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 Arthur Burdett Frost  (1851 - 1928)

About: Arthur Burdett Frost
 

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/California      Known for: genre-outdoor, animal, illustrator

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A famous illustrator and sporting artist, Arthur B. Frost is perhaps best known for his illustrations for the Uncle Remus tales by Joel Chandler Harris, as well as for naturalistic hunting and shooting prints. Many consider him to be the best illustrator of rural America.

An ardent sportsman himself, many of Frosts favorite subjects were hunting, fishing, and golfing. Often his golfing subjects tended towards humor. His scenes capture the drama of the sport - a hunter poised to shoot and a dog on point - with elements often integrated into a richly detailed woodland or marsh setting.

Frost chronicled aspects of America's cultural life for over five decades. From the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, his art appeared in the many books and publications of the time, including Harper's Weekly, Scribner's, and Life magazines.

Frost's illustrations always evoked the essence of a setting and its mood, whether depicting the hilarious escapades of the family cat or farm dog, or the serene pastoral lifestyle of the native northeast. His sound draftsmanship was combined with an intimate knowledge of nature. Frosts details in his pictures were very specific, as though drawn on the spot, and done in a very convincing manner. In the preface and dedication by Harris of his book Uncle Remus, Harris wrote of Frost "you have conveyed into their quaint antics the illumination of your own inimitable humor, which is as true to our sun and soil as it is to the spirit and essence of the matter. The book was mine, but now you have made it yours, both sap and pith" Other well known examples of Frosts illustrations are Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit from The Tar Baby.

Frost was known to have spent time in the art colony of Rockport, on the Eastern Shore of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, where he is said to have gone because of painter Gilbert Tucker Margeson.

He also summered at the noted Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art, which William Merritt Chase set up a few miles west of Southampton, New York. Shinnecock Hills became the best known of all the out-of-doors summer art schools that developed in America during the late nineteenth century, and attracted hundreds of aspiring young men and women, including Frost, Rockwell Kent, Lydia Field Emmet, and many others.

Frost was red-green color blind, but it was not a great handicap since the majority of his work was reproduced in black and white. He managed to work successfully in color by reading the labels on the tubes and placing the colors in the proper order on his palette.

Arthur Frost is the father of impressionist painter John Frost (b. 1890 in Philadelphia - 1937), and as a young man John studied art with his father before going on to study in Europe.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Philadelphia, PA on Jan. 17, 1851. At age 15 Frost was apprenticed to engravers and lithographers. His only formal art training was in the evening classes of the PAFA under Thomas Eakins. He made many trips to the West after 1876 as an illustrator for Scribner's and Harper's. He often worked in black and white and is said to have been color blind which is probably why he specialized in magazine illustration. A farm in New Jersey was his home after 1883 and the years 1908-16 were spent in Paris. Upon retiring in 1919, he joined his son John in Pasadena, CA and lived there until his death on June 22, 1928. Folk pictures and historical genre with dramatic or comedic themes were his forte. He also painted sporting scenes, still lifes, and landscapes. Exh: World's Columbian Expo (Chicago), 1893; Paris Expo, 1900. In: Library of Congress; Delaware Museum; Brandywine River Museum (Chadds Ford, PA); Oakland Museum (Waiting for the Mail San Franciscso Post Office).
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Artists of the American West (Samuels); American Art Annual 1919; Art Digest, July 1928 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, IV:
Arthur Burdett Frost (January 17, 1851 - June 22, 1928), was an early American illustrator, graphic artist, and comics writer. He was also well known as a painter. Frost's work is well known for its dynamic representation of motion and sequence. Frost is considered one of the great illustrators in the "Golden Age of American Illustration". Frost illustrated over 90 books, and produced hundreds of paintings; in addition to his work in illustrations, he is renowned for realistic hunting and shooting prints.

Frost was born on January 17, 1851, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the eldest of ten children; his father was a literature professor. He became a lithographer, and in 1874 he was asked by a friend to illustrate a book of humorous short stories, "Out of the Hurly Burly", by Charles Heber Clark, which was a commercial success, selling more than a million copies.

In 1876, Frost joined the art department at the publisher Harper & Brothers, where he worked with such well-known illustrators as Howard Pyle, E. W. Kemble, Frederic Remington, and C. S. Reinhart. While there, he learned a wide variety of techniques, from cartooning to what later came to be called photorealistic painting. Frost's color blindness may have helped his excellent use of grayscale. In 1877 and 1878, Frost went to London to study with some of the great cartoonists of the time. Later, he returned to Philadelphia and studied under painters Thomas Eakins and William Merritt Chase at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Soon after returning, he published several stories formed of sequential drawings with captions, pioneering the form that would later develop into comic strips and comic books. In 1884, Frost published Stuff and Nonsense, an anthology of his works that advanced the concept of time-stop drawings and contained other innovations.

Frost married another artist, illustrator Emily Louise Phillips, in 1883.[1] From 1906 until May 1914, Frost and his family lived in France, attracted by the Impressionist movement. Upon returning to the United States, he continued work as an illustrator and comics artist, mainly for Life magazine. Frost died on June 22, 1928.

Source: www.wikipedia.com

Biography from Stephen B. O'Brien Jr. Fine Arts, LLC:
Arthur Burdett Frost (1851-1928)

A.B. Frost was born in Philadelphia in 1851 and spent his most prolific years in New Jersey. Considered one of the great illustrators of the “Golden Age of American Illustration, he illustrated more than ninety books and produced thousands of illustrations for Harper’s Weekly, Scribner’s and Life magazines. Frost’s illustrative work chronicles the mood and details of the daily life of farmers, barnyards and motifs of pastoral New England.

By 1876 he was on Harper’s staff working on many books including Tom Sawyer, Uncle Remus, and Mr. Dooley. He also illustrated Teddy Roosevelt’s sporting books.

Frost was also an ardent sportsman who spent his summers fishing, rowing, and hunting ducks and snipe. He completed hundreds of watercolors and oils of the New Jersey seaside and is probably best known for his hunting and shooting prints that capture the drama of sport in realistically detailed settings. “The Shooting Pictures” portfolio was reproduced by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1895 and is a set of 12 lithographs of hunting scenes.

In 1891 Frost began studying with William Merritt. He spent time in the art colony of Rockport, Massachusetts and the Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art, founded by Mr. Chase outside of Southampton, New York. In 1906 he and his wife and two sons departed for Europe to live in and paint in France while his son Jack was studying at the Academie Julian.

Frost’s two sons (Arthur G. and John Frost) were also artists until their untimely deaths from tuberculosis. Frost’s wife also painted and worked with him at Harper’s. The poet, Robert Frost was a distant cousin.

Biography from The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction:
A.B. Frost was born in Philidelphia in 1851, a time when Philadelphia was the sportsman's favoriate spot in the Northeast. Frost grew up watching and participating in many hunting experiences. He grew to love the sport and his sound draughtsmanship and intimate knowledge of nature combined to make him one of the greatest illustrators of rural America.

He usually treated his characters with humor, and in his drawings there was a directness and honesty which showed his sympathetic understanding of his subject. His work was in great demand and appeared in numerous magazines such as "Century", "Scribner's", "Cosmopolitan" and "Harpers".

The details in his pictures are always very specific, as though drawn on the spot, and so artfully chosen and placed as to carry out the picture's idea in a natural and entirely convincing manner.

Frost may be best remembered now, however, for his charming illustrations for the "Uncle Remus" tales by Joel Chandler Harris. In the preface and dedication by Harris for the 1896 edition, he wrote of Frost "...you have conveyed into their quaint antics the illumination of your own inimitable humor, which is as true to our sun and soil as it is to the spirit and essence of the matter...The book was mine, but now you have made it yours, both sap and pith..."

Biography from The Caldwell Gallery - I:
Arthur Frost, born in 1851, was a largely self-taught artist although he studied briefly at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine art and with William Meritt Chase in 1891. He was one of the great illustrators of the “Golden Age of Illustration”. Frost is best known for his humorous drawings of homely farm types, country folk and animals. He also produced sporting scenes.

In 1875 Frost was hired at “New York Graphic”, and then moved to the Harper’s staff a year later. He illustrated over 90 books including the 7 volume Uncle Remus books by Joel Chandler Harris. Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain were among other the other authors that Frost illustrated for. He also produced two of his own books;Golpher’s Alphabet and Stuff and Nonsense. Frost’s worked contained no idealism; he preferred to work true to life with genuine characteristics. Frost died in Pasadena, CA in 1928. His work can still be seen in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.


Biography from Stuart Kingston Galleries:
Frost was born in Philadelphia and early turned his attention to
illustration. In 1877 he went to England and returned in 1878 preferfing American life and atmosphere.


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