RICHARDS, Frederick Charles

1878 - 1932

Fred Richards

Born at Newport, Monmouthshire on 1 December 1878, youngest of the three sons of Edwin Kemp Richards, a butcher and his wife Catherine née Brangham, who married at Newport in 1868. He attended an elementary school remaining as a pupil teacher under headmaster Abraham Morris. He studied at the local school of art and spent holidays training in studios at St Ives, Cornwall and at Bruges. In 1909, with a scholarship, studied at the Royal College of Art, South Kensington and was a painter in colour, but his teacher Sir Frank Short, turned him to etching. Richards exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy in 1911, then obtained his diploma of the Royal College of Art and a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Painters-Etchers. In 1911 he was commissioned to copy Sir Edwin Poynter's cartoon of St David for the Ceiriog Memorial Institute. In 1913 Adam and Charles Black employed him to make drawings for the 'Oxford Sketch Book' which was the first of a series of reproductions of pencil drawings which included 'Eton and Windsor', 'Florence', 'Venice' and 'Rome'. In 1918 Richards prepared a report for the Central Welsh Board on the teaching of art in the intermediate schools of Wales and in 1920 joined the staff of the College of Art, conducting courses for intending teachers. He exhibited five etchings at the Ipswich Fine Art Club in 1923 'Spadaria, Venice', Rue Voltaire, Chinon', 'The Street of the Forgotten Names', 'When I was Last at Ludlow' and 'Sienna'. Leaving the college in 1927 he made his headquarters in Egypt and for the next four years worked at subjects in the Near East, holding exhibitions at Alexandria and Teheran, presenting twenty-one of his Oriental etchings to his native town. In Autumna 1921 he returned to London and wrote 'A Persian Journey' with forty-eight illustrations drawn during his nine months in Persia. He died in Hampstead General Hospital on 27 March 1932. (Collins 'Artist-Venturer the life and letters of Fred Richards'(1948)





Works by This Painter