Discipline: Visual Art – painting

Frank Tolles Chamberlin

Discipline: Visual Art – painting
MacDowell Fellowships: 1913, 1914, 1915

Frank Tolles Chamberlin (1873–1961), known as "F. Tolles Chamberlin," was a muralist, easel painter, sculptor, highly respected teacher, and architect. Born in San Francisco, he grew up in California, Vermont, and Connecticut, where he began to take drawing lessons. Chamberlin worked as a draftsman in a New York architectural firm until 1908, when he won the competition for a three-year scholarship at the American Academy in Rome. He became a Fellow of the American Academy in 1911. Upon his return to America he taught at the Beaux Arts Institute of Design and Columbia University, New York. In 1918, Chamberlin married visual artist and MacDowell Fellow Katharine Beecher Stetson (whom he met during a residency at MacDowell). In Los Angeles, Chamberlin accepted a position at the Otis Art Institute. He later went on to co-found the Chouinard Art Institute with Mrs. Nelbert Chouinard. Chamberlin painted in oil and watercolor in a post-impressionist style that shows his classical European training. He also made etchings and bronzes. Chamberlin executed several mural commissions including McKinley School in Pasadena, and architectural bronzes such as the lintel at Good Samaritan hospital in Los Angeles. In 1955, Chamberlin was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum.

Chamberlin designed three buildings at MacDowell: Adams Studio, "the Lodge" (a dormitory for artists-in-residence), and the residency's main building, where the kitchen, dining room, and offices are located.



Frank Tolles Chamberlin worked in the Adams studio.

Given to the MacDowell Association by Margaret Adams of Chicago, the half-timbered, stuccoed Adams Studio was designed by MacDowell Fellow and architect F. Tolles Chamberlin ca. 1914. Chamberlin was primarily a painter, but also provided designs for the Lodge and an early renovation of the main hall. The studio’s structural integrity was restored during a thorough renovation in…

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