Several years ago, when I was studying landscape painting with Scott L. Christensen, I spied a thin book in Scott's library. The cover had an appealing landscape painting of a harbor scene, compete with snow, boats and sailors. Flipping through the book I enjoyed many more paintings of boats in the winter, birch trees, Gloucester Harbor and more. I liked the palette, look and feel of the work, even though I was completely unfamiliar with the artist. And who was the artist? Frederick J. Mulhaupt.
Known as the "Dean of the Cape Ann School," the artist Frederick Mulhaupt was born in Rockport, Missouri in 1871. He received some training as a sign painter and later attended the Kansa City School of Design. He would go on to be one of the founding members of the Palette and Chisel Club of Chicago in 1895. In 1904 Mulhaupt left Chicago and went to New York City's Salmagundi Club. He would later study in Europe and eventually landed in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Every artist has a special place to call home and for Mulhaupt it became Gloucester. He had a family there, sold paintings and taught. He died in 1938.
If you search the Internet you can still find copies of the approximately 58 page retrospective booklet on Mulhaupt. The booklet is entitled: Frederick J. Mulhaupt- Dean of the Cape Ann School. It was published by the North Shore Arts Association.
A student recorded Mulhaupt's palette as being: alizarin crimson, vermilion, basic yellow (likely cadmium yellow), French ultramarine, Prussian blue, yellow ochre and burnt sienna. His limited palette proves that you don't need a ton of colors to achieve some beautiful work.
What follows are a few photos I took from the retrospective book depicting Mulhaupt's work. I think a lot of plein air painters and landscape artists today can appreciate his work.
There are many artists who have come before us that we can learn from. We are all familiar with the big names, but there are plenty of more obscure artists who are worth discovering. Such is the case with Frederick J. Mulhaupt. If you can obtain a copy of the retrospective book, it's a nice one to add to your book collection. It has many nice paintings, including some smaller plein air studies. Also, do yourself a favor and visit John C. Traynor's website HERE to see some amazing contemporary work! Or better yet, take one of his workshops someday.