Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery

at Keene State College

Keene, NH



Richard Meryman: For the Love of Painting


The first overview exhibit of paintings by Dublin artist Richard Meryman will be presented by the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery in Keene. "Richard Meryman: For the Love of Painting" will open Saturday, June 9, and continue through Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2001 at the gallery, located on the Keene State College campus.

The Friends of the Dublin Art Colony and the Thorne Gallery organized the exhibition of landscape, portrait, and still-life paintings by Richard Sumner Meryman (1881-1963). Meryman was a member of the Dublin artists' colony, which flourished at the foot of Mount Monadnock in the early 20th century. Meryman, born in Chelsea, Mass., was a student at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts when he traveled to Dublin in 1906 to work for Abbott Handerson Thayer, the painter and naturalist. Meryman became part of Thayer's inner circle and kept a home in Dublin for the rest of his life. Meryman became a portrait painter, receiving commissions from many members of Dublin society, including Rob Sagendorph, founder of "Yankee" magazine and his wife, beaTrix Sagendorph, founder of the Thorne Gallery. (left: Richard Sumner Meryman (1881-1963), Untitled, n.d., oil on canvas, 23 x 28 inches)

Meryman also painted many dignitaries' portraits while director of the art school at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He painted university presidents, generals and admirals, the secretary of the Navy, chief justice of the Supreme Court, a senator from Tennessee, and President Coolidge's son. By 1935 modernism permeated the art world, and Meryman's tradition of 19th-century realism was no longer the training students wanted. He returned to live year-round in Dublin, where he sold landscapes from his studio. He also ran an art school in town with painter Alexander James. However, he continued to receive portrait commissions and became New Hampshire's official portraitist, painting many former governors including Sherman Adams, who became President Eisenhower's chief of staff.

Meryman was an important, but lesser known, member of the Dublin Art Colony. He refused to advance himself in the art world, blaming art dealers for promoting abstract art. He had only one formal exhibition of his work in 1951, which he organized himself in a Dubliner's barn.

rev. 6/12/01

Read more about Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College in Resource Library Magazine

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/28/11

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