Frank Henry Mason was a well-known marine artist who painted many watercolour views of Scarborough and other ports and fishing villages along the East Coast. What is perhaps less well known is the range of other work he produced during his long and prolific career.
Beverley Art Gallery’s new Mason exhibition at the Treasure House in Beverley, which opens on Saturday, 6 April, will include a selection of his early watercolours of East Coast harbour views at a time when he was experimenting with different styles and techniques.
He lived and worked in Scarborough from the early 1890s until 1927 and joined the Staithes Group of artists in 1900; both were inspirational settings for works featured in the show. Furthermore, he undertook a number of trips to Europe, including sketching tours to Holland and Portugal and the Queen of the Adriatic, Venice. His watercolours moved from the subdued tones of Dutch fishing villages to the vibrant colour of Iberia and the intense light of the Adriatic Sea. From 1900, Mason exhibited at the Royal Academy, and in 1904 he was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists.
He worked for three decades as a printmaker, producing many fine etchings and drypoints of local East coast views and naval incidents.
The inter war years were the halcyon days of railway poster designs and Mason was one the “The Big Five” designers contracted to the London and North Eastern Railway. Many of his poster designs from the 1920s were painted in his studio at Ebberston Hall in the Vale of Pickering.
Mason was a prolific commercial artist, producing wonderful illustrations for popular magazines such as the Illustrated London News and society magazines such as the Tatler. He also supplied fine illustrations for many maritime books in the inter war years. Mason became acutely aware of the disappearance of the great clipper ships, faithfully recording the bygone days of sail and their fading glory in these publications. Mason’s pictures will give visitors a chance to reconnect with those bygone days.
Curator Helena Cox said : “We are privileged to be able to show such a full range of Mason’s work, almost exclusively loans from British Private Collections. I am sure that this new exhibition will prove very popular.”
The opening hours for the Treasure House are :
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 9:30am – 5pm
Tue, Thurs 9:30am – 8pm
For full details of all exhibitions at the Treasure House, and all the facilities including the café, visit : eastridingmuseums.co.uk
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