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William Trost Richards papers, 1848-1920

Richards, William Trost, 1833-1905

Painter, Printmaker, Illustrator

This site provides access to the papers of William Trost Richards in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2010. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 4,388 images.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 1.8 Linear feet

Summary: The William Trost Richards papers measure 1.8 linear feet and date from 1848-1920. The collection documents Richards' personal life and his career as a landscape and seascape painter. The collection consists of correspondence, writings, business files, printed material, photographs, and other miscellaneous materials.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Trost Richards was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1833. From 1850 to 1858 he worked as a designer and illustrator of ornamental metalwork, and briefly studied draughtsmanship and painting with the German artist Paul Weber. Richards was also an active member of the Forensic and Literary Circle of Philadelphia during the early 1850s. In 1852 he had his first exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and a year later was elected a full Academician. He had great interest in landscapes and geological subjects, and spent summers sketching in the Catskills and Adirondacks. From 1855 to 1856 Richards toured Europe with William Stanley Haseltine and Alexander Lawrie, and was influenced by the Dusseldorf school of landscape painters.

Provenance

The bulk of the collection was donated in 1980 by Mrs. James B. Conant, Richards's granddaughter. The Archives microfilmed this portion of the collection on reels 2296-2299 upon receipt. The inventory of paintings by others was donated by Victor Spark in 1954 and filmed on reel 3470.

Related Materials

Language Note

The records are in English.

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.