Rudolph T. Pen

American, 1918 - 1989


Rudolph Pen, a prolific American artist, was a Chicago native. He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago and served on its faculty from 1948 until 1963. His long association with the "Institute" included service as President of the Alumni Association and Director of Oxbow, the Art Institute's summer school of painting.

His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries. Pen is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including a Huntington Hartford Foundation Grant, an award from the National Academy of Design in New York City and the Art Institute of Chicago's prestigious Joseph Ryerson Fellowship.

The work of Rudolph Pen may be seen in public collections (The Library of Congress, The Vincent Price Collection, The Davenport Museum, Art Institute of Chicago) as well as in private collections throughout America.

Subject and Medium:

Pen's work embraces a large variety of subject matter, inspired by his extensive travel in Europe, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and North Africa. His subjects include landscapes, seascapes, horse races, boat races, still lifes, dancers and musicians as well as medical, religious and political works. As a courtroom artist, Pen's work was often seen on TV during a particularly exciting time in Chicago's history. He worked in a wide range of media including oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink, charcoal and pastel. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society. Additionally, there is a large selection of prints and drawings.

Style and Philosophy:

Rudolph Pen understood on an instinctive and molecular level that all things move. His work explores the way in which things move within unusual (often trapezoidal) shapes. Pen believed that our eyes rarely look at anything steadily and directly. His work leads the viewer beyond the confinement of the "square." Most importantly, Pen felt that innovation is the key to art. He is documented as the first artist to advocate shaped canvases.

Source: Ron Pen, son of the artist.

  • Untitled (Sailing Off Belmont Harbor, Chicago), ca. 1950s
    Oil on Masonite
    24 x 36 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16261
  • Still Life, ca. 1950s
    Acrylic on Masonite
    16 x 11 3/4 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16236
  • Untitled (City at Night), ca. 1945
    Oil on panel
    38 x 85 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right.

    #7239
  • Untitled (Beach Scene), ca. 1955
    Acrylic on Masonite
    20 x 36 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16265
  • Outdoor Cafe
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    42 x 52 inches

    Signed Pen lower center; titled on reverse.

    #7241
  • Belmont Harbor, ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas
    32 x 38 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right; signed and titled on reverse.

    #7233
  • Untitled (Chicago), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite
    24 x 37 inches

    Signed Pen, lower left

    #16255
  • Untitled (Sailing)
    Oil on Masonite
    24 x 36 inches
    #7236
  • Untitled (Lincoln Park Conservatory), ca. 1955
    Acrylic on Masonite
    48 x 38 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16227
  • Untitled (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), ca. 1955
    Charcoal on paper
    20 x 26 inches
    #16587
  • Untitled (City Parkway), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    13 x 20 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16289
  • Untitled (Cafe Scene)
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    19 x 25 inches
    #16304
  • Untitled (Beach Scene)
    Watercolor on paper
    13 1/4 x 26 inches
    #16689
  • Untitled (Saugatuck)
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    10 x 16 inches

    Signed Pen, lower left

    #16395
  • Untitled (Mountain Landscape)
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    23 x 35 inches

    Signed Pen, lower left

    #16720
  • Untitled (Coastal Scene, Afternoon Sun)
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    19 x 25 inches
    #16411
  • Untitled (Summer Garden)
    Watercolor, pastel and graphite on paper
    18 1/2 x 26 1/4 inches
    #16699
  • Untitled (Summer Garden)
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    20 x 26 inches
    #16915
  • Untitled (Summer Garden)
    Watercolor, pastel and graphite on paper
    19 x 25 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16704
  • Untitled (Moonrise), ca. 1950
    Watercolor on paper
    16 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches

    Signed Pen, lower left.

    #11098
  • Untitled (Landscape)
    Watercolor, pastel, and charcoal on paper
    26 x 40 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right.

    #6929
  • Untitled (Landscape)
    Watercolor, pastel, and charcoal on paper
    26 x 40 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right.

    #6930
  • Untitled (Landscape, Woods)
    Watercolor on paper
    11 x 17 1/2 inches
    #16871
  • Untitled (Landscape, Woods)
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    13 1/4 x 24 inches
    #16873
  • Untitled (Summer Landscape), ca. 1950s
    Pastel on paper
    20 x 26 inches
    #16240
  • Untitled (Landscape, Woods)
    Watercolor on paper
    5 1/2 x 17 inches
    #16794
  • Untitled (Landscape, Woods)
    Watercolor on paper
    12 x 18 inches
    #16858
  • Untitled (Landscape)
    Watercolor on paper
    19 x 25 inches
    #16461
  • Untitled (Palms)
    Watercolor, pastel and graphite on paper
    30 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16716
    SOLD
  • Untitled (Woods)
    Watercolor on paper
    23 1/4 x 35 1/4 inches
    #16713
  • Untitled, ca. 1960s
    Watercolor on paper
    20 x 26 inches
    #16753
  • Untitled (Garden)
    Watercolor, pastel and graphite on paper
    20 3/4 x 25 3/4 inches
    #16441
  • Untitled (Garden)
    Watercolor, pastel and graphite on paper
    20 x 26 inches
    #16440
  • Untitled (Rooftops)
    Watercolor on paper
    22 3/4 x 31 1/2 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16715
  • Untitled (City View from Terrace)
    Watercolor and pastel & charcoal on paper
    22 1/2 x 35 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16732
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene)
    Watercolor, pastel and graphite on paper
    11 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches
    #16691
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene)
    Watercolor on paper
    25 x 39 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16476
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    25 x 38 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16241
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene)
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    18 x 11 inches
    #16662
  • Untitled (Lincoln Park, Chicago), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    11 x 9 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16795
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    18 x 24 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16242
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    25 x 38 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16271
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    15 x 22 1/4 inches
    #16658
  • Untitled (Chicago), ca. 1948
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    13 x 19 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right; Signed on reverse

    #16627
  • Untitled (Floral Patterns), ca. 1960s
    Pastel on paper
    18 x 12 inches
    #16626
  • Untitled (Landscape, Woods)
    Pastel on paper
    17 x 11 inches

    Signed Pen lower right

    #16864
  • Untitled (Summer Garden)
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    26 x 20 inches
    #16747
  • Untitled (Rooftops, Florence)
    Pastel on paper
    17 x 11 inches

    Signed Pen, lower left

    #16769
  • Untitled (City View, Rooftops- Florence)
    Pastel on paper
    11 x 17 inches
    #16298
  • Untitled (Florence)
    Pastel on paper
    11 x 17 inches
    #16299
  • Untitled (Horse Race), ca. 1950s
    Pastel and charcoal on paper
    11 x 17 inches
    #16783
  • Untitled (Horse Race), ca. 1950s
    Charcoal on paper
    12 3/4 x 38 3/4 inches

    Signed Pen lower right.

    #6940
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene), ca. 1950s
    Ink on paper
    12 x 19 inches
    #16605
  • Untitled (Landscape, Pond)
    Watercolor on paper
    26 1/2 x 40 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16473
  • Untitled (Landscape, Pond View)
    Watercolor and charcoal on paper
    40 x 26 inches
    #16480
    SOLD
  • Untitled (Landscape, Woods)
    Charcoal on paper
    20 x 26 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16591
  • Untitled, ca. 1950s
    Ink on paper
    12 1/2 x 20 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #16531
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene), ca. 1950s
    Ink on paper
    26 x 40 inches

    Signed Pen, lower right

    #6938

Rudolph Pen, a prolific American artist, was a Chicago native. He graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago and served on its faculty from 1948 until 1963. His long association with the "Institute" included service as President of the Alumni Association and Director of Oxbow, the Art Institute's summer school of painting.

His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries. Pen is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including a Huntington Hartford Foundation Grant, an award from the National Academy of Design in New York City and the Art Institute of Chicago's prestigious Joseph Ryerson Fellowship.

The work of Rudolph Pen may be seen in public collections (The Library of Congress, The Vincent Price Collection, The Davenport Museum, Art Institute of Chicago) as well as in private collections throughout America.

Subject and Medium:

Pen's work embraces a large variety of subject matter, inspired by his extensive travel in Europe, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and North Africa. His subjects include landscapes, seascapes, horse races, boat races, still lifes, dancers and musicians as well as medical, religious and political works. As a courtroom artist, Pen's work was often seen on TV during a particularly exciting time in Chicago's history. He worked in a wide range of media including oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink, charcoal and pastel. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society. Additionally, there is a large selection of prints and drawings.

Style and Philosophy:

Rudolph Pen understood on an instinctive and molecular level that all things move. His work explores the way in which things move within unusual (often trapezoidal) shapes. Pen believed that our eyes rarely look at anything steadily and directly. His work leads the viewer beyond the confinement of the "square." Most importantly, Pen felt that innovation is the key to art. He is documented as the first artist to advocate shaped canvases.

Source: Ron Pen, son of the artist.

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