Family wants to locate grandfather’s painting apartment managers mistakenly donated to Provo D.I.
Sep 9, 2023, 10:42 AM
PROVO, Utah — Allison Richardson left her family in Texas to continue her studies in the accounting junior core program at Brigham Young University.
But before leaving the Lone Star State, she brought with her a significant painting with emotional family ties.
“Knowing that once upon a time my grandpa was alive and he painted on that piece of paper … it’s so special! And having that piece of paper makes me feel close to him,” Richardson, now a junior at BYU said. “It’s more than a painting. When Branbury Management told me they gave it away, I walked out of the building and started to cry.”
Richardson lived at the Branbury apartments, a student housing complex last school year. Her contract showed a transfer for the 2023 fall semester, meaning she would be transferring from one building to another at Branbury, with different roommates.
“Somehow the management got confused. They thought I was supposed to be moving out instead of transferring,” Richardson said. “So instead of letting me move my stuff on transfer day, they took my stuff a day early and put it in their storage unit.”
Richardson said Branbury employees moved her personal belongings to storage and then to her new apartment.
“Somehow the painting got separated from that stuff in the move,” Richardson said. “I had a sinking feeling. Days and days passed. After my parents called, management let us know they had donated the painting without our permission.”
Richardson said management pinpointed Aug. 25 — Sept. 1 when an employee took her grandfather’s painting to the Provo Deseret Industries. KSL5 reached out to Branbury management about the incident and were told “no comment.”
Oscar LaVon Richardson painted the winter landscape in 1969.
“It’s a tangible treasure my father has to remember his dad,” Richardson said. “He has few memories; it’s heartbreaking. That’s why this painting is so special. It’s a connector.”
Allison’s father, Trent Richardson, was just 5 years old when his dad died while trying to rescue Trent’s older sister who was drowning at Willard Bay.
“My grandfather saw his daughter Sherry struggling in the murky water,” Richardson said. “He did everything to swim out and save her life. But neither of them resurfaced that day.”
Oscar was 37-years-old at the time of his passing in 1973 — leaving behind his wife, Barbara, and six children under the age of 14.
Oscar Richardson graduated from Brigham Young University in 1960. He taught art and coached wrestling at Monticello High School for nine years. Following that, he was a notable teacher and wrestling coach at Box Elder High School.
“Ever since I was 11 or 12, I have had a picture framed of him on my nightstand, he is very special to me,” the college student said. “We have a few of his paintings at home. I have two pieces of his artwork hanging above my bed in Texas. So when I brought one with me it felt like I had a piece of him and a part of my home bedroom with me. It was really special to be able to have that.”
Richardson noted a time she repeatedly felt her grandfather’s presence as she served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California.
“He was always on my mind. And very distinctly, for those months, I knew that Oscar was very aware of where I was. He knew what I was doing. I felt him there to comfort and help me,” Richardson said.
She made trips to the Provo Deseret Industries. The painting is no longer there.
The Richardson family said they hope a student purchased the artwork and will see this story or the Facebook post Allison has shared.
“It’s given me hope to see people sharing my post to get the word out,” Richardson said.