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 Alexander Schilling  (1860 - 1937)

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Lived/Active: New York/Illinois      Known for: landscape and figure painting, etching

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Ad Code: 3
Alexander Shilling
from Auction House Records.
On the Road to Middlebury
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A landscape painter and etcher, Alexander Schilling was especially known for moonlit night scenes, nocturnes, in tonalist style. He was born in Chicago to parents of German and Dutch descent, and many of his landscapes resulted from his travels to Holland where his mother had been born. He left school at age twelve to earn money by taking a job at a retail dry goods store.

Shilling pursued his talent and interest in painting at age 18 by apprenticing himself to Henry Elkins, Chicago landscape painter. The next year, spelling his last name Schilling, he established a studio in the Pine Building in Chicago, and became one of the founders of the Chicago Art League.  He also took life classes at the Academy of Fine Arts where his associates included John Vanderpoel, Oliver Herford and Albert Sterner. He and Vanderpoel orgainzed plein-air painting classes, and locations included Muskoka Lakes in Ontario and the Lebanon Valley in Pennsylvania.

In 1885, Shilling moved to New York City and took a studio next to Grace Church at Broadway and Ninth Street. He exhibited frequently at the Century Club and other venues including the Philadelphia Art Club where he won a gold medal and the St. Louis Exposition of 1904, where he won a silver medal.

By the beginning of World War I, he was spelling his name Shilling to detract from his German heritage during the international tensions of that time.

Memberships included the American Watercolor Society, the New York Etching Club as well as the Chicago Art League.

In 1921, the Metropolitan Museum acquired his painting Walcheren.

Schilling died of pneumonia in New York City at Mount Sinai Hospital at age 77 on January 19, 1937. At that time, he was readying a one-man exhibition at Macbeth Galleries, and the exhibition opened on April 13.

Sources include:

Obituaries of The New York Sun, The New York Times, and The New York World Telegram, January 22, 1937, Courtesy of Sidney Hamper, President of Vanderpoel Art Association.

Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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