Seitz, William Chapin 1914 – 1974. Watercolor painting. Annotated in ink “1 – 35,” signed and dated in ink, “William C. Seitz ’48” on the image at the lower right. A vertical image of captive winged figures with touches of yellow, pink and white, in a white Seitz barred cage on a sky-blue background. These trapped winged figures flail furiously against the bars of a cage to which there no door. 19 7/8 in x 13 in, on an untrimmed piece of heavy watercolor paper, painted in water-based paint. This painting was removed from its original mat. Traces of mounting tape remain on the back. Written on the back in pencil but not in the artist’s hand, is the annotation, “The Captives William C. Seitz ’48.” A powerful image in fine condition.
A scholar, painter, author, Princeton professor and Curator of the Department of Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Dr. William C. Seitz was celebrated for his introductory and imaginative exhibitions of pop art and abstract expressionism. He is credited with getting people to take a second look at modern art, at a time when it was viewed with condescension by cultural elites. Chapin studied at the Albright Art School in Buffalo and later at the Art Institute of Buffalo. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1946 from the University of Buffalo and his doctorate at Princeton in 1955. Dr. Seitz is said to be the first person to get a doctoral degree in Modern Art from Princeton. This painting dates from 1948, when he was teaching at the State Teacher’s College in Buffalo.