Frank Joseph Van Sloun (1879-1938)

“Mr. Dixon and Mr. Van Sloun are to be congratulated not only upon their individual work, but upon the success with which they have surmounted the inevitable difficulties attendant upon this form of combined effort. They have blended their separate personalities into a perfectly unified and harmonious decoration, consistent throughout. (…)

In a lunette at one end of the room stands ‘Queen Calafia’ robed allegorical figure, flanked by a historic pageant which continues around the four walls to a large window opposite, it either side of which the procession ends with groups of figures symbolizing China, Japan, Alaska, Samoa, Hawaii and other alluring lands that lie beyond the Golden Gate. Richly suggestive rather than narrative, the pageant includes actual or typical characters representative of both the real and traditional history of California from remote times to, and including, 1849. (…)

The creation of this splendidly decorative work is significant. Its importance lies in more than unquestionable merit. This city is becoming a big girl now. It is to San Francisco’s discredit- that it has been left to a hotel to take the initiative in commissioning two of her foremost artists to paint a mural decoration. It is high time for this city to recognize the importance of art in public buildings as a necessary element in cultural development.”  Junius Craven (the Argonaut, January 22, 1927) about Mark Hopkins murals.

Read Frank Joseph Van Sloun‘s biography in California Art Project, volume 8.

At a glance

Birth : November 4, 1879. St Paul, Minnesota (United States)
Death : August 27, 1938. San Francisco, California (United States)
Arrival in San Francisco Bay area : 1913
Skills :
 Painter, muralist, etcher and educator


Art education, teachers : St Paul School of Fine Arts, Art Student’s League (NYC), San Francisco School of Fine Arts, California School of Design (UC, Berkeley)
Relations : Ray Burrell, Robert Clark, Maynard Dixon, Clarkson Dye, Lawrence Hollings, Lyman Jennings, Gustav Liljestrom, Beatrice Judd Ryan, C. R. Tatunu, Miss Ethel Wallace, Grant Wallace
Institutions, clubs, venues : Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, Bohemian Club,  California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Mark Hopkins Hotel, Oakland Art Gallery

Resources in the Bancroft Library

Pictorial archives

Lewis Ferbrache pictorial collection [graphic]. Pencil & tempera or acrylic, allegory on theme of grape harvest by Frank Van Sloun. Catalog Record
Van Sloun, Franck. Etchings [graphic]. Catalog Record
Van Sloun, Franck. [Self Portrait of Frank van Sloun, #3]. Catalog Record

Data Visualization : mapping of Frank Joseph Van Sloun’s biography

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