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Frank Henry Mason (1 October 1875 – 24 February 1965), RBA, RI, RSMA is an artist best known for his maritime, shipping, coastal and harbour paintings and as a creator of art deco travel and railway posters. ,His style is described as a 'light impressionist' and he was a founder member of the Staithes Art Club whose members are known today as the Staithes Group of artists, or the Northern Impressionists.
Frank Henry Mason was born Frank Henry Algernon Mason in Seaton Carew, Hartlepool, County Durham, England on 1 October 1875, the son of a railway clerk. Frank Mason was educated between 1880 and 1882 as a cadet at the HMS Conway Naval School at Birkenhead.
On leaving HMS Conway, Frank spent time at sea then trained with Parsons as a marine engineer for steam powered ships, working at Hartlepool, Leeds and Scarborough, eventually settling in Scarborough around about 1894.
Frank had been interested in drawing but had no formal training in art. There was, however, a strong artistic community in Scarborough at the time. Frank studied at the Scarborough School of Art with Albert Strange and made regular trips to Staithes to meet and socialize with the arts community there. By 1890 Frank's work had advanced to the point where he received commissions from art dealers, and around 1898 he decided to quit marine engineering and take up art full-time. In 1901 he became a founder member of the Staithes Art Club.
Frank married his wife Edith in 1899. He had lived at Blenheim Terrace in Scarborough but relocated the short distance to lodgings in North Marine Road.
During 1914 - 1918, Frank Mason was appointed shipping war artist in the RNVR as lieutenant in command of a motor launch in the North Sea, and Egypt. The Imperial War Museum holds 56 of his paintings from this period.
On returning from the war, Frank worked with the community at Ebberston Hall near Scarborough, and he traveled abroad extensively undertaking an extended European tour. He painted many subjects generally in water colour. During the 1920s and 1930s, he designed poster artwork for Great Northern Railway, Great Western Railway, London, Midland and Scottish Railway, North Eastern Railway, London and North Eastern Railway, British Rail and Underground Group railway companies and ocean liner companies.
Frank was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1904 and elected to the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1929.
Frank Henry Mason had exhibitions of his work at the Royal Academy from 1902 onwards.
His work has been included in an exhibition in Liverpool, and in 1973 there was an exhibition of his work at the National Maritime Museum. As well as the Imperial War Museum, Frank's work can be found in numerous galleries around the country - at Cartwright Hall Bradford, in Dundee, Hartlepool, and at Whitby.
Frank wrote the book Ashore and Afloat (1929) about his water colour technique. With Fred Taylor, Frank wrote the book Water Colour Painting.
Wikipedia: Frank Henry Algernon Mason
Wikipedia References include: Edward Yardley: The Life and Career of Frank Henry Mason; Frank Henry Mason, Vallejo Maritime Gallery; and Mason, Frank Henry, Anthony Wood Gallery.
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