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Randall, Richard Harding, Jr.

    Full Name: Randall, Richard Harding, Jr.

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1926

    Date Died: 1997

    Place Born: Baltimore, Baltimore Independent City, MD, USA

    Place Died: Baltimore, Baltimore Independent City, MD, USA

    Home Country/ies: United States

    Subject Area(s): American (North American), decorative arts (discipline), furniture, and ivories (sculptures)


    Ivory, and American furniture historian; Walters Gallery of Art director 1965-1981. Randall was the son of Richard H. Randall, Sr., and Mary Scott Buzby (Randall). His father worked as a sales manager. He graduated from Princeton University with an A. B., in architecture in 1950 continuing to Harvard University for an M. A., in art history, awarded in 1951. There Randall met and married a fellow art historian and Harvard Ph.D. candidate Lilian Maria Charlotte Randall in 1953. The same year he joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, as an assistant curator of medieval art in 1953, assigned to the Cloisters. He rose to associate curator of medieval art, teaching as an assistant professor at Columbia University. In 1959 he moved to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as assistant curator of decorative arts. There he specialized in American furniture, writing the permanent holdings catalog on the subject. He was appointed assistant director at the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, in 1964, becoming director the following year. As director, he oversaw the expansion of the Walters’ space, tripling the size of the building in 1974. He returned to a position of curator of medieval art at the Walters in 1981, remaining until 1985. He continued contributing to the literature of art history until the moment of his death from a heart attack in Baltimore. Randall was an ivories expert who particularly focused on attribution. He also wrote articles on armour and American furniture.

    Selected Bibliography

    American Furniture in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1965; and Buitron, Diana. Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery. Baltimore, MD: Walters Art Gallery/Viking Penguin, 1985; The Golden Age of Ivory: Gothic Carvings in North American Collections. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1993.


    [obituaries:] Pace, Eric. “Richard Randall, Ivory Expert and Walters Museum Chief, 71.” New York Times July 7, 1997, p. B9; Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 56, no. 1/2 (1997): 116.


    "Randall, Richard Harding, Jr.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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