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 Frank Rudolph Humpal  (1895 - 1948)

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Lived/Active: Illinois/Indiana      Known for: impressionist landscape, still life and figure painting

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Ad Code: 4
Frank Rudolph Humpal
from Auction House Records.
Humpal's Cabin
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from A.J. Kollar Fine Paintings, LLC:
Frank Rudolf Humpal
(American 1895 - 1948)

Frank Humpal was born July 9, 1895 in Chicago, Illinois. During his productive years of 1920 - 1948, he lived in Downers Grove, Illinois; Nashville, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. Collectors in Chicago were actively purchasing French Impressionist works during the late nineteenth century, and the Columbian Exposition of 1893 introduced the works of Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Degas. The introduction of Impressionist works such as these aroused the interest and demand for American Impressionist works. By the turn of the century, professional art organizations flourished and encouraged the young painters of Humpal's generation. The Central Art Association, for one, organized by Hamlin Garland, promoted native Impressionist landscape paintings of the Midwest. During the early part of the century, Adolf Shulz, Louis Griffith, Wilson Irvine and Theodore Steele painted landscapes of Illinois and Indiana. The heartland of America proved to be Humpal's most inspirational and endearing subject.

From 1915 - 1920, Frank Humpal attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago. Here, Frederick Fursman who had studied in Paris, taught and directly influenced Frank Humpal. It is likely that Alson Skinner Clark influenced him as well. While living in Downers Grove, Humpal produced rotogravure work for the Chicago Tribune and the Milwaukee Journal. His paintings appeared frequently in state and regional exhibitions in Milwaukee, Louisville, Nashville and Indianapolis. Two of his works in oil were included in the All Illinois Society of Fine Art Spring Salon of 1936. He exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago Forty-First Annual of 1937, the Forty-Fifth Annual of 1941, and the Fiftieth Annual of 1946.

Frank Humpal's paintings were his autobiography; he kept no journal. He painted with obvious warmth America's farms, woods, and ponds, in addition to its sweeping grandeur.   His landscapes give form to the American Dream of bounty and opportunity. Humpal's special gift in his handling of landscape is sensitivity to the nuances of light or to a particular hue. His keen color sense and careful selection of details reinforce immediacy. Humpal derived inspiration from the magic which light lends to the ordinary. Exhibitions were not important to him during most of his career. Only in the late 1930s, when he became a life member of the Chicago Art Institute, do we find a pattern of regular exhibition entries.

He died in 1948.

It is noteworthy that Humpal signed only approximately half of his canvases. The presence or absence of his signatures seems to have had no significance for the artist. It was the experience of painting that he valued most. It is inevitable that the works of Frank Humpal find their place with those of the other important American Impressionists of the early twentieth century.

Art Institute of Chicago, lifetime member

Regional Exhibitions, Brown County
Regional Exhibitions, Nashville
Regional Exhibitions, Milwaukee
Regional Exhibitions, Louisville
Regional Exhibitions, Indianapolis
All Illinois Society of Fine Arts, Spring Salon of 1936 two works
Art Institute of Chicago's Annual Exhibition, 41st, 45th, 50th

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