Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 9

Frank Van Sloun
Mural Studies, Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco WPA American Modernism 1930s

c. 1936

$2,500

About

Mural Studies, Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco WPA American Modernism 1930s. 9 x 12 inches. Tempera on paper, c. 1936. Authenticated and signed verso by the artist’s sister, Katherine Van Sloun Fortune. A painter, muralist, etcher and educator, Frank Van Sloun, living in San Francisco, became especially noted for his murals and for being the principal West Coast exponent of Social Realism. Described as being a painter of "contemporary, raw, hearty figure pieces and urban scenes" (Gerdts 282), Van Sloun learned about Social Realism in New York City under the tutelage of Robert Henri and other members of the Ashcan School. During his career, Van Sloun experimented with a variety of styles and mediums including Impressionism, Realism, Pointillism and pastel, oil, tempera, watercolor, gouache, monotypes and etchings. The artist was also highly respected for his teaching abilities, and is credited with bringing the credo "art for art's sake" of his mentor, Robert Henri, to the Bay Area where Van Sloun, like Henri in New York, encouraged students to follow their own inclinations and not copy-cat his methods and subjects. Frank Van Sloun was born in 1879 in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he attended grammar and high schools and from an early age, showed obvious talent and dedication to both art and sports. He studied at the St. Paul School of Fine Arts, and one of his influential painting teachers there was Ebenezer Comins. After two years, succumbing to his love of sports, he signed on with the St. Paul professional baseball team. However, he quickly did another turn around, and at age 22, enrolled in art classes at the Art Students League in New York City. For four years, he studied with painter and teacher Robert Henri, who was promoting Social Realists subjects of of everyday people going about their ordinary, less-than-glamourous lives. He also studied at the Chase School of Art, established by William Merritt Chase. In New York, Frank Van Sloun joined the Society of Independent Artists, a group rebelling against the conservative trends of the National Academy of Design. In 1910, he helped Henri and other modernist artists organize the first exhibition of the Society. Between 1907 and 1908 Van Sloun spent six months in San Francisco, California, his first visit to that state, and by 1911, he had established a studio there. He taught drawing, illustration and composition at the California School of the Fine Arts in 1917, and exhibited his work at the San Francisco Art Association's Fifty-Fifth Annual Exhibition. In 1926, he joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley and maintained a home studio at 1617 California Street. He also maintained his ties with New York City, and spent the year of 1919 teaching at the Art Students League. In 1914 Frank Van Sloun received his first mural commission, which was for the Mayor's office in the city of Oakland, California. The two-part mural decoration depicted the scene of a pioneer family. He continued painting on canvas, and in 1915 was awarded a bronze medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. His first solo exhibition was held the following year at the Helgesen Gallery in San Francisco. He was an active contributor to the Bohemian Club of San Francisco and was elected to their board of directors in 1922. He painted many murals for the club, enhancing the walls and over-mantels of its interior. In 1926 he partnered with Maynard Dixon on a set of commissioned murals for the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. The nine panels in "The Room of the Dons" showed the history of California and, an installation that took nine months to complete. Van Sloun continued to paint murals for various California institutions including the California War Memorial Library building in Sacramento (1928); and the Greek inspired decorations for the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco (1936). He believed that his more minor works such as easel paintings, etchings and monotypes were just preparations for the larger mural paintings that would be on view to the public. He was more concerned with public approval for his murals than critical acclaim for his smaller works. While preparing murals for the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 -1940, Frank Van Sloun died on August 27, 1938. Memberships in California included the San Francisco Art Association, the Carmel Art Association, Bohemian Club, Society of Mural Painters and the California Society of Etchers.

Details

  • Creator
    Frank Van Sloun (1879 - 1938, American)
  • Creation Year
    c. 1936
  • Dimensions
    Height: 21 in. (53.34 cm)Width: 25 in. (63.5 cm)Depth: 1 in. (2.54 cm)
  • Medium
    Paper,Egg Tempera
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU115629027732

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $175 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 4-6 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Pawling, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Platinum Seller
These expertly vetted sellers are 1stDibs' most experienced sellers and are rated highest by our customers.
Established in 2008
1stDibs seller since 2019
114 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
More From This Seller

You May Also Like

Artist and Model in the Studio, Graphite Drawing, Mid 20th Century
By Martin Snipper
Located in San Francisco, CA
This mid 20th century graphite on paper drawing is by San Francisco North Beach artist Martin Snipper (1914-2008). Snipper studied at the National Academy of Art in New York and exh...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Paper, Graphite

Draped Nude Figure in Graphite, 1960-1961
By Hugh Wiley
Located in San Francisco, CA
This 1960-1961 graphite on paper figure is by Northern California artist Hugh Wiley (1922-2013). Wiley studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and in Mexico City under C...
Category

1960s American Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Paper, Graphite

(Industry)
Located in New York, NY
This drawing could also be titled "Foundry." Two men, in work clothes, are on other side of a trough of molten metal. In the distance, a third man, in heavy-duty protective gear, lea...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Gouache

(Wounded Soldiers)
Located in New York, NY
While this is a World War II drawing, the barbed wire recalls the tranches of the First World War. A menacing tank at the upper left dominates the scene. There is a black border and...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Gouache

Three Men Changing a Wheel
By Jackson Lee Nesbitt
Located in New Orleans, LA
This very early original drawing in blue ink is signed bt Jackson Lee Nesbitt. Jack was a student of Thomas Hart Benton at the Kansas City Art Institute during this period. The draw...
Category

1930s American Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Ink

Inside of a Church - Original Drawing by Rémy Hetreau - 1937
Located in Roma, IT
Inside of a Church is an original Artwork realized by Remy Hetreau in 1937 (1913-2001). Realized with pencil, pen and tempera in good condition. Included a white cardboard passpart...
Category

1930s Modern Interior Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Tempera, Pen, Pencil

Attributed Min Veneto Neoclassical Mythological Drawing 19th century
Located in Florence, IT
This small drawing ( mixed technique of pencil, white lead, and tempera on brownish paper 11.5 x 14.5 cm, with frame 42.5 x 50.5 cm) represents two figures, probably arguing, inside ...
Category

Early 19th Century Other Art Style Interior Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Paper, Chalk, Tempera, Pencil

"The Gossips"
By Gershon Benjamin
Located in Lambertville, NJ
Jim’s of Lambertville is proud to offer this artwork by: Gershon Benjamin (1899-1985) An American Modernist of portraits, landscapes, still lives, and the urban scene, Gershon Benj...
Category

1930s Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Watercolor, Paper

Recently Viewed

View More

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery