Richard Gentry Ayer Biography

Richard Gentry Ayer




Richard Gentry Ayer, painter, muralist, printmaker and sculptor, was born in San Bernardino, California on November 23, 1909. He spent his youth in Utah, but moved in 1924 to Fort Bragg, California where he completed high school. He studied at the College of Marin and then enrolled in the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco where he studied sculpture under Ralph Stackpole. He also studied with Hilaire Hiler, and assisted Victor Arnautoff on frescos in the Presidio chapel in San Francisco. He worked on the WPA easel painting project in San Francisco and the Aquatic Park Building mural program.

Ayer served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After his tour of duty, he returned to San Francisco and resumed his studies. Between 1946 and 1948, he was enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts and he studied collage under Jean Varda, sculpture with Zygmund Sazevich, and printmaking with Stanley William Hayter.

He was a member of the San Francisco Art Association and exhibited in their annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition held in San Francisco in 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1950, 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960. Ayer's work was also included in the 20th Annual Exhibition of Northwest Printmakers at the Seattle Art Museum. A solo exhibition of his work was mounted at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1940 and his work is in the collection of the Maritime Museum in San Francisco.

Richard Ayer died in San Francisco on August 27, 1967.