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Richard Goodwin

 (1840 - 1910)
Richard La Barre Goodwin was active/lived in New York, California, New Jersey.  Richard Goodwin is known for trompe game still life and portrait painting.

Richard Goodwin

Biography from the Archives of askART

Born in Albany, New York, Richard Goodwin began his painting career as a portrait painter but turned to still lifes, probably influenced by the highly realistic style of William Harnett. His work is distinctive for his many subjects that are cabin doors, likely over 100, decorated with hunting and other outdoor equipment. All of them were very large and completed after 1886 when William Harnett introduced trompe l'oeil painting in New York with After the Hunt that got much public attention.

Of his career, Alfred Rubenstein wrote in After the Hunt: "He painted portraits for a living and landscapes for love, but above all he delighted in the hunter's cabin door."

An idea for one of his cabin door paintings came about in 1905 when he was in Portland, Oregon and attended the one-hundredth anniversary fair to commemorate the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He saw the exhibit of the door of a cabin where Theodore Roosevelt had lived when he was ranching in the Dakotas in 1890. Goodwin used it as a model for his painting, Theodore Roosevelt's Cabin Door.

Goodwin was the son of portrait painter, Edwin Wyburn Goodwin, who died when his son was five years old. He studied in New York with obscure teachers. Wounded at the Battle of Bull Run during the Civil War, he spent the next twenty years as an itinerant painter in western New York State. In the 1880s, he lived in Syracuse from where he began his still lifes.

After 1890, he lived in Washington D.C. where he sold eight canvases to Senator Leland Stanford and several to Senator George Hearst. He then went to Chicago in 1893 for the World's Fair and remained seven years, after which he went to Colorado Springs, 1900-1902, and then Los Angeles and San Francisco where he lost four years of work in the 1906 fire. He also went to the Pacific Northwest.

During his lifetime, little was written about him except his death notice in ARTnews, December 17, 1910.

Source: David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"

Biography from the Archives of askART
Born in Albany, NY on March 28, 1840, the son of painter Edwin Weyburn Goodwin. The younger Goodwin studied art under his father and in NYC at the ASL. After the Civil War he followed portrait commissions in upstate New York until the late 1880s. From that time on he specialized in painting still lifes. An itinerant artist during his last 20 years, he was in Washington, DC (1890-92), Chicago (1893-1900), and the Rockies at Colorado Springs (1900-02). During 1902-05 he had studios in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and painted a series of Lake Tahoe landscapes. (Many of his California works were lost in the earthquake and fire.) By 1905 he was in Portland, OR where the Lewis & Clark Expo was in progress. He was active there until 1908 and then returned to Rochester, NY where he remained until his death in Orange, NJ on Dec. 10, 1910. Although he painted many fruit pictures, it is his "cabin door" still lifes of hanging game and fish for which he is best known. His signature often appears as though carved into the cabin door. Exh: Louisiana Purchase Expo (St Louis), 1904. In: Smithsonian Inst.; Stanford Univ.

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
After the Hunt (Frankenstein); Artists of the American West (Samuels); New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America (Groce, George C. and David H. Wallace); Art News, 12-17-1910 and NY Times, 12-11-1910 (obits).

Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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About  Richard Goodwin

Born:  1840 - Albany, New York
Died:   1910 - Orange, New Jersey
Known for:  trompe game still life and portrait painting

Essays referring to
Richard Goodwin

Trompe l'Oeil Painting