Richard Townley Bellamy...

...aka Richard Hu Bellamy, aka Dick, aka George, aka Gogo, aka Mooney Peebles, was a much-loved half-Chinese half-Midwestern art dealer and gallerist who looked at art as if he were listening to music.

He directed the cooperative Hansa Gallery (1955–59), where he showed Jane Wilson, Allan Kaprow, Jean Follett, Jan Müller, Myron Stout and others, and then opened the Green Gallery (1960–65), which exhibited such artists as James Rosenquist, Mark di Suvero, Claes Oldenburg, Larry Poons, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin and Donald Judd. When the Green closed Bellamy moved into the Noah Goldowsky Gallery (1965–1974), where he showed artists including Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Mary Corse, Jo Baer, Dan Christensen, Neil Jenney, Milet Andrejevic, Walter De Maria and many others.

His next gallery was a largely private venture (very few open exhibitions) on Park Avenue South, where he laid low while focusing intensely on the career of Mark di Suvero and also on his tennis game (on courts in the nearby Armory) until moving, in 1980, to the 14th floor at 157 Chambers Street, where he opened the Oil & Steel Gallery and met the inimitable Barbara Flynn. Here he showed artists Alfred Leslie, Michael Heizer, Richard Nonas, Grégoire Müller, Peter Young, Jan Müller, David Rabinowitch and others. Because the rent tripled, Bellamy moved in 1985 to a building on a large pier on the East River in Queens, adjacent to di Suvero’s studio.

While keeping a free-wheeling schedule of revolving exhibitions there—most by appointment and chance only—he worked closely with Flynn mounting exhibitions of Rabinowitch, Leslie and Stout both at her Crosby Street space and throughout the United States and Europe. Indeed, one of his signatures was the decision to work closely with a very small group of artists and dedicate his energies toward the promulgation of their work. But aside from these manifested efforts, he also worked tirelessly behind the scenes to place artists with the right galleries and to facilitate artists’ special projects. Unlike many dealers, he made it a point to attend as many of his friends’ studios, openings and exhibitions as possible on a regular basis. An ardent lover of literature, music and pasta, with an unusual sense of humor and style, Dick Bellamy was one of last century’s last gentlemen.

Richard Bellamy

Images top to bottom: 1. by Kunie Sugiura, 2. unknown, 3. by Dianne Blell, 4. unknown, 5. "Bellamy" from Art Dealer Archipelagos, 2009, by John Zinsser.