E.P. (Edgar Preston) Richardson papers, 1839-1996

Richardson, Edgar Preston, b. 1902 d. 1985
Art historian, Museum director
Active in Philadelphia, Pa.; Detroit, Mich.

Collection size: 30.7 linear feet

Collection Summary: Correspondence, writings, diaries, research files, notes, photographs, and clippings.

Correspondence with artists, collectors, colleagues, dealers, foreign scholars, and others relating to the Detroit Institute of Arts, Winterthur Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, publishing, purchasing works of art, writings, teaching art history, awards, resignations, and other topics; a diary, 1942-1980; files on Winterthur, PAFA, NCFA, NPG, Marshall Fredericks, Jacob Eichholtz, Washington Allston, Charles Wilson Peale, and the Peale family; lectures, articles and other writings; artist-subject files; notebooks on many subjects; and bibliographies.

Among the more extensive correspondents are Wayne Andrews, Siegfried Aram, Julian P. Boyd, John (Giovanni) Castano, Charles Culver, Lawrence Fleischman, James Thomas Flexner, Alfred Frankenstein, George C. Groce, Walter Heil, Earl Krentzin, Wilmarth S. Lewis, Russell Lynes, John Francis McDermott, Ulrich Middeldorf, John D. Morse, Liselotte Moser, Andrew Oliver, J. Hall Pleasants, Anna Wells Rutledge, Charles Coleman Sellers, S. Dillon Ripley, Regina Soria, Victor D. Spark, William B. Stevens, Jr., William R. Valentiner, Robert C. Vose, Jr., Franklin C. Watkins, William E. Woolfenden, and Andrew Wyeth.

Material relating to Richardson's private art collection. Also included are printed material, photographs and negatives primarily of works of art relating to Richardson's career as a painter.

Biographical/Historical Note: E.P. (Edgar Preston) Richardson (1902-1985) was an art historian and museum administrator in Detroit, Michigan. Director, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1945-1962, Winterthur Museum, 1962-1966, Board Member and President of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1966-1977, art advisor to John D. Rockeller III, and member on numerous boards, including Winterthur, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Smithsonian Arts Commission and National Portrait Gallery. Author of numerous books on the history of art. Founder and director of the Archives of American Art.

Donated 1985 and 2003 by Constance Richardson, widow of Edgar P. Richardson. The Hardy research material (reel D46) was received in 1961 by E. P. Richardson, and transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum after microfilming.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels D46 and 2803 are available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
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Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Also in the Archives, on microfilm reel D46 (frames 372-456) is Richardson's research material on Jeremiah P. Hardy and other Maine artists, including an article on Hardy by Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, Hardy's grand-niece; a book, "Leaflets of Artists," 1893; a newspaper clipping on Hardy and other family members, 1940; and three photographs, one of Hardy (engraving found in the leaflet), a photograph of a painting of his sister Mary Ann, and one of a landscape.

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