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 Frank Mura  (1861 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: Landscape, animal painting, illustration

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Ad Code: 4
Frank Mura
from Auction House Records.
Dutch or French Coastal Scene
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Frank Mura (b. 1861)

Born in Alsace on July 17, 1861, Mura is known for landscapes, buildings, marine settings, human subjects and animals.  He was noted for his charcoal painting technique.

Mura's family settled in New York City when he was a child and he became a naturalised American.  The family home was in Manhattan and his father's occupation was listed in the census as a feather dealer.  

In 1881, he returned to Europe, studying in Munich, Germany.  During this time, some of his paintings were purchased by a wealthy New York collector, Ichabod T. Williams.  His father had ceased paying his allowance, and the money from these paintigs enabled him to pay an overdue account with his landlady and continue with his studies.   He also studied in Holland.
Mura settled in London in 1891 and married the German-born painter Charlotte Poehlmann on April 4, 1894 in Hampstead.  They lived at Mill End studio, Little Easton, Dunmow, and had one daughter, Margaret Mura, born c.1902.  In 1911, the Muras were living at Myrtle Cottage, Sompting, Sussex.
Mura remained in London until 1915, painting and teaching.  He contributed work to The Dome and exhibited at the Goupil Gallery and the Obach and Co. Gallery.  He exhibited alongside James Abbot Mc Neill Whistler at the NEAC in 1903, and his Landscape with Sheep was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1904.  His work was exhibited at the Louisiana Purchase Expo St. Louis World's Fair in 1904 and received the highest award for charcoal painting.  In 1907 the Obach Gallery exhibited a collection of his pictures and charcoal drawings.
Mura then settled in Brooklyn, New York, and exhibited 11 charcoal drawings at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 which won a Medal of Honor.  During the 1920s and 30s, he was a guide and instructor at the Brooklyn Museum, directing a Saturday class for talented high school students.  The museum holds a collection of his pencil drawings from 1919 onwards.  Two of his English landscape paintings, Upton Lane, Sompting and The Adur, near Shoreham, are held in the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Sources include:
"The Drawings in Charcoal by Mr. Frank Mura: An Appreciation", The Studio, Volume 6, Issue 33, December 1895
David Karel, Dictionnaire des artistes de langue francaise en Amerique du Nord: Peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs, graveurs, photographes, et orfevres, Musée du Québec, Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 1992 p.589
"Mura Pictures Recall Board Bill: Chum of Great Painter's Youth Tells of Slipping Canvases Past Munich Landlady." New York Times, February 7, 1915

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Frank Mura is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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