b. Natick, MA, 1859–d. Waltham, MA, 1920
Born in Natick, Massachusetts, Charles Francis Browne began his art training at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1882-84, then studied under Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1885 and with Jean Léon Gérôme at the Académie Julian in Paris from 1887-90. Venturing into the French countryside, Browne honed his skills in the Barbizon approach to landscape painting.
Browne returned to the U.S. in 1891, settling in Chicago in 1892, when he was commissioned to paint a mural for the Children's Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition. He joined a circle of a conservative artists devoted to Impressionist painting, and married a sister of Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft. He became an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and shared a studio with George Schreiber. He founded an art journal, Brush and Pencil, in 1897 and was editor until 1900. He also participated in numerous artist organizations, serving as president of the Chicago Society of Artists, as a member and director of the Western Society of Artists, and as one of the original members of the Eagle's Nest Art Colony in Oregon, Illinois, where he worked seasonally. His Autumn Landscape, painted at this exclusive artist retreat, depicts an American landscape though in a French landscape painting tradition—with carefully modulated perspective and attention to rendering natural light.
In the summer of 1919, he became paralyzed and died the following March at his mother's home in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Browne, Charles Francis. P-02298. Ryerson Library. Art Institute of Chicago. [2 items]
Greenhouse, Wendy. "Charles Frances Browne (1859–1920)." M. Christine Schwartz Collection, http://www.schwartzcollection.com/artists/charles-francis-browne.
Greenhouse, Wendy, and Susan Weininger. Chicago Painting 1895 to 1945: The Bridges Collection. Springfield: Illinois State Museum, 2004.
Artist Image: Charles Francis Browne / W. Dyer, photographer. The Sketch Book 5 (Jan. 1906).