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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

Biography of Dr. Richardson

Edgar Preston Richardson, candidate for the Smithson Medal, was born in Glen Falls, New York, on December 2, 1902.  He received his A.B. summa cum laude from Williams College in 1925 and his D.H.L. from there in 1947.  He studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1925 to 1928.  He received the Dr. of Arts degree from Wayne University in 1951, a Litt. D. (honorary) from Union College in 1957, and a Doctor of Letters from Universite Laval in 1955.

An authority on American art, Dr Richardson was Director of the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, Delaware, from 1962 to 1965.  Before coming to the Winterthur Museum, he served as Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts from 1945 till 1962, the Assistant Director (1934-45) and as Education Secretary (1930-34).  He has also served as the Director of the Archives of American Art, and on the Board of Trustees for both the Winterthur Museum and the Detroit Society of the Arts and Crafts.  Dr. Richardson was until December 5, 1967, Chairman of the Smithsonian Art Commission, a position he held since 1965.  He became a member of the Commission in 1962.  He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work.  He has been decorated by France with the Chevalier Legion of Honor and by Belgium with the Chevalier Order of Leopold.  He is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, a distinguished group composed of the top 75 art museum directors in the United States.  

Dr. Richardson's publications include: Way of Western Art (1939), American Romantic Painting (1944), Washington Allston, A Study of the Romantic Artist in America (1948), and Painting in America (1956).  He has served as the editor for two publications: "The Art Quarterly" (1938), and "Art in America" (1953), as well as being a member of the Editorial Board of the "Magazine of Art" from 1944 to 1953.

Smithsonian Art Commission

The Minutes of the 45th Annual Meeting of the Smithsonian Art Commission, held on December 5, 1967, were circulated to the Board in advance for their consideration.

A resume of the recommendations of the Smithsonian Art Commission follows: 
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