Frances S. Badger

American, 1904 - 1997

Mountains Come Alive
Watercolor and graphite on paper
5 x 10 inches

Signed Frances Badger, lower right; titled lower left.


Frances Badger was born to a prominent family in Kenilworth, Illinois in 1904. Badger began her art studies at age six at the Winnetka, Illinois extension of the Saturday Juvenile School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She continued her art studies and graduated from the Art Institute in 1925. That year, her parents presented her with a tour of Europe, which continued to shape Badger’s Modern style and form as an artist. Upon her return from Europe, Badger began teaching art at the Roycemore School in Evanston, IL. Throughout her life, she continued to teach art at the Roycemore School, other private schools in the Chicago area and at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1940, Badger married artist Flora Schofield’s son Paul. From 1933 to 1938, Badger was a mural designer with the Federal Art Project and was a resident of noted Tree Studios in Chicago. She exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago twenty-one times between 1927 and 1943 and served as the president of the Chicago Society of Artists for 66 years. Badger completed murals in 1928 and 1930 for for Joliet Township High School in Joliet, IL, the Audy Home, Chicago, IL, Cook County Children’s Hospital, Chicago, IL, the Hall of Science at the Century of Progress Exhibition in 1933 and Stevenson playground in Oak Park, IL. The Oak Park murals reside today at the Oak Park Historical Society. Her work can be found in the Illinois State Museum collection, Springfield, IL, the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL and the John H. Vanderpoel Collection in Chicago, IL. Badger’s work tends to be rare, as she was not a prolific painter. Her favorite subjects included children’s themes, scenes of Chicago and portraits of Navajo and Chippewa Indians. In 1997, Badger died in Chicago at the age of 93.

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