Sid Richardson bought a lot of paintings and sculptures featuring horses in motion. “Anybody can paint a horse on four legs,” he said, “but it takes a real eye to paint them in violent motion.” Richardson owned the painting above by Frederic Remington. Called “Self-Portrait on a Horse” it can be seen, for now, in the Sid Richardson Museum in downtown Fort Worth. I specify “for now” because this museum can only display one-third of its collection, all once owned by Richardson, due to space limitations.
Unassuming and honest, Richardson started collecting Western Art in 1942 and died unexpectedly in 1959. He had risen from a young man struggling to pay his debts to one of the richest men in the world without winning the lottery. A man who said he’d rather be lucky than smart, Richardson made his fortune in oil. In 1954 he bought the Del Mar Race Track in La Jolla, California, in partnership with a friend. Any money he made in this endeavor benefited the charitable group Boys’ Inc. The painting below, which definitely shows a horse in motion, is by Charles Russell. It’s called “11 Wounded” and is also on display in the Sid Richardson Museum. In addition to his interest in horses, Richardson was also a rancher devoted to the preservation of the Longhorn.
For some inexplicable reason I avoided going to this museum until my most recent trip to Fort Worth. I’m now sorry I waited. It’s small but 5 Compass, and its staff is especially welcoming and knowledgeable. My favorite horse painter has always been George Stubbs, the English painter. His horses tend to be still. Unlike artist Edgar Degas, Stubbs was more interested in anatomy than motion. In fact, he wrote the book Anatomy of the Horse in 1766. The painting below is one of the few by Stubbs that I’ve seen in the United States. It was in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It’s probably worth close to $20,000,000.
Don’t wait, like me, to visit the excellent Sid Richardson Museum in Fort Worth. Enjoy the many horses there!