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 Frank Morley Fletcher  (1866 - 1949)

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Lived/Active: California / United Kingdom/France      Known for: woodblock printing, art educator

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Ad Code: 3
Frank Morley Fletcher
from Auction House Records.
San Jacinto Foothills
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Annex Galleries:
Educator, author, painter, and printmaker, Frank Morley Fletcher was born in Liverpool, England, in 1866.  His studies commenced at the University of London and his artistic training continued in England at St. John's Wood Art School and at the studio of Hubert Vos.

By 1888 Fletcher was in Paris and resumed his studies at Atelier Cormon, where he made the acquaintance of Albert Herter and Fernand Lungren.  During this interval he was introduced to Japanese woodblock prints.  Returning to England, Fletcher was hired as the head of the art department at Reading University.  During this time he assimilated the complexities, subtleties, and aesthetics of the Japanese woodblock print to which he had been introduced while in Paris.

Fletcher's woodcut Meadowsweet was produced in 1897.  He was also deeply interested in the ideas and aesthetics of the Design and Industries Association and applied these ideals to his own work.

Returning to London, he held the position of inspector of all art schools in the South of England until he was appointed to the position of Director of the Edinburgh College of Art in 1907.  In 1916 his treatise, Wood-Block Printing, was published in London.

Years later Herter and Lungren persuaded Fletcher to immigrate to the U.S. and direct the School of the Arts in Santa Barbara.  Fletcher's influence was widespread, and today his woodcuts are held in numerous public collections, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the British Museum.

Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
Painter and printmaker, Frank Morley Fletcher was born in Whiston, England on April 25, 1866.  Fletcher was educated at the University of London followed by work at St John's Wood Art School and in the studio of Hubert Vos.  He continued art studies in Paris at Atelier Cormon in 1888. There his exposure to the Japanese color woodblock print led to a career in teaching and development of the subject.

He taught in London and Reading schools, and from 1907-23 was director of the Edinburgh College of Art.  Old friends whom he had met in Paris, Albert Herter and Fernand Lungren, convinced him to move to California.  In 1923, he arrived in Santa Barbara to assume directorship of the School of Arts, a position he was to hold until retiring in 1930.  Both his teaching and his works were influenced by Oriental philosophy and art.

He was also the author of a book on woodblock printing.  Fletcher's last years were spent as a resident of Ojai, CA where he died on Nov. 2, 1949.

World's Columbian Expo (Chicago), 1893 (medal); Milan Int'l Expo, 1906 (medal); North West Print Makers, 1931.

Boston Museum; British Museum.

SCA; WWC 1928, 1942; AAA 1933; WWAA 1936-41; Antiques & Fine Art, April 1992.

A note from Steven Thomas:
He collaborated on the color woodcut Eve and the Serpent with John D. Batten in 1894-95 making it one of the first (if not the first) artistic color woodcut in Great Britain.  The artists used a wall paper block cutter to help cut the blocks.  It was printed by Fletcher.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
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.

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