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Constance Coleman Richardson (1905–2002) was an American painter.

Constance Coleman Richardson
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Known forPainting
Notable work
Streetlight (1930)
Edgar Preston Richardson
(m. 1931; died 1985)

Daughter of Christopher B. Coleman, secretary of the Indiana Historical Society[4] and professor of history at Butler College,[5] Richardson was born in Berlin[1][2][3] and grew up in the Irvington neighborhood of Indianapolis. She graduated from Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and attended Vassar College for two years[6] before transferring to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she studied from 1925 until 1928.[5] It was there that she met her future husband, Edgar Preston Richardson,[4] a student of painting who later became an art historian.

From 1928 to 1930 Richardson lived in Indianapolis. Constance lived in Detroit from 1931-1962 while Edgar worked at Detroit Institute of Arts, where he served as assistant director from 1933-1945, and as director from 1945-1962.[7]

Her first landscapes date to the summers the couple spent in Vermont and New York; she later worked along the Great Lakes before discovering the West, and many of her later works were painted in Wyoming. She exhibited widely and received numerous prizes.

Richardson relocated with her husband to Delaware in 1962 when he became director of the Winterthur Museum.[7]

In 1985 she was living in Philadelphia.[5] Many of her paintings are concerned with the effects of light on the figure and on the landscape.[8] She also painted portraits and genre scenes in addition to landscapes; her work has been described as reminiscent of Edward Hopper.[6]

Richardson's 1930 painting Street Light, owned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, was included in the inaugural exhibition of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, American Women Artists 1830–1930, in 1987.[5] As of February 10, 2017, the Indianapolis Museum of Art owns three works by Richardson.[9] The painting Fourth of July is owned by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.[10] Letters between Richardson and her husband are currently held by the Archives of American Art.[11]


  1. ^ a b Painting and Sculpture from 16 American Cities (PDF). New York: The Museum of Modern Art. December 12, 1933. p. 52. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b Chavers, Susan O. (1986). "Constance Coleman Richardson". A Guide to Art Smart, Indiana. Greater Lafayette Museum of Art. p. 159.
  3. ^ a b "Artist: Richardson, Constance". ArtSmartIndiana. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Artists :: Constance Coleman Richardson". Fine Estate Art. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  5. ^ a b c d Eleanor Tufts; National Museum of Women in the Arts (U.S.); International Exhibitions Foundation (1987). American women artists, 1830–1930. International Exhibitions Foundation for the National Museum of Women in the Arts. ISBN 978-0-940979-01-7.
  6. ^ a b "Streetlight". Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b McGill, Douglas (March 29, 1985). "EDGAR RICHARDSON, 82, DIES; ART HISTORIAN AND ARCHIVIST". New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Constance Richardson – Artist, Fine Art Prices, Auction Records for Constance Richardson". Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Indianapolis Museum of Art Collection Search". Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  10. ^ "Constance Coleman Richardson | PAFA – Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts". PAFA. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  11. ^ "Constance Richardson letters from E.P. Richardson and others, 1935–1957 | Archives of American Art". Retrieved 2017-01-13.