The Doll & Richards gallery originated in Boston in 1866 as an art gallery and framing shop owned by Charles E. Hendrickson, E. Adam Doll, and Joseph Dudley Richards. The gallery was a well-known Boston establishment for over 100 years that represented William Stanley Haseltine, Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, and Andrew Wyeth, among many other notable American painters, sculptors, and printmakers.
In 1870 Hendrickson retired and the gallery became Doll & Richards. After the untimely death of Doll in 1880, Richards purchased Doll's interest in the firm, retaining the gallery's well-known name. Under Richards' direction, the gallery prospered. Richards promoted the works of painter Winslow Homer, developing a market for his watercolors in Boston. He incorporated the gallery in 1902 and served as the treasurer and financier until his death in 1922 at 80 years old. The gallery then reorganized; Arthur McKean, who joined in 1911, became manager, and J.L. (Joe) Richards became treasurer. Fergus Turner, who joined the firm as a salesman in 1885 and became president in 1902, retained his role as president until 1938.
Over the century the gallery showcased contempory American artists, including William Morris Hunt, Dodge McKnight, William Stanley Haseltine, Laura Coombs Hills, Eliot O'Hara, Joseph Lindon Smith, Stanley Woodward, and Andrew Wyeth. The gallery also consigned paintings, prints, and objects from other major art galleries including Azeez Khayat Gallery, Kennedy Galleries, M. Knoedler and Co., Macbeth Gallery, Victor D. Spark, and Victor Waddington Galleries (Dublin, Ireland). According to long-time employee Wendell Zoehler (employed from 1929-1966), Doll & Richards' primary clientele came from the Social Register. In the summer months when wealthy Bostonians typically vacationed outside of the city, Doll & Richards remained open for tourists, many of whom became regular seasonal customers of the gallery.
The gallery experienced financial difficulties in the 1930s, leading to bankruptcy. Doll & Richards was purchased by McKean and incorporated in Maine in 1941. McKean sold Doll & Richards in 1962 to Maurice Goldberg; at this time none of the remaining family or staff were connected with the gallery. In 1973, the gallery was sold to Jeanne and Paul Sylva and closed.
Although the gallery always remained in the vicinity of Boston Common, it relocated numerous times over the years. In 1871 the gallery moved from 28 Summer Street to 145 Tremont Street. In 1878, the gallery remodeled and occupied the entire two-story building at 2 Park Street, renting out the second floor, known as the Hawthorne Room, for lectures. After thirty years on Park Street, Doll & Richards relocated to Newbury Street in 1908, beginning a succession of moves down Newbury Street approximately every twenty years, finally to 172 Newbury Street in 1962.