courses: Studies Art Hist & Criticism, 18th & 19th Century Art, Modern Art 1860-1960, Art since 1945
Richard Wright grew up all over the country as the son of an armed-forces veteran. After graduating high school and completing a year of college in California, he was one of the last people to receive a draft notice from the U.S. Army (1972). He enlisted instead, and was trained as a Portuguese linguist and tactical interrogator. After his discharge, he transferred to a school in New England, graduating with a degree in Art History. From 1979 to 1981, he worked in Washington, DC, and enrolled later in ’81 at the University of Virginia to begin graduate work in Art History. His master’s thesis (under John Dobbins and John Yiannias) focused on Late Roman and early Byzantine mosaics, with a second area in nineteenth-century French art (working with JoAnn Paradise).
At the doctoral level, his work at Virginia with David Summers (Art History) and Stephen Plog (Archaeology) concentrated on Pre-Columbian ceramics of the North American Southwest and Mesoamerica. He received a predoctoral fellowship from Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks study center in Washington, DC, and has received a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). He has given papers (on a variety of both Western and non-Western topics) in scholarly settings from Seattle to Amsterdam, and published a number of articles, reviews, and book chapters. After arriving in South Texas in 1999, his work began to gravitate toward the study of architecture and town planning in Texas and Oklahoma, focusing on historical topics from the late nineteenth century up to the 1980s. He was a board member for the South Texas Historical Association (STHA) from 2008 to 2013. At TAMIU, Dr. Wright is responsible for all the courses offered in Art History, and he designed the Art degrees (ART and ARTA) in 2000-01. He regularly offers Core courses as well as WIN courses covering a variety of art-historical periods, phenomena, and styles, although the courses at the upper levels tend to concentrate generally on topics ranging from the Baroque era to contemporary times.