Frederick D. Richards (1822-1903)

Born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1822, painter and photographer Frederick DeBourg Richards’ early professional training is unknown, but he was active in New York in the mid-1840s, and moved to Philadelphia by 1848, where he opened a successful daguerreotype shop.  Photography was a lucrative business for Richards, but he continued to pursue his painting and became a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art, participating in their annual exhibitions for almost fifty years.  He also joined the Philadelphia Society of Artists and the Artists Fund Society, and, like many of his contemporaries, Richards went abroad to Europe in the 1850s to further his education. After his return to Philadelphia in 1856, he exhibited both American landscapes and those inspired by his foreign travels, including scenes of Venice and the Swiss Alps. 

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Richards’ choice of subject matter focused primarily on the eastern landscapes of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but he also ventured to West Virginia and across the country to Colorado and California in the 1870s. He exhibited in New York at the National Academy and the Brooklyn Art Association, and in the 1880s and 1890s, he participated in shows at the Boston Art Club and the Art Institute of Chicago. 

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