Dick Swift Biography

Dick Swift




Dick Swift (born Richard H. Swift, Jr.), printmaker, educator, and illustrator, was born in Long Beach, California on January 29, 1918. His studies began in 1938 at the Chouinard Art Institute where he was enrolled for three years. In 1943, Swift moved to New York to study for a year at the Art Students’ League where his principal teachers were Reginald Marsh, Will Barnet, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Morris Kantor. In 1946, he studied under Rico Lebrun at the Jepson Art Institute in Los Angeles. Swift returned to his art training in 1954, studying for two years at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles where his influential teachers were Ernest Freed and Guy Maccoy. He continued his studies at the Pasadena City College before entering Los Angeles State College where he earned his B.A. degree in 1957. Swift studied under Paul Darrow and Roger Kunz at Claremont Graduate University in Los Angeles and earned his M.F.A. in 1958. He also studied printmaking with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris between 1964 and 1965.

Swift began his teaching career in 1946 at Occidental College. He joined the faculty at the California State University at Long Beach in 1958 and developed the highly regarded printmaking program and studios. He was a member of and exhibited with the American Color Print Society and the Los Angeles Print Society, and served as its president in 1968 and 1969. He exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Japan, and Europe receiving more than forty awards.

Dick Swift’s work is represented in the collections the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Tennessee; the Philadelphia Art Museum, Pennsylvania; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts.