Historical Artists

Corrections on Louise Richards Farnsworth

We’ll start the Notes for Bob and Bill feature with a few corrections on our recent article on Louise Richards Farnsworth. We hope to soon be publish a full biographical sketch of the artist, culled from material discovered since the publication of our Alder’s Accounts article. But first we should correct a couple of things in the original article:

We published anecdotes related by the present owner of a home (165 A Street) occupied by Louise Richards Farnsworth and her husband, Philo T. Farnsworth. With further research, though, it seems the anecdotes likely refer to owners before the Farsnworths.

The house at 165 A Street in Salt Lake City was built in 1903 by Joseph T. Richards, brother of Louise Richards Farnsworth. His widow, Mattie Sells Richards, sold the home to the Farnsworths sometime before 1920. The house next door, 175 A Street, was built by Franklin S. Richards, a prominent attorney and uncle to Louise Farnsworth. He was an advocate of women’s suffrage and his wife, Emily S. Richards, "was one of the most notable Utahns working at both the local and national levels for woman suffrage." The anecdotes in our 15 Bytes article refering to the suffrage movement (and possibly the shopping habits of the "mother") likely refer to the Franklin S. Richards family.
reference: The Avenues of Salt Lake City by Karl T. Haglund and Philip F. Notarianni. Utah State Historical Society. 1980.

Misattribution: Also in our 15 Bytes article we quoted a description of Louise Farnsworth’s work –“…she avoids a point of view which subscribes to the conventional picturesqueness of grand vistas and concentrates instead upon the simplicity of the mountain masses which prove sufficiently interesting in themselves…" — and credited it to Richard Oman. We found the quote in Utah Painting and Sculpture. That source, however, has misattributed the quotation to Oman, whose unpublished manuscript on Farnsworth is referred to in the bibliography. The quote is actually from a review by Carylyle Burrows of Farnsworth’s 1934 New York exhibit which appeared in the New York Herald-Tribune.

image: Lady with Green Scarf, a portrait of Louise Richards painted by her cousin, Lee Greene Richards. The painting was likely done in 1904 before both returned from study abroad in Paris. The painting was shipped to Mahonri M. Young in Paris in 1905 for exhibition in the Paris Salon. It measures 76"x38" and is now part of the Utah Arts Council’s "Alice" Art Collection. http://arts.utah.gov/experience_arts/collections/fine_arts_collection/index.html

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