In memory of Richard M. Johnston
Office of Strategic Communication
Richard M. Johnston, 75, professor in the Art department in the College of Arts and Letters, passed away on December 12, 2017.
Born in Illinois in 1942, he moved to California and graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in studio art, followed by a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He spent the next 25 years in Utah, where his projects included developing The Depot along with teaching at the University of Utah and serving as director of the Salt Lake Art Center, before being hired by CSUSB.
An artist in his own right, Richard Johnston spent his 25 years at CSUSB shepherding the Art department from its home in Chaparral Hall to its new home in the Visual Arts Center, first as chair and then as a professor. He was also hired to serve as the director of the university art gallery which he grew into the accredited Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, bringing Dr. Ben Harer’s Egyptian art collection to the Museum as well as President Anthony Evans’ Asian art collection. Johnston worked closely with President Evans and Professor Emeritus Julius Kaplan, a former dean of graduate studies and an art historian, to fulfill Dr. Evans’ vision of an art museum in the Inland Empire.
In addition to his own work, and that of his students, his dedication to the communities in which he lived has also left us with public work, making his art accessible to a great many.
He was survived by his wife, Nadra Haffar; brother Dale (Elsa); sister Sheri (Larry Walker); sons Tyler (Kelly) and Jacob (Andi); daughter Jessica step-daughter Alia; and grandchildren Ella, Connor, Garrett, Sadie and Tigerlily.