MME Fine Art, LLC

Frank Myers Boggs

(American, 1855–1926)

l'entrée du port de marseilles by frank myers boggs

Frank Myers Boggs

L'Entrée du Port de Marseilles, 1882

Price on Request

Biography

Timeline

In 1929, the French art critic ArsPne Alexandre wrote a comprehensive book on Frank Meyers Boggs. Since that time, Boggs’s reputation has dwindled. Perhaps, then, it is best to introduce Frank Boggs as he was seen by his astute contemporary:
He could be considered among those rapid, spontaneous, impulsive painters, and hence an impressionist. He would certainly merit this name more than the patient but eager (and magnificently georgic) Camille Pissarro, or the great and severe classic Degas. However, it is a question of palette and of `grouping’ which would explain why at no time would one be apt to consider Boggs in this school. The little, heroic band of impressionists in 1870, attacked on all sides, did not dare to weaken itself by new recruits of Boggs’s type. He was a foreigner, an independent. He was shown at the annual salons, and therefore easily confused with the ordinary; then, later, he was taken over by the dealers; hence he was, at the same time, too much one apart, and yet not different enough.
Considering the stylistic criteria of impressionism during Claude Monet’s lifetime, Boggs’s spontaneous, but, at times, dark manner kept him from being classified as a true impressionist. Although he was not truly a tonalist, Boggs also circumvented impressionism by avoiding bright color and by limiting the dissolution of form into shimmering space. His reticent impressionism is closer to Boudin’s than to Monet’s. He has also been compared to Jongkind. Actually, in his insistence to maintain clarity of form, he allied himself more closely with the American brand of impressionism than the French; Boggs used light primarily to reveal structure and form, an approach characteristic of American impressionism. Perhaps the overall flavor of Boggs’s work was best summed up by Milton Brown:Of greater interest than the academic impressionists, are several lesser known painters who seem to have combined early impressionism as it developed out of the Barbizon School with the native plein air tradition of `luminism.’ There is a modest charm and a naturalistic veracity in the work of such painters as Frank Boggs.
Boggs became a French citizen in 1923. His biographer, however, made a special point that "he had the air of a respectable, distinguished American."20 Boggs went South to Grasse (the home of Jean-Honoré Fragonard) to paint. Later, he spent some time in Holland. On his return to France, he fell ill and was able to work only on a limited basis in 1924. In the next year, he and his family moved to Bas-Meudon, where his top floor studio, filled to brimming with his paintings, overlooked the Seine and the surrounding countryside. Here, about five miles from Paris, Frank Boggs worked steadily until a peaceful death ended his career, in the summer of 1926, at the age of seventy. Unfortunately, his work is little known in his native land, although he was posthumously awarded France’s Legion of Honor.

Exhibitions

1916
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
1908
Art Institute of Chicago
1897
Art Institute of Chicago
1893 - 1899
Paris Salon
1891 - 1892
Brooklyn Art Association
1889
The Paris Exposition
1888
Art Institute of Chicago
1884
Brooklyn Art Association
1883
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
1880 - 1890
Paris Salon