Frank Myers BoggsAmerican, 1855-1926
At an early age, Frank Myers Boggs moved from Springfield, Ohio to live in New York City. His father worked in the publishing industry, and through this connection he got his first job at Harper’s magazine as a wood engraver when he was just seventeen. His ambitions grew beyond the world of illustrating, and four years later he went to Paris to pursue a career in stage design. However, finding no suitable apprenticeships, he enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and began studying painting under the famous Jean-Léon Gérôme.
When Boggs returned to America after two years abroad, he encountered a somewhat hostile atmosphere: older members of the National Academy of Design were unwilling to accept the advanced styles embraced by many young American artists returning from studies in Europe. So in 1880 Boggs returned to Paris. He began to exhibit his paintings at the Paris Salon. They were well received and soon attracted the positive attention of critics. He became a French citizen in 1923, and although he lived and worked primarily in France, he continued to promote himself in the United States, submitting work to exhibitions and winning prizes in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago.
Boggs’ deep love of France is evident in each of his distinctive paintings of its streets, ports, and monuments. A habitual painter of the subtle grays of Parisian street life, Boggs used this canvas as an opportunity to indulge in vibrant colors, and strong, clear light, and in this way truly captures the mood of the Mediterranean port.
Barbara H. Weinberg, The Lure of Paris: Nineteenth-Century American Painters and Their French Teachers (New York, NY: Abbeville Press, 1991)
Peter Hastings Falk, Who Was Who in American Art (Madison, CT: Soundview Press, 1999)