Francis Chapin

American, 1899 - 1965


Francis Chapin, affectionately known as the “Dean of Chicago Painters” by his colleagues, was one of the city’s most popular and celebrated painters in his day. Born at the dawn of the 20th Century in Bristolville, Ohio, Chapin graduated from Washington & Jefferson College near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before enrolling at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1922. He would set down deep roots at the Art Institute of Chicago, exhibiting there over 31 times there between 1926 and 1951. In 1927 Chapin won the prestigious Bryan Lathrop Fellowship from the Art Institute – a prize that funded the artist’s yearlong trip to study in Europe. Upon his return to the United States, Chapin decided to remain in Chicago, noting the freedom Chicago artists had in developing independently of the pressure to conform to pre-existing molds (as was experienced by artists in New York, for example). Chapin became a popular instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, teaching there from 1929 to 1947 and at the Art Institute’s summer art school in Saugatuck, Michigan (called Ox-Bow) between 1934 – 1938 (he was the director of the school from 1941-1945). Chapin’s contemporaries among Chicago’s artists included such luminaries as Ivan Le Lorraine Albright, Edgar Miller, William S. Schwartz and Aaron Bohrod among others.

A prolific painter, Chapin produced numerous works while traveling in Mexico, France, Spain, Saugatuck and Martha’s Vineyard, where he frequently spent summers and taught at the Old Sculpin Gallery there. Chapin was best recognized for his dynamic and vibrant images of Chicago during the 1930s and '40s. Chapin was a resident of the city's Old Town neighborhood where he lived and kept his studio on Menomonee Street for many years. Described as a “colorful figure, nearly 6 feet 6 inches tall, and thin, and usually wearing tweeds”, it is easy to imagine Chapin at work observing the busy street life of the city.

In addition to his many exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chapin’s work was shown during his lifetime at such institutions as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the National Academy of Design, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, among others. Francis Chapin’s paintings are represented in the collections the Art Institute of Chicago; the Friedman Collection, Chicago; the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown; the Denver Art Museum; the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; the Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, among others.

  • Chapin 12644
    Untitled (Grant Park, Chicago), ca. 1960
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 22 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #12644
  • Chapin 12661
    Untitled (Autumn Day, Grant Park, Chicago), ca. 1936
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 30 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right;
    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12661
  • Chapin 6999 ur
    Untitled (Street in Rome), ca. 1930s
    Oil on Masonite
    12 x 16 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6999
  • Chapin 10612
    Untitled (Trevi Fountain, Rome), ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas, in artist’s original frame
    28 x 36 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right.

    #10612
  • Chapin 8256
    Untitled (Rome at Night), ca. 1957
    Oil on canvas
    19 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #8256
  • Chapin 10610
    Untitled (Castle and Bridge), ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas board
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10610
  • Chapin 12649
    Untitled (View of Rome), ca. 1957
    Oil on Masonite
    11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12649
  • Chapin 10604
    Untitled (The Water Tower, Chicago), ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10604
  • Chapin 2740
    Ships in Harbor, ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    27 1/2 x 39 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2740
  • Chapin 2778
    Chicago from Rooftops, ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    23 x 17 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2778
  • Chapin 12490
    Ogden Viaduct, ca. 1929
    Oil on Masonite
    30 x 44 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12490
  • Chapin 12634
    Untitled (Michigan Avenue at Congress, Chicago), ca. 1960
    Oil on Masonite
    13 x 20 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #12634
  • Chapin 10588
    Untitled (City Scene, Chicago), ca. 1960
    Oil on canvas
    10 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #10588
  • Chapin 12635
    Untitled (Street Scene, Chicago- Winter Day), ca. 1935
    Oil on Masonite
    20 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12635
  • Chapin 10527
    Morning Light, Chicago, ca. 1964
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 34 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; Estate stamped and titled on reverse.

    #10527
  • Chapin 7014
    Untitled (Michigan Landscape), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 22 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #7014
  • Chapin 6951
    Untitled (Martha’s Vineyard), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6951
  • Chapin 12717 ur
    Untitled (Artist Painting, Saugatuck)
    Watercolor on paper
    14 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches
    #12717
  • Chapin 13785
    Untitled (Country Road), ca. 1930
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches
    #13785
  • Chapin 3288
    On the Road, ca. 1930
    Oil on canvas board
    7 1/2 x 10 inches

    Signed F. Chapin, lower right.

    #3288
  • Chapin 10529
    Burnham Harbor, Chicago (Autumn), ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10529
  • Chapin 12658
    Fall Day (Lincoln Park, Chicago), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite
    8 1/2 x 6 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower left; Estate stamped and titled on reverse.

    #12658
  • Chapin 7006 ur
    Untitled (Saugatuck)
    Oil on canvas
    18 x 15 inches

    Estate Stamped

    #7006
  • Chapin 10522
    Untitled (Le Chateau), ca. 1950s
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    8 x 10 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10522
  • Chapin 12528 ur
    Arizona
    Watercolor on paper
    15 x 22 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #12528
  • Chapin 12660
    Untitled (Cathedral Rock, Red Rock State Park, Sedona, Arizona), ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 40 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right.

    #12660
  • Chapin 12529 ur
    Valley Pasture
    Watercolor on paper
    18 1/2 x 25 inches

    Titled on reverse.

    #12529
  • Chapin 12536
    High Bridge, Seattle, ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    20 1/4 x 29 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #12536
  • Chapin 12763
    City Patterns (Pittsburgh), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    21 x 29 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #12763
  • Chapin 13950
    Charleston Steeple #1, ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    17 1/2 x 21 1/4 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #13935
  • Chapin 13935
    Untitled (View of Charleston), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    17 1/2 x 22 inches
    #13950
  • Chapin 13939
    New York, ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    12 x 16 inches

    Titled on reverse.

    #13939
  • Chapin 10545
    Untitled (Still Life- Desserts), ca. 1935
    Oil on Masonite
    10 3/4 x 11 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10545
  • Chapin 7021 ur
    Untitled (Still Life with Pumpkin), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    12 x 20 1/2 inches
    #7021
  • Chapin 10552
    Untitled (Still Life, Violets), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    7 1/4 x 8 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10552
  • Chapin 10511
    Still Life (Violets), ca. 1930s
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    7 x 6 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10511
  • Chapin 10512
    Still Life (Violets), ca. 1930s
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    7 x 5 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower left; Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10512
  • Chapin 2784
    Untitled (Aerial Lift Bridge), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2784
  • Chapin 10566
    Untitled (Boxing Scene), ca. 1930s
    Oil on board, on original mount
    2 3/4 x 4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10566
  • Chapin 6944
    Untitled (Billiards)
    Oil on Masonite
    6 3/4 x 40 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6944
  • Chapin 12646
    Untitled (Seated Woman) , ca. 1935
    Oil on board
    22 x 16 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12646
  • Chapin 10582
    Untitled (Mother & Child), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    5 3/4 x 4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10582
  • Chapin 3305
    Nude, ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 12 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #3305
  • Chapin 14156
    Untitled (Santa Prisca de Taxco), ca. 1933
    Watercolor and ink on paper, in period frame
    11 x 9 inches

    Signed Chapin, lower right.

    #14156
  • Chapin 12579 ur
    Montmartre (Paris), ca. 1928
    Watercolor on paper
    20 x 15 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin and titled, lower left; Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12579
  • Chapin 13784
    Untitled (Evening Soirée), ca. 1950
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #13784
  • Chapin 12873
    Untitled (Woman with Sunglasses), ca. 1950
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    7 1/2 x 4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12873
  • Chapin 12515 ur
    Untitled (Key West, Florida), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    14 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12515
  • Chapin 12728 ur
    Untitled (Seven Mile Bridge- Key West, Florida), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    14 x 21 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #12728
  • Chapin 13781
    Untitled (Bar at Night, Florida Keys), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    9 x 15 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #13781
  • Chapin 13959
    Untitled (Harbor Scene with Jeep), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and pen on paper
    13 x 20 inches
    #13959
  • Chapin 14060
    A Summer Sketch (Figures on a Pier), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    11 x 13 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right

    #14060
  • 3294 chapin 3294
    Green Pears, ca. 1946
    Oil on Masonite
    6 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #3294
  • Chapin 3295
    Green Pears, ca. 1946
    Oil on Masonite
    6 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #3295
  • Chapin 12704
    Untitled (Monroe Harbor, Chicago), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    13 x 18 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12704
  • Chapin 6986
    Untitled (Navy Pier, Chicago)
    Watercolor on paper
    14 x 20 inches
    #6986
  • Chapin 7027
    Untitled (View Towards Navy Pier, Chicago)
    Watercolor on paper
    8 x 21 inches
    #7027
  • 4897 chapin 4897
    Untitled (Man Seated on a Park Bench), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor and charcoal on paper
    9 x 11 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #4897
  • 4895 chapin 4895
    Untitled (House and El Tracks), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    9 x 12 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #4895
  • Chapin 4896
    Untitled (Factory Scene), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor and gouache on paper
    10 1/2 x 14 inches
    #4896
  • Chapin 4923
    Untitled (Around the Bend), ca. 1930s
    Gouache and watercolor on paper
    19 x 13 3/4 inches
    #4923
  • Chapin 6970
    Untitled (Street Scene & Filling Station), ca. 1950
    Watercolor on paper
    10 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches
    #6970
  • Chapin 12818 ur
    Untitled (Auto Race), ca. 1930s
    Pastel and graphite on paper
    9 x 11 1/4 inches
    #12818
  • Chapin 12686
    Untitled (Moonrise), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    11 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12686
  • Chapin 13859
    Untitled (Country Farm and Rainbow), ca. 1935
    Watercolor on paper
    11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right.

    #13859
  • Chapin 12608
    Untitled (Evening), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    11 x 15 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12608
  • Chapin 12532
    Untitled (Reclining Woman), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    22 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12532
  • Chapin 12732 ur
    Untitled (Seated Figure), ca. 1950
    Watercolor on paper
    13 3/4 x 21 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12732
  • Chapin 12733 ur
    Untitled (Seated Figure), ca. 1950
    Watercolor on paper
    22 x 14 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12733
  • Chapin 12734
    Untitled (Seated Nude), ca. 1948
    Watercolor on paper
    16 x 12 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12734
  • Chapin 12692 ur
    Untitled (Harbor Scene)
    Watercolor on paper
    21 x 15 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12692
  • Chapin 10614 ur
    Untitled (Harbor Scene, Cote d’Azur, France), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    25 x 26 1/4 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10614
  • Chapin 12580
    Venice, ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    18 x 12 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower left; Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12580
  • Chapin 12563
    Colosseum, Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    12 1/2 x 30 3/4 inches

    Titled on reverse

    #12563
  • Chapin 4939
    Untitled (The Fountain) , ca. 1957
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    21 x 33 1/2 inches
    #4939
  • Chapin 12589
    Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor, pastel and charcoal on paper
    26 x 41 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower left; Titled on reverse

    #12589
  • Chapin 12565
    Untitled (View of Rome), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    14 3/4 x 29 3/4 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right

    #12565
  • Chapin 12590
    Monuments in Rome, 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    27 x 41 inches

    Titled and dated on reverse

    #12590
  • Chapin 12560
    Untitled (Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    19 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12560
  • Chapin 12585
    Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor and charcoal on paper
    22 1/2 x 30 1/2 inches

    Titled on reverse

    #12585
  • Chapin 10618
    Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor and collage on paper
    24 x 37 inches

    Titled and estate stamped on reverse.

    #10618
  • Chapin 12436
    Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    16 x 34 inches
    #12436
  • Chapin 12588
    Popolo Square, Rome, 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    27 x 41 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; Titled and dated July, 1957 on reverse

    #12588
  • Chapin 12570
    View of Rome, 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    19 1/2 x 30 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; Titled and dated on reverse

    #12570
  • Chapin 12569
    Untitled (Terrace Scene), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    19 1/2 x 24 inches
    #12569
  • Chapin 12739 ur
    Untitled (Building Facade - Rome), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    15 x 20 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right

    #12739
  • 4925 chapin 4925
    Untitled (Woman Reading), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    15 1/2 x 23 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right.

    #4925
  • 2667 chapin 2667
    Girl and Pier, ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    14 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #2667
  • Chapin 12797
    Untitled (Self Portrait), ca. 1930
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12797
  • Chapin 13783
    Untitled (Baseball Game), 1945
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    10 x 13 3/4 inches

    Dated and estate stamped on reverse.

    #13783
  • Chapin 13788
    Untitled (Baseball Game), 1945
    Untitled (Baseball Game)
    14 x 20 inches

    Dated and estate stamped on reverse.

    #13788
  • Chapin 7071
    Untitled (Tigers, Paris Circus), ca. 1957
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right.

    #7071
  • 4914 chapin 4914
    Untitled (Paris Circus, Circus Horses)
    Watercolor and conte crayon on paper
    13 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches
    #4914
  • Chapin 6982
    Untitled (Churchill Downs), ca. 1954
    Watercolor on paper
    12 x 18 1/4 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, on reverse.

    #6982
  • Chapin 12762
    Dark Star - Kentucky Derby, 1955
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    23 x 30 1/2 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower left; Estate stamped and titled on reverse.

    #12762
  • Chapin 7096
    Untitled (Boxing Scene), ca. 1930
    Charcoal on paper
    11 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #7096
  • Chapin 7097
    Untitled (Boxing Scene), ca. 1930
    Charcoal on paper
    11 x 14 inches
    #7097
  • Chapin 6960
    Untitled (Woman Seated in a Cafe), ca. 1930s
    Charcoal on paper
    14 x 11 inches
    #6960
  • Chapin 12872 ur
    Untitled (Halloween, Trick-or-Treat), ca. 1930s
    Charcoal, pastel and ink on paper
    7 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12872
  • Chapin 11521
    View from a Skyscraper, ca. 1935
    Lithograph on paper
    15 1/2 x 11 inches

    Signed, titled and numbered in pencil.

    #11521
  • Chapin 11522
    Ogden Viaduct, ca. 1929
    Lithograph on paper
    15 1/2 x 11 inches

    Signed and titled in pencil.

    #11522
  • Chapin 11524
    Freight Locomotive, ca. 1929
    Lithograph on paper
    15 1/2 x 11 inches

    Signed in pencil lower right, titled lower left.

    #11524
  • Chapin 8159
    The Century of Progress, Chicago, 1933
    Lithograph on paper
    8 1/4 x 13 1/4 inches

    Signed (in plate), Francis Chapin, Chicago lower right.

    #8159

Francis Chapin, affectionately known as the “Dean of Chicago Painters” by his colleagues, was one of the city’s most popular and celebrated painters in his day. Born at the dawn of the 20th Century in Bristolville, Ohio, Chapin graduated from Washington & Jefferson College near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before enrolling at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1922. He would set down deep roots at the Art Institute of Chicago, exhibiting there over 31 times there between 1926 and 1951. In 1927 Chapin won the prestigious Bryan Lathrop Fellowship from the Art Institute – a prize that funded the artist’s yearlong trip to study in Europe. Upon his return to the United States, Chapin decided to remain in Chicago, noting the freedom Chicago artists had in developing independently of the pressure to conform to pre-existing molds (as was experienced by artists in New York, for example). Chapin became a popular instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, teaching there from 1929 to 1947 and at the Art Institute’s summer art school in Saugatuck, Michigan (called Ox-Bow) between 1934 – 1938 (he was the director of the school from 1941-1945). Chapin’s contemporaries among Chicago’s artists included such luminaries as Ivan Le Lorraine Albright, Edgar Miller, William S. Schwartz and Aaron Bohrod among others.

A prolific painter, Chapin produced numerous works while traveling in Mexico, France, Spain, Saugatuck and Martha’s Vineyard, where he frequently spent summers and taught at the Old Sculpin Gallery there. Chapin was best recognized for his dynamic and vibrant images of Chicago during the 1930s and '40s. Chapin was a resident of the city's Old Town neighborhood where he lived and kept his studio on Menomonee Street for many years. Described as a “colorful figure, nearly 6 feet 6 inches tall, and thin, and usually wearing tweeds”, it is easy to imagine Chapin at work observing the busy street life of the city.

In addition to his many exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chapin’s work was shown during his lifetime at such institutions as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the National Academy of Design, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, among others. Francis Chapin’s paintings are represented in the collections the Art Institute of Chicago; the Friedman Collection, Chicago; the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown; the Denver Art Museum; the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; the Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, among others.

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