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 Richard Ellis  (20th Century)

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Lived/Active: Montana/California      Known for: public sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Richard Ellis is a well-established American sculptor who completes commissions for both private collectors as well as public spaces. His studio is in Elliston, Montana, but he began his studies in his native Southern California, first at El Camino College, where he earned an A. A. degree, then at the Otis Art Institute, which was then located in the Mac Arthur Park neighborhood, just west of downtown Los Angeles. 

In 1963 Ellis earned a Master’s Degree in Sculpture with Distinction, and upon graduation he was awarded a prestigious “Prix de Rome” fellowship for 1964, which allowed him to study in Rome for a year.  A second “Prix de Rome” followed in 1965, allowing him to study the integration of sculpture with public life in Europe. 

Selected by the legendary artist and art director Millard Sheets (1907-1989), Ellis completed eight large commissions for Home Savings and Loan early in his career.  This figure groups were cast in bronze for a number of the Ahmanson family’s Home Savings and Loan branches in Southern California. He also created a large concrete relief sculpture for the Warner Brown Hospital in Union County, Arkansas. 

Ellis has a long-standing relationship with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which has commissioned a number of portrait bronzes.  The Southern California-based Ahmanson Foundation has also commissioned more than a dozen portrait works from Ellis.  In 2002 he created a bronze for the “Bob Hope Humanitarian Award,” and the sculpture was presented to television star Oprah Winfrey during the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Written and submitted by Jeffrey Morseburg

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