Richard Deane Taylor 1925-2014

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.

Taylor made…


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.

Churchill Com­pan­ion, 1992. (Roset­ta Books)

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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