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Volney Allan Richardson
Volney Allan Richardson (American, 1880-1955) artist, painter, illustrator, muralist, decorative painter, teacher and lecturer, primarily known for his paintings of floral still lifes, landscapes, murals, forestscapes, marine/harbor scenes, townscapes, figurative works, portraits, genre-human activity. Richardson typically worked in oil but was known to use watercolors as well. Volney was born in 1880 in Attica, NY to parents William Duane Richardson (b. 1835-, NY) and Olive Jennett (sometimes listed as Janett, née Barross, b. 1838-, NY), and had an older sister Inez I. Richardson-Kimmel (b. 1860-, NY) and older brother Lee Grant Richardson (b. 1866-, NY). After attending Attica High School, Volney studied at the Buffalo School of Fine Arts at the Albright Art Gallery (now known as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) in Buffalo, NY, with William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916). Other early and private instructors included Frank Vincent DuMond (American, 1865-1951), Charles Webster Hawthorne (American, 1872-1930), George DeForest Brush (American, 1855-1941), Frank Swift Chase (American, 1886-1958), Lucius Wolcott Hitchcock (American, 1868-1942), Howard Pyle (American, 1853-1911), and George Brandt Bridgman (American, 1865-1943). He also studied at the Art Students’ League of Buffalo, NY, and the Art Students’ League in New York City under Edward Dufner (American, 1872-1957), after winning the New York scholarship in 1905.

For about six years circa 1907-1912, he did illustrations for New York periodicals & books, and was also commissioned to do paintings for the American Lithographic Company. Some of the publications included Ladies’ World, McCall’s, The People’s Home Journal and interior color illustrations for Mary Holland McNeish-Kinkaid’s book The Man of Yesterday: A Romance of a Vanishing Race, (1908). Volney had many successful exhibitions including; the Buffalo Society of Artists and at the Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery), Buffalo, NY, the Art Students’ League of Buffalo and NYC, and at the Easy Street Gallery in Nantucket. MA. He was a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists and was a charter member of the first Arts Club of Buffalo. He resided at 346 Woodlawn Avenue in Buffalo, NY, and maintained his studio at 309 Elmwood Avenue in the city. He died in 1955, Houston, TX.

Chronology:

1880- Born, February, son of William Duane Richardson (b. 1835-, NY) and Olive Jenette (sometimes listed as Janett, née Barross, b. 1838-, NY), older sister Inez I. Richardson-Kimmel (b. 1860-, NY) and older brother Lee Grant Richardson (b. 1866-, NY), Attica, NY.

Circa 1898-1901- Studied at Buffalo Fine Arts Academy with William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916) at the Albright Art Gallery (now known as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) in Buffalo, NY, and also at the Art Students’ League of Buffalo, NY.

Circa 1898-1907- Other early and private instructors in Buffalo, NY, and New York City included Frank Vincent DuMond (American, 1865-1951), Charles Webster Hawthorne (American, 1872-1930), George DeForest Brush (American, 1855-1941), Frank Swift Chase (American, 1886-1958), Lucius Wolcott Hitchcock (American, 1868-1942), Howard Pyle (American, 1853-1911), and George Brandt Bridgman (American, 1865-1943).

1901- Exhibited, group show (Prize, Honorable Mention), “Philip Sherwood Smith Art Competition”, Art Students’ League of Buffalo, held at the store of Mr. George W. Benson Art Shop, 567 Main Street, Buffalo, NY.

1905-07- Won the New York scholarship in 1905 and studied painting at the Art Students’ League under Edward Dufner (American, 1872-1957), 215 West 57th Street, NYC.

1905- Exhibited, group show, “Annual Exhibition” by the Art Students’ League from Edward Dufner’s (American, 1872-1957) painting class, three paintings shown by Volney Richardson, NYC.

1906- Exhibited, group show (Prize), “Salon of the Societe des Artistes”, Art Students’ League, NYC.

1907- While still a student, Volney had illustrations accepted for publication in several magazines, New York City.

1907-circa 1908- Fall-to-winter, went to New York City to fulfill some commission work of illustrations for different publications.

Circa 1907-1912- Volney did illustrations for New York periodicals, books and was also commissioned to do paintings for the American Lithographic Company, among several others. Some of the publications included Ladies’ World, McCall’s, The People’s Home Journal.

1908- March, The Man of Yesterday: A Romance of a Vanishing Race, by Mary Holland McNeish-Kinkaid, is published (1908), with color interior illustrations by Volney A. Richardson, New York, Frederick A. Stokes Company Publishers, NYC.

1913- Moved to Buffalo, NY.

1915- Exhibited, group show, a poster (prize, Second Place), Iroquois Hotel, Main & Eagle Street, Buffalo, NY.

1920- Spring, did commission painting for Edgar B. Smith of a portion of his music studio titled “The Song”, which featured an old music master with a young female singer at the piano, and was exhibited in the window of the Morrison & Putman Music Store, 20 Market Street, Amsterdam, NY.

Circa early 1920’s-1929- Traveled to Nantucket, MA, to paint for the summers.

1925- Fall, exhibited, group show, “Eighteenth Annual Thumb Box Exhibition”, by the Buffalo Society of Artists, his paintings of Nantucket, Maine and the Adirondacks (unknown quantity and titles), West Rooms, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1926- Completed and exhibited a commission painting of the clubhouse from the architect's plans for the Town Club, an all-women club, Buffalo, NY.

1927- Exhibited, group show (prize), Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery), Buffalo, NY.

1929- Exhibited, summer, (group or solo show is unknown), Easy Street Gallery, Nantucket, MA.

1930- Exhibited, January-February, group show, two paintings from Letchworth State Park, one untitled-‘Genesee River Gorge’ and the other untitled-‘Gorge from Denton’s High Banks’, Buffalo Society of Artists, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1931- Exhibited, group show (prize), Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery), Buffalo, NY.

1935- Exhibited, group show (prize), Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

1955- Died, unknown month & day, Houston, TX.

2007- Exhibited, spring, group retrospective show, “A Tradition of Still Lifes: Theresa Hinchy Grau and other selected Western New York artists”, one painting “Auguste Fournier’s Bouquet” (1935), 20 x 16”, oil on canvas, Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY.

Memberships: Buffalo Society of Artists (BSA), Buffalo, NY; Charter member of the first Arts Club of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

Awards: (Prize, Honorable Mention), “Philip Sherwood Smith Art Competition”, Art Students’ League of Buffalo, held at the store of Mr. George W. Benson Art Shop, 567 Main Street, Buffalo, NY; (Prize, 1906), “Salon of the Societe des Artistes”, Art Students’ League, NYC; (Prize, Second Place, 1915), Poster by Volney, Iroquois Hotel, Main & Eagle Street, Buffalo, NY; (Prize, 1927 & 1931), Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery), Buffalo, NY; (Prize, 1935), Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY.

Galleries: Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY; David Dike Fine Art, Dallas, TX; and MME Fine Art, NYC.

For additional information on this artist or for other possible examples of his works, please visit the AskArt link

Publications: The Buffalo Express, “Art Students’ League Sale”, Thursday Morning, February 2, unknown page number, 1901; The Buffalo Express, morning edition, “Prize Winners.: Result of Philip Sherwood Smith Art Competition; Committee Made Its Report Yesterday Names Of Successful Competitors”, Saturday Morning, unknown month and day, unknown page number, 1901; The Buffalo Express, “Gallery and Studio Chat: Invitations for a Private View of Art league’s annual Exhibition; Painting Class Studies; Two Hundred will be shown in the League Rooms-Large Display of Art Mural Work”, unknown month, day and page number, 1905; The Buffalo Express, “Gallery and Studio Chat: Banquet for Prize Winner”, Monday Morning, May unknown day, unknown page number, 1905; The Buffalo Express, “Gallery and Studio Chat: Picked up in the Studios”, Monday Morning, July 2, Page 5, 1906; The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “Comstock Raids Room of Art Students’ League”, photograph of one of Volney Richardson’s untitled-‘nude painting’, Friday August 3, Page 4, 1906; The New York Tribune, “Comstock Makes Swoop: Catalogues of Art Students’ League Offensive to Censor”, August 3, Vol. LXVI, No. 21.810., 1906;

Publications con’t…

The Buffalo Express, “Gallery and Studio Chat: Heard in the Studios”, Monday Morning, January 14, unknown page number, 1907; The Buffalo Express, “Gallery and Studio Chat: In the Studios”, Monday Morning, August 19, Page 8, 1907; The Man of Yesterday: A Romance of a Vanishing Race, by Mary Holland McNeish-Kinkaid, with color interior illustrations by Volney A. Richardson, New York, Frederick A. Stokes Company Publishers, NYC, March, 1908; Ladies’ World, “The Garden Enchanted”, illustrations by Volney Allan Richardson, S.H. Moore & Co., NY, unknown volume, no. or month, 1910; The Buffalo Morning Express, “Gallery and Studio Chat: Former Student’s Success”, unknown month, day and page number, 1910; McCall’s, “His Wonders to Perform”, by Dorothy Donnell, illustration by Volney A. Richardson, September, 1911; The People’s Home Journal, “By Fair Means or Foul”, by Agnes Louise Provost, illustration by Volney A. Richardson, May, 1912; The People’s Home Journal, “The Heart of the World”, by Cameron N. Wilson, illustration by Volney A. Richardson, July, 1912; The People’s Home Journal, “The Old Melody”, by L.K. Devendorf, illustration by Volney A. Richardson, September, 1912;

Publications con’t…

The People’s Home Journal, “The Patch in the Hollow”, by Harriet Whitney Durbin, illustration by Volney A. Richardson, October, 1912; The Buffalo Express, “Local Artists’ Exhibit.: Showing of Paintings and Illustrations at the Iroquois Hotel”, Thursday Morning, December 9, 1915; Amsterdam Evening Recorder, “Social and Personal” section, Thursday, April 22, Page 3, 1920; Amsterdam Evening Recorder, “Painting of Smith Studio is Arousing Considerable Interest”, Tuesday, April 27, 1920; The Buffalo Sunday Express, “At the Seashore”, Section 6 page 4, Sunday, July 19, 1925; The Buffalo Morning Express, “Artists In Exhibit Of Small Work: Eighteenth annual Thumb Box show opens at the Albright gallery”, Saturday, November 21, Page 9, 1925; The Buffalo Artists’ Register, by Lee F. Heacock Editor, Volume 1, Pg. 381, 1926; The Buffalo Morning Express, “Many Plans On Schedule Of New Town Club”, Wednesday, May 19, Page 7, 1926; The Castillian, “Art Exhibit”, Vol. LIX, No. 4, Thursday, January 23, 1930; Index of Artists: International-Biographical, by Daniel Trowbridge Mallett, Two Volumes (Includes 1940 Index), 1935;

Publications con’t…

Who’s Who in American Art, Vol. I, Washington, DC, 1936-37; Who’s Who in American Art, Vol. III, Washington, DC, 1940-41; The American Federation of Arts, 1940; Catalog of Copyright Entries, The Library of Congress Copyright Office, for reprinting rights for the work by Volney A. Richardson, “Blue Delphinium” (Dec. 20, 1941 by David Ashley Inc.), page 456, Published by Authority of the Acts of Congress of March 3, 1891, of June 30, 1906, and of March 4, 1909, Part 4, New Series, Volume 36, for the year 1941; Who Was Who in American Art: Artists Active Between 1898-1947, Peter Hastings Falk Editor, 1985; Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary, by Doris Dawdy, 3 Volumes, 1985; The Wayward Muse: A Historical Survey of Painting in Buffalo, by Susan Krane, Curator, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Buffalo, NY, 1987; Who was Who in American Art 1564-1975, Vol. II, by Peter Hastings Falk Editor-in-Chief, 1999; Dictionary of Texas artists, 1800-1945, by Paula L. Grauer and Michael R. Grauer, Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1999; Texas Painters, Sculptors and Graphic Artists: A Biographical Dictionary of Artists in Texas Before 1942, by John & Deborah Powers, 2000; The Artists Bluebook: 34,000 North American Artists to March 2005, Lonnie Pierson Dunbier Editor, AskArt.com, Inc., 2005; and Davenport's Art Reference: The Gold Edition, Ray Davenport, 2005.

(Rewritten in parts & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, 06/2010, Sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request.)
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