E. P. Richardson


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Art historian and museum director. His accessible overview, Painting in America: The Story of 450 Years (1956), kindled both scholarly and public interest in native art. To facilitate research on art in the United States, he co-founded the Archives of American Art in 1954. Born in Glens Falls, New York, Edgar Preston Richardson graduated in 1925 from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. For the next three years, he studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1930 he took a position at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where he remained until 1962, serving during the last seventeen of those years as the museum's director. From 1962 until 1966 he headed the Winterthur (Delaware) Museum. His other books include American Romantic Painting (1944) and Washington Allston: A Study of the Romantic Artist in America (1948). He also served as editor of Art Quarterly from 1938 until 1967. He died in Philadelphia, where he resided during his final years. His wife, painter Constance Coleman Richardson (1905–2002), is known particularly for landscapes, especially views of the upper Midwest and Wyoming. Born in Indianapolis, she studied at Vassar College and at the Pennsylvania Academy before marriage in 1931. She, too, died in Philadelphia.

Subjects: Art.

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