One of America’s greatest painters of coastal views is the subject of an outstanding exhibition in Norfolk, Virginia. Viewers can expect a range of exquisite watercolors, paintings, vibrant drawings, and more. Where?
Forty delightful and vibrant works by American painter William Trost Richards (1833-1905) will grace the walls of the Chrysler Museum of Art over the next few months. Richards is one of the foremost American painters of coastal views, and audiences will be treated to a range of his works, including drawings, watercolors, and paintings. The Chrysler’s own collection of Richards’ works — which is rather robust at over 100 pieces — forms the core of the exhibition. The large number of Richards’ pictures in the Chrysler’s permanent collection is largely due to the generous gifts in 1994 from Edith Ballinger Price, the painter’s granddaughter.

William Trost Richards, “Untitled,” 19th century, oil on canvas, (c) Chrysler Museum of Art 2016

“Seascapes by William Trost Richards” opened on January 9 and will hang through May 1 in the Museum’s Focus Gallery. Alex Mann, the museum’s Brock curator of American art, remarked, “This exhibition demonstrates the tremendous variety of Richards’ style and work. The pen and ink sketches are so simple and fresh, while the larger watercolors are conscientiously detailed. He could do it all.”
The inclusion of Richards’ full range of both finished and preparatory works is an added bonus for viewers, who can trace and understand the artist’s working and creative process. Moreover, the exhibition includes some of his working materials and equipment, including his stool, palette, and paint box — still filled with paint tubes more than 100 years old.

William Trost Richards, “Connecticut,” ca. 1890, ink on paper, (c) Chrysler Museum of Art 2016

A few of the works on view for this exhibition have never been seen publicly. One particular canvas on view wasn’t even on a stretcher, but has been fully restored by the museum’s conservation team. Mark Lewis, the museum’s conservator of paintings, said, “It was a delight to clean these paintings and watch their rich colors come to life.”
To learn more, visit the Chrysler Museum of Art.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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