Riverboat Sunset, 38” x 46” 

Paul Chidlaw

Cincinnati's first Abstract Expressionist, the Ran Gallery handles the Chidlaw artistic estate.


(American, 1900-1989)
Paul Chidlaw was born in Cleves, Ohio in 1900 to Edward H. and Carolyn Guise Chidlaw. From 1919-1923, Paul studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. From 1924-1927, he was a designer for commercial films in Cincinnati, Ohio. Travel in Europe and Africa, 1927-1935, including study in France at I’Ecole des Beaux Arts de Fontainbleau, Academie Collorosi, Academi Grand Chaumiere; and in Paris with Andre Lhote, Jean Despujols, St. Hubert de la Montagne.

Paul Chidlaw painted in oil, watercolor, acrylic, etchings, pastel, charcoal, pencil.  His artwork in displayed in the Cincinnati Art Museum and Xavier University.  There is a gallery in the Art Academy of Cincinnati named the "Chidlaw Gallery", because they considered him to be one of the finest artists (and certainly the earliest abstract expressionist) in the 20th century in the Cincinnati area.

Chidlaw had one man shows in Raspail Gallery, Paris; River Road Gallery, Louisville, KY; Loring Andrews Gallery, Cincinnati, OH. He was represented in exhibitions of Midtown Gallery, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Ohio Watercolor Society traveling exhibitions; Midwestern Artists, Kansas City Art Institute; Cincinnati Modern Art Society; Texas Wildcat traveling exhibition; Cincinnati Art Museum regional and Art Academy Instructors exhibitions; Butler Art Institute’s Annual Midyear Shows, Youngstown, OH. He created murals for the Terminal Post Office, Cincinnati; Cincinnati Zoological Gardens building; Music Room of Greenhills Community Center, Greenhills, OH; General Electric Corporation, Lockland, OH.

Paul Chidlaw was afflicted with macular degeneration in his last years, yet would do black and white drawings every day only being able to see with peripheral vision. He was driven to create something new every day. Chidlaw died in 1989.


1927-1935: He traveled and studied in Europe and North Africa

1935: He returned to Paris and then to Cincinnati

1936-1937: Paul had a studio on Third Street, Cincinnati; teaching and painting privately and commissions, including WPA murals at Cincinnati Zoo and Greenhills Schools

1938-1942: Paul had a studio on Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati, painting and teaching

1942-1944: Paul served in the Engineer Division in the United States Army with an honorable discharge

1944-1945: Paul was employed at Wright Aeronautical Corporation until the end of WWII

1945-1946 Paul was a drawing instructor at Storey's Commercial Art School in East Walnut Hills, Cincinnati and Central Academy of Commercial Art, Cincinnati.

1946-1963: Paul was a painting instructor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati

1947-1952: August, Painting vacations in Maine

1952: Married Madge Smith, who the librarian at the Cincinnati Art Museum

1963: Summer, traveled to Europe to collect paintings and prints by Contemporary Artists for Art Gallery of H. & S. Pogue Company, Fourth and Race Streets, Cincinnati

1964: Opened studio on W McMillan Street, Cincinnati, teaching and painting. November 1 established a studio in Rookwood Bldg, Mt. Adams, Cincinnati, where he gave day & night classes

1968: October, exhibition at Emery Gallery on Edgecliff College. Cincinnati.

1972: January, installation of 18 paintings by Chidlaw in new Standard Federal Savings offices at 525Vine St. Cinti., January exhibition at A. B. Closson Gallery, Fourth and Race, Cincinnati. October, traveled to Greece.

1974: January - March, exhibition at A. B. Closson Gallery

1976: November, inclusion in "the Art of the Landscape" exhibition of paintings by 19th & 20th century American artists at A. B. Closson Gallery 

1977: Appointment as artist in residence at Edgecliff College, moved studio to Carriage House on campus: September-October exhibition at Emery Gallery

1979: May 13, commencement address by Chidlaw and awarded honorary degree; October - November exhibition at Emery Gallery.

1980: February 28, interview of Chidlaw and tour of his studio presented on WCET-TV, Cincinnati; October - November exhibition at Emery Gallery.

1981: October 22, participation a reception for "The Arts of Edgecliff College" with an exhibition of work in his studio.  
1982: October, exhibition at Emery Gallery

1984: October, inclusion in "Focus on Art: Figurative Art" exhibition presented by Central Trust Bank, 5th &  Main, Cincinnati

1985: August 24 - October 27, first museum exhibition, Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, Ohio.