Eric Pape was born in San Francisco in 1870 and, as a teen, studied at the San Francisco School of Design under Emil Carlsen. In 1888 he left for Paris, studying not only at the Ecole des Beaux Arts under Gerome but at the studios of a number of well known artist / instructors, such as Jules Lefebvre and Benjamin Constant. During these years he travelled widely and exhibited not only at the Paris Salons but in Egypt and at the World Columbian Exposition (Chicago) in 1893. The artist returned to the United States in 1894, marrying in Boston and establishing, at age 28, the Eric Pape School of Art, which numbered N.C. Wyeth among its students. Pape was quite prolific and exhibited extensively throughout the U.S., Britain, and Europe. His career saw a meteoric rise, culminating near the turn of the century in one-man shows at the Detroit Museum of Art, the Cincinnati Museum of Art, and the St. Louis Museum of Art. In 1901 he was invited to exhibit ninety-seven paintings in the Palace of American Archaeology and Ethnology at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, where he won a medal for the collection. He also exhibited at such major venues as the Society of American Artists, the Pennsylvania Academy, the Chicago Art Institute, and the National Academy of Design.
Still Life with Daffodils, oil on canvas on board;
25 by 20 inches (image);
32.5 by 27.5 inches (with frame),
In addition to his career in fine arts, Pape was a highly successful illustrator. He routinely produced illustrations for magazines such as Scribners, Cosmopolitan, and The Century, and he illustrated a large number of deluxe edition books. In 1906 he designed and executed a petition to preserve the U.S. Frigate Constitution (“Old Ironsides”). The illuminated scroll is now in the Naval Museum in Washington, D.C. He also designed a bronze memorial commemorating the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was dedicated in 1907 at Gloucester, Massachusetts.