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 Theodore J. Richardson  (1855 - 1914)

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Lived/Active: Minnesota/California/Maine      Known for: landscape, Indian, interiors

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Ad Code: 2
Theodore J Richardson
from Auction House Records.
Wrangell, Alaska, ca 1890
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Readfield, ME in 1855. Richardson spent his childhood in Red Wing, MN. He was active in California from the the early 1880s, although he lived in Minneapolis where he was a supervisor of drawing in the public schools. He married a Monterey artist in 1886 and was in California regularly after that time. Winters were often spent on the Monterey Peninsula and summers in Alaska. When the Del Monte Gallery in Monterey was formed in 1907, Richardson was one of two artists commissioned by the gallery to copy a portrait of Father Junípero Serra, founder of the Carmel Mission. On his way west Richardson often sketched Indians and in California painted landscapes and missions; however, it is his icy scenes of Alaska which brought him national renown. He died in Minneapolis on Nov. 19, 1914. In: Fogg Museum (Harvard); Burlingame Northern; Anchorage Historical Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Fielding, Mantle); Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); American Art Annual 1912-15; Art News, 12-19-1914 (obituary); Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs (Bénézit, E); The Alaska Journal, Winter 1973.
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.

Biography from Braarud Fine Art:
Born in Readfield, Maine, Theodore Richardson grew up in Minnesota and settled in Minneapolis, serving as supervisor of drawing in the public schools there for many years. He was trained at Boston Normal Art School and later traveled and studied art in Europe. Richardson also painted frequently in California, where he met his wife Flora, a Monterey artist, but he is best known for his Alaskan watercolors.

Between his first visit to Sitka in 1884 and his death in 1914, the painter became one of Southeast Alaska's most faithful, prolific, and accomplished artist-visitors. Richardson made his first trip at the urging of a friend who loaned him the money for a ticket, and he visited nearly every summer thereafter.

Richardson's deft watercolors and pastels range from landscape views of the coastal mountains of Southeast Alaska, usually shrouded in rain and fog and often painted from an offshore rowboat, to complex scenes of Tlingit house exteriors and interiors. Many of the latter include a wide variety of faithful representations of architectural details and objects of Native manufacture.

The artist's work is represented in the collections of a number of major institutions, including the National Museum of American Art, Fogg Museum at Harvard, and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta.

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Theodore Richardson is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Notable Alaska

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