Rupprecht portrait

Edgar Rupprecht

b. 1889, Zanesville, OH - d. 1954, Chicago, IL

Edgar Rupprecht was born in 1889 in Zanesville, Ohio, and grew up in Chicago. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) on and off from 1906 to 1919. He worked under Frederick Fursman at SAIC and at the Summer School of Painting in Saugatuck, MI, along with fellow student Isobel Steele MacKinnon, whom Rupprecht married in 1921. The couple lived at Tree Studios on Chicago’s Near North Side, and spent summers teaching at Saugatuck.

Rupprecht began exhibiting in the Art Institute of Chicago’s Chicago and Vicinity annual exhibitions in 1916, and won the Holmes Prize in 1923. In 1925 Rupprecht and MacKinnon studied under Hans Hoffmann in Munich, at his School for Modern Art. Rupprecht became Hoffman’s assistant at the school’s summer sessions at Capri (1925-27) and Saint Tropez (1928-29). The couple lived in Paris in 1929, returning to the United States in 1932 with their infant daughter.

Rupprecht was a member of the Chicago Society of Artists and worked for the Federal Arts Project Easel Division until 1936. His colorful gouache, Untitled (Street scene), represents a departure from this modernist vein, offering instead a more realist-oriented depiction of a corner grocery store in the rain. The snapshot of daily life fits well within the American scene painting context prevalent at the time.

Lisa Meyerowitz


Greenhouse, Wendy. “Edgar Rupprecht (1899–1954),” M. Christine Scwartz Collection,

Mavigliano, George J., and Richard A. Lawson, The Federal Art Project in Illinois, 1935-1943. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989, p. 132.

Sparks, Esther. A Biographical Dictionary of Painters and Sculptors in Illinois 1808-1945. Diss., Northwestern University, 1971, p. 583.

Yochim, Louise Dunn. Role and Impact: The Chicago Society of Artists. Chicago: Chicago Society of Artists, 1979.

Artist Image: Portrait of Edgar Rupprecht, c. 1927 / Isobel Steele MacKinnon [his wife]. Charcoal on paper; 21 3/4 x 18 1/2 inches. Corbett vs. Dempsey.

Works by Edgar Rupprecht