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 2739
    Untitled (Big Pavilion, Saugatuck) , ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    27 1/2 x 39 1/2 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin lower right.

    #2739
  • 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 2779
    Street Scene, Chicago, ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    18 x 20 inches

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

    #2779
  • Chapin 12629
    Untitled (Street Scene, Chicago), ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    15 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12629
  • Chapin 12490
    Ogden Viaduct, ca. 1929
    Oil on Masonite
    30 x 44 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12490
  • Chapin 12635
    Untitled (Street Scene, Chicago- Winter Day), ca. 1935
    Oil on Masonite
    20 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12635
  • Chapin 12655 new
    Untitled (The Old House), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    22 x 28 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #12655
  • Chapin 10604
    Untitled (The Water Tower, Chicago), ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10604
  • 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 10547
    Untitled (View from the Cliff Dweller's Club, Chicago), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas on artist board
    8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10547
  • 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 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 10610 ur
    Untitled (Castle and Bridge), ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas board
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10610
  • Chapin 10523
    Untitled (Gates to the Park), ca. 1950s
    Oil on Masonite
    12 x 8 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10523
  • Chapin 10522
    Untitled (Le Chateau), ca. 1950s
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    8 x 10 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10522
  • Chapin 10545
    Untitled (Still Life- Desserts), ca. 1935
    Oil on Masonite
    10 3/4 x 11 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10545
  • 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 3290
    A House in the Country, ca. 1930s
    Oil on Masonite
    8 x 10 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #3290
  • Chapin 2740
    Ships in Harbor, ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    27 1/2 x 39 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2740
  • Chapin 2784
    Untitled (Aerial Lift Bridge), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2784
  • 3273 chapin 3273
    Chicago River, 1933
    Oil on board
    15 x 11 1/2 inches

    Signed and dated Francis Chapin '33 lower center; signed lower right.

    #3273
  • Chapin 2778
    Chicago from Rooftops, ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    23 x 17 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2778
  • Chapin 6949
    Untitled (Windy Day, Chicago), ca. 1930
    Oil on Masonite
    16 x 20 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6949
  • 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 10611
    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 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
  • 4927 chapin 4927
    Polo, ca. 1932
    Oil on canvas
    33 3/4 x 44 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #4927
  • 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 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
  • 3305 chapin 3305
    Nude, ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 12 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #3305
  • 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 10579
    Untitled (Dancers), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    9 x 11 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10579
  • Chapin 13994
    Figure Study (Reclining Male), ca. 1940
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    15 x 23 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #13993
  • Chapin 13781
    Untitled (Bar at Night, Florida Keys), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    9 x 15 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #13781
  • Chapin 12497 ur
    Untitled (Hamburgers, 10 Cents), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    12 3/4 x 18 1/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12497
  • Chapin 12888 ur
    Untitled (Ice Skaters), ca. 1950s
    Pastel on paper
    11 3/4 x 17 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12888
  • Chapin 12873
    Untitled (Woman with Sunglasses), ca. 1950
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    7 1/2 x 4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12873
  • 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 12499 ur
    Untitled (Grant Park), ca. 1950
    Watercolor and charcoal on paper
    20 x 13 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12499
  • 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
  • Chapin 7026
    Untitled (Belmont Harbor, Chicago)
    Watercolor on paper
    13 1/4 x 20 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right.

    #7026
  • Chapin 6975
    Untitled (Lincoln Park Bridle Path), ca. 1935
    Watercolor on paper
    14 x 20 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin lower left.

    #6975
  • Chapin 6985
    Untitled (Grant Park with View of the Planetarium), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    13 3/4 x 20 1/4 inches
    #6985
  • 2668 chapin 2668
    Water Tower, Chicago, ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    14 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2668
  • Chapin 6978
    Untitled (The Merchandise Mart, Chicago), ca. 1935
    Watercolor on paper
    13 3/4 x 20 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6978
  • 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 4893
    Untitled (City Scene, Night), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    12 x 18 inches
    #4893
  • Chapin 4896
    Untitled (Factory Scene), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor and gouache on paper
    10 1/2 x 14 inches
    #4896
  • Chapin 7048
    Untitled (Machine Workshop), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    13 x 20 inches

    Estate stamped

    #7048
  • Chapin 13913
    Untitled (Railroad Yard, Chicago), ca. 1930
    Watercolor on paper
    14 x 19 inches

    Estate stamped

    #13913
  • 4934 chapin 4934
    Untitled (Round House and Locomotives)
    Watercolor, ink and graphite on paper
    10 x 14 inches
    #4934
  • 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 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 7029
    Many Sails
    Watercolor on paper
    20 x 17 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #7029
  • 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 12583
    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
    Untitled (Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    19 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12560
  • Chapin 6962
    Amsterdam
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    7 3/4 x 10 3/4 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin and titled upper right.

    #6962
  • Chapin 6979
    Untitled (Pool Hall with Burlesque Dancers)
    Watercolor on paper
    20 x 18 1/2 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin lower right.

    #6979
  • Chapin 12797
    Untitled (Self Portrait), ca. 1930
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12797
  • Chapin 6988
    Ivan Albright
    Pastel on paper
    21 3/4 x 14 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin lower right; titled on reverse.

    #6988
  • Chapin 7065
    Arnold, Bohrod & Mr. McCosh
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    9 x 12 inches

    Titled on reverse.

    #7065
  • Chapin 7100
    Untitled (Artist's Studio), ca. 1927
    Graphite on paper
    8 1/2 x 11 inches
    #7100
  • Chapin 6959
    Untitled (Reclining Nude), ca. 1930s
    Charcoal on paper
    9 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches
    #6959
  • 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 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
  • 4918 chapin 4918
    Untitled (Event Rider, Jumping Horse)
    Gouache and graphite on paper
    13 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches
    #4918
  • 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 14319
    Children’s Park, Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor and ink wash on paper
    15 x 20 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin lower right; Titled on reverse

    #14319
  • Chapin 12886 ur
    Untitled (City Scene - Chicago), ca. 1950s
    Charcoal on paper
    12 1/2 x 15 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12886
  • Chapin 8456
    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 12506 ur
    Untitled (Railroad Workers), ca. 1928
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    20 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12506
  • 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 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 7080
    Untitled (Study for Wash Day)
    Pastel on paper
    14 x 11 inches
    #7080
  • Chapin 7087
    Untitled (1244 N. Dearborn, Chicago), ca. 1930
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    7 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #7087
  • Chapin 7088
    Untitled (Chicago Scene), ca. 1930
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches
    #7088
  • 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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