Frank Mason

Frank Mason
Frank Herbert Mason was an American artist and highly regarded teacher noted for his reverence for the work and techniques of the old masters.

This was evident in his own work and teaching, as well as in his determined efforts to oppose modern restoration and cleaning of great artwork that a growing number of artists and other professionals of the time felt was overzealous to the point of causing irreparable damage. His efforts in this regard led to his his role as a cofounder, along with with James Beck, professor of art history at Columbia University, of the organization, ArtWatch International.

Mason’s dedication to art was evident at an early age, and at 16 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Art Students League in New York. There he became a pupil, and later a colleague and lifelong friend, of the noted American painter Frank Vincent DuMond. (Some of DuMond’s other students included artists like Charles Hawthorne, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin, Andrew Loomis, Norman Rockwell, Frank J. Reilly and Ted Seth Jacobs.)

After DuMond’s death in 1951, Mason was appointed to teach as DuMond’s successor at the Art Students League. He went on to be one of the League’s most popular and influential instructors.

In his own work, Mason defied the currents of Modernism, remaining true to the traditions of representational art.

There is an official website devoted to Mason and his work. When looking through the galleries, be aware that in addition to the categories listed on the right for Landscape, Portraits, etc., each of these sections is divided into sub-sections, accessed from the bottom of the page (this is easy to miss).

On the site you will also find mention of a book of his work that portrays the life of Christ, as well as two documentaries on Mason, one of them a full-length film.

One of Mason’s paintings, Little Italy, was acquired by the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.