In memory of Sir Rex Richards (1922-2019)

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

A scientist who pioneered research into nuclear magnetic resonance, Sir Rex Richards also had an enduring interest in the arts, serving as a Trustee at Tate and the National Gallery, and as our Chairman at The Henry Moore Foundation (1994-2001).

It is with sadness that we announce that Sir Rex Richards FBA FRA died on 15 July, aged 96. Richards served as a trustee of the Foundation from 1989, and then as chairman from 1994 until November 2001. He made a remarkable contribution to the work of the Foundation during that time.

He stayed on to serve as a trustee until 2003, during that time he wrote and developed the complex database which allowed the Foundation to successfully run its donations programme.

Richards first met Henry Moore while a Fellow and Tutor in Chemistry at Lincoln College. At that time a benefactor, had had made a generous donation to the college, under the condition that some of the money would go towards promoting interest in the visual arts. It was Richards who suggested that Moore would be the natural first choice for the college to work with in such a way, and the two got to know each other well during the week Moore spent working at Lincoln.

Richards maintained an active interest in the art world throughout his life, building up a small collection of works by contemporary artists. Alongside his commitments to various scientific causes and committees, he went on to serve many art institutions as well. From 1978 until 2007 he was a member of the National Gallery Scientific Advisory Committee, and was elected Chairman 1991-93. In 1981, he became a founding member of the World Cultural Council, and was a Trustee for both Tate and the National Gallery between 1982 and 1993. He will be much remembered and sadly missed.

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