A Finding Aid to the E. P. (Edgar Preston) and Constance Richardson papers , 1814-1996, bulk 1921-1996, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.richedga
Creators:
Richardson, Edgar Preston, 1902-1985
Richardson, Constance, 1905-
Dates:
1814-1996
bulk 1921-1996
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
28.7 linear feet
Repository:
Archives of American Art
The papers of art historian E. P. Richardson measure 28.7 linear feet and date from 1814-1996, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1921-1996. Within the papers are scattered biographical materials; acquisition files for Richardson's personal art collection; professional and personal correspondence with colleagues, art historians and critics, artists, museums, galleries, and dealers; numerous writings, including manuscripts and research files for his published books, articles, and lectures; general research notebooks and files compiled by Richardson on a wide variety of art-related topics and artists; professional and committee files; as well as a smaller amount of Constance C. Richardson's papers.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of art historian E. P. Richardson measure 28.7 linear feet and date from 1814-1996, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1921-1996. Within the papers are scattered biographical materials; acquisition files for Richardson's personal art collection; professional and personal correspondence with colleagues, art historians and critics, artists, museums, galleries, and dealers; numerous writings, including manuscripts and research files for his published books, articles, and lectures; general research notebooks and files compiled by Richardson on a wide variety of art-related topics and artists; professional and committee files; as well as a smaller amount of Constance C. Richardson's papers.
Biographical materials include certificates, awards, and honorary degrees, membership information, personal and family photographs, a few sketches, and a transcript of an oral history Interview with E.P. Richardson conducted by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1982.
There are acquisitions files for the Richardsons' personal art collection that invoices, photographs, correspondence with galleries and collectors, appraisals, price lists, and artwork examination forms.
Correspondence is with colleagues, art dealers, collectors, museums and museum curators, foreign scholars, organizations, galleries, artists, art historians and critics, publishers, editors, librarians, friends, and family. Topics regard purchasing art for various collections, consultations about art and collecting including authentications and attributions, publishing, general art history, lectures, and personal matters, among other topics. There is correspondence with the Archives of American Art, Castano Galleries, Lawrence Fleischman, James Thomas Flexner, Alfred V. Frankenstein, George Croce, Walter Heil, Earl Krentzin, Wilmarth Lewis, Russel Lynes, John Francis McDermott, Philadelphia Museum of Art, J. Hall Pleasants, Anna Rutledge, Charles Sellers, Smithsonian Institution, Regina Soria, Victor Spark, William Stevens, Robert Vose, William Woolfenden, and many others. Scattered correspondence with artists is with Isabel Bishop, Louis Bouche, William Bostick, Eve Garrison, Edward Hopper, Irene Jungwirth, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Hughie Lee-Smith, Reginald Marsh, Gerald Mast, Georgia O'Keefe, Charles Sheeler, Walt Speck, and John Wedda, among many others. The greatest extent of correspondence is with Andrew Wyeth, Harold Cohn, and Frederick Simper. There is also personal correspondence with family and friends, and between E.P. and Constance Richardson.
E.P. Richardson's prominence as an art historian, writer, and expert on collecting is well documented through his prolific writings. Materials include drafts, notes, typescripts, and outlines for articles, exhibition catalog essays, and lectures. Also found are research files and publishing documentation for Richardson's books, including
Washington Allston: A Study of the Romantic Artist in America
(1948),
Painting in America
(1956),
Charles Willson Peale and his World
(1983), and
American Romantic Painting
(1944). There are also miscellaneous notes and four diaries. Two of the diaries comment on the social and cultural life of Detroit; the authenticity of paintings; Richardson's reflections on contemporary American painting, thoughts about museums, dealers, artists, and art historians (especially Wilhelm R. Valentiner); and travel.
Notebooks compiled by Richardson on a wide variety art-related topics cover nearly six decades. There are also numerous research files organized Richardson about individual artists and art history. And, the art collector files contain reference materials about art collectors and their collections including Lamont du Pont Copeland, Michael W. Freeman, Nelson Rockefeller, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Allen, and the Marquis de Somerlous. There are three index card file boxes containing bibliographic data on published books and articles.
Professional and committee files document Richardson's professional and consulting work for the
Art Quarterly
, Detroit Institute of Arts, National Collection of Fine Arts, the National Portrait Gallery, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the John D. Rockefeller III collection, Winterthur Museum, the White House, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Constance C. Richardson's papers include business and professional correspondence with various institutions, most extensively with the Macbeth Gallery. In addition, there is a smaller amount of personal correspondence, photographs and slides of her artworks, printed materials, two illustrated notebooks on her work, and miscellaneous notes. Also included is Constance's artist palette.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Art historian, museum director, and writer E. P. (Edgar Preston) Richardson (1902-1985) served as director of the Detroit Institute of Arts (1945-1962) and Winterthur Museum (1963-1966). He was also a board member of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1966-1977 and, in 1954, co-founded the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
E. P. Richardson was born in 1902 in Glens Falls, New York and died in Philadelphia in 1985. He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1925 and studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for the three years following graduation. In 1930 he became educational secretary at the Detroit Institute of Arts, was quickly named assistant director in 1933, and served as director from 1945 to 1962. He left Detroit to take the position of director of the Winterthur Museum, where he remained until 1966. Richardson married Constance Coleman in 1931. Born in Berlin, Germany in 1905, Constance Coleman Richardson was an award-winning and widely exhibited realist style painter of American landscapes. She gave up painting in the 1960s and died in 2002.
While at the Detroit Institute of Arts, E. P. Richardson co-founded the Archives of American Art with Lawrence Fleischman, and served as the Archives' first director. Richardson was also art advisor to John D. Rockefeller III for over ten years, editor of
Art Quarterly
from 1938 to 1967, and a member of various boards, including the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Smithsonian Arts Commission, and the National Portrait Gallery. He authored numerous books including ones on artists Washington Allston and Charles Willson Peale, and
The Way of Western Art: American Romantic Painting
(1939),
Painting in America: The Story of Four Hundred and Fifty Years
(1956),
A Short History of Painting in America
(1963), and
American Art, an Exhibition of the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, 3d
(1976).

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Small portions of the papers and several individual letters that were previously cataloged as separate collections are also available on microfilm reels 2803, 267, 3470, and D10. Material available on this legacy film includes letters from Hazel J. Lewis from Macbeth Gallery, exhibition catalogs, financial records, and clippings (267); two illustrated letters to the Richardson's from Charles Culver (2803); letters to Richardson from the Hoosier Salon Patrons Association and from Lloyd Goodrich (3470); single letters from Sigfried F. Aram, Charles Sheeler, and Edith Wilkinson (D10), and a holiday card from Carl Ruggles (D10). The legacy microfilm is available for use and interlibrary loan.
Processing Information
Multiple accretions of E.P. Richardson's papers were merged with several previously separated miscellaneous manuscript collections, including a Christmas card from Carl Ruggles to the Richardsons, a letter from Edith Wilkinson, and a letter from Charles Sheeler. Constance Richardson's papers had also previously been cataloged separately and was reunited with the original acquisition.
Once merged, the collection was minimally processed in 2015 by Kelly Nolte with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund. The finding aid was prepared by Kelly Nolte and Barbara Aikens.
Separated Materials
In 1961, E. P. Richardson loaned his research material on Jeremiah P. Hardy to the Archives for microfilming on Reel D46. The files were then transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library. The reel is available for use and interlibrary loan but is not further described in this finding aid.
Author
Barbara Aikens and Kelly Nolte
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The E.P. (Edgar Preston) and Constance Richardson papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by E.P. Richardson in 1958 and 1960; by Constance Richardson in 1985, and by Martha Fleischman in 2003. An additional letter to E. P. Richardson from Edith Wilkinson was donated by Wilkinson in 1957.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original material requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact References Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The E.P. (Edgar Preston) and Constance Richardson papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Preferred Citation
Edgar P. Richardson papers, 1814-1996, bulk 1921-1996. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Related collections among the holdings of the Archives of American Art include an interview with E.P. Richardson dated February 6, 1978 conducted by Linda Downs; and several miscellaneous manuscripts that include an E.P. Richardson Letter to Rockwell Kent, June 15 1959; E.P. Richardson letters to Lawrence Arthur Fleischman, May 13, 1962 and August 22 1954; and a Yasuo Kunioshi letter to E.P. Richardson, July 25 1948.
Additional E.P. Richardson papers are found at the Detroit Institute of Arts and in the archives of the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Collectors and collecting Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Detroit (Mich.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Romanticism in art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors -- Michigan -- Detroit Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- History -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art historians -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lectures Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rutledge, Anna Wells Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Simper, Fred, 1914- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McDermott, John Francis, 1902- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Speck, Walter, 1895- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stevens, William B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Castano, Giovanni, 1896-1978 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Castano Galleries (Boston, Mass.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Soria, Regina, 1911- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Historical Society of Pennsylvania Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lynes, Russell, 1910-1991 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Frankenstein, Alfred V. (Alfred Victor), 1906-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hardy, Jeremiah Pearson, 1800-1889 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pleasants, J. Hall (Jacob Hall), 1873-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Garrison, Eve Josephson, 1903-2003 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bishop, Isabel, 1902-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Allston, Washington, 1779-1843 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Woolfenden, William E. (William Edward), 1918-1995 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ripley, Sidney Dillon, 1913-2001 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morse, John D., 1906- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watkins, Franklin Chenault, 1894-1972 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lewis, W. S. (Wilmarth Sheldon), 1895-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marsh, Reginald, 1898-1954 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kuniyoshi, Yasuo, 1889-1953 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bostick, William A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jungwirth, Irene G. (Irene Gayas), 1913- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oliver, Andrew, 1906- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Simpson, Corelli C. W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Andrews, Wayne Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Valentiner, Wilhelm Reinhold, 1880-1958 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Middeldorf, Ulrich Alexander, 1901- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spark, Victor D. (Victor David), 1898-1991 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fleischman, Lawrence A. (Lawrence Arthur), 1925-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sellers, Charles Coleman, 1903- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peale family Family Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Heil, Walter, 1890-1973 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Macbeth Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lee-Smith, Hughie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bouché, Louis, 1896-1969 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Moser, Liselotte, 1906-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Archives of American Art. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Flexner, James Thomas, 1908-2003 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Philadelphia Museum of Art Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vose, Robert C. (Robert Churchill), 1911-1998 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cohn, Harold Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aram, Siegfried F. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mast, Gerald, 1908-1971 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Krentzin, Earl, 1929- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Groce, George C., 1899- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peale, Charles Willson, 1741-1827 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Culver, Charles B. (Charles Beach), 1908-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wedda, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boyd, Julian P. (Julian Parks), 1903- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
O'Keeffe, Georgia, 1887-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wyeth, Andrew, 1917-2009 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Collection of Fine Arts (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
White House (Washington, D.C.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rockefeller, John D., 1906- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Detroit Institute of Arts Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Copeland, Lammot du Pont Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Freeman, Michael W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Allen, Joseph Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
http://www.aaa.si.edu/askus