Born in Jackson, Michigan in 1876, William Richardson was a chemist and had a
passion for nature. Not surprisingly, he embraced photography as a medium of
exploration and expression.
Educated in Chicago, he served as chief chemist for Swift & Company, and built a
rustic country residence in the nearby dunes of Indiana which is now the site of the
Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary.
His pictorialist photographs of nature were exhibited in numerous salons, from his local
Camera Club in Chicago to international venues including London, Paris, and Tokyo.
This exhibition presents a rare selection of his photographs of New York City, which
he visited in the 1920s. The prints are 16 x 20 inches and printed on matte surface
paper from the period.
Even among the man-made grandeur of the city, Richardson paid close attention to
the natural majesty of sunlight and its transformative effect on the buildings and
people. In his work, light signals the dawn of a period of rapid growth in the city as is
streams through the windows of Grand Central Station, transforming it into a
cathedral-like interior, or dramatically silhouettes a group of people on the Brooklyn
The Richardson Archives are located at the Westchester Township History Museum in