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Frank C. Penfold

Born: Lockport, New York, United States of America

Frank C. Penfold was a landscape, marina, and portrait painter. He was born in Lockport, New York, in 1849 to a family of artists. He was Buffalo’s best-known and most famous artist of the early twentieth century. Demonstrating his artistic ability from childhood, he received his earliest artistic training from his father, portrait painter William Penfold. He first exhibited his work in April 1875. Later that year he was featured in a group show at the Mutter & Hoddick Art Gallery. Around 1877, Penfold decided to further his studies abroad. He traveled to France, settling in Point Aven, Brittany, where he taught in the local artist colony. Penfold also studied at the Académie Julien in Paris in 1884. He exhibited in group shows while in France, most notably at Paris Salon in 1882, 1883, and 1885.

Penfold occasionally traveled back to Buffalo, where he remained connected to the local art community. He taught class at the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy in 1891 and was a member of the Buffalo Society of Artists, serving as its president in 1896. He also exhibited at the Pan-American Exposition in 1901 in Buffalo where we won honorable mention, as well as at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. He had solo exhibitions at the Albright Gallery in 1907 and 1915, and was honored with a retrospective there in 1922 after his death. He maintained homes in both Buffalo and Pont Aven, France, alternating residencies. Despite spending much of his time living in France, he continued to exhibit regularly with the Buffalo Society of Artists and the AlbrightArt Gallery. He was married to a great society beauty,Jennifer Wells, and drowned himself at Concarneau after her death.

Frank C. Penfold, (1849-1921), 5 O'clock Tea in the Studio, ca. 1902, Oil on canvas, 31 3/8 x 39 1/2 inches;  Collection of the Burchfield Penny Art Center, Purchased with support from Jim and Joy Brandys, Joan and Gary Crosby, Donna and Bear Dusel, Scott Propeack and Heidi Freed, Scott Goldman, Peter Heffley, Carolyn Morris-Hunt and Tim Hunt, John and Carol Kociela, Frank Kowsky, Gina and Erik O'Neill, Russell Ram, Janet and Dick Wetter, and Mchael Wood, 2018