Friday, December 30, 2011

Walter DuBois Richards: Commercial Illustrator, Artist

A Young Walter Dubois Richards
Walter DuBois Richards in the prime of his
career, circa 1940s.

      This Blog is intended simply to describe the lifelong career of my grandfather, Walter DuBois Richards.  It is a journey to discover and record his accomplishments as a Commercial Artist.  Throughout his nearly century-long life and the seven decades his career expanded, he was affectionately known as Wally.  His first published works as an Illustrator can be traced back as early as the mid 1920's in Rocky River, Ohio, when he wasn't yet 20 years of age.  They were something akin to doodles throughout the pages of his High School Senior Yearbook.  As far as I know, his last published work as an artist was in 1987 for a Historic Preservation stamp of Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, Oregon.

Walter DuBois Richards Circa 1930s
Wally at work in New York City probably at the Charles E. Cooper Studio.
Circa 1930s.

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Walter DuBois Richards in his element.
Wally in his element.


  1. Thank you for creating this blog. I love your Grandfather's work. I grew up in New Canaan and recently discovered two drawings by him that I cherish. Wonderful artist.

  2. Thank you! It makes me happy to know that people like you are out there and may come across this blog. It has been something I've wanted to do for many years now. I only wish I could have started it at a time when I could have interviewed him (and Glenora, my Grandmother) about his work. With more time I'd like to start one on my Grandma as well (she was also quite an artist). I would love to know what the drawings are that you came across. His original work is hard to come by these days. - Andrew

    1. Andrew, my apologies for not getting back to this blog sooner. We have two artists proofs: "Winter Morning, God's Acre", and "Strawberry Festival" as well as "God's Acre, Winter Day". I can send you pictures as well

  3. And I thank you as well. My modest collection is a delight to me and my family. I have now learned that my signed first day cover was his first stamp. We especially enjoy our original TWA painting, and smile at our Green's Ledge and Peck Ledge lighthouse lithos, as we spent twenty-five years boating in the Norwalk Islands.

  4. I inherited one of your grandfather's paintings / illustrations (color) when my father passed away in 1994. It is entitled "Blues in close, Smithtown Bay". My father loved fishing in Long Island Sound and I know how much joy this piece of artwork brought him. If you're interested, I can send you a photograph of the painting.

  5. I'm not sure how I missed this Scott, sorry for not responding sooner. While I am not familiar with the specific piece you are talking about, I know that he spent an aweful lot of time painting maritime scenes up and down the Northeast coast throughout his career. Thanks for letting me know. I would love to see a photo of this work, I could probably tell you if it was an illustration or one of his fine art pieces, maybe even put a date on it. My email: .

  6. My father and mother were good friends of Wally and Glenny back in the forties and fifties, maybe back inro the thirties. I inherited a couple of his works, a block print "Evening" and an original drawing he gave as a wedding or anniversary gift to my parents( untitled picture of a large tree in a field). I remember as a boy we made several visits to uncle Wally and aunt Glenny in New Canaan. I was a friend of both Tim and Henry. I remember I was fascinated by the TV Wally had installed behind the wall so all you could see was the screen and the knobs!! Even as a child I loved Wally's work - some of it looked like photographs! I also remember he had a 1939 LaSalle and one of rhose Chris Craft mahogany boats (inboard) that we went fishing in one time. Good to see Wally is being remembered in this way. By the way I have about 40 years of Wally and Glenny's Christmas cards. My parents were Milt and Eleanor "Lolly" Groth. Regards. Kent . Email is

  7. Hi Andrew, I came across your site looking for info about Walter. My mother, Lucia, is Walters cousin. She is still living and is 91. She wanted to see if there is a way to contact you. My mother has talked about Walter many times and his art. She has had his pictures and Christmas cards on her wall for as long as I can remember. Hopefully we can get in touch. My name is Melody. My grandmother Ruth was the sister of Walters mother Ruby. hope to hear from you.

  8. Hi Melody, This is fantastic, thank you for contacting me. My email is . Email me and we can go from there. - Andrew

  9. I have a signed Richards print (lithograph?) of "Clearwater off Rowayton." Do you know when your grandfather created this piece?

  10. Andrew: I was good friend of Walters son, Tim. I was Tim's and Henry's fraterniy brother at Cornell and Tim's room mate in Saint Louis when we both worked as co-op students and employees of Emerson Electric. I bought ten or so of Walter's pieces including same tree twice, geese, buffalo, sail boats, several signed stamps and an original quick sketch during class.I have several artist proofs. Also some minatures of Walter's wife. Bob MacDonald

  11. i have two paintings which may be by walter