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Richards, William Trost

(1833-1905) Richards was born in Philadelphia, the son of Quaker parents. His formal academic education ended in 1847 following his father’s death, when he worked as a designer of chandeliers and gas fixtures to help support his family. From 1850 to 1858 he was an illustrator for a lamp-manufacturing firm. He studied drawing with William Stanley Haseltine and Paul Weber. Richards married writer Anna Matlack in 1856 and settled in German-town, Pennsylvania until 1881. He admired the aesthetic theories of John Ruskin, and followed the writer’s dictum of “selecting nothing and rejecting nothing,” striving to record the minutest detail of nature in his work. Richards traveled widely and was often accompanied on painting trips by his daughter, painter Anna Richards (later Brewster). He settled permanently in Newport after 1890, becoming increasingly fascinated by the effects of light, atmosphere, and ocean. By the late 19th-century he was one of the best-known watercolorists in America. No items found.