Frank Perley Fairbanks [1875-1939]
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches
Signed within the painting hanging in the background, above the sitters head : ‘F.P. Fairbanks [illegible]’.
Marking type: Overseas stamp.
Location: Bottom left stretcher verso.
Marking type: Torn and stapled label with hand written information in ink.
Location: Top middle stretcher verso.
Text: ‘Fairbanks [torn] USA’.
Light craquelure throughout the painting. Restored in 2018 fixing a puncture in the upper left quadrant and inpainting at the bottom right margin. The original frame has been replaced to match the frames within the painting. The original frame is ornate and gilded and can be placed back onto the painting if requested.
Before you could stave off boredom with your phone, time was spent playing card games like solitaire. Likely painted in Roxbury, MA, this powerful painting shows a young woman in full profile at the edge of her seat actively playing solitaire at a desk. The model, whom Fairbanks previously painted, is possibly his wife Sophie Grace “Charis” (Griswold François) Fairbanks (1883-1947). The small paintings lining the wall further enhance the idea of playing cards. Frank Perley Fairbanks was an artist and teacher of oil painting and fresco murals. The artist’s experience in murals informs the simplified and strong outlines and contours filled in with unified colorfields. The effect is fresco-like and modern.
2020 ( David Smernoff, New Haven, CT ) ;
2018 Private collection of [unknown], TN ;
ca.1908 Frank Perley Fairbanks [1875-1939], the artist .
2020 David Smernoff, New York, NY, “Tiny moments : the life of genre painting”, November 15 – December 31.
1908 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Philadelphia PA “103rd annual exhibition” February 4 – March 24.
– Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Philadelphia PA, exhibition catalog, “103rd annual exhibition”, February 4 – March 24, 1908, #606, not illustrated, as Solitaire.
Frank Perley Fairbanks (1875-1939) biography:
Birth: Born July 17, 1875 in Boston, MA ;
Death: August 8, 1939 in Rome, Italy, buried in Italy ;
Sex: Male ;
Ethnicity: White ;
Zodiac: Cancer ;
Known for: Portrait painting ; Interior painting ; genre painting ; painting women ;
Medium: Oil ; fresco ;
Technique: Painting ; murals ;
Subjects: People ; women ; interiors ;
Areas: South End Boston, MA (1875-) ; Roxbury, MA (1903-1910) ; New York, NY (1912) ; Mamaroneck, Westchester, NY (1915-1917) ; Rome, Italy (1903-1904, 1912-1932, 1939) ; Indianapolis, IN (June, 1935) ;
Region: North East ; Europe ;
Lived: South End Boston, MA (1875-1900) ; Roxbury, MA (1903-1910) ; 203 Fenway Studios, Boston, MA (studio) (1905-1909) ; New York, NY (1912) ; Rome, Italy (1912-1932, 1939) ; 9 Bayard Street, Mamaroneck, Westchester, NY (1915-1917) ;
Father: Jonathan Robinson Fairbanks (1844-1920), owner of Fairbanks & Co., bottlers & war hero (Corporal) ;
Mother: Wilma (Hutchins) Fairbanks (1849-1916) ;
Relatives: Grace Fairbanks (1872-1940), sister ; Beulah Fairbanks (1873-1879), sister ; Florence Russell Fairbanks (1877-1878), sister ; Catharine B Fairbanks (1880-1881), sister ; Marjorie Fairbanks (1882-1953), sister ; Dorothy Fairbanks (1887-1915), sister ; Hester Fairbanks (1889-1889), sister ;
Spouse: Sophie Grace “Charis” (Griswold François) Fairbanks (1883-1947), wife, married October 8, 1912, New York, NY ;
Children: David Parish Fairbanks (1913-2004), son ; Barbara Francois Fairbanks (1915-1987), daughter ;
Training: Dwight School, Boston, MA, for grammar school ; Lowell School of Design, Boston, MA, in textile design (2 years) ; School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, studied drawing and painting (1903-1905) ; American Academy [of Arts and Science], Boston, MA ;
Work: O-Heart-San by Helen Eggleston Haskell, illustrated by Fairbanks for L. C. Page Co. (1908) ; Created painting and decoration for the following buildings: United States Supreme Court Building, Washington, DC ; Scottish Rite Temple, Washington, DC ; Office of the comptroller, Municipal Building, New York, NY ; Public Library, St. Paul, MN ;
Taught: American Academy’s School of Fine Arts. Rome, Italy (1912-1932, headed for 20 years) ;
Students: Lucile (Lloyd) Brown (1894-1941) ;
Member: Copley Society, Boston, MA ;
Exhibited with: Paris Salons, Paris, France ; Royal Academy, London, England ; Royal Academy, New York, NY ; “Second annual exhibition”, Copley Society, Boston, MA (1902) ; 27th Annual exhibit in portraiture, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA at the Boston Art Club, Boston, MA (May 26, 1903) ; “Exhibition of copies of Old Masters”, C. H. Dunton & Co, Boston, MA (November, 1905) ; “Annual exhibition”, Copley Society, Boston, MA (March 1906, July 1907) ; “Thirteen annual exhibition”, Poland Spring Art Gallery, Maine State Building, South Poland, ME (May-June, 1907, June 1908) ;
Awards: School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Paige traveling scholarship, 2 years study abroad (copying old masters), $800/year income (1903-1905) ; Order Cavaliere Della Corona D’Italia, Rome, Italy ;
Milestones: Captain in the American Red Cross ; 1903 obtained a US passport ; Friends with Donald Magnus Mattison (1905-1975), whom he studies with ;