Richard Welling collection imageRichard Welling Collection

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Richard Welling (1926-2009) was born in Hartford and spent most of his life documenting the changing appearance of his native city. Welling graduated from Hall High School in West Hartford in 1944 and enlisted in the Army in November of that year. On his return, he attended Parsons School of Design in New York City. He spent the next few years working in advertising. During these years he developed a fascination with drawing buildings, filling sketchbooks with pictures of cityscapes and construction sites. The 1960s was a period of great change in Hartford, and Welling was on the spot to capture the construction of Constitution Plaza and the Hartford Civic Center and the demolition of landmarks such as the Heublein Hotel and the old Y.M.C.A. in iconic line drawings. Welling claimed that he made a new panoramic drawing of the Hartford every year, beginning in 1976. The drawings depict the transformation of the city into a modern metropolis with a skyline of skyscrapers encircled by interstate highways.

In 2010, the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library mounted a posthumous exhibit and tribute to Richard Welling, including drawings, prints and memorabilia lent by the Richard Welling family. The Richard Welling family subsequently donated a large collection of reproductions of Richard Welling drawings of Hartford to the Hartford History Center.

For more information about Richard Welling, seeĀ…