) Network.

Gray’s Auctioneers is honored to conduct the solo artist auction of a truly unique and rare artistic talent. William Richards’ works of original, one-of-a-kind, chromogenic process color photographs, were created during the late 1950’s – 1980’s in his basement darkroom studio, using a developing process, that now has been replaced by digital image printing and enhanced photographic/design software. This stunning collection was discovered by Deba Gray, long forgotten in the basement studio of the artist’s Cleveland, Ohio home.

By day, William Richards worked as a creative director in Cleveland’s dynamic advertising industry, winning numerous national awards for his advertising work.  His nights and weekends were spent following his true passion for fine art photography.  He even enlisted the help of his children’s creativity to help give titles to some of the works he created.

Richards created a beautiful world of reflecting colors, using a simple low tech approach to achieve incredible visual results. His process continues to stump the most seasoned photographers.  Williams’ simple technique did not distort the image in the lens, he simply captured the true reflection on a chromed, bent piece of metal, using found objects such as colorful holiday wrapping paper, colored lights and various gels, which were then suspended above the chromed surface.  On some, he would isolate and capture the image, develop it and then manually manipulate and flip the images, to create a tiled or swirling, kaleidoscopic effect, as evident in his magnificent Assemblages Series.  On others, he would capture a single, elegant reflection of ethereal colored shapes.

Lot 115 William Richards (1917-2004) Untitled.

His work is in the permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

The auction takes place on January 20, 2016 at 11am, live at Gray’s Auctioneers in Cleveland, Ohio, and also online at GraysAuctioneers.com. Absentee and Telephone bidding will also be available.  The complete auction catalogue can be viewed online, and all the artworks in the auction can be previewed in person at Gray’s auction showrooms January 14 – 19, 2016.  Please see graysauctioneers.com for details, or download our app for iPhone & iPad on iTunes.

A boutique company with auctioneers licensed by the State of Ohio, Gray's holds live auctions every month which reach the world through our global online partnerships. We accept consignments and offer complimentary auction valuations every day. We also provide USPAP compliant appraisals for insurance, donation or estate tax purposes. For more information please contact Serena Harragin at 216.226.3300


Serena Harragin
Gray's Auctioneers

Gray's Auctioneers
10717 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio
About Gray's Auctioneers

Deba Gray has over twenty years experience as a licensed & bonded auctioneer beginning in 1989 at Wolf’s Auction Gallery in Cleveland. In 1995 she moved to Chicago to become Auctioneer and Director of Marketplace Sales for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. In 1997, Sotheby’s purchased LHA and immediately promoted Deba to Assistant Vice President of Property where she was responsible for estates originating throughout the US. Bringing the best of her experience from three houses, Deba’s passion for integrity, innovation in business and her commitment to fairness throughout the auction process enlightens every facet of Gray’s operation.

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