RICHARDS, Frederick Charles

1878 - 1932

Fred Richards

Frederick Charles Richards, was born at Newport, Monmouthshire on 1 December 1878, youngest of the three sons of Edwin Kemp Richards (c1845-2 August 1893), a butcher, and his wife Catherine née Brangham (1845-1896), who married at Newport in 1868. In 1881, a 2 year old, living at Church Road, Christchurch, Newport, Monmouthshire with his parents, 36 year old Edwin, now a grocer, and 36 year old Catherine, with siblings George H. 12, Alfred 9, Edith 4, with two other relations. Frederick attended an elementary school, remaining as a pupil teacher under headmaster Abraham Morris and studied at the local school of art spending his holidays training in studios at St Ives, Cornwall and at Bruges. In 1909, with a scholarship, he studied at the Royal College of Art, South Kensington and was a painter in colour, but his tutor Sir Frank Short (1857-1945), turned him to etching. Richards exhibited for the first time at the Royal Academy in 1911, then obtained his diploma from 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, publishers 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 of Art 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 the Autumn of 1921 he returned to London and wrote 'A Persian Journey' with forty-eight illustrations drawn during his nine months in Persia. He lived at 28 Hereford Buildings, Church Street, Chelsea and died in Hampstead General Hospital on 27 March 1932. (Collins 'Artist-Venturer the life and letters of Fred Richards'(1948).

Works by This Artist