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Richard Hewett Collection, 1952-1989
HEWETT_f001 – HEWETT_f155, HEWETT_b001 – HEWETT_b008  
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Collection Overview
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Photographer Richard Hewett spent over five decades capturing the essence of Los Angeles, covering subjects as wide-ranging as television productions, hospital staff, school children and animals both domestic and wild. As a photographer working for Los Angeles Times, Life, Look, Argosy, Venture, and TV Guide, Hewett’s assignments chronicled the wide variety of recreational and working life in L.A., including movie and television actors, animal trainers, stuntmen, business executives, citrus grove workers, store clerks, veterinarians, restaurateurs, teachers, musicians, artists, hippies and dancers. Locations include Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, Central Market, Miracle Mile, Disneyland, Marineland, Long Beach, Downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, and Central Receiving Hospital, which closed within months of his visit.
Richard Ridgley Hewett was born in 1929 in St. Paul, Minnesota and developed an interest in photography at an early age. When he turned thirteen, his father built a darkroom in the basement of their home, and at age sixteen, with his father’s consent, he joined the United States Marine Corps. Upon his military discharge, Hewett made use of the G.I. bill to pursue a career in photography and enrolled in the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Following his graduation in 1952, he rented a guest house in Hollywood, and converted it into a darkroom and living space where by night he developed film for the popular nightclub Ciro’s, and by day he shot photo stories to submit to various magazines. In 1954 he sold his first photograph to Life Magazine, and followed up with his pictorial essay of teenagers in a record store listening booth for Life’s weekly “Speaking of Pictures” page. This put Hewett in demand as a lifestyle photojournalist, and steady work followed with the Los Angeles Times weekly supplement “This Week,” and then Look, Argosy, and Cosmopolitan magazines. He also had a long-running relationship with TV Guide, working for them consistently from 1958 until 1986. Later in life Hewett focused mainly on photographing subjects for children’s non-fiction books authored by his wife and collaborator Joan, and also Caroline Arnold. Hewett passed away in 2006.
20 linear feet
This collection is stored on-site at the Central Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. It is open for research by appointment only.