Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Frank Herbert Mason

Frank Herbert Mason "The Art Students" 1983

Frank Herbert Mason (1921-2009) had an illustrious and industrious career as an artist, teacher, art conservator and arts activist. Born in Cleveland, at age sixteen he was offered a scholarship to attend The Art Student's League of New York, where he studied closely with Frank DuMond, eventually taking over his teacher's position upon DuMond's retirement. Mason, by all accounts an immensely gifted and beloved teacher, taught for over fifty years at The Art Student's League and also led summer classes in Vermont. He was one of the founders of ArtWatch International, which monitors conservation of great masterpieces and lobbies for better conservation practices generally. At some point in his career Mason moved to Europe for several years where he received commissions and awards for his work, even receiving the Order of Malta. His work is in many public and private collections including the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and The Museum of the City of New York. A documentary film about the artist-teacher-conservator, A Light in the Dark, premiered in 2011.

This painting shows Mason's studio and two of his art students, Elizabeth Torak (left) and Erika Howard Dolmans (right.)  Dolmans says of this piece, "Lizzie and I had a lot of fun posing for this one! The mornings were cold in Frank's studio, though! I miss him."

Mason's official website can be seen here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was a Masonite a few years previously. How I remember that studio and those endless stairs! The saving grace was the Cafe Roma at street level where broken cannoli were given gratis to skinny students! Frank was larger than life!
This painting is so typical of his style; intimate and explosive at once, and that Mason cadmium can't be denied!
Thanks for this. Mara Buck