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 Richard Hoyt Hornaday  (1927 - 2013)

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Lived/Active: California/Missouri      Known for: modernist figure and still life painting, teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Richard Hornaday

Following an illness, Richard Hoyt Hornaday passed into the Spirit Life on May 17, 2013 at home, surrounded by his family and friends. He was born to Zora (Riggs) and Beecher H. Hornaday on Aug.15, 1927 in Joplin, MO, where his family owned a large clothing store: Hornaday’s.  He attended Joplin schools where he played football, edited the yearbook, and participated in band and drama classes. During World War II in his senior year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and immediately after graduation went to boot camp.

He turned 18 on board a troop ship headed for the Philippines, where he served his tour of duty. ??

Prior to his military service, Richard had been groomed to succeed his father and uncles at the store but, as he was completing his commitment to the Navy, he decided that instead Art would be his chosen career. After attending University of Missouri, University of Oklahoma, and The Chicago Art Institute, he completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Iowa University in 1950. A Master's in Fine Arts in painting, with a minor in Art History followed in 1952.

??One might say that Richard began “teaching” even as a child, because as an only child he had to entertain himself. That frequently involved the neighborhood children where he became the ‘director’ of whatever drama was being enacted. So becoming a Studio Assistant for his professor, James Lechay in graduate school and an Instructor at Chico State College (later University) for John Ayres was only the beginning!

With his new credentials he filled a one-year post in Auburn, CA., before taking a position in Redding, CA., as Supervisor of Art for elementary schools. The comprehensive program he developed based on Viktor Lowenfeld's theory of a child’s innate creative process, became a model for schools throughout the country. He also taught nights at Shasta and Sierra Junior Colleges, and summers at Chico State. When Proposition 13 was passed slashing school funding, Richard converted their home car garage so he could teach private classes. In 1968 he accepted a one-year position, with the promise of a full-time post, in the Art Dept at Chico State. While serving as the Chairman of the Art Department, he was instrumental in developing the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, gaining national accreditation for the department.??

Throughout his career as an artist and teacher, Richard earned many awards and recognition. His artwork has won awards in competitive shows since 1954. When his painting Bound Figure was accepted in New York City's Museum of Modern Art 1962 exhibit, it was also chosen as part of a national tour that followed. Subsequently J.C. Penney purchased it for his private collection.

Richard often served as judge or curator for shows at the Crocker in Sacramento; the Creative Art Center, Chico; the Turner Gallery, Chico, and even county fairs. He is listed in two Marquis Who’s Who: in America and in American Art, also in California Art Review.

Richard’s loss of sight did not prevent him from continuing to produce Art; his work reflects the inner spirit that kept him going. “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do” (Rumi) sums up Richard’s life

Submitted by Carlos A. Miranda

Obituary of the artist, "Richard Hornaday (1927-2013)", Ramsey Funeral Homes, Oroville, California,

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