J. Frank Copeland was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1872, but spent most of his life in Philadelphia, PA. He studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art.
Copeland was an active member of many Philadelphia organizations including the Philadelphia Sketch Club, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Philadelphia Arts Guild, and the Philadelphia Watercolor Club.
He exhibited throughout the city during his career, winning gold medals from both the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. Copeland taught at the later for many years, forging lasting friendships with noted artists such as Robert Riggs, Thornton Oakley, John Dull and F. F. English.
In addition to his accomplishments in painting, Copeland worked in stained glass, completed several murals for public buildings, and authored textbooks on design and color. The artist died in Peru, NY in 1957.