(Aug. 15, 1875-Sept. 9, 1957). Frederick Polley was born in Union City, Indiana. His art instruction included study at the Corcoran Art School, Washington, D.C., and the Herron School Of Art, under Hoosier Group painter William Forsyth. He was also a student of James Hopkins in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Frederick Polley, Stewart's Place, lithograph, n.d.
Credit: Newfields

As an art teacher, Polley began his career at the Herron School of Art. Later, he taught art at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis for over 20 years, becoming head of the Graphic Arts Department. However, he is perhaps best known for the weekly art editorial features that he contributed to the Indianapolis Star. Through illustration and text, Polley highlighted hundreds of state landmarks from 1924 to 1947.

Polley’s paintings and lithographs were exhibited at the annual art shows of the Hoosier Salon, the Irvington Group, and the Indiana Artists Club, from which he received the First Selection Purchase Prize in 1939. His work is located in such permanent collections as the Indianapolis Museum Of Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Irvington Historical Society, Indianapolis; and the Indianapolis Public Schools.

Revised February 2021
Visual Arts

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