Sydney Richmond Burleigh

Inducted: 2011
Born: 1853
Died: 1931

Burleigh, Sydney Richmond, 1853-1931

Sydney Richmond Burleigh, a man with roots in Little Compton, Rhode Island, studied art with Jean-Paul Laurens in Paris for two years from 1878 to 1880. Upon his return, he became one of the founders and one of the first exhibitors at the newly-formed Providence Art Club. He taught at the Rhode island School of Design and was one of the founders of the Providence Watercolor Club. He became a champion of the emerging Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1885, this advocacy took physical form in the design of his Thomas Street studio in Providence called, the “Fleur de Lys Building”–the first building planned exclusively for artists’ studios. Burleigh also taught painting and architecture classes at his studio, which occupied the first floor.

In addition to his Little Compton paintings, Burleigh was interested in arts and crafts and worked with Providence’s Handicraft Club. He helped form the Art Workers Guild and took part in the national Arts and Crafts Exhibit of 1901. This expansion from two dimensional depictions into the third dimension of arts and crafts added new variety to the Providence art scene. Burleigh’s prominent role on the local art agenda endured for the next thirty years.
Albert T. Klyberg, L.H.D.

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