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Jan 9, 2016. - May 1, 2016.

Seascapes by William Trost Richards

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William Trost Richards, Untitled (Seacape Scene), oil on canvas, 19th century. Click image to enlarge.

From his paint box and palette to preparatory sketches, from quick works in ink to deftly executed works of color, Seascapes by William Trost Richards provides an insightful look at an American master.

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The paint box and palette used by William Trost Richards, a 1994 gift to the Museum from his granddaughter, Edith Ballinger Price of Virginia Beach. Click image to enlarge.

As a young painter, Richards (1833-1905) came of age during the heyday of Hudson River School artists such as Thomas Cole and Asher Durand. Though he never lost his passion for the romanticized style of this earlier generation, over time Richards’ landscapes evolved to include more scientific detail and a sense of immediacy. He was known to spend hours studying his scenes, astutely observing changes in light and color, carefully noting the fluid reactions in crashing waves.

In 1874 he started spending summers in Newport, Rhode Island, and eventually he built a home on a cliff overlooking the ocean. He also frequently visited the rocky coast of southwest England, devoting the final decades of his career almost exclusively to seascape painting.

The Chrysler has an exceptional collection of his works thanks to a 1994 gift from his granddaughter. This exhibition includes works never before put on gallery view, including an unstretched and unvarnished oil-on-canvas painting of rocky cliffs that was restored to museum-quality exhibition standards by conservators here.

Seascapes by William Trost Richards will be on view Jan. 9–May 1, 2016, and admission is free. For more information, here's the exhibition press release.

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William Trost Richards, Tower on the Cornish Coast,, oil on canvas, after 1878. Click image to enlarge.