|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Richard Earl Thompson was an American impressionist, much influenced by
the French school, and a highly successful illustrator. He was a child
prodigy at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts where he was a student of
Frederick Grant. After that, he attended the Chicago Art Institute with
Louis Ritman, who was a strong influence on his drawing, color, and
To earn a living, he chose a career in
commercial art, doing many back covers of the Saturday Evening Post,
especially while working with Haddon Sundbloom. Thompson also did World
War II War bond Posters.
In 1959, with commercial art being
replaced by photography, he turned to a full-time career in fine art and
divided his life between the woods of Wisconsin and the shores of the
Florida Keys with his wife Mary Munn.
Of his career beginning in the late 1950s, Thompson created more than
1500 oil paintings. In his Chicago Tribune obituary, he was quoted as having said of his paintings: "No shock treatments, no
political messages, compositions based rather on tranquil scenes---a sincere approach to painting to which all people can relate. . . .I like to devote time to the color of things as the sun creates them."
Les Krantz, American Artists: An Illustrated Survey of Leading Contemporary Americans
Jerry Crimmins, "Impressionist painter Richard Earl Thompson", Chicago Tribune obituary, August 1991. Submitted by Joan Thompson
Hazy Koenen, "Richard Thompson Gallery Grand Opening Exhibit", San Francisco Focus, November, 1977
Art Voices Editor, "Editorial Profile", Art Voices South, May/June, 1978
Hazy Koenen, "A Sincere Approach to Painting", Southwest Art, October, 1978
Hazy Koenen, "Impressions of Tranquility", Country Gentlemen, Fall, 1979
Southwest Editors, "Editorial Profile", Southwest Art, May, 1981
Richard Thompson Gallery, "Richard Earl Thompson – America’s Foremost Impressionist," Lively Arts, June/July 1982
Patricia Jobe Pierce, "Richard Earl Thompson at Norton Art Gallery," Shreveport, LA, Southwest Art, October 1982
Richard Thompson Gallery, "Richard Earl Thompson – America’s Foremost Impressionist", Lively Arts & Fine Arts, Oct/Nov, 1984
George Dixon, "Richard Earl Thompson – Even From the Florida Keys", There’s No Place Like Home, Wisconsin, Midwest Art, Sep/Oct, 1984
John Manson, "Richard Earl Thompson, American Impressionist", Western Art Digest, Sep/Oct, 1986
Patricia Jobe Pierce, "An American Impressionist, Richard Earl Thompson", International Fine Art Collector, Premiere Issue, 1990
Editorial Profile, Richard Earl and Robert Frost, "Two Great American Artists", At The Lake, Winter, 2003
Susan Hallsten McGarry, "Richard Earl Thompson, Seasons of Light", American Art Review, April, 2005
Melicent Bachman, Journal Correspondent, "Thompson Paints Man in Nature", The Milwaukee Journal, November, 1966
Don Lewis, Journal Staff, "Outdoor Scenes Tone Thompson Show at Veldman Galleries", The Milwaukee Journal, December, 1969
Don Key, Journal Art Editor, "Thompson Paintings Capture Iberian Moods", The Milwaukee Journal, November, 1972
James Auer, Journal Art Editor, "Light Filled World of Richard Thompson", The Milwaukee Journal, October, 1973
Auer, Journal Art Editor, "A Painting by the Famous American
Impressionist Richard Thompson will be Dedicated in our Galleries at
Wisconsin Memorial Park", The Milwaukee Journal, November, 1978
Art Antique & Collectors Mart Editor, "Richard Thompson, An American Impressionist", Antique & Collectors Mart, December, 1979
James Auer, Journal Art Editor, "Wisconsin’s Monet – The World Of Light is Endless", The Milwaukee Journal, July, 1979
Lane Crockett, Times Art Editor, "His Painting Did Pay Off", The Times, Shreveport, LA, 1982
Ron Varela, "Richard Earl Thompson: A Lasting Impressionist", Antique & Collectors Mart, August, 1983
Art-Talk Editors, "Peacock Galleries to Hold Open House & Autograph Party For Impressionists", Art-Talk, February,1984
Danny Medina, "Richard Earl Thompson, The Grand Man of Impression", Art-Talk, February, 1985
Key Editor, "One of America’s Greatest Impressionist Presents New Work", Key Magazine, October, 1987
James Auer, Journal Art Editor, "Impressionism, Togetherness, Indian Heritage for Viewers", The Milwaukee Journal, July 1990
Danny Medina, "Richard Earl Thompson, The Master of Light", Art-Talk, March, 1994
Rick LaFrombois, "Woodson Exhibit to Feature Impressionist Artist’s Work", Wausau Daily Herald, April 2005
Jennifer Flowers, "Impressionist Exhibit on Display at Norton Gallery", The Times, Shreveport, LA, September, 2005
Art Editor, Art: "Let There Be Light, Impressionist Richard Earl Thompson on Display at Norton", Forum News, September, 2005
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Twentieth-century landscape impressionist, Richard Earl Thompson studied in Chicago at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts (1930-31) and the American Academy of Art (1932-1933) and the Chicago Art Institute (1935-1937). He was instructor of art at the American Academy of Art before he became a free-lance illustrator during the Great Depression for Anheuser-Busch, Standard Oil and Miller Brewing Company. |
Leaving commercial art to paint outdoors, he had his first solo exhibition at the Guildhall Galleries of Chicago (1959), and others followed at the Grinnel Galleries (IL), Art Originals Gallery (Milwaukee), Harriett Crane Galleries (OH) The Gallery (Palm Beach), J.P. Kelp Gallery (TX) and elsewhere.
Although critics called him "Wisconsin's Monet," he preferred to be his own man and did not want to be so categorized. Remaining somewhat of a recluse in order to find enough time to paint everyday, he was a member of the Palette and Chisel Club (Chicago) and the Salmagundi Club (NY). His solo museum shows include the Berstorm Art Center, Neenah, WS; Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WS; the R.W. Norton Gallery, Shreveport, LA.
Until his death in 1991, Thompson maintained studios in Wisconsin and Florida and his son and namesake ran a thriving gallery that featured Richard Earl Thompson's work in San Francisco from 1977 until 1995.
Pierce, Patricia Jobe, Richard Earl Thompson, American Impressionist (San Francisco: Richard-Earl Publications, 1982) and a video by the same title, written & directed by Patricia Jobe Pierce (Whittier, CA: Findley Holiday Films, 1991).
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