Sculptor and painter. Barthé’s forte was realistic sculptures of religious subjects, figures in African-American history, and stage and dance celebrities.
Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)
Richmond Barthé was not discouraged when the New Orleans Art School barred him from attending because of his race. Instead he enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago, where his drawing teacher suggested he try modeling in clay. Barthé began sculpting figures that expressed his sitters’ emotions through their gestures and movements. His work won him a number of solo exhibitions and awards, but he moved to Jamaica after the strain of this success grew too great. Barthé worked in all parts of the Caribbean from 1947 until 1969 and designed many of the coins that are still used in Haiti.