Frank C. Penfold (1849-1921), Untitled, c. 1910 - 20; oil on canvas, Overall: 17 1/4 x 20 1/2 in. (43.8 x 52.1 cm) Frame: 21 x 24 in. (53.3 x 61 cm); Gift of Martha Park Koekkoek, 1983
From the Wealth of Transport
Raphael Beck, Frank Penfold and Burr Nicholls
On View Friday, July 12–Sunday, September 29, 2019
The artists Raphael Beck, Frank Penfold, and Burr Nichols defined the art of Buffalo during the late 19th and early 20th century. All of them settled in the town of Lockport, NY one of the most important locations along the Erie Canal.
Small wealthy communities can be the home of extraordinary artists. In the case of Lockport, NY, unknown by many, this was true during the nineteenth century and the height of the economic engine which was the Erie Canal. The canal connected the markets of New York, with the cities and towns across New York State. As a location near the terminus of the canal, Lockport like Buffalo, was part of the westward expansion of the United States.
Because of the prominence of the town at this time, artists that would become synonymous with the art history of Buffalo, chose Lockport as their home. The artist Raphael Beck a painter, muralist, illustrator, etcher, sculptor, and teacher the creator of the logo for the 1901 Pan American Exposition. Frank Penfold, president of the Buffalo Society of Artists in 1896, was the son of an artist and grew up in Lockport. By the time he was an adult, he was splitting time between Brittany and Buffalo. Friend and fellow Lockportian artist, Burr Nichols studied in Port Aven in Brittany along with Penfold. Both members of the Buffalo Society of Artists they created a connection between France and Western New York.