Frederick Frary Fursman

American, 1894 - 1943


Frederick Frary Fursman was born in El Paso, Illinois in 1894. In 1892, Fursman created a mural out of 27 Illinois grasses and grains that won the first prize at an agricultural exhibit at the Illinois State Fair. The mural went on to be shown at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, plus other fairs and expositions in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Paris. By the mid-1890s, Fursman attended a private art school called the Smith Academy for Art in Chicago. From 1901-1906, Fursman attended the Art Institute of Chicago and from 1906-1909, The Academie Julian in Paris. He executed many paintings during this time in Etaples and Brittany. In 1909, Fursman exhibited at the Paris Salon. He made a second trip to France from 1913-1914, to paint in Brittany.

In the early 1890s, Fursman married Georgia Brown, a fellow artist from El Paso, Illinois, who died of consumption in 1898. The marriage produced a daughter, Lucille in 1895, who was unfortunately born handicapped. In 1902, Fursman remarried another fellow artist, Ida Luella Morton.

Fursman began teaching at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1909. In 1910, Fursman and fellow artist Walter Marshall Clute, established The Summer School of Painting in Sautatuck, MI. The school was loosely modeled after the Smith Academy and the Academie Julian and within its first years of existence became associated with the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1921, the school was renamed the Oxbow Summer School of Art. Fursman took the helm of the school after Clute’s death in 1915 and remained the school’s director until his own death in 1943. From 1910-1921, Fursman also taught at the State Normal School of Fine and Applied Art in Milwaukee, WI. From 1925-1926, Fursman headed west and became the director of the Chappel Art School in Denver, CO.

Fursman exhibited and won numerous prizes at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Pennsylvania Academy, Philadelphia, PA, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, among others. At the Art Institute alone, Fursman exhibited 34 times between 1902 and 1939.

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of Art, Washington, DC and the Toledo Museum of Art among others.

A retrospective on the artist was held at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Art Museum in 1991.

  • Fursman 9216

    Untitled (Dunes with Cottage), 1910-1913
    Oil on canvas board
    12 x 16 inches

    Estate stamped and numbered FFF 136A on reverse

    #9216
  • 5182 fursman 5182

    Untitled (Young Woman), 1931
    Oil on canvas
    36 x 30 inches

    Initialed and dated lower right

    #5182
    SOLD

Frederick Frary Fursman was born in El Paso, Illinois in 1894. In 1892, Fursman created a mural out of 27 Illinois grasses and grains that won the first prize at an agricultural exhibit at the Illinois State Fair. The mural went on to be shown at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, plus other fairs and expositions in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Paris. By the mid-1890s, Fursman attended a private art school called the Smith Academy for Art in Chicago. From 1901-1906, Fursman attended the Art Institute of Chicago and from 1906-1909, The Academie Julian in Paris. He executed many paintings during this time in Etaples and Brittany. In 1909, Fursman exhibited at the Paris Salon. He made a second trip to France from 1913-1914, to paint in Brittany.

In the early 1890s, Fursman married Georgia Brown, a fellow artist from El Paso, Illinois, who died of consumption in 1898. The marriage produced a daughter, Lucille in 1895, who was unfortunately born handicapped. In 1902, Fursman remarried another fellow artist, Ida Luella Morton.

Fursman began teaching at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1909. In 1910, Fursman and fellow artist Walter Marshall Clute, established The Summer School of Painting in Sautatuck, MI. The school was loosely modeled after the Smith Academy and the Academie Julian and within its first years of existence became associated with the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1921, the school was renamed the Oxbow Summer School of Art. Fursman took the helm of the school after Clute’s death in 1915 and remained the school’s director until his own death in 1943. From 1910-1921, Fursman also taught at the State Normal School of Fine and Applied Art in Milwaukee, WI. From 1925-1926, Fursman headed west and became the director of the Chappel Art School in Denver, CO.

Fursman exhibited and won numerous prizes at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Pennsylvania Academy, Philadelphia, PA, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, among others. At the Art Institute alone, Fursman exhibited 34 times between 1902 and 1939.

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of Art, Washington, DC and the Toledo Museum of Art among others.

A retrospective on the artist was held at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Art Museum in 1991.

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