Born in Boston, Frank Shapleigh studied art at the Lowell Institute Drawing School until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he enlisted in the Union Army's 45th Massachusetts Regiment. After the war Shapleigh traveled to Paris to continue his art studies at the studio of Barbizon school artist Emile Lambinet, which greatly influenced his style. After an extensive tour of Europe he returned to Boston three years later to establish his own studio and in 1876 he became a member of the Boston Art Club.
The artist would continue to travel widely throughout his life, painting New England, California and Europe, focusing on the unique landscapes of each new vista. By the late 1870's Shapleigh had established himself as a summer artist-in-residence at Crawford House, a grand resort in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and today is respected as one of the most important artists to paint the area, including the nearby Massachusetts shoreline. He would eventually build a summer home and art studio in Jackson, New Hampshire called "Maple Knoll".
In the late 1880's Frank Shapleigh would turn a winter visit to St. Augustine, Florida into a second artist-in-residence program, spending several years thereafter summering at millionaire developer Henry Flagler's exclusive Ponce De Leon Hotel. Flagler established an art colony with studios at the hotel, attracting many rising stars of American art including Martin Johnson Heade and Albert Fuller Graves. It was Shapleigh however, whose paintings of local scenes gained him further acclaim, and he is thought of as the best professional artist to paint the city.
The Artist's Works May Be Seen in the Permanent Collections of;
Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, Florida
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts
Ogden Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine
Among many other important public and private collections nationwide.