Richard Eurich studied at the Bradford School for Arts and Crafts 1922 to 1924. Whilst in living in Yorkshire, Richard’s visits to Whitby were to have a lasting influence on his work, the sea being a recurrent theme throughout his life.
Born in Bradford on 14 March, Richard was the second of five children born to Dr FW Eurich, Professor of forensic medicine and bacteriologist who also features as a 175 hero for his research into anthrax. Richard attended Bradford Grammar School during 1918 to 1921 moving to the Bradford School for Arts and Crafts in 1922.
Richard wrote about his years at the art school in an (as
yet unpublished) autobiography As the twig is bent.
“... and I started work at the School of Art. I had looked forward to mixing with other students having heard stories of their doings ... So I was puzzled when I found that there was no other student who wanted to be an artist, i.e. one who paints pictures. They were all studying ‘commercial art’ … I had never thought of this side of ‘art’ before and I certainly did not like it. The Principal informed me that it was impossible to make a living by painting in these days and that I had better turn my attentions to commercial work and leave playing about with paints for my spare time! Fortunately I had no ideas or any talent for the frippery I was expected to do. ... I tried a little illustration but I was informed that the results were not ‘decorative.’ So I tried being ‘decorative’ for a while but it was no good I am glad to say.... My drawings may have been indifferent but it drew my attention to the art of the sculptor which otherwise I would not have experienced. The shape of a piece of stone cut away from a block must be as good a shape as that left otherwise the cubic content is unbalanced. This led me to make a copy of one of Michelangelo’s slaves. ... The modelling master was considerably impressed and turning to me said ‘Where’s your scale?’ I couldn’t think what he meant at first but, not being good at mathematics I had avoided any measuring and he was astounded, when he began making calculations, to find that my proportions were correct. …The Principal was still pestering me about ‘commercial art’ ... he let fall a remark which gave me the clue to be followed if I wanted to be left in peace: ‘Perhaps it is not necessary for you to earn a living?’ etc. so I gave him to understand that this was the case. After that he took some pride in showing me off to visitors as ‘our artist’.
After being at Bradford Art School, Richard progressed to the Slade. Following exhibitions at the Goupil and Refern Galleries, he exhibited at The Royal Academy in 1937, eventually becoming a Royal Academician in 1953. During the war Richard received an honorary commission as a Captain in the Royal Marines working as an official war artist. From 1949 to 1967 Richard taught at Camberwell Art School, returning to Bradford in 1951 for a retrospective exhibition at Cartwright Hall. A major touring retrospective organised by Bradford Art Galleries followed in 1973. In 1984 Richard received an OBE and in 1989 Honorary Doctor of Letters from Bradford University. A year before his death in 1992 Richard exhibited at The Imperial War Museum.
Thanks to Philippa Bambach for the photograph and unpublished memories of her father