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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Charles James Richardson

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Charles James Richardson trained as an architect with Sir John Soane (1753–1837) and was later the curator of the Sir John Soane Museum. He was a talented architectural draftsman who owned a large and valuable collection of architects’ drawings and designs. His Observations on the Architecture of England (1837), a volume extensively illustrated with details of plasterwork, moldings, and woodcarving, was of great value to fellow architects. In the 1840s, Richardson drew and painted the treasures at Goodrich Court for the noted collector Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, thus feeding his antiquarian inclinations. The studies include specimens of unusual early furniture and objects as well as rooms from ancient houses. He exhibited seventeen works at the Royal Academy, including views of the Chapel Royal, St. James’s, Holland House, and Sutton Place. (JGK)