Biographical / Historical
Richard Carver Wood was born in 1902 in Binghamton, New York to Frank Hoyt and Eva Wood. He studied at Hamilton College then the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1922-1929 where he graduated with a degree in architecture. In the 1930s, Wood struggled to find work in his field and turned his attention to photography. His adopted father, a professor at Hamilton College, put him in contact with a former student, Alexander Woollcott, by then a theater critic with The New Yorker. It was through Woollcott that Wood met many of the famous people he photographed, many on Woollcott's Lake Bomoseen, Vermont, property, though Wood also photographed places, buildings, and subjects like the Perkins School for the Blind.
When America became involved in World War II, Wood was stationed in Hawaii as part of the Army Signal Corps. It was there that he turned to film, and after the end of World War II he worked first with a small dental company for a few years, and then began freelancing. His film work culminated with the 1954 Academy Award winning documentary The Unconquered, a biography of his one-time photography subject Helen Keller.
It was around the time of the Keller documentary that Wood again found work as an architect with an East Hampton firm. He would remain in architecture from then on, rarely taking photographs. Wood died on November 23, 1989 at the age of eighty-seven years old.