John Albert Seaford

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John Albert Seaford (American, 1858-1936) was born in North Carolina and moved to Spiceland, IN, as a boy. From 1879-1899 he studied architecture and painting in Boston, Massachusetts and contributed illustrations to several magazines. From 1903-1906 he lived in Richmond, IN. Returning to Boston, he illustrated books and newspapers as a pioneer in newspaper photo-engraving. Seaford split his time between Richmond in the winters and Boston in the summers, the two cities he loved and claimed they were the most attractive places to live. It was in Boston where he spent most of his time as an illustrator, illustrating books for Radcliff College, Dartmouth, Harvard and the city of Boston. He worked as an illustrator for the Boston Herald where his works would appear often on the front page of the newspaper. In the 1920’s and 30’s he displayed his work at Price's Confectionary or the Starr Piano Store, the Morrisson-Reeves Library and the Art Museum in Richmond. An early member of the Art Association of Richmond, he exhibited his paintings yearly in the Annual Exhibit by Indiana Artists.

His profound interest was in architectural details, old buildings & houses, the old sections of Richmond and Centerville, IN, as well as the surrounding woodlands and countrysides, and Glen Miller Park. Although well known in Richmond, Seaford has all but been forgotten in Boston despite his numerous illustrated publications about Boston and Old Seaport Towns in New England. A recent exhibition in 1997, found no information regarding John Albert Seaford in the Boston Museum of Fine Art archives. However, he has left both towns with an historic legacy of our architecture and natural beauty. He recorded many brilliant buildings and homes which no longer stand, justified by progress and growth. As a strong draftsman and with an eye for color and shading, his works were highly desirable by local residents. Most of his works remain in private homes with a few represented in the permanent collections of the Richmond Art Museum, Boston Public Library, Morrison-Reeves and the University of Michigan.

(Sources: With permission from (combined information), prior biographical information from the museum publication Art in Richmond: 1898-1978; Biographical information from the Executive Director of the Richmond (Indiana) Art Museum.)