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Copley Fine Art Auctions is the world's leading American sporting art auction company. Located in Hingham, MA, Copley specializes in antique decoys and 19th- and 20th-century American, sporting, and wildlife paintings. Principal Stephen O'Brien Jr., a fourth-generation sportsman with a refined colle...Read more
Frank E. Schoonover (1877-1972)
Trappers on the Lake, 1932
signed and dated "Frank E. Schoonover '32" lower right
oil on canvas, 20 by 44 in.
"The voyageur was the son of Canada's lakes & rivers over his paddle strokes sped on the huge fur brigade "
Frank E. Schoonover was born in 1877 in New Jersey. As an artist, he trained in illustration at the Drexel Institute with Howard Pyle, where he recalled he felt honored because his class was a pretty strong one-made up of big shots Jessie Willcox Smith, Maxfield Parrish." Schoonover would open a studio in Wilmington, Delaware, and for a time had a studio in Jamaica, down the street from fellow student and famed illustrator N.C. Wyeth. Like Wyeth, Schoonover completed many paintings for books and adventure stories during the GoldenAge of Illustration. Schoonover was considered the "Dean of Delaware Artists," founded the Wilmington Sketch Club, and helped found the Delaware Museum of Art.
Canoe scenes are among Schoonover’s masterworks, and they are highly valued on the market. As the Canoe Swept By… and A Northern Mist, each depicting canoe scenes, hold the two top prices for the artist at auction. Trappers on the Lake, with its bright colors and handsomely rendered figures, depicts a tranquil, merry day and stands among the finest paintings by the artist. In it, the reclining trapper displays Schoonover’s signature use of red in his hat. The life of a trapper on the frontier was not easy, but here Schoonover gives rare insight into a relaxed scene. Trappers on the Lake offers a unique glimpse of trappers with down time, playing the fiddle, smoking a pipe, and waving to other friendly companions.
PROVENANCE: Harry Craig, May 24, 1937
Private Collection, New York
LITERATURE: Constance Lindsay Skinner, My Canoe is All My Good," Junior Red Cross Journal, April 1933, pp. 176-77, illustrated.
Frank E. Schoonover, The Edge of Wilderness, Toronto, 1974, p. 156, illustrated as Trappers on Lake.
Cortlandt Schoonover, Frank Schoonover: Illustrator of the North American Frontier, New York, 1976.
John R. Schoonover, Louise Schoonover, LeeAnn Dean, and Louise Schoonover Smith, Frank E. Schoonover, Catalogue Raisonne, Vol. 2, No. 1924, p. 565, illustrated.
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