Frank Panabaker, RCA, 1904-1992

Ontario Fall Scene 2 | Frank Panabaker

Ontario Fall Scene 2 | Frank Panabaker

Oil on Masonite, circa 1952.
Size: 16 X 20 inches
Price: SOLD

Details: Untitled Ontario Fall scene. Signed lower right.
Framed, measures 20 X 24 inches
Provenance: Private Collection, Utah, USA
Note: This is a companion piece to Ontario Fall Scene 1 and have identical, modern frames.

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Ontario Fall Scene 1 | Frank Panabaker

Ontario Fall Scene 1 | Frank Panabaker

Oil on Masonite, circa 1952.
Size: 16 X 20 inches
Price: SOLD

Details: Untitled Ontario Fall scene. Signed lower right.
Framed, measures 20 X 24 inches
Provenance: Private Collection, Utah, USA
Note: This is a companion piece to Ontario Fall Scene 2 and have identical, modern frames.

Additional Information and Photos Available Upon Request

Purchase or Inquire


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Birch Trees | Frank Panabaker

Birch Trees | Frank Panabaker

Oil on Masonite
Size: 17" x 21"
Price: SOLD
Signed: Frank Panabaker
Provenance: Private Collection. Gift to family 1963. Frame has plate inscribed to family.

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St. Hilaire Quebec | Frank Panabaker

St. Hilaire Quebec | Frank Panabaker

Size: 18" x 23.5"

Price: SOLD

Oil on Masonite

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Dundas Marsh | Frank Panabaker

Dundas Marsh | Frank Panabaker

Oil on Masonite
Size: 16" x 20"
Price: SOLD
Unsigned
Provenance: Private Collection.

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Morning Light, Georgian Bay | Frank Panabaker

Morning Light, Georgian Bay | Frank Panabaker

Oil on Canvas, Circa 1950
Size: 20" by 26"
Price: SOLD

Details: Signed lower right. Original sales receipt with artist name, artwork title dated March 4, 1950 from The T. Eaton Co. Ltd.
Framed: Original period frame
Provenance: The T. Eaton Co. Ltd., Private Collection.

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Frank Panabaker is known for his paintings of Hamilton
and Ontario scenes but his brush covered wider themes

 

Biography
Frank Shirley Panabaker was born in 1904 in Hespeler, now part of Cambridge, Ontario.

Frank Panabaker lived most of his life in the Hamilton area – there’s even a street named after him there – but painted landscapes across almost every Canadian province and even down into Vermont and the Bahamas.

Many of his paintings show scenery and life in and around the Hamilton area, including the Dundas Valley and Ancaster, and have a pastoral or romantic look to them. Frank Panabaker’s many paintings showing windswept trees in Georgian Bay also became a hallmark, as has his winter scenes.

Frank Panabaker took up the brush at an early age, attending classes taught by Farquhar McGillivray Knowles, and later studied at the Ontario College of Arts in Toronto and in New York City.

Supported Himself Through Art

By the time he was in his mid-twenties, Frank Panabaker was able to support himself through his art. This continued throughout his life, though, like many artists, it wasn’t easy, especially during the lean years of the Great Depression.

Frank Panabaker had his first exhibition in 1927, and others followed. At a 1933 exhibition in Hamilton, he sold eight paintings in the first four days.

The story goes that Sara D. Roosevelt, mother of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, purchased a small seascape at the exhibition. When this was reported in a Toronto newspaper, 18 more pictures were sold in the next two days.

Over the years, Frank Panabaker also sold works to be used as Christmas and other holiday cards, another source of income. Later in his life, his artworks were produced as limited edition prints and posters.

Life in Hamilton

From the 1940s to the end of his life, Frank Panabaker documented life around Hamilton, where he lived with his wife, Katherine. But the painters also went on many trips to document scenes in Ontario and beyond, sometimes with fellow artist Frank Brigden.

A retrospective of Frank Panabaker’s work was held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in 1995. In the catalogue, Grace Inglis described Frank Panabaker as a prolific painter, and an artist who became known for his outdoor sketches that became the basis of his paintings.

Grace Inglis wrote: “As we recognise the skills required of the pleinair artist–of colour balance, tonal control, mixed with knowledge of paint behaviour and sensitivity to every mood of the landscape even under the most severe conditions–Panabaker’s special abilities will be more widely appreciated.”

Royal Canadian Academy

Frank Panabaker was an associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy (R.C.A.), and also became a member of the Allied Artists of America. He also served on the board of trustees for the National Gallery of Canada.

His works are held in numerous collections, private and public, and he donated one his Georgian Bay Paintings to the Government of Ontario Art Collection in 1963.

Frank Panabaker painted up until the last week of his life, dying at 88 in 1992.

Sources: Hamilton Public Library and MyHamilton.ca; Beckett Fine Art; Climbing the Cold White Peaks: A Survey of Artists in and from Hamilton 1910-1950 by Stuart MacCuaig; Grace Inglis catalogue from the Art Gallery of Hamilton.