William Richard Crutchfield Biography

William Richard Crutchfield




William Richard Crutchfield, painter, printmaker, and sculptor, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 21, 1932. Crutchfield studied at Herron School of Art at Indiana University in Indianapolis, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 1956. He earned his Master of Fine Art degree in 1960 from Tulane University in New Orleans. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 1961, which allowed him to study at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, Germany. Upon his return from Germany, Crutchfield taught foundation studies and advanced drawing at the Herron School of Art from 1962 to 1965. Following his time at the Herron, he was chairman of Foundation Studies at the Minneapolis College of Art between 1965 and 1967.


He moved to California in 1967, where he worked on a series of lithographs at Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles. In 1970, Crutchfield was artist-in-residence in Hannover, West Germany and completed another series of lithographs at Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. From 1963 to 2000, he collaborated on prints and sculpture with Ken Tyler at Gemini Ltd., Gemini GEL in Los Angeles, and Tyler Graphics Ltd. in Bedford and Mt. Kisco, New York. Tyler commented about his friend: “He was a talented artist, excelling as a draftsman, sculptor, and printmaker. His witty, warm and inimitable personality is evident in his work and personal relationships.” Tyler was instrumental in Crutchfield and his wife, Barbara, moving to San Pedro, California in 1974.


In 1973, Crutchfield was guest artist of NASA at the Skylab II launch and that same year he was the subject of a half-hour special “William Crutchfield, Sage of Machine Wit” with Jonathan Winters and Vincent Price. Crutchfield was named Distinguished Artist of Los Angeles in 1982 and received the Music Center Club 100 Award.


His works are represented in the collections of the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth; the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; the Tate Modern, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California; the Singapore Art Museum; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.   

William Richard Crutchfield died in San Pedro, California on April 20, 2015.