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Richard Sargent (1911 – 1978)

29. Oleanders, c. 1935

Watercolor on paper, 13 ½ x 19 ½ inches (sheet), 20 x 26 inches (matted), signed lower right, inscribed “#326/ Oleanders/ Richard Sargent” verso, inscribed “Oleanders Sargent/ Purchased from Key West Administration/ $30.00” verso


Note: the “Key West Administration" refers to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) art project.

About the Artist

Richard Sargent was a painter, muralist, and illustrator. Born in 1911 in Moline, Illinois, Sargent studied at the Corcoran School of Art. Sargent was well known as a watercolorist and in 1934, one of his works was selected by Eleanor Roosevelt for display at the White House. The following year another of his watercolors won a prize at the Corcoran. In 1935, Sargent was appointed by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) to work at the Key West art project where he produced watercolors to help promote the city as a tourist destination. In 1939, Sargent completed a mural for Arkansas' Conway County Courthouse under the auspices of the Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts. He later worked as an illustrator and designed covers for the Saturday Evening Post and other popular mid-century magazines. During this period, his art often focused on hyper-realistic depictions of brightly colored and optimistic genre scenes of daily life. Sargent is listed in Who Was Who in American Art and all other standard references.


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