Born Meyer Tuchschneider in the lower east side of Manhattan in 1925, Richard Deane Taylor achieved immortality among Churchillians when he painted one of the most evocative and accurate portraits of Winston Churchill for Collier’s in 1951, to mark Churchill’s return to office following the British general election.
Years later, Richard’s great work was revived on the cover of the Churchill magazine Finest Hour. He then he gave me the privilege of using it on the first English edition of my book of quotations, Churchill By Himself. It also adorns The Churchill Companion, a compendium of facts.
The youngest and last surviving child Polish immigrants who arrived in the 1920s, Richard lettered for Beck and Constanza Studios and did illustrations for Fawcett Publications’ Shazam! Captain Marvel comic books while a teenager at Brooklyn Tech. Drafted by the Army in 1943, he received three medals for honorable service through 1946, when he took up the study of fine arts at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Back in America in the early Fifties, he produced wonderfully realistic portraits for Colliers, Newsweek and True, and commercial art for Remington Rand, Dewar’s and Imperial Whisky, Esso, Revlon, Johnson & Johnson, Schaefer Beer and Air France. At the High School of Art and Design in the late Sixties, he is remembered fondly as a beloved instructor who appreciated the challenges his students from low-income areas while developing their talents. He is believed to have influenced two generations of comic-book and commercial artists.
Richard completed countless oil and watercolor paintings, pen-and-ink drawings and charcoal/graphite sketches throughout his career. He was an avid photographer who loved travel, guitar and baseball. Richard leaves behind a son and daughter and three grandchildren. “A man never dies as long as he is remembered,” and Richard’s portraiture is a lasting tribute to his life and work.
Background information is based on Richard’s obituary in The New York Times.