Frances Badger

Variant Names: 
Frances S Badger
Frances Stewart Badger
Frances C S Badger
Paul Schofield
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Kenilworth, IL
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Northbrook, IL
Kenilworth, IL
Active In: 
Graphic Art
Interior View
Annual Exhibition of Works by Chicago and Vicinity Artists, AIC, 1933-37, 39
Mural, Hall of Science, Century of Progress Exposition, Chicago, 1933
Solo, Chicago Public Library Art Room
Solo, Chicago Woman's Club
Solo, Cordon Club, Chicago
Solo, University Club of Chicago
Solo, Monroe Gallery, Chicago
Solo, Chicago Woman's Aid Society
Solo, Roycemore School, Evanston, IL
Solo, Evanston (IL) Public Library
International Water Color Exhibition, AIC, 1934, 36
Delphic Studios Exhibition, NYC, 1935
New Jersey State Museum Exhibition, Trenton (NJ) 1936
Chicago Artists Exhibit, Club Women's Bureau, Mandel Brothers, Chicago, 1938
Riverside Museum Exhibition, NYC, 1939
Artist Members Exhibition, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, 1962
International Etching Exhibition, AIC
Print Club of Philadelphia (PA)
Union League Club of Chicago
Arts Club of Chicago
New Woman in Chicago, 1910-45: Paintings from Illinois Collections, Rockford College and Illinois State Museum, 1993-94
After the Great Crash: New Deal Art in Illinois, Illinois State Museum, Springfield (IL), 1983
Chicago Society of Artists, president 1942
Arts Club of Chicago
Vanderpoel Collection, Chicago
Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL
Bohemia Club Grove, San Francisco, CA
Junior School of the AIC, Winnetka, IL
Roycemore School, Evanston, IL
SAIC, diploma received 1925
SAIC, BFA degree received 1949
University of Chicago
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Other Occupations: 
Worked for FAP/WPA
Teacher, Roycemore School, Evanston (IL) 1925-29 and 1938-48
Book illustrator, "Baby Animals Mother Nature" series, 1928
Gallery director, Old Town Triangle Art Association, Chicago
Teacher, Old Town School of Art, Chicago
Biography from the IWA Project files

There was never any question that Frances Badger would be an artist when she grew up. She was born into a prominent family in Kenilworth, a suburb on Chicago's North Shore. Her art lessons began at age 6 when her mother would deliver her in a horse-drawn carriage to the Winnetka Women's Club on Saturday mornings where, in the basement, the classes of the Winnetka extension of the Junior School of the Art Institute of Chicago were held.

From there she moved on to the regular children's classes at the Art Institute, graduated from Roycemore, a private high school in Evanston, and returned once again to the Art Institute for full-time study. In 1925 she received her diploma.

Her teacher at the Art Institute was Matilda Vanderpoel, a pastel landscape and portrait painter who summered in Gold Hill, Colorado near Boulder and opened the Blue Bird Lodge which attracted many vacationing Chicago women over the summer months. Vanderpoel and Badger became good friends, and Badger spent several summers painting in Gold Hill. Then in 1925, Frances joined by her friend Vanderpoel traveled to Europe, bringing home sketches from her visit which she turned into paintings in her Chicago studio at the Fine Arts Building.

Badger's oil painting Vollendam Board of Trade was a result of time spent in Vanderpoel's native Holland. It has been said that the painting reveals Badger's sense of humor it shows several pipe-smoking Hollanders with their heads together trading gossip.

The artist returned to Roycemore School in 1925 to begin a teaching career that included suburban parochial schools and the Saturday Junior School of the Art Institute, and lasted for more than 20 years. During the Great Depression, she was a mural designer with the WPA/Federal Art Project. She made a series of murals for public buildings in Oak Park that were based on Robert Stevenson's classic Treasure Island, as well as murals with rural and family themes in Joliet, IL and Chicago.

In 1940, Badger married Paul Schofield whose mother was Chicago artist Flora Schofield. The ceremony was held in Flora's studio. Several years later Badger gave birth to a son.

She continued painting and exhibiting her work at the Art Institute and other galleries in group and solo shows. She was an active member of the Chicago Society of Artists and the Arts Club, presiding over the former in 1942. A few years later, she returned to school and graduated with a BFA from the Art Institute in 1949.

The Beverly, IL newspaper, which printed a lengthy obituary when she died in 1997 at the age of 93, said that she painted enthusiastically until a few years before her death.

Like many women artists of her time, her paintings aren't easy to locate. Sketches from four mural studies in the Illinois State Museum WPA Collection were displayed in Chicago in 1998. Two of her works were shown in another Chicago exhibit in 1999. Her painting from the Vanderpoel Art Museum--which was named for Matilda's brother John--is part of the current Illinois Women Artists Project online exhibition.

Also see biography at