Richard Schmid

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Richard Schmid
Born (1934-10-05)October 5, 1934
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American (United States)
Education American Academy of Art
Known for Painting

Richard Schmid (October 5, 1934) is considered one of the greatest living American realist artists, painting in “the Grand Manner,” mingling “virtuosity and unrestrained joy in art.” [1]

He's been called a "painter's painter" and an "artist's artist"[2] His more than 3,000 paintings have earned him both critical and commercial success. His works are highly sought after by collectors.[3]

His book "Alla Prima" is considered one of the most comprehensive instructional art books on the market[4] and was recently reissued as "Alla Prima II: Everything I Know About Painting, and More.

Early Influences[edit]

Richard Schmid's earliest artistic influence came from his maternal grandfather, Julian Oates, an architectural sculptor. Richard's initial studies in landscape painting, figure drawing, and anatomy began at the age of twelve and continued into classical techniques under William H. Mosby at the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

Mosby, a graduate of the Belgian Royal Academy in Brussels and the Superior Institute in Antwerp, was a technical expert on European and American realism. Studies with him involved working exclusively from life, at first using the conceptual and technical methods of the Flemish, Dutch, and Spanish masters, and eventually all of the late 19th-century European and American painters. The emphasis in each period was on Alla Prima, or Direct Painting systems of the various periods.

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, when representational art was out of vogue, Schmid kept alive the knowledge he received from Mosby and from Mosby’s circle of luminaries that included John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas.

However, Richard's individual style and the content of his work developed along personal lines. A gifted teacher himself, Schmid has generously shared this knowledge through his books and through his mentoring of young artists. Richard Schmid is widely viewed as an American Master by his collectors and peers and students.

At ceremonies hosted by the American Society of Portrait Artists in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2000, Richard Schmid received the John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement. Richard Ormond, Sargent's grandnephew, presented the award. In May 2005, Schmid received the prestigious gold-medal award from The Portrait Society of America at their annual conference held in Washington, DC. Additional awards include the Medal of Honor from the prestigious Salmagundi Club of New York City, the $100,000 National Arts for the Parks award, American Watercolor Gold Medal, as well as the receipt of an honorary doctorate degree from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, CT.

Richard Schmid is the author of Alla Prima, Everything I know about Painting, an art instruction book first published in 1998 by Stove Prairie Press, LLC. Stove Prairie Press, LLC is Richard Schmid's independent publishing company which he started for the purpose of publishing Alla Prima. Other publications produced by Richard Schmid through Stove Prairie Press, LLC include "The Landscapes", "2003 Retrospective", "Guzik" and "Richard and Me" written By Dr. Roger Lacy. Richard Schmid has also produced nine videos, currently released as DVDs, five of which feature his personal art instruction in the areas of landscape painting and portrait painting. Throughout his career, Richard Schmid has promoted art education through his books, articles, workshops, seminars, and television presentations. He travels widely in the Western Hemisphere for his subjects, and currently lives in New Hampshire with his wife, Nancy Guzik.


  • 2014 - Eric Rhoads, of Plein Air magazine, presented Schmid with the Lifetime Achievement Award [5] for his accomplishments as a painter, instructor, and champion of the alla prima technique, which Schmid has described and demonstrated in his books Alla Prima and his recently published Alla Prima II: Everything I Know About Painting - and More
  • 2013 - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II honored Richard Schmid by receiving his painting, “Abbotsford House: The Home of Sir Walter Scott” (oil 30” x 50,”), at the Royal Opening of Abbotsford’s new Visitors Center in Melrose, Scotland.[6] Since then over 60,000 people visited Abbotsford and his painting.
  • 2011 – California Art Club Honors Centennial Gold Medal Award[7] for his contributions in cultivating greater appreciation for traditional fine arts
  • 2011 - California Art Club Award of Excellence for his gold medal still-life: “Joy[8]
  • 2010 - Salmagundi Club Medal of Honor,[9] and Honorary Membership, “in celebration of his outstanding career in creating paintings of great beauty and in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to and patronage of Fine Art.”
  • 2009 - Salmagundi Club President’s Award of Excellence. President Claudia Seymour said, “We do this in celebration of Richard Schmid’s outstanding career in creating paintings of great beauty and in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to and patronage of Fine Art.”
  • 2003 - Awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, CT.
  • 2003 - “Richard Schmid - A Retrospective Exhibition” held at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.[10] Director Louis A. Zona stated, “Richard Schmid has long been deemed an artist’s artist. What greater recognition exists than to be revered by one’s peers?” The retrospective was one of the most highly attended exhibition in Butler’s history.
  • 2001 - Schmid produced and starred in a short documentary film, An American Portrait: The Senator and the Artist.[11] Schmid interviewed then Senator James Jeffords of Vermont, while simultaneously painting his portrait.
  • 2000 - Schmid was honored with The John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement[12] from the American Society of Portrait Arts Foundation. It was presented by Richard Ormond, Sargent's nephew, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
  • 1990 - The Hubbard Art Award for Excellence, finalist.[13] The $250,000 prize was awarded for excellence in representational art.[14]
  • 1988 - National Arts for the Parks Competition $100,000 Grand Prize for “Mountain Stream,” which was featured on the first official National Park Stamp.[15] Then Vice President George H.W. Bush presented Schmid with the award at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
  • 1967, 1968, 1971, 1972 - American Watercolor Society awards and the gold medal
  • 1966, 1967, 1968 - America Emily Lowe Prize and gold medal
  • 1966 - Roy W. Johnson Memorial Award at the Silvermine Guild of Artists Annual New England Exhibition
  • 1966 -The Hudson Valley Art Association bestowed its coveted Gold Medal,

at the Allied Artists of America annual competition Schmid earned the Emily Lowe Prize.

  • 1965 - Alice Collin Dunham Award at the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts 56th Annual Exhibition
  • 1960 -Greenwich Village Exhibition - First Prize
  • 1958, 1959, 1961 - The Greenwich Village Exhibition - Grand Prize
  • 1958 - The Greenwich Village Exhibition Veterans Award,
  • 1958 - Municipal Art League Award, Chicago
  • 1956 - The Art Institute of Chicago Alumni Award
  • 1964 - THE SECRET SQUINT Film. Won the C.I.N.E. Award and was an American Intrigue in the Venice Film Festival, and won an award at the Edinburgh Festival.


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