Browne, Charles Francis(American, 1859-1920)
Charles Francis Browne was born in Natick, Massachusetts in 1859 and later became one of the original members of the Eagle’s Nest Art Colony as its foremost landscape artist.
He began formal art training at the Boston Museum School in 1882. Browne displayed natural talent and ability in painting, which earned him acceptance to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1885. There he was a student of Thomas Eakins (“The Gross Clinic”), one of the greatest, most prolific painters in American history. Under Eakins, Browne painted figures in gritty, candid Realism. In 1887, Browne decided to expand his genre, so he headed to Paris.
Under Gérôme, Browne’s repertoire evolved from figures to landscapes and from Realism to Impressionistic Naturalism. He found that he preferred to paint in that style, and continued to do so for the remainder of his life. In 1892, Browne was in Chicago teaching painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and working hard to expand and nurture Chicago’s fledging art culture. Browne was a member of every major art society in Chicago, including the Chicago Municipal Art League, the Chicago Artists’ Guild, and became the founder and editor of “Brush and Pencil,” president of the Chicago Society of Artists, member and director of the Western Society of Artists, the Little Room, the American Federation of Arts and various national organizations.
As an esteemed artist and teacher, he was frequently asked to juror exhibitions across America, as well as in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile. He was also the brother-in-law of famed sculptor Laredo Taft. His work can be found in the Chicago Art Institute, which exhibited nearly 200 of his paintings throughout his lifetime.
Works Cited:
Madden, Betty; Larry Emmons (Foreward). The Eagle’s Nest Art Colony. Collection: Arts Alliance Ogle County, 1982.

t. (Main Office)
t. (Suburban Office)