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Frederick Polley

male 1875-1957
19th/20th Century
Life city:
Work city:
Indianapolis, IN
J.R. Hopkins
re: Frederick Polley -

  • Marion County

We're very interested in buying artwork by Frederick Polley. Please contact us for more information.

Frederick Polley, the son of two teachers, was born on August 15, 1875 in Union City, Indiana. He studied under William Forsyth at the John Herron Art Institute, under James R. Hopkins in Provincetown, Massachusetts and at the Corcoran Art School.

He was a member of the Indiana Artists Club, the Chicago Galleries Association, the Salmagundi Club of New York City, the Chicago Society of Etchers and the Brown County Art Gallery Association.

He exhibited at the Carnegie Institute, the Society of Etchers in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, and at the Library of Congress. In 1923 Polley was commissioned by the state of Pennsylvania to etch the buildings of old Germantown. He won prizes at the Hoosier Salon in 1942 and 1943, the Indiana Art Club in 1939, 1943, and 1945, the Herron Art Institute in 1934 and the New Orleans Art League in 1943.

Polley was working as a telegraph operator in Illinois when he became seriously interested in sketching. His drawings of area landmarks were featured in the local newspaper.

He was also a government mapmaker in Washington, D.C. when he studied etching at the Corcoran Art School. A New York publisher noticed his work and he began to do illustrations for magazines.

In 1914 Polley returned to Indiana, and settled in Indianapolis with his wife and daughters. He became the city’s only professional etcher. He taught graphic design at Arsenal Technical High School for many years and submitted stories and sketches to the Indianapolis Star to supplement his income. He made several trips to the Peaceful Valley in Brown County, Indiana, providing numerous subjects for sketches and stories for his Sunday feature in the Star.

Frederick Polley died in Brown County on September 9, 1957.

We are very interested in purchasing artwork by Frederick Polley. Please contact us if you have pieces you are considering selling.


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