Charles Chapman art students

A Step Back in Time

by James Doyle

Morristown Mounts  Chapman Art Retrospective at Library July 22 to 29

The Morristown Public Library will exhibit early 20th century paintings by local artists and their teacher Charles Shepard Chapman in a unique retrospective during the last week in July.

Born in Morristown to the town’s founding family, Chapman was a noted teacher, painter, and illustrator who, although he often claimed he was self-taught, was educated at Pratt Institute and at William Merritt Chase’s New York School of Art, both in New York City.  He was highly influenced by the famed western artist Frederic Remington. 

In the 1930s he established art classes on the grounds of Chapman Point, where he had his studio in the top floor of the family mansion.  His students gathered on the expanse of Chapman Point, surrounded by the waters of the Saint Lawrence, the lawns and foliage of Morristown and the longer views of Brockville, Ontario and the distant Ogdensburg port.

Joe McDonald, the present owner of the Chapman home and grounds, gathered art work from his own collection and those of other residents including the collection of  Gloria Scott Johnson, to offer a preview of the landscapes, riverscapes, skyscapes and techniques which will again be on display August 1 to 4 at the first annual Plein Air Festival hosting 25 artists from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ontario who will be painting at outdoor sites along the river and in the village and town, with visitors welcome to observe and view exhibits, lectures, book sale, silent auction, meet-and-greet BBQ, bands and jugglers and wine tasting.