Ad Code: 4
from Auction House Records.
Fantastic Universe, paperback digest cover, January 1954
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia,
and in Chicago at the Art Institute, the American Academy and the Mizen
Academy, Joseph Richards painted rural and urban industrial subjects in
a photo realist style. Among his images are cupolas of homes,
barns and churches; sections of mechanical parts such as pulleys; and
hayloft ventilators. He describes these types of paintings as
"one bit of whimsy and frivolity displayed in an otherwise austere and
functional structure" . . .|
In the 1970s, he began focusing on mechanical subjects including
sections of railroad locomotives. This interest began in 1991
when a steam locomotive on a scenic line caught his eye. The
artist said: The sight and sound were very exciting and the
complexity of the machinery was like a wild abstraction. The
intricacy of the locomotives movements was a marvel to see. I
was reminded of my childhood when I used to watch these giants working
in the local switchyards. Back then, I was a bit frightened by
them. They seemed almost to be living entities. Even
standing idle with their steam up, they were never silent---they
panted, grunted and hissed. I knew I wanted to paint these truly
remarkable machines." As Richards pursued the subject, he became
aware that about 200 hundred "of these grand old machines" were still
in working order.
Joseph Richards was born in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated there from
high school. With money from savings, he went to Chicago and
began studying art at night while working days in a men's clothing
store. From 1942 to 1945, he served in the U.S. Navy, serving in
the Pacific. In 1943, he married his wife, Betty, whom he met
while working in the clothing store. After the War, he studied at
the American Academy of Art and served with the U.S. Coast Guard as a
merchant seaman. In this capacity, he traveled to many foreign
countries including France, Norway, Belgium, Denmark and South
America. In 1951, he spent three months in Europe and studied at
the Pennsylvania Academy. From then, he was able to focus on his
art career and some of his first gallery exhibitions were in New York
City, Scottsdale, Arizona and Washington DC.
Richards' interest in cupolas began when he and his wife moved to
Hillsdale, New York where he saw many peoples with them and found them
His wife died in 1995, and he was slow to begin painting again.
But living another twelve years and finding a companion, Eleanor Joan
Jarvis, he resumed his love of working with his easel.
Exhibition venues include the Tucson Museum in Arizona; Butler
Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio; National Academy of
Design in New York; Pennsylvania Academy of
the Fine Arts; Audubon Artists; Texas Fine Arts Association in Austin,
Guild in New Canaan, Connecticut; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
in Richmond where he won the Distinguished Artist Award in 1979 at the
Virginia Artists 27th Biennale.
Paintings by Joseph Richards can be found in the collections of the Tucson
Museum of Art, American Republic Insurance Company, Mobil Oil Company,
AMOCO, United Airlines, Chubb Realty, Caravan Products and Siemens
Information submitted by Lisa Bush Hankin, Gallery Professional.
Her sources are materials from New York galleries representing the
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|