Eugene Richards

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Eugene Richards at the 2010 Texas Book Festival.

Eugene Richards (born 1944, Dorchester, Massachusetts) is an American documentary photographer. Richards has published many volumes of photography and been a member of Magnum Photos and of VII Photo Agency.

Life and work[edit]

During the 1960s, Richards was a civil rights activist and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer. After receiving a BA in English from Northeastern University, his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were supervised by photographer Minor White.

Richards' published photographs are mostly intended as a means of raising social awareness, have been characterized as "highly personal" and are both exhibited and published in a series of books. The first book was Few Comforts or Surprises (1973), a depiction of rural poverty in Arkansas; but it was his second book, the self-published Dorchester Days (1978), a "homecoming" to Dorchester, Massachusetts, where Richards had grown up, that won most attention. It is "an angry, bitter book", both political and personal.[1] Gerry Badger writes that "[Richards's] involvement with the people he is photographing is total, and he is one of the best of photojournalists in getting that across, often helped by his own prose".[1]

Richards has been a member of Magnum Photos and of VII Photo Agency. He lives in New York City.[2]


  • Few Comforts or Surprises: The Arkansas Delta. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1973. ISBN 0-262-18062-6.
  • Dorchester Days.
    • Wollaston, MA: Many Voices, 1978.
    • Second edition, revised and expanded. London: Phaidon, 2000. ISBN 0-7148-4001-7. With an introduction by Dorothea Lynch and an afterword by Richards.
  • 50 Hours. New York: Many Voices, 1983. ISBN 0-394-62023-2. With Dorothea Lynch.
  • Exploding into Life. New York: Aperture in association with Many Voices, 1986. ISBN 0-89381-177-7. With Dorothea Lynch.
  • Below the Line: Living Poor in America. Mount Vernon, NY: Consumers Union, 1987. ISBN 0-89043-061-6 (paperback); ISBN 0-89043-062-4 (hardback). Text ed. Christiane Bird, story researched by Janine Altongy.
  • The Knife and Gun Club: Scenes from an Emergency Room. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 1989. ISBN 0-87113-255-9. 2nd ed. 1995.
  • With Edward Barnes. Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue. New York: Aperture, 1994. ISBN 0-89381-543-8 (hardback), ISBN 0-89381-564-0 (paperback). New York: Aperture, 1996. ISBN 0-89381-687-6.
  • Americans We: Photographs and Notes. New York: Aperture, 1994. ISBN 0-89381-594-2.
  • Eugene Richards. Photo Poche series. Paris: Nathan, 1997. ISBN 978-2-09-754106-2.
  • Eugene Richards. Phaidon 55 series. London and New York: Phaidon, 2001. Text by Charles Bowden. ISBN 978-0-7148-4025-3
  • Stepping through the Ashes. New York: Aperture, 2002. ISBN 1-931788-01-4. With interviews by Janine Altongy.
  • The Fat Baby. London: Phaidon, 2004. ISBN 0-7148-4196-X.
  • A Procession of Them. University of Texas Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-292-71910-1.
  • The Blue Room. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7148-4832-7.
  • War Is Personal. 2010. ISBN 978-0-292-70441-1.
  • Red Ball of a Sun Slipping Down. New York: Many Voices, 2014. ISBN 978-0991218905.



Videos of Richards[edit]

  • Lassiter, Kenneth T., Gary Bechtold, et al. Techniques of the Masters (videoconference, April 18, 1991). 1991.
  • Richards, Eugene. Eugene Richards Photographer of the Year. Rochester, NY: Eastman Kodak Company, 1991.


  1. ^ a b Gerry Badger, in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, vol. 2 (London: Phaidon, 2006; ISBN 0-7148-4433-0), 30.
  2. ^ "Eugene Richards", Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), retrieved 17 February 2008.
  3. ^ "Exhibitions: Eugene Richards: The Blue Room". Rencontres d'Arles. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  4. ^ "1981: Eugene Richards". W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Missouri Honor Medal Winners: Individuals". Missouri School of Journalism. Retrieved 16 November 2015.

External links[edit]