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.

  • Stormy Weather, Saugatuck, ca. 1945
    Oil on canvas
    39 x 28 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #12744
  • Untitled (Chicago), 1935
    Oil on canvas
    18 x 24 inches

    Dated Dec. 26 ‘35 on stretcher

    #12642
  • Untitled (The Road Through Town), ca. 1929
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #2781
  • 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
  • Untitled (The Water Tower, Chicago), ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10604
  • Untitled (City Scene, Chicago), ca. 1960
    Oil on canvas
    10 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #10588
  • Untitled (Michigan Avenue at Congress, Chicago), ca. 1960
    Oil on Masonite
    13 x 20 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #12634
  • Untitled (Street in Rome), ca. 1930s
    Oil on Masonite
    12 x 16 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6999
  • Untitled (Rome at Night), ca. 1957
    Oil on canvas
    19 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #8256
  • Untitled (Castle and Bridge), ca. 1950
    Oil on canvas board
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10610
  • Untitled (View of Rome), ca. 1957
    Oil on Masonite
    11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12649
  • Ships in Harbor, ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    27 1/2 x 39 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2740
  • Chicago from Rooftops, ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    23 x 17 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2778
  • Ogden Viaduct, ca. 1929
    Oil on Masonite
    30 x 44 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

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

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12635
  • Morning Light, Chicago, ca. 1964
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 34 inches

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

    #10527
  • Untitled (Michigan Landscape), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 22 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #7014
  • Untitled (Martha’s Vineyard), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite
    18 x 24 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6951
  • Untitled (Artist Painting, Saugatuck)
    Watercolor on paper
    14 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches
    #12717
  • Untitled (Country Road), ca. 1930
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches
    #13785
  • On the Road, ca. 1930
    Oil on canvas board
    7 1/2 x 10 inches

    Signed F. Chapin, lower right.

    #3288
  • Burnham Harbor, Chicago (Autumn), ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10529
  • 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
  • Untitled (Saugatuck)
    Oil on canvas
    18 x 15 inches

    Estate Stamped

    #7006
  • Untitled (Le Chateau), ca. 1950s
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    8 x 10 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10522
  • Arizona
    Watercolor on paper
    15 x 22 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #12528
  • Untitled (Cathedral Rock, Red Rock State Park, Sedona, Arizona), ca. 1950s
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 40 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right.

    #12660
  • Valley Pasture
    Watercolor on paper
    18 1/2 x 25 inches

    Titled on reverse.

    #12529
  • High Bridge, Seattle, ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    20 1/4 x 29 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #12536
  • City Patterns (Pittsburgh), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    21 x 29 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #12763
  • Charleston Steeple #1, ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    17 1/2 x 21 1/4 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; titled on reverse.

    #13935
  • Untitled (View of Charleston), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    17 1/2 x 22 inches
    #13950
  • New York, ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    12 x 16 inches

    Titled on reverse.

    #13939
  • Untitled (Still Life- Desserts), ca. 1935
    Oil on Masonite
    10 3/4 x 11 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10545
  • Untitled (Still Life with Pumpkin), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    12 x 20 1/2 inches
    #7021
  • Untitled (Still Life, Violets), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    7 1/4 x 8 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10552
  • Still Life (Violets), ca. 1930s
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    7 x 6 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10511
  • 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
  • Untitled (Aerial Lift Bridge), ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    24 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #2784
  • Untitled (Boxing Scene), ca. 1930s
    Oil on board, on original mount
    2 3/4 x 4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10566
  • Untitled (Billiards)
    Oil on Masonite
    6 3/4 x 40 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #6944
  • Untitled (Seated Woman) , ca. 1935
    Oil on board
    22 x 16 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12646
  • Untitled (Mother & Child), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite, in original frame
    5 3/4 x 4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #10582
  • Nude, ca. 1930s
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 12 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #3305
  • Untitled (Santa Prisca de Taxco), ca. 1933
    Watercolor and ink on paper, in period frame
    11 x 9 inches

    Signed Chapin, lower right.

    #14156
  • Montmartre (Paris), ca. 1928
    Watercolor on paper
    20 x 15 inches

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

    #12579
  • Artist’s Party, ca. 1929
    Watercolor on paper
    16 x 16 1/4 inches

    Titled on reverse

    #12735
  • Untitled (Evening Soirée), ca. 1950
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #13784
  • Untitled (Woman with Sunglasses), ca. 1950
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    7 1/2 x 4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12873
  • Untitled (Portrait of a Young Man), ca. 1928
    Graphite on paper
    5 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse, DR208

    #12786
    SOLD
  • Untitled (Key West, Florida), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    14 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12515
  • Untitled (Seven Mile Bridge- Key West, Florida), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    14 x 21 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse

    #12728
  • Untitled (Bar at Night, Florida Keys), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor on paper
    9 x 15 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #13781
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene with Jeep), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and pen on paper
    13 x 20 inches
    #13959
  • A Summer Sketch (Figures on a Pier), ca. 1950s
    Watercolor and pastel on paper
    11 x 13 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right

    #14060
  • Green Pears, ca. 1946
    Oil on Masonite
    6 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #3294
  • Green Pears, ca. 1946
    Oil on Masonite
    6 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #3295
  • Untitled (Monroe Harbor, Chicago), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    13 x 18 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12704
  • Untitled (Navy Pier, Chicago)
    Watercolor on paper
    14 x 20 inches
    #6986
  • Untitled (View Towards Navy Pier, Chicago)
    Watercolor on paper
    8 x 21 inches
    #7027
  • 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
  • Untitled (House and El Tracks), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    9 x 12 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #4895
  • Untitled (Factory Scene), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor and gouache on paper
    10 1/2 x 14 inches
    #4896
  • Untitled (Around the Bend), ca. 1930s
    Gouache and watercolor on paper
    19 x 13 3/4 inches
    #4923
  • Untitled (Street Scene & Filling Station), ca. 1950
    Watercolor on paper
    10 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches
    #6970
  • Untitled (Auto Race), ca. 1930s
    Pastel and graphite on paper
    9 x 11 1/4 inches
    #12818
  • Untitled (Moonrise), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    11 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12686
  • Untitled (Country Farm and Rainbow), ca. 1935
    Watercolor on paper
    11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right.

    #13859
  • Untitled (Evening), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    11 x 15 3/4 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12608
  • Untitled (Reclining Woman), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor on paper
    22 x 30 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12532
  • Untitled (Seated Figure), ca. 1950
    Watercolor on paper
    13 3/4 x 21 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12732
  • Untitled (Seated Figure), ca. 1950
    Watercolor on paper
    22 x 14 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12733
  • Untitled (Seated Nude), ca. 1948
    Watercolor on paper
    16 x 12 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12734
  • Untitled (Harbor Scene)
    Watercolor on paper
    21 x 15 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12692
  • 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
  • Venice, ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    18 x 12 inches

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

    #12580
  • Colosseum, Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    12 1/2 x 30 3/4 inches

    Titled on reverse

    #12563
  • Untitled (The Fountain) , ca. 1957
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    21 x 33 1/2 inches
    #4939
  • Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor, pastel and charcoal on paper
    26 x 41 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower left; Titled on reverse

    #12589
  • Untitled (View of Rome), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    14 3/4 x 29 3/4 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right

    #12565
  • Monuments in Rome, 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    27 x 41 inches

    Titled and dated on reverse

    #12590
  • Untitled (Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    19 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12560
  • Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor and charcoal on paper
    22 1/2 x 30 1/2 inches

    Titled on reverse

    #12585
  • Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome, ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    16 x 34 inches
    #12436
  • View of Rome, 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    19 1/2 x 30 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right; Titled and dated on reverse

    #12570
  • Untitled (Terrace Scene), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    19 1/2 x 24 inches
    #12569
  • Untitled (Building Facade - Rome), ca. 1957
    Watercolor on paper
    15 x 20 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right

    #12739
  • Untitled (Woman Reading), ca. 1940s
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    15 1/2 x 23 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, lower right.

    #4925
  • 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
  • Untitled (Self Portrait), ca. 1930
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #12797
  • Untitled (Baseball Game), 1945
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    10 x 13 3/4 inches

    Dated and estate stamped on reverse.

    #13783
  • Untitled (Baseball Game), 1945
    Untitled (Baseball Game)
    14 x 20 inches

    Dated and estate stamped on reverse.

    #13788
  • 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
  • Untitled (Paris Circus, Circus Horses)
    Watercolor and conte crayon on paper
    13 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches
    #4914
  • Untitled (Churchill Downs), ca. 1954
    Watercolor on paper
    12 x 18 1/4 inches

    Signed Francis Chapin, on reverse.

    #6982
  • 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
  • Untitled (Boxing Scene), ca. 1929
    Charcoal on paper
    11 x 14 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #7096
  • Untitled (Boxing Scene), ca. 1929
    Charcoal on paper
    11 x 14 inches
    #7097
  • Untitled (Woman Seated in a Cafe), ca. 1930s
    Charcoal on paper
    14 x 11 inches
    #6960
  • Le Metro, Paris, ca. 1927
    Graphite on paper
    8 1/2 x 11 inches

    Estate stamped on reverse.

    #7114
  • Paris, 1927
    Charcoal on paper
    7 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches

    Titled and dated on reverse.

    #6964
  • 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
  • View from a Skyscraper, ca. 1935
    Lithograph on paper
    15 1/2 x 11 inches

    Signed, titled and numbered in pencil.

    #11521
  • Ogden Viaduct, ca. 1929
    Lithograph on paper
    15 1/2 x 11 inches

    Signed and titled in pencil.

    #11522
  • Freight Locomotive, ca. 1929
    Lithograph on paper
    15 1/2 x 11 inches

    Signed in pencil lower right, titled lower left.

    #11524
  • 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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