Frederic B. Schell was born in Philadelphia in 1838 and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1862 Fred B. Schell became a Special Artist for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated News, a New York newspaper. In 1863, Frank Leslie assigned him to General Ulysses S. Grant’s army at Vicksburg. Grant was a U.S. general and commander of the Union armies during the late years of the American Civil War. Schell's work is well known in the States. 

Fred was brought out to New Zealand to produce views for Garran's THE PICTURESQUE ATLAS OF AUSTRALASIA. This three-volume set was made to mark 100 years of Australia’s settlement.

He was active in Australia and New Zealand from 1886-1889 and passed away in the States in 1902, in New York.

Mr. and Mrs. Frederic B. Schell, Jr. in 1992 donated Fred's work to the Akron Art Museum, Ohio, including a beautiful watercolour painting Mt. Cook, Hooker River after a storm.  Inscribed in pencil, LR, "Mt. Cook/ Hooker River after a storm/ Mar. 25/87". Inscribed on reverse in pen, "33". Watercolors such as this one were on-site studies, which would later be translated into wood engravings to illustrate volumes for armchair travellers. Volume II is online and contains the South Canterbury etchings. Frederic Boley Schell Jr. died 1 September 1993 Sarasota, Florida.

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