Richard Deane Taylor 1925-2014
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, Mr. Taylor’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. Then he took up 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. He also produced ommercial art for Remington Rand, Dewar’s 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. Taylor 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.” Richard’s portraiture is a lasting tribute to his life and work.
Background information from Richard’s obituary in The New York Times.
6 thoughts on “Richard Deane Taylor 1925-2014”
I’m so sorry to hear of my wonderful Art and Design teacher’s passing. He taught me illustration. I still have his grade with his beautiful handwriting on my projects that we did with stippling, gouache paints, rapitographs, he taught me so much. I remember that self portrait in our 1986 yearbook Jonathan I remember you in school as well. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Richard Deane Taylor was my first art teacher at the High School of Art & Design in New York. He gave me a love of perspective drawing when he took us to Sutton Place to draw the 59th Street bridge! I wish I had had him in further classes, he was highly praised by many of the teachers at A&D, as well as his students. One of my teachers there, Milton Whelpley, also spoke highly of Richard.
I´m very sad to hear he passed away. He was my teacher at Art and Design in the 70´s and I remember his classes and the many anecdotes he shared with us, like drawing at the light of the candle at his father´s shop…. dry cleaning, if I remember well, then becoming a comic illustrator, he even showed us some of his original work. I was impressed by his Scottish Soldier and his narrative of the challenges it represented. What I remember the most is the honoring love he had for his father, his words of encouragement and advise of integrity concerning our art… never copy someone else´s work. You have your own talent. Something that has been a guideline in my life up until now. I´m a teacher now and I do mention Mr. Taylor to my students as a role model in my life. I thought about his advise today and decided to google him. It was an honor to be his student and I honor his memory and his legacy. My heart thanks him always.
Patricia García de Mejía
Thanks so much. I have passed your comment along to his son Jonathan.
I am saddened to hear of Mr. Deane Taylor’s passing only a few years ago. I was at Art & Design HS in the early Seventies and the good Mr. T was one of my teachers, in fact one of only two that I remember well. Complimentary and encouraging to my feeble efforts, he was a good guy who once went so far as to bring in samples of some cigarette ads he’d done some years before, just to illustrate a point to me about texturing. A fine man, very approachable. I’m really sorry to hear he passed. I would have loved to say thanks.
Thank you for this beautiful tribute to my father!