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Encyclopedia > Jane Frank

The artist Jane Frank (or Jane Schenthal Frank) was born Jane Babette Schenthal on July 25,1918, in Baltimore, Maryland. She is known as a painter, sculptor, and mixed media artist. Stylistically, she is primarily identified with abstract expressionism. She died in Baltimore in 1986. Her paintings, many involving mixed media, are in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum ("Frazier's Hog Cay #18", 1968), the Corcoran Gallery of Art ("Amber Ambience", 1964), and the Baltimore Museum of Art ("Winter's End", 1958). Mixed media, in visual art, refers to an artwork in the making of which more than one medium has been employed. ... This USPS stamp illustrates Pollocks drip technique. ... The Smithsonian American Art Museum is a museum in Washington, D.C. with an extensive collection of American art. ... The Corcoran Gallery of Art is the largest privately supported cultural institution in Washington, DC. The museums main focus is American art. ... The Baltimore Museum of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, was founded in 1914 and is located on the edge of the campus of Johns Hopkins University. ...

Jane Frank received her initial artistic training at the Maryland Institute of Arts and Sciences (now known as MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art) and at the Park School. She then acquired further training in New York at the Parsons School (then the New York School of Fine and Applied Art), from which she graduated in 1939. In New York she also studied at the New Theater School. Much later, after marrying Herman B. Frank in 1941 and returning to Baltimore, she studied for a period in 1956 with the great abstract expressionist painter Hans Hofmann in Provincetown. Meanwhile, she raised a family and also worked as a book illustrator; one can see her prints in Thomas Yoseloff's "The Further Adventures of Till Eulenspiegel" (1957, New York). She had solo exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art (1958), the Corcoran Gallery (1962), the Bodley Gallery in New York (1963) and Goucher College (1963), among others. The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is an art school in Baltimore, MD. It was founded in 1826, making it the oldest accredited art college in the United States. ... Hans Hofmann (1880 - 1966) was an abstract expressionist painter. ... Goucher College is a co-educational liberal arts college located in the northern Baltimore suburb of Towson, on a 287 acre (1. ...

The single best source on Jane Frank is "The Sculptural Landscape of Jane Frank" (1968), by Phoebe Stanton (the art history professor emerita at Johns Hopkins University who died in 2003). The book (out of print but still in many public and university art libraries) contains, besides a wealth of biographical information, many large plate reproductions of the artist's works, some in color. There are also photographs of the artist. Dr. Stanton's text provides a scholarly and perceptive guide to Jane Frank's life and work, and there is a helpful and liberal use of quotation from the artist herself, so that we get a feeling for how Frank's thinking evolved during the 1960's as she began to apply materials such as glass, wood, pebbles, and plaster to her jagged, abstract-expressionist paintings, later even cutting holes in the canvas, increasingly invoking the third dimension and creating tactile, sculptural effects, while remaining within the convention of the framed, rectangular oil painting. The Johns Hopkins University is a private institution of higher learning located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. ...

In her later years, Jane Frank turned her energies toward the creation of free-standing sculpture. "A Decade of Sculpture: the New Media in the 1960's" by Julia M. Busch (1974), contains many images of Frank's sculptures, a number in color. The sculptures, with their clean, simple, even antiseptic lines, often in acrylic or aluminum, completely dispense with the earthy, craggy qualities of the 1960's paintings. They show a radical departure from the gritty "sculptural landscapes" of the 1960s. There seems to be no record of her thinking concerning what must have been a decisive rupture in her artistic approach and aims. She died in 1986.

Some sources:

Askart.com [see the entry on Jane Frank, which includes six of the seven books listed here]

Busch, Julia M., "A Decade of Sculpture: the New Media in the 1960's" (1974)

Davenport, Ray, "Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide", Gold Edition (2005)

Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson (Ed.), "The Artists Bluebook: 34,000 North American Artists to March 2005" (2005)

Opitz, Glenn B., ed., "Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers" (1986)

Opitz, Glenn B., ed., "Dictionary of American Sculptors" (1984)

Stanton, Phoebe: "The Sculptural Landscape of Jane Frank" (1968)

Yoseloff, Thomas, "The Further Adventures of Till Eulenspiegel" [block print illustrations by Jane Frank] (1957)

[N.B.: See also the website of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.]

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