Works in the Collection
Richard W. Dempsey was born in Ogden, Utah in 1909 but grew up in Oakland, California. He studied art at a number of institutions, and in 1935, held his first one-man exhibition in Oakland. In 1941, he relocated to Washington, D.C. to work for the Federal Power Commission as an engineering draftsman.
While in Washington D.C, Dempsey continued his studies at Howard University. He studied sculpture with Sargent Johnson, painting with Maurice Logan, and lithography with James Wells. He was awarded a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship in 1946. In 1951, he was awarded a Purchase Award in the Corcoran Gallery’s Tenth Annual Exhibition.
Dempsey was a prolific painter and often drew inspiration from his frequent trips to Jamaica and Haiti. He was even invited by the government of Haiti to paint its people and scenery. While home from his travels, Dempsey taught and lectured at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.