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James Chapin
(New York / 1887 - 1975)

James Chapin was born in West Orange, New Jersey. Early on his work was dominated by the French post-Impressionists, especially Cezanne, who Chapin idolized. In 1924, Chapin left Greenwich Village and headed to the hills of northern New Jersey. He found a cabin and rented it for $4 a month from a hardworking farming family, the Marvins.

Chapin's relationship with the Marvins proved to be a turning point in his artistic career. His style shifted from cubist arrangements to those of the American scene- long before it became a popular subject. As a result of this switch, Chapin has been credited by some critics as the founder of American Scene painting. Chapin lived and worked with the Marvins for five years; painting them plowing the fields and picking potatoes the entire time. These regionalist paintings depict the dark and bleak realities of American farm life.

In 1929, Chapin returned to Manhattan, where he continued to paint scenes of American life. He also taught one day a week at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In the summer he taught with Millard Sheets at the Fine Arts Department of Claremont College in California.

Chapin was a pupil at the Antwerp Royal Academy and Society of Independent Painters of America.

James Chapin died in 1975.
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