In 1960, his relationship with Cooper ended, and in ’61, Richardson moved to New York, where he purchased the ground floor of a pink brownstone on East 75th Street for $12,500 with money he raised by selling “a very early, very minor Picasso.” In 1962, he organized a Picasso exhibition in the city with such bulk that it had to be spread across nine galleries. It was in curating this show that he had the idea to begin writing a biography on the Spanish master, but it would be nearly 30 years before the first volume would be published. It was also around this time that Richardson befriended Warhol, and the New York art world followed. “When I met Andy he was still living with his mother,” he once told
the New York Times
Soon thereafter, Christie’s hired Richardson to open its New York office, and he worked for the auction house until 1973, when he left and took charge of 19th- and 20th-century painting at Knoedler Gallery. He then went on to work for an art investment fund, but abandoned dealing in the 1980s to pursue writing.
In 1995, he moved from East 75th Street into a loft one block from Union Square, at Fifth Avenue and East 15th Street, which became home to the museum-caliber collection now headed to Sotheby’s. “The loft was just a big open space when he moved in,” said Doller. “John put in the walls and the pediments over the doors. He formed it into something like an English country house at the upmost level of chic.”