Artist Biography

1839 - 1928

Frank Marion Pebbles was born in Weatherfield, New York on October 16, 1839. At age seventeen he made his first attempt at portraiture in Monroe, Wisconsin after studying briefly with Theodore Catlin. While in Monroe he did mainly sign and ornamental work. Following the Civil War he studied for one year at the National Academy of Design under Edwin White before settling in Chicago where he had further training under G. P. A. Healy. He became well known in the Midwest for his portraits of railroad officials and political luminaries; however, many of his early works were destroyed in the Chicago fire of 1871. In 1875 he moved to San Francisco where some of his most distinguished work was done in his studio on Montgomery Street. In the year of his arrival he was commissioned to paint the portrait of Ulysses S. Grant in Sacramento. Other local notables who sat for him were Charles Crocker and James Flood. For unknown reasons he returned to Chicago in 1880 and lived in Oak Park for the next 35 years. He returned to San Francisco in 1915 to attend the Panama Pacific International Exposition where some of his works were being shown and opted to remain in California for the rest of his life. Pebbles abandoned portraiture and, after 1915, painted many beautiful scenes of northern California including coastals and landscapes. His remaining years were spent at the home of his daughter in Alameda at 1160 Bay Street where he died on December 2, 1928. Member: Bohemian Club (president); Chicago Society of Artists; Academy of Design. Exhibited: Mechanics' Institute (San Francisco), 1876, l877 (gold medal); World's Columbian Expo (Chicago), 1893; Mark Hopkins Institute, 1897-98. Works held: Chicago Historical Society; Crocker Museum; California Historical Society.

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