Frank Waller (1842-1923)

Frank Waller (1842-1923)

Painter and architect Frank Waller was born in New York City in 1842 and began his studies at the New York Free Academy before working under the expatriate John Gadsby Chapman in Rome in 1870. In 1872, he visited Egypt with friend and painter Edwin White, during which time he produced sketches that would inspire his work for the next few decades. Upon his return to New York, Waller became a founding member of the Art Students League, where he trained under William Merritt Chase, and would later serve as President of the League from 1877-1878 and 1885-1886. Waller made a third trip abroad in 1878, with the intention of observing the European art academies and applying those standards to the League’s practices. His discoveries were published in his “Report on Art Schools” in 1879.

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Waller exhibited in New York at the National Academy of Design and the Brooklyn Art Association during the 1870s and 1880s, and also showed with the Boston Art Club and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. While Egypt, Venice and Bermuda encompass some of the more exotic locales he painted, the artist was equally inspired by the landscapes of New Hampshire and upstate New York. Today Waller’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

References: Falk, Who Was Who in American Art, 1999; Spassky, Natalie, American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volume II (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985). 

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