Artist Biography

1879 - 1938

Frank Joseph Van Sloun was born in St Paul, Minnesota on November 4, 1879. During his youth his interest was divided between sports and art. He studied for two years at the St Paul School of Fine Arts and, after signing with the St Paul team to play professional baseball, abruptly decided to go to New York City to pursue an art career. Arriving in 1900, he studied at the Art Students League under Robert Henri and the Chase School. While there, he allied himself with the Society of Independent Artists and helped organize their first exhibition in 1910. On his first visit to San Francisco in 1907-08 he spent six months and in 1911 settled there. He taught at the California School of Fine Arts (1917), for one year at the Art Students League in New York City (1919), and in 1926 joined the faculty at University of California at Berkeley while maintaining a studio in his home in San Francisco at 1617 California Street. During the last decade of his life, he gained wide fame both as an artist and an educator. He died in San Francisco on August 27, 1938 while preparing murals for the Golden Gate International Exposition. An adherent of the Ash Can School, Van Sloun's works were inspired by typical Americans in everyday life. During his career he employed such varied styles as Realism, Impressionism, and Pointillism. His oeuvre includes oils, pastels, and tempera compositions as well as etchings and monotypes. Member: Internationale des Beaux Arts et des Lettres (1909); San Francisco Art Ass'n; California Society of Etchers; Society of Mural Painters; Carmel Art Ass'n; Bohemian Club. Exhibited: San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1908-38; Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915 (bronze medal); Galerie Beaux Arts (San Francisco), 1926; California Palace of Legion of Honor, 1942 (solo); Triton Museum (Santa Clara), 1968 (solo); California Historical Society, 1975 (solo). Works held: California State Library; Mills College (Oakland); Canterbury Hotel (San Francisco); Elks Club (San Francisco); Bohemian Club (murals); Mayor's Office, Oakland City Hall (two lunettes); State Library and Court Bldg (Sacramento); California Historical Society; Mark Hopkins Hotel (San Francisco), Room of the Dons (with Maynard Dixon); Oakland Museum.

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