Francis Chapin (1899-1965): Thirty Years of Painting the American Scene and Travels Abroad

(A Retrospective)


June 1st - June 29th, 2018

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 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 study trip to Europe. Upon his return to the United States, Chapin decided to remain in Chicago, noting the freedom Chicago artists have 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 Art Institute, teaching there from 1929 to 1947 and at the Art Institute’s summer art school in Saugatuck, Michigan (now called Oxbow) 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 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 North Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; the Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, among others.

  • Chapin 2779

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Street Scene, Chicago, ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    18 x 20 inches

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

    #2779
  • Chapin 12490

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Ogden Viaduct, ca. 1929
    Oil on Masonite
    30 x 44 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12490
  • Chapin 10604

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (The Water Tower, Chicago), ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10604
  • Chapin 10547

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Seated Nude), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas on artist board (original mount)
    8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10547
  • Chapin 10566

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Boxing Scene), ca. 1930s
    Oil on board, on original mount
    2 3/4 x 4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10566
  • Chapin 12635

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Street Scene, Chicago- Winter Day), ca. 1935
    Oil on Masonite
    20 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12635
  • Chapin 12629

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Street Scene, Chicago), ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    15 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12629
  • Chapin 6949

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Windy Day, Chicago), ca. 1930
    Oil on Masonite
    16 x 20 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6949
  • Chapin 10527

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    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 12661

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    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 10529

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Burnham Harbor, Chicago (Autumn), ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10529
  • Chapin 12658

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    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 10613

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Moonlight (Martha’s Vineyard), 1957
    Oil on canvas, in original frame
    31 1/4 x 41 1/4 inches

    Dated '57, lower right; Estate stamped and titled on reverse.

    #10613
    SOLD
  • Chapin 7014

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Michigan Landscape), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 22 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #7014
  • Chapin 6951

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Martha’s Vineyard), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6951
  • Chapin 10538

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Fireworks, Martha’s Vineyard
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    11 x 17 1/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10538
  • Chapin 3290

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    A House in the Country, ca. 1930s
    Oil on Masonite
    8 x 10 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #3290
  • Chapin 10610 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Castle and Bridge), ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas board
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10610
  • Chapin 10523

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Gates to the Park), ca. 1950s
    Oil on Masonite
    12 x 8 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10523
  • Chapin 10522

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Le Chateau), ca. 1950s
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    8 x 10 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10522
  • Chapin 10611

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Rome Night, ca. 1957
    Oil on canvas, in artist’s original frame
    20 x 24 inches

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

    #10611
  • Chapin 10552

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Still Life, Violets), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    7 1/4 x 8 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10552
  • Chapin 10511 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Still Life (Violets), ca. 1930s
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    7 x 6 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10511
  • Chapin 10512 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    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 12646

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Seated Woman) , ca. 1935
    Oil on board
    22 x 16 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12646
  • Chapin 10579

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Dancers), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    9 x 11 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10579
  • Chapin 12734

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Seated Nude), ca. 1948
    Watercolor on paper
    16 x 12 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12734
  • Chapin 12691 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Harbor Scene)
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    23 1/2 x 15 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12691
    SOLD
  • Chapin 12692 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Harbor Scene)
    Watercolor on paper
    21 x 15 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12692
  • Chapin 12608

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Evening), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    11 x 15 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12608
  • Chapin 12732 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Seated Figure), ca. 1950
    Watercolor on paper
    13 3/4 x 21 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12732
  • Chapin 12733 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Seated Figure), ca. 1950
    Watercolor on paper
    22 x 14 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12733
  • Chapin 12532

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Reclining Woman), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    22 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12532
  • Chapin 12762

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    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 12704

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Monroe Harbor, Chicago), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    13 x 18 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12704
  • Chapin 12497 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Hamburgers, 10 Cents), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    12 3/4 x 18 1/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12497
  • Chapin 12499 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Grant Park), ca. 1950
    Watercolor and charcoal on paper
    20 x 13 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12499
  • Chapin 12519

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Saugatuck Fall, ca. 1935
    Watercolor on paper
    13 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches

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

    #12519
  • Chapin 12579 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Montmartre (Paris), ca. 1928
    Watercolor on paper
    20 x 15 inches

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

    #12579
  • Chapin 12580

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Venice, ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    18 x 12 inches

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

    #12580
  • Chapin 10614 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    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 12583

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Winged Victories at the Vittoriano, Rome), ca. 1957
    Watercolor and charcoal on paper
    26 x 36 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12583
  • Chapin 12560

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    19 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12560
  • Chapin 12797

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Self Portrait), ca. 1930
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12797
  • Chapin 12627 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Chili Mac- 15 Cents, ca. 1930
    Watercolor, ink and graphite on paper
    6 x 10 inches

    Signed Chapin, lower right.

    #12627
  • Chapin 12872 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Halloween), ca. 1930s
    Charcoal, pastel and ink on paper
    7 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12872
  • Chapin 12886 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (City Scene - Chicago), ca. 1950s
    Charcoal on paper
    12 1/2 x 15 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12886
  • Chapin 12506 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Untitled (Railroad Workers), ca. 1928
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    20 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12506
  • Chapin 11521

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    View from a Skyscraper, ca. 1935
    Lithograph on paper
    15 1/2 x 11 inches

    Signed, titled and numbered in pencil.

    #11521
  • Chapin 11522

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Ogden Viaduct, ca. 1929
    Lithograph on paper
    15 1/2 x 11 inches

    Signed and titled in pencil.

    #11522
  • Chapin 11524

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Freight Locomotive, ca. 1929
    Lithograph on paper
    15 1/2 x 11 inches

    Signed in pencil lower right, titled lower left.

    #11524
  • Chapin 8456

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    City Landscape with a Steam Roller, ca. 1943
    Lithograph
    11 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches

    Signed, titled and numbered in pencil. (Edition: 1/10)

    #8456
  • Chapin 8159

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    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
  • Chapin 12766 ur

    Francis Chapin
    American, 1899 - 1965
    Ferry Store Soda Fountain, 1947
    Lithograph on paper
    10 3/4 x 14 3/4 inches

    Signed in pencil, lower right; titled lower left.

    #12766
    SOLD

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