The following information was submitted in April of 2006 by Paul and Linda Champanier, his son and daughter-in-law:
Most often recognized for his WPA-era murals, Abram August Shampanier was active from the early to mid 20th century. He was known for his portraits and paintings in a variety of styles, including a combination of machine/mechanical parts, which he called “Staccatoism.” He founded the Saxton Fells School of Art in Kingston, New York.
A.A. Champanier's earlier paintings are signed Shampanier, but during the 1930s, he began spelling the name 'Champanier.'
He studied in the Art Students League of New York under Frank Vincent DuMond, Kenneth Hayes Miller, F. Louis Mora, George B. Bridgeman, Ernest Blumenschein, and Guy Rose.
Champanier worked primarily in New York City and Woodstock, New York. He was associated with a group of Woodstock artists that included Peggy Bacon, Alexander Brook, Paul Fini, Eugene Speicher, Henry Mattson, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi.
Abram Champanier's niece, Rose Hertzberg , studied with him and became a renowned artist in her own right.
Champanier’s work was featured at one man exhibitions at Morton Galleries, New York; Whitney Club; Highland Park Museum, Dallas, Texas; Woodstock Art Association; Montclair Museum, N. J.; and Mitchell Galleries, Woodstock, N. Y. (the first exhibition of Staccatoism).
During the WPA era, he became a muralist, and was involved in a number of murals executed in public buildings. The mural sites in New York City included the Cotton Exchange Building, International Telephone and Telegraph Building, National City Bank (72nd St.) conference room, New York Athletic Club, Gouverneur Hospital Children's Ward, Governor Clinton Hotel, Spanish Building of the 1939 New York World's Fair, offices of J. M. Chanin, DeWitt Clinton High School, Roxy Theatre, Paramount Theatre, St. James Theatre, and the New York City Park Department.
Other murals were completed in the office of Glynne's Theatres, Patchogue, Long Island, N Y, Glynne's Greenport Theatre, and Glynne's Sag Harbor Theatre, as well as Wanamakers in Philadelphia, PA; Breakers Hotel Palm Beach, Florida; DeWitt Clinton Hotel in Albany, NY; and S. S. Morro Castle, Dining Car of Union Pacific Railroad.
Murals created in private residences included the Schanosi Residence, New York City; Strauss Residence; Yaffee Residence; Cole Porter Apartment; Waldorf-Astoria Hotel; James Russell Lowell; Mrs. Alvin Harriman, Glen Cove, NY; Chrysler Residence, Long Island, NY; and the Shearer Estate (Meander Farm), Locust Dale, VA.
The Champanier murals from the Gouverneur Hospital Children's Ward, which featured Alice in Wonderland visiting New York City sites, were rescued shortly before the building was demolished in 1981, and are being restored by Alan M. Farancz Painting Conservation Studio, Inc., and placed in public buildings in New York City. In 1993, an exhibition of WPA murals at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, "A New Deal for Public Art: Murals Commissioned by Federal Work Programs of the 1930's and 1940's," featured several of the restored Alice murals.
His work was reviewed in The Arts, American Architect, The Hotel, Decorator and Furnisher, New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, New York Post, New York Journal-American, New York World-Telegram and Sun, New York City Bulletin, Paterson Press Guardian, Paterson Evening News, Paterson Morning Call, Dallas Morning News, Scranton Times, Kingston Freeman, Catskill Mountain Star, Springfield Union, Springfield Daily News, Springfield Republican, Hartford Times, and Hartford Courant.
Biographical sketches of Champanier appeared in Who's Who in American Art; Who's Who in the East, and Who Was Who in American Art, edited by Peter Hastings Falk.