Frank DuMond

Frank DuMond

Born Frank Vincent DuMond
(1865-08-20)August 20, 1865
Rochester, New York
Died February 6, 1951(1951-02-06) (aged 85)
New York City, New York

Frank Vincent DuMond (August 20, 1865 – February 6, 1951) was one of the most influential teacher-painters in 20th-century America.[1] He was an illustrator and American Impressionist painter of portraits and landscapes, and a prominent teacher who instructed thousands of art students throughout a career spanning over fifty years.

Early life and education

Frank Vincent DuMond was born on August 20, 1865 in Rochester, New York,[2] to a plumbing equipment manufacturer. He was interested in drawing from a young age, and was involved in the local art scene in the early 1880s. He got a job creating illustrations for a sign painting business.[3] After graduating from a Rochester public school, DuMond moved to New York City in 1884.[4]

From 1884 to 1888, he attended the Art Students League of New York, studying under Carroll Beckwith and William Sartain.[5] DuMond financed his art education by taking a job creating illustrations for New York's Daily Graphic newspaper. As a result of his fine work there, he was offered a job at Harper's Weekly. He also later did work for such magazines as Century, McClure's,[4] and Scribner's.[1]

He moved to Paris to continue his studies. From 1888 or 1889 to 1891 he attended Académie Julian,[6] where his instructors included Benjamin Constant, Jules Joseph Lefebvre, and Gustav Boulanger.[1][5] He attained recognition in 1890 when a painting of his, Holy Family, exhibited at the Salon, was awarded a prestigious medal.[4]

His early work was in the Art Nouveau style, then in Paris he was influenced by the Barbizon school, later becoming an Impressionist. In 1894 he married Helen Xavier of Portland, Oregon, an art student. They spent five years painting in France,[7] where he also held summer classes for the Art Students League, painting landscapes outdoors from dawn until sunset.[8] In 1900 he was elected into the National Academy of Design, and became a full Academician in 1906.


DuMond exhibited at the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta, the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, and the Saint Louis Exposition.[5] He served as director of fine arts at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition[8] in Portland in 1905, and he helped organize the first exhibition at the Portland Art Museum that year. For the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, he prepared two huge murals, 12 feet high by 47 feet long, which now hang in the San Francisco Public Library.[7][9]

"The Capture of the Tourelles" – illustration from Mark Twain's Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

The editor of Harper's, who was also president of the Art Students League, convinced him to take a job teaching at the League. He still performed illustration work for a while in addition to teaching, including the artwork for Mark Twain's Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.[2]

In a teaching career spanning more than fifty years, DuMond taught thousands of artists at the Art Students League. His students included Norman Rockwell, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Marin, Frank J. Reilly,[1][4] Charles Webster Hawthorne,[10] Frank Herbert Mason,[11] Ogden Pleissner, Kenneth Hayes Miller, Louis Bouché, and Eugene Speicher.[3]

DuMond developed a Prismatic Palette, used especially for landscapes. His students were taught to see a progression of prismatic light in pre-mixed paints placed in a tonal progression flowing from yellow to violet on the warm side and from yellow to green to blue green to violet on the cool side. A student quoted DuMond, "Silently glowing over this whole landscape is a rainbow. You must learn to see it. It is there always." Variations of the Prismatic Palette are still used by many artists and teachers[11] and by schools, including the Ridgewood Art Institute in New Jersey.[12]

DuMond was a member of the Old Lyme Art Colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut,[13] where he lived in a neighborhood called Grassy Hill. For several years he headed the Art Students League's Lyme Summer School of Art, where he also taught outdoors, as he had in France. After the school moved to Woodstock, NY, DuMond continued to give private classes in Old Lyme.[2]

DuMond died in New York City on February 6, 1951, at the age of 85.[13]


DuMond's work is in the permanent collections of the following institutions:[14]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Distinguished Educator in the Arts: Frank Vincent DuMond, 2013 Honoree". Society of Illustrators. 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 "Artist Results: Frank Vincent DuMond". Florence Griswold Museum. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  3. 1 2 Archives of American Art Journal, p. 26.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Davis, John (2004). David Bernard Dearinger, ed. Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design: 1826-1925. Hudson Hills. pp. 168–169. ISBN 1-55595-029-9. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 "Frank V. DuMond". Papillon Gallery. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Frank Vincent DuMond". Pierce Galleries. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  8. 1 2 "Frank Vincent DuMond". Antiques & Fine Art. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  9. "Seasons of Life: American Impressionism and Frank Vincent DuMond". Traditional Fine Arts Organization. 2001. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  10. Gibbons, Kathleen. "Charles Webster Hawthorne 1872". Butler Institute of American Art. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  11. 1 2 Watkins, Leslie (May–June 2012). "The Prismatic Palette". Art Times. Mt. Marion, New York. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  12. "Our History: The Influence of Frank Vincent DuMond". Bergen County, New Jersey: Ridgewood Art Institute. 2008–2009. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  13. 1 2 "On-Line Learning: Frank Vincent DuMond". Florence Griswold Museum. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  14. Unless otherwise noted, reference for collections is: "DuMond, Frank Vincent". Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  15. 1 2 3 "Fine Art Museums for Frank Vincent DuMond". AskART. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  16. "Object Results: DuMond, Frank Vincent". Florence Griswold Museum. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  17. "Virginia Museum Acquires 'Iris' Painting by Frank Dumond, Who Taught O'Keeffe". Traditional Fine Arts Organization. 1997. Retrieved October 5, 2013.


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