Richard Day

Canadian , 1896 - 1972

Richard Welsted Day, printmaker and art director, was born in Victoria, British Columbia. His education consisted of private tutoring, developing his natural talent for drawing without professional lessons and voracious reading. After serving with the Canadian army in World War I, he returned to Victoria and began his career as a commercial artist. In 1920, Day arrived in Hollywood hoping to find a career in the emerging motion picture industry. Befriended by Eric Von Stroheim, he was hired as a scene painter for the film Foolish Wives but was soon elevated to art director. The pursuit of his new career led him to MGM and then to 20th Century Fox where he became Supervising Art Director. Day worked on hundreds of films earning him forty Academy Award nominations. His genius was rewarded with the coveted Oscar for Dark Angel, How Green Was My Valley, This Above All, My Gal Sal, A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront and Dodsworth. He designed and built some of the largest sets of his time and in 1935, Day was the highest paid art director in Hollywood. During the 1930s he created a number of fine lithographs which were professionally printed by Paul Roeher and were shown at Jake Zeitlin's Book Shop in Los Angeles. In 1932 Merle Armitage published The Lithographs of Richard Day. Day's lithographs were shown in 1935 at the California-Pacific Exposition in San Diego. Today they are held in the collection of the Library of Congress. Day's brief career as a printmaker ended with the boom in films during the Depression of the late 1930s. He immersed himself in the film industry and never again ventured into printmaking.

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