|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|A sculptor of monumental bronze Indian figures, Richard Greeves was
born and grew up in an Italian neighborhood in St. Louis, where he
lived in his words, a "Huck Finn childhood." Many of his neighbors were
handy with tools, and they influenced his love of building and
At age 15, he met an Indian girl whom he visited on
the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, and he later moved there and
purchased the local trading post which became his home and studio. With
one third of an acre enclosed and 26-foot high ceilings, he has plenty
of room to work.
Greeves is winner of the James Earle Fraser
Award for Outstanding Artistic Merit at the National Cowboy &
Western Herritage Museum in 2000, and his monuments to Chief Washakie
and Crazy Horse reside in the gardens at the Buffalo Bill Historical
For the courtyard of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, he
sculpted a monument of Indian figures 1 and 1/2 times life-size.
Southwest Art magazine, July 2002
Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, 2003
|Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, II:|
|A traditional sculptor of bronze Indians, Richard Greeves was born in
St. Louis, Missouri in 1925 and has been living in Fort Washakie,
Wyoming on the Wind River Indian Reservation since 1951. |
“I talked to a young commercial artist who had a painting of an old
saddle, a .22 rifle, and a bunch of .44-40 caliber bullets. He’d
photographed the ‘still lifes,’ projected it on the canvas and painted
it, and then sold it for one hell of a price because it was Western
art. Thank God you can’t render sculpture photographically.”The son of
an Italian tile layer, Greeves left home at 15.
“I guess you might say that the Indian is my real love,” he observes.
“I made them my life’s work, and I was doing it long before it became
popular. A lot of artists think you can know the Indian by coming out
here on weekends, but you can’t. You’ve got to love and hate with them.
There’s magic for me here. I just feel it, the same feelings I had when
I first came here as a kid. Right now, I’m working on a whole series of
bronzes to try and capture this mysterious beyond of the
Indian.”“You’ve got to get the inside right before you can get the
outside right, and you’ve got to get the outside right before you can
even begin to create a feeling of mood. If your work show pain, you
should be able to tear a clay finger off and throw it on the table, and
by God, you should be able to look at that finger and see pain.”
Contemporary Western Artists by Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.
|Biography from Thomas Nygard Gallery:|
|Richard Greeves often says his destiny as an artist was shaped by a
trip he took when he was fifteen years old. A native of St. Louis,
Missouri, he traveled to Fort Washakie to the Wind River Reservation in
Wyoming. It was a brief respite from school, but the journey -- and his
time spent with an Indian family -- left an indelible impression on
He returned to his school to finish school, but he
knew the Wind River Reservation had stolen his heart. Several years
later, he returned there, and for more than three decades has made his
home among the North American Plains Indians on the reservation. In
that time he has forged out of the whole cloth of Native America an
unique lifestyle centered around his artistic capabilities. "There is a
magic, a mysticism for me here that I really can't explain. I just feel
it," Greeves said.
Deriving a strong background of artistic
craftsmanship from his Italian heritage, he portrays through sculpture
the character and spiritual essence of the people and animals of his
Greeves says his mission in any sculpture is
to tell a story, to communicate what he holds important. He says, "In
my work, I'm just trying in my meager way to bridge this civilization
with ones that come after us."
Self taught as an artist, he
first painted historic documentary-style scenes of Indian life. Then he
turned to sculpture. Although his favorite subject is the Indian, he
also depicts the trapper, trader, and cowboy of bygone eras.
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