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Oliver Chaffee is considered to be one of the most important and influential early modern painters and art teachers in what is thought to be the oldest art colony in the United States, Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Chaffee’s early paintings were clearly influenced by his training in New York with Robert Henri, as well as his training in Paris at the Academie Julian, where he must have come in contact with the Fauvist work of Matisse and Derain. Chaffee’s work from the 1910s represents some of the earliest and most accomplished “Fauvist” work done in the United States.


Three of Chaffee’s paintings, all Fauvist landscapes, were part of the famous Armory Show of 1913 in New York. His work was well received and compared to the works of Matisse, Picasso, Hartley, Marin, and Maurer. A review of the show compared Chaffee’s work with that of Maurer, and complimented the “effect of intense sunlight” in his work.





Art Students League, with Hawthorne

New York School of Art, with Henri and Chase

Detroit Fine Arts Academy

Academie Julian




1908, 1933, 1946 Detroit Art Institute

1912 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art

1913 Armory Show

1913, 1924 Salon d’Automne, Paris

1919, 1928, 1932, 1942 Art Institute of Chicago

Provincetown Art Association and Museum

1927 Brooklyn Museum

1933 Museum of Modern Art

Worcester Museum of Art

1977 Everson Museum of Art

1986 Corcoran Gallery of Art

1991 Taft Museum




Smithsonian Institution

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Provincetown Art Association and Museum

Provincetown Town Hall

Hills and Pine by Oliver Chaffee
Ada Gilmore by Oliver Chaffee
Frog with Calla Lillies by Oliver Chaffee
Vence by Oliver Chaffee
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