The American artist William Trost Richards (1833–1905) was associated with both the Hudson River School and the American Pre-Raphaelite movement. Landscapes in oil, watercolor, graphite, and ink from the Museum's rich collection of his works are shown with selections from a loan collection of Richards's charming postcard-size watercolors of landscape and marine subjects in Pennsylvania, New England, and the British Isles.
Born in Philadelphia in 1833, William Trost Richards traveled and sketched in France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany before settling in Germantown, Pennsylvania. He was recognized initially for his landscapes—especially of the Adirondack Mountains of New York and the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire—but turned his attention increasingly to the sea beginning in about 1867. A leading artist of the American Watercolor Society, Richards was esteemed for helping lift the medium into higher prominence.
The exhibition features works representing most of the subject matter for which Richards was known. Noteworthy among his early works are Palms, a delicate drawing from 1855 which was acquired recently by the Museum. Landscapes from the E. L. Magoon gift of 1880 include the watercolors Moonlight on Mount Lafayette, New Hampshire (1873), and Lake Squam from Red Hill (1874). Among Richards's luminous and highly realistic paintings of the sea is the watercolor A Rocky Coast (1877).