Mason’s artworks are exceptionally dynamic, baroque in spirit, and relevant in this celebrated holiday season.
Frank Mason was a true renaissance artist in his treatment and rendering of the human figure- mortal as well as spiritual. He demonstrated the same aesthetical concerns of a seventeenth-century painter. In his artwork, he brought to bear all that he learned from the Old Masters.
Frank Herbert Mason was born in Cleveland, OH in 1921 and moved with his family at the onset of the Great Depression, to New York City. Here, he became one of the first students to enroll in Mayor LaGuardia’s experimental Music and Art High School. Later, he entered the Art Students League of New York, and was taught and mentored by Frank Vincent Dumond – whose prior students included renowned artists like Georgia O’Keefe, Norman Rockwell, and John Marin.
Later in his career, Mason partnered with the Director of the Louvre Laboratoire, Jacques Maroger. Together they researched, analyzed, and investigated the lost painting techniques of the 17th and 18th century artists. Mason and Maroger sought to uncover the secrets to the Old Master’s mediums and techniques.
Frank Mason also celebrated his role as instructor of Fine Arts at the Art Students League in New York City, teaching for fifty-seven years.
He is the only American painter to receive a commission for a series of paintings in a church in Venice, Italy (The Life of Saint Anthony of Padua, installed in the Church of San Giovanni de Malta) and the first artist since Caravaggio to be awarded the prestigious Cross of Merit, Prima Classe, by the order of the Knights of Malta.
Mason championed preserving historical works of art and challenged the cleaning techniques employed by institutions around the world. He campaigned against the destruction of national treasures to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Vatican, and the Frick. He eventually joining ArtWatch International to help supervise the conservation of masterpieces worldwide.
Mason’s commissions include those made by Prince Giacomo Colonna of Venice, Averell Harriman, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and Bishop John Cardinal Wright of the Vatican.
His work can be found in New York’s St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, the National Academy of Art & Design, and the Museum of the City of New York to name a few.