The sad news of the passing of William “Richard” Wright on Sunday at the age of 62 made me pause for a moment and feel very upset that I won’t get a chance to hear him unleash his seemingly endless depth of knowledge on the Antique’s Roadshow viewers ever again. It doesn’t matter that his expertise most often showcased on the program was not one that I cared much about – antique dolls. I still enjoyed watching his appraisals greatly.
Until now, I was unaware that his shop was 20 miles from my home in Chester County, PA, where he apparently also specialized in Art Deco and Art Nouveau, two of my other favorites.
He apparently led a rather full life. In his early years he was well-plugged into the London music scene. He was friends with Keith Moon of the band The Who and Mick Fleetwood’s then wife, Jenny Boyd. Through the latter connection he became Fleetwood Mac’s road manager in the late 1960s.
His passing has made me pause to wonder, like our world’s natural resources, are we losing all our “intellectual resources” in the antique industry at an irreplaceable rate? Who is in today’s generation of emerging experts?