Frederick Richardson illustrated books during the great illustration boom of the late 20th to early 21st centuries. He’s best known for his illustrations of L. Frank Baum children’s books. (Baum was the author of the Wizard of Oz books, though Richardson did not illustrated these.) He also worked with Frank Baum and Georgene Faulkner.
Richardson started his illustration career when he went to school at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts and the Academie Julian in Paris.
After his education, Richardson taught at the Chicago Art Institute. Later, he created illustrations for a Chicago newspaper and helped record history with his illustrations of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. People were so impressed with his work that they sent him to the next world’s fair in Paris, the Exposition Universelle Internationale. He even published a collection of his newspaper illustrations in 1899.
After his stint in Chicago, he moved to New York City to make a career move to book illustration. The first book he illustrated was Queen Zixi of Ix, published in book form in 1906. This was his first break into the book publishing industry.
Richardson had a diverse illustrating style and worked with many authors to create pictures that fit the style and tone of their books.
Richardson even parodied Vincent van Gogh in a book called The Revolt Against Beauty.
When Richardson died in 1937, he was honored with a book of classic stories paired with his bright illustrations.