William P. Rieder

William P. Rieder

Died December 14, 2011

Bill Rieder was born and raised in South Bend, IN where he lived until he came to New Haven as a freshman in the fall of 1958 after preparing at South Bend Central High School. While at Yale, he participated in freshman fencing and later lived in Davenport. Bill left Yale during his sophomore year, returned in the fall of 1962 and graduated in June 1965 with a B.A. in art history, followed by an M.A. in art history from Harvard.

Then he embarked on a noted career in the art world. Among the institutions where Bill worked were the Kress Foundation in New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The J. Paul Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in Santa Monica, CA, where, among other things, he once headed an ambitious project to catalog all of the works of art in the world.

He capped his career as curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. He was especially proud of his responsibility for the design and development of the Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries of English Decorative Arts on the first floor of the Met.

Bill was the author of numerous articles, book reviews and catalogues on European furniture and decorative arts. He also wrote A Charmed Couple, The Art and Life of Walter and Matilda Gay, the story of an American painter of interiors and his wife in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century.

He was an accomplished classical pianist and organist.

Bill passed away on December 14, 2011 in Bradenton, Florida. He was survived by brother James, many nieces and nephews and Richard Wilcox.