Size: 1 Item, Sound recording, master: 1 sound disc (1 hr., 45 min.), digital, 2 5/8 in.; 41 Pages, Transcript
Summary: An interview of Richard Gray conducted 2007 Dec. 9, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Carlyle Hotel, in New York, N.Y .
Gray speaks of being born in Chicago, Ill. and attending high school in Hyde Park; required coursework in art and music; his father's childhood in Poland; attending the University of Illinois in Chicago before transferring to the main campus in Champaign-Urbana; studying architecture but then becoming more interested in art; the influence of an early mentor; joining the air force and being stationed in France in the early 1950s; traveling throughout France, Spain, and Germany; visiting Barcelona to see Antoni Gaudí's architecture; returning to the United States, meeting his wife on a blind date, and marrying her within a year; being moved by the musical and artistic environment of his in-laws' home; owning a manufacturing business for 10 years; restructuring his father's summer resort in Michigan following his death; hosting music festivals and Harry Boris as artist-in-residence at the resort; following Boris's suggestion to open an art gallery in Chicago; his first art purchases from Allan Stone and André Emmerich in New York; his first gallery space off of Michigan Avenue on East Ontario Street in the same building as B.C. Holland and Noah Goldowsky; his second gallery space on Michigan Avenue; showing Color Field artists including Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, and Jules Olitski; dealers as collectors; seeing himself more as a collector than a dealer at this time in his life; his diverse collection of drawings spanning many time periods; his past practice of buying works of art in shares with other dealers; the competition between art dealers and auction houses; his belief in free-market opportunities; handling the sale of Willem de Kooning's Woman V; the gallery's representation of Jaume Plensa and David Klamen; the future direction of the gallery at both the Chicago and New York City locations; the changing market in international art; recently being designated a Living Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois; and his strong presence and activity in Chicago's cultural community. Gray also recalls André Emmerich, Andrew Fabricant, Paul Gray, and others.