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 Frank Paul Besedick  (1913 - 1987)

About: Frank Paul Besedick


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Lived/Active: New York/Ohio      Known for: Americana etching, city-landscape, illustration

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Frank Paul Besedick
An example of work by Frank Paul Besedick
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Susan Besedick, daughter-in-law of the artist, who writes that the biography has been provided by the Besedick Family.

"To search for the truth is unnecessary, it is everywhere, in us and around us. In my art, I attempt to capture this truth."

Frank Besedick was born in Hamilton, Ohio on October 19, 1913. At the early age of 4, he showed an interest and ability in art and was especially noted for his detailed drawings of the local railroad yard. During his senior year in high school, Besedick was awarded an art scholarship from the Scholastic Magazine, enabling him to attend Vesper George Art School* in Boston for two years. The following year, he studied at the National Academy of Design in New York, under the direction of Hobart (Henry Hobart) Nichols. In 1936-37, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Tiffany Foundation* in Oyster Bay, New York.

In 1938-39, Besedick was involved the Works Progress Administration* (WPA) Art Project in New York City. His work from this period consisted of etchings*, lithographs*, and pencil sketches reflecting inner city and suburban everyday life--the American Scene* Movement; some of which are in the permanent Fine Print Collection in the Library of Congress.

Elected to the Who's Who in America, member of the Society of American Etchers*, the National Arts Club*, the Arts Students League*, and the Southern Printmaker's Society, he had many pieces selected and recognized in several exhibitions. During this time, he also developed a friendship with Ernest Roth, frequently pulling proofs in his New York Studio. In 1940, Roth recommended Besedick for a fellowship at André Smith's Research Studio in Maitland, Florida.

While at Research Studio, Besedick experimented with a variety of media producing many works. Most notable being a series of watercolors entitled A Shadow Fall On Beaverbrook. This series was displayed in a one man show at the Ferargil Gallery in New York City in 1941. "Drawn with visual strength and rhythmic patterns of brilliant colors . . . (the watercolors) held visitors spellbound. . ." (Art Digest, 1941). Besedick was not able to view the Ferargil Exhibit as he had already been drafted into the Armed Services. Currently, the Beaverbrook Series is a traveling exhibition sponsored by the Maitland Art Center.

Upon induction into the United States Army, Besedick's artistic talents were recognized and he became an official soldier-artist in the Fourth Armored Division. He produced many works for the Fourth Armored Division while on maneuvers in the Mohave Desert as well as providing pen and ink illustrations for the book FROM THE BEACH TO BAVARIA during the European campaign.

Following the war, Besedick returned to Ohio and raised a family while working in both the commercial and fine arts fields. Besedick died on March 30, 1987.

Since the recent interest of the WPA Art Project and World War II Art, Besedick's work has been exhibited in both public and private institutions.  Some of which include:

Newark Museum of Art-Prints of the WPA
Bruce Museum of Art- Prints of American Life: WPA Works on Paper from the Webster Collection
University of Michigan Museum of Art-The Federal Art Project: American Prints from the 1930s
Art Institute of Chicago
Baltimore Museum of Art
Portland Art Museum
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Library of Congress

Selected Periodicals: 
Art digest, Volume 21, 1946

A symposium . THE FOURTH ARMORED DIVISION. From the Beach to Bavaria.  By Kenneth Koyen. Illustrated by Frank Besedick Military review, Volume 31, 1951 (296)

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