1892 Born March 14 in Buffalo, New York, the second son of Harrison and Louise Mauger Folinsbee. Christened Floyd Fulton Folinsbee, he changes his name to John while still a boy.
1900–1901 Takes classes in the children’s program at the Art Students’ League in Buffalo.
1906 Contracts polio and is sent to recover with his aunt and uncle in Plainfield, New Jersey. Studies with the painter Jonas Lie.
1907 Leaves New Jersey for Washington, Connecticut, to attend the Gunnery School.
1910–12 Studies formally with Herbert Waldron Faulkner in the artist’s Washington studio. Meets Ruth Baldwin (his future wife), who later gives him the book Landscape Painting by Birge Harrison.
1912 Studies with Harrison and John Fabian Carlson at the Art Students’ League’s summer school in Woodstock, New York, where he boards with Harrison. The Valley wins first prize at the Concours Exhibition.
1912–13 Studies with Frank Vincent DuMond at the Art Students’ League in New York and, in March, sees the International Exhibition of Modern Art (commonly known as the Armory Show). Morning Light is accepted for the National Academy of Design’s 88th Annual Exhibition. Becomes a member of the Salmagundi Club.
1913 In the summer, meets Harry Leith-Ross and studies with Carlson at Woodstock. Boards with Harrison and shares a studio with Leith-Ross.
1914 Boards with Harrison and shares a studio with Leith-Ross at Woodstock. Poughkeepsie Bridge is included in the Exhibition of the Woodstock School of Landscape Painting of the Art Students’ League in New York. Marries Ruth Baldwin in October. At the invitation of Homer Saint-Gaudens, the couple honeymoons in Cornish, New Hampshire, and visits Gloucester, Massachusetts, before returning to Connecticut. Becomes a founding member of the Washington Art Association and takes part in its first exhibition. Participates in The Woodstock School, an exhibition organized by Percy Holt that opens at the Houston Art League (now the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and later travels to Dallas and Galveston, Texas.
1915 With Leith-Ross, has his first New York exhibition at the Louis Katz Art Gallery; the show later travels to cities such as Erie, Pennsylvania; Rochester, New York; and Youngstown and Toledo, Ohio. Represented by Macbeth Gallery (1915–17). Spends the summer and autumn at the Silvermine art colony in New Canaan, Connecticut.
1916 Moves to New Hope, Pennsylvania, in January. Winter Quiet receives the Third Hallgarten Prize at the National Academy’s 91st Annual Exhibition. Becomes a member of Allied Artists of America. In October, has his first solo exhibition at the Hillyer Gallery at Smith College in Massachusetts.
1917 Spends the winter in Brooklyn, where daughter Beth is born in February. Joins Ferargil Galleries (represented 1917–1955) and has his first annual solo exhibition there in January. The Bridge at New Hope is purchased by Duncan Phillips; it is exchanged in 1921 for Along the Canal. Canal in Winter is awarded the Second Hallgarten Prize at the National Academy’s 92nd Annual Exhibition. Queensboro Bridge receives the Richard Greenough Prize at the annual exhibition of the Art Association of Newport at the Rhode Island School of Design.
1918–19 Queensboro Bridge receives honorable mention at the Art Institute of Chicago.
1919 Elected an Associate of the National Academy. An exhibition of work by Folinsbee, Charles Rosen, and Emily Groom opens at the Bresler Gallery in Milwaukee. Approaching Dusk is awarded an honorable mention at the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). In February, shows fifteen paintings in an exhibition of work by Rosen, Charles Barlow, Hayley Lever, Randall Daley, and John Wenger at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester. Daughter Joan is born in July.
1920 Approaching Dusk receives the Isidore Prize at the Salmagundi Club’s Annual Exhibition of Oil Paintings. In November, has a solo exhibition at McClees Gallery in Philadelphia. February (The Village: Winter) is purchased by the Syracuse Museum of Fine Art; it is now a promised gift to Dartmouth University’s Hood Museum of Art.
1921 At the National Academy’s 96th Annual Exhibition, High River is awarded the first J. Francis Murphy Prize and Jersey Waterfront receives the Carnegie Prize. Jersey Waterfront also garners the Bronze Medal and the Third William A. Clark Prize at the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s 8th Biennial Exhibition of Oil Paintings by Contemporary American Artists, where it is purchased by Robert A. Cooke of New York. Grey Thaw is purchased for the Corcoran’s permanent collection.
1922 Elected Life Member of the National Arts Club and gives Canal in Winter as his diploma presentation. The Funeral is awarded third prize at the National Arts Club’s 23rd Annual Exhibition. Becomes a founding member of the Grand Central Art Galleries in New York.
1923 By the Upper Lock is awarded the First Hallgarten Prize at the National Academy’s 98th Annual Exhibition. The painting is purchased via the Henry Ward Ranger Fund for the Grand Rapids Art Museum;  it is later transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
1924 In January, exhibits in the Paintings by Arthur B. Davies, Felicie Waldo Howell, and American Contemporaries exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery. Low Canal receives the Purchase Prize at the Philadelphia Art Club’s annual exhibition. Receives the Charles Noel Flagg Prize at CAFA’s annual exhibitionfor Beth and Joan (The Sisters). Four oil sketches receive the Plimpton Prize at the Salmagundi Club. Canal at Trenton is included in the Exhibit of Fine Arts at the Ohio State Fair.
1925 Canal at Goat Hill is selected for the fine arts exhibition at the New Jersey State Fair, Trenton, and receives the Gedney Bunce Prize at CAFA’s 15th Annual Exhibition. The painting is later purchased by the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.
1926 Still River receives the Frank A. Thompson Prize at the Salmagundi Club’s Auction Exhibition and Sale of Pictures. Travels with family to England and France during the summer and early autumn. Paints along the Oxford Canal and in Saint Ives with Walter Elmer Schofield before visiting Paris and settling in Bourré. Bourré receives the J. Francis Murphy Memorial Prize at the National Academy’s 96th Annual Exhibition (Winter). Outskirts of Trenton, Perseverance Mill, and Cloud Shadowed are exhibited in the American Pavilion at the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia. Outskirts of Trenton receives a Bronze Medal and is later purchased by Arthur S. Dayton. Mending the Canal Bank is invited to the Los Angeles Exposition. June Afternoon is included in the Exhibit of Fine Arts at the Ohio State Fair. Winter Nocturne is purchased by the Reading Public Museum from the 121st Annual Exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA).
1928 Elected an Academician of the National Academy and presents Canal at Trenton as his diploma piece.
1929 Becomes a founding member of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association (the Mill) in New Hope; William Langson Lathrop serves as first president (until 1933), and Ruth Folinsbee as first vice president. In May, shows nine paintings including Oxford Canal and Bridge at Montrichard at the Mill’s first Exhibition of Fine Arts. Lehigh Canal is invited by the American Federation of Arts for an exhibition in Budapest. The Gondola Car, Shad Fishermen, Terrace at Night, Trenton Platform, and Tow Mules are selected for a Folinsbee “group” at the Carnegie Institute’s 28th International Exhibition of Paintings.
1930 Bridge on the Cher is awarded the Veznin Purchase Prize at the Salmagundi Club’s Thumb-Box Exhibition. In March, The Gondola Car is selected for the Exhibition of American Art for Sweden that was organized by Jonas Lie in conjunction with the Worcester Art Museum that traveled to Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Munich. Lehigh Canal is invited for the New American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In May, chairs the jury for the Mill’s second exhibition. Lathrop rejects a painting by Lloyd “Bill“ Ney, causing a chain of events that leads to the formation of the New Group and, later, the Independents.
1931 Canal and River is awarded the Jennie Sesnan Gold Medal at PAFA’s 126th Annual Exhibition. Coryell’s Ferry is selected for the exhibition The Native Element in Contemporary American Painting, organized by the American Federation of Arts.
1933 With Rolf W. Bauhan and C. A. Sienkiewicz, serves on the committee organizing the memorial exhibition for Rae Sloan Bredin at the Mill; also curates the exhibition. From June to September, holds the first summer painting class at his studio. During the winter months (and into the 1940s), teaches classes at the Holmquist School in New Hope. Asked by the Independents, citing his “broadness and fairness,” to review their first exhibition in May. The review is printed in the Lambertville Record in July. Chairs the Mill’s autumn exhibition, an appointment that is welcomed by artists associated with the Independents.
1934 In September, is included in the inaugural exhibition of the Pickett Galleries, New Hope, then under the direction of Bruce Lockwood. Other exhibitors include Ney, Adolphe Wiener Blondheim, Charles Evans, R.A.D. Miller, Charles F. Ramsey, and Anatol Shulkin. The Exhibition of Oil Paintings by William Langson Lathrop, N. A., Daniel Garber, N. A., and John Fulton Folinsbee, N.A. tours cities in upstate New York. Workhouse Quarry is selected as the cover image for the October issue of The New Hope, a magazine published by Peter J. Keenan and devoted to progressive art.
1935 Canal Quay, Trenton is selected for the Fine Arts Exhibition at the California Pacific International Exposition in the Palace of Fine Arts in San Diego.
1936 Windy Bush Lock receives the Altman Prize at the National Academy’s 111th Annual Exhibition. Meets Peter G. Cook, a young architect, who begins to study painting with Folinsbee and marries his daughter Joan in 1938. The two later collaborate on a number of murals for the United States Treasury’s Section of Fine Arts, one of the New Deal’s public art programs.
1937 Elected a member of the Century Association in New York. Takes a cruise up the coast of Maine to Mount Desert Island in Walter Kahn’s sloop Little Dipper. After 1937, spends all summers in Maine. Burnt Coat Harbor is selected for the Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Bowman’s Hill is purchased by PAFA and included in its 132nd Annual Exhibition. Lumberville Lock and Brownsburg Slopes are included in the Progressive Art exhibition at the Mill.
1938 With Cook, paints a mural for the post office in Freeland, Pennsylvania. Re-establishes a relationship with Ferargil Galleries after a decadelong absence and holds a solo exhibition there in February.
1939 Evening at Swan’s Island receives the fourth prize for best landscape in the American Art—Without "Isms" exhibition at the Grand Central Art Galleries. With Cook, paints two murals for the post office in Paducah, Kentucky. Shad Haul is invited for the art exhibition at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. Becomes a member of the New Hope Art Associates (1939–43). Other members include Miller, Evans, Ney, Leith-Ross, Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt, Louis Stone, and Walter Emerson Baum.
1941 Hunterdon County receives the Altman Prize for best landscape at the National Academy’s 115th Annual Exhibition. Serves as the instructor in landscape painting for the newly founded New Hope Summer School of Art.
1942 With Cook, paints a mural for the post office in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. Hunterdon County is included in Artists for Victory: An Exhibition of Contemporary American Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
1944 Hunterdon County is included in the Artists for Victory’s British-American Good-Will Exhibition of Contemporary American Art.
1946 Union Paper Millis included in the Paintings of the Year: Pepsi-Cola Third Annual Competition of Contemporary Paintings exhibition. PAFA exchanges Bowman’s Hill for Dark Hollow, which it includes in its 141st Annual Exhibition.
1949 Buys an old farmhouse known as Murphy’s Corner in Woolwich, Maine. River Wall receives the Anonymous Landscape Prize at the National Academy’s 124th Annual Exhibition II.
1950 Night receives the Altman Prize at the National Academy’s 125th Annual Exhibition andis invited for the American Painting Today 1950 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
1951 Maine Moonlight receives the Century Association Medal at its Artist Members Exhibition.


Off Seguin (Ellingwood Rock) is awarded the Palmer Marine Prize at the National Academy’s 127th Annual Exhibition. Uses the prize money to buy a twenty-five-foot lobster boat, which he names Sketch and uses as the “base of operations” for his summer work.
1953 Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters (now part of the American Academy of Arts and Letters).
1955 Shag Rock receives the Margaret Cooper Prize from CAFA.
1956 Participates in a joint exhibition with Cook and Charles Chase at Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia; Shag Rock is later purchased by the museum for its permanent collection.
1959 Has solo exhibitions at the William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum in Maine and the Century Association.
1961 Receives the Charles K. Smith and Violet Oakley Memorial Prizes from Woodmere Art Museum.
1963 Shag Ledge wins the First Patron’s Prize from the Mill and is later sent to an American Embassy in India.
1964 Takes part in joint exhibition with Cook at the Treat Gallery at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
1965 Edward Redfield is awarded the Ligonier Pennational Prize.
1967 Edith Taylor receives the Century Association Portrait Prize.
1968 Takes part in joint exhibition with Charles Rudy at the Art Association of Harrisburg in Pennsylvania.
1969 Awarded the Benjamin West Clinedinst Memorial Medal by the Artists’ Fellowship, Inc., for achievement of exceptional artistic merit.
1972 Dies at home in New Hope.
1984 Ruth Folinsbee establishes the John F. Folinsbee Art Trust.
1991 Ruth Folinsbee (born 1890) dies.
1994 John Folinsbee by Peter G. Cook published.
2004 John F. Folinsbee catalogue raisonné established.
2010 John Folinsbee and American Modernism at the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, 6 Nov 2010–6 March 2011.