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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Five years on: December 2013
As I write this I reflect that it was five years ago today that I was privileged to be with my aunt when she died, at the age of 100, peacefully, at Westacres Care Home in Glasgow (18 December 2008). Since then her legacy has continued to grow. On this very day five years ago, a letter had arrived at my house in Lancaster offering my aunt the honorary doctorate in celebration of her services to art.  She never knew about the award, as I was in Glasgow with her – but eventually the university was persuaded to award the doctorate posthumously to her – the only posthumous doctorate that Glasgow University has ever awarded.  I went with my sister Lynn to collect the award and we were treated like royal guests for the whole occasion – and I get invited back to Glasgow University's Commemoration Day every year for the awards of more honorary doctorands, which always brings back the memories of that first occasion.
Since then my aunt was also awarded a posthumous Lord Provost’s award from Glasgow City Council.  And we have had two exhibitions in Shetland, one in Dalbeattie, three in Glasgow and two in Lancaster since her death... with more to come, it seems!  And we have met new friends and fans of her work from across the globe. The journey continues...
I have just been approached by the Maclaurin Gallery in Ayr, Scotland. The gallery, which shows work by local, national and internationally acclaimed artists, is going to include a Hannah Frank room as part of an exhibition of art by Scottish Jewish Artists in summer 2013. Jewish cultural activities will accompany the exhibition. See more about the gallery which is in Rozelle Park.
Due to the great success of the Hannah Frank retrospective exhibition at the Nail Factory in Dalbeattie this Summer her work is to return there in November 2014! We Will keep you informed of developments on that.
I have just taken delivery of more copies Hannah Frank, A Glasgow Artist – Drawings and Sculpture. This is the definitive book on my aunt’s art, featuring superb reproductions of most of her drawings and sculptures on high quality paper.

 The first 20 books ordered will now cost the buyer  £10, post free.  This is a tremendous saving as the books’ list price is £21.50. While I can’t guarantee delivery in time for Christmas these books do make wonderful presents. See for more about the book
Sets of six Hannah Frank notelets are available for £5.00 per set, post-free. Normal price is £5.99.
For both book and notelet offers send me your name and address and either pay by Paypal to Hannah Frank Art Sales ( OR I'll send you the bank details to pay into. See for details of the notelets.
Finally, thank you for all your interest, support and enthusiasm this year regarding my aunt’s life and her work throughout this year.
Wishing you a very happy holiday season and a healthy and joyful 2014.
Fiona Frank
Director, Hannah Frank art
(+44)(0)7778 737681

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hannah Frank News June 2013: VOTE TODAY and AUCTION on THURSDAY!

Some up to the minute news and actions for you to do THIS WEEK!
First – please vote for award winning filmmaker and 'Friend of Hannah Frank', Sarah Thomas, soon - before THIS MONDAY  24th June (tomorrow) at MIDNIGHT.
**Deadline for voting is midnight on Monday 24 June!
Sarah Thomas, an anthropological filmmaker with connections to Lancaster, Manchester, Iceland and Kenya, and who made the beautiful film ‘Hannah Frank: The Spark Divine’ for us in 2008, has been shortlisted for the Penguin Books Wayfarer Competition.  This is Sarah’s dream summer where she would travel the old ways and hedgerows of Britain during July and August, blogging about it and making videos along the way. The competition is inspired by Robert Macfarlane's new book, The Old Ways, which explores our relationship with the land through the paths we trace.
Sarah made a two minute video which you can see on the bottom row of the competition website.  Robert Macfarlane himself was on the judging panel and selected Sarah’s entry for the shortlist of 20.  When you've seen the video - on   please vote for it. Robert McFarlane will choose from the top ten films chosen by the public.  So please vote, tweet, facebook, and otherwise help Sarah’s campaign to continue to make beautiful films about things she cares about.  And see below for a chance to see Sarah’s film ‘The Spark Divine’ in Dalbeattie over the next few weeks.

An opportunity to acquire Hannah Frank’s 1928 original drawing ‘There Once Was a King’s Son – The Garden of Paradise’ has arisen. This is an original pen and ink drawing, signed by the artist and dated 1928. The estimate is £1500-£2500.

 The drawing is being auctioned as part of McTear’s Scottish Pictures Auction on Thursday 27 June in Glasgow. It is lot 1731. Size: 40cm x 25cm.
Monday 24 June 10am-5pm
Tuesday 25 June 9am-5pm
Wednesday 26 June 9am-5pm
Thursday 27 June 9am -start of sale, 6pm
If you can’t make it to the auction you can bid live online – or just watch the bidding process online till you get carried away and make your bid!
McTear’s, Meiklewood Gate, 31 Meiklewood Road, Glasgow, G51 4EU. Tel: 0141 810 2880. Email: Natasha Raskin  or Ceara Hughes 
Find out more here  

The opening of the Hannah Frank and Daniel Fuller exhibition at the Nail Factory, Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway, attracted lots of visitors. 

The exhibition has had such a positive response that the run has now been extended by a month to finish on Sunday 28 July 2013.
Sunday 28 July: on the last day of the exhibition join me, Fiona Frank, for a day out from Glasgow visiting the Hannah Frank and Daniel Fuller exhibition at The Nail Factory,Dalbeattiee. The exhibition has had such a positive response from the public that the run has now been extended by a month to finish on 28 July.  At the exhibition we will have a chance to watch the film ‘Hannah Frank:The Spark Divine', by Sarah Thomas. (It will be shown each Sunday at 2pm until the exhibition ends). We will return to Glasgow via the amazing GlenkilnSculpture Park where sculptures by Rodin, Epstein and Henry Moore – all influences on Hannah Frank’s later work – form part of the landscape.  Some can be seen from the road but to take in all six it’s necessary to be prepared to embark on a four mile walk, sometimes in muddy conditions.  Local writer Mary Smith, who has written a beautiful piece on Hannah Frank in the latest edition of Dumfries and Galloway Life,  will be our guide.  
 Bring walking boots and wet weather gear. Share petrol/minibus hire costs, depending how many people want to come.  Register your interest  by contacting Fiona Frank

Before the opening of the Dalbeattie show, Mary Smith put us in touch with her friend Charlotte, who told us:
“In the early 70s, I was in Glasgow with my Ma; it was summer but I can't remember if it was just a visit or whether she had come up with me to prepare for the new term. I can't remember exactly which city centre square we were in but we noticed that Charles Frank [Hannah Frank’s father] had a retiral sale; his shop sold telescopes and all sorts of optical stuff. My Ma thought it would be interesting to have a rummage around and told me his sister, Hannah, was well known as an artist. From the way she spoke about her, I now wonder if she'd known her; they were the same age and must have been at Glasgow University at the same time.
The shop was almost empty but as well as optical things, there were various arty things still for sale. I remember a lovely, modernist chess set. Nearby, on the floor was  a tatty box containing prints by Hannah Frank; not many were left. I scrambled around on the floor to have a good rummle through them. Having selected one, I noticed another which had been signed by Hannah herself, albeit in pencil. So, I bought that one too.
My Ma suggested I kept them in my bottom drawer and, when we got married, these two prints were the first things I had framed and put on the wall. Then, I had them framed in a shop in Kirkcudbright. Recently, I had them reframed in Jessie's shop down in Wigtown. Apart from one being signed, both have that Aarif logo and I've always wondered what that meant".  The two drawings Charlotte bought were Moon Ballet and Wrap Thy Form in a Mantle Grey.
Do you have a story about your Hannah Frank prints?  Did you meet my aunt? Tell us your stories and I’ll write about them in future blogs.

Or send us a picture of your Hannah Frank drawing, print our sculpture and how fantastic it looks in your house and I’ll publish it on the blog and on our website. 

Prints of all of Hannah Frank's drawings are available for sale from our website gallery - unsigned prints from £25 to £75 and signed prints from £100 to £400 depending on availability.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Hannah Frank News May 2013 - Dalbeattie, Lerwick, dancing about the art, books, 2 for 1 prints and lots more


An exhibition of Hannah's work will run from 2 - 30 June 2013 at The Nail Factory, Dalbeattie.
This refurbished Victorian workshop is at the heart of Dumfries and Galloway and is a multi-use
interactive art space. A selection of Hannah Frank’s prints and two original drawings will be on show in the stone building alongside 10 of her bronze sculptures - and there will be an opportunity to buy prints, cards and books. .
Rupinder Dulay, Curator at The Nail Factory, said: “We are proud to host a retrospective exhibition by Hannah Frank, organised by her niece, Fiona Frank, who has been instrumental in bringing
her aunt's work to life. The Nail Factory was a factory making cast iron nails 200 years ago, run by women, and Hannah Frank’s works will be exhibited next to those of Daniel Fuller, a Native American artist who rediscovered his roots and culture to inspire many young artists in their struggle to accept their heritage.”

The celebratory launch event with a wine reception and kosher buffet will take place on Sunday 2 June at 1pm. Hannah Frank was one of the first Jewish students to study at the Glasgow School of Art, and the buffet will be sponsored by the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, in honour of the first showing of this Scottish Jewish artist’s work in Dumfriesshire, as part of its work to celebrate Jewish culture in Scotland.

Also at the launch there will be a screening of the film ‘Hannah Frank, The Spark Divine’, by award-winning filmmaker Sarah Thomas, which explores the life of the artist as a young woman through her diaries and her poetry as well as her art, and includes interviews filmed with Hannah when she was in her late 90s.

The Nail Factory, 56 Southwick Road, Dalbeattie, DG5 4EW Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.
Open 11am – 6pm daily. 01556 611686. Email


This is the first of my newsletters for several years that I'm publishing directly as a blog - I had meant to do this years ago but it didn't happen and so far I have mostly just sent them out as emails - very shortsighted!   It makes lots of sense to put this info out on a blog so everyone who reads it can send a link directly to your contacts and networks, and so it will come up in searches. It's one of the ideas of my zappy new temporary Digital Media Assistant the fabulous
Elly Griffiths-Ward.


Elly has put together a series of  Pinterest thematic exhibitions for my aunt which we hope will get lots of interest and may help to trace some 'missing' originals.  Have a look - they're wonderful!  We will share curation of the online exhibitions with other Pinterest members and we hope to collect varied and inspiring collections of images from lots of artists exploring different interpretations of similar themes. So visit the boards, and if you are so inclined you can start adding your favourite art to the pages. Also if you have any other ideas for collaborative boards do let us know. This project is really open and we are excited to see where it will go!

We are alsplanning to tweet a 'picture of the week' and put drawings on Facebook as well to get a conversation going.  (If you haven't 'liked' the Hannah Frank facebook page  yet please do so if you're a Facebook person, a nice conversation this week followed the posting of 'Night' on the Facebook page - and follow me,  @northernfiona on twitter... .)


The Hannah Frank exhibition at The Shetland Museum and Archives, Lerwick, ended on Monday 
4 March. It was a great success. The show began just four days after Up Helly Aa, (as featured in the recent BBC drama ‘Shetland’) and I brought a little party of 8 people over from England, Scotland, and Iceland (!) to experience Shetland's amazing fire festival and stay on for the exhibition opening.  Filmmaker Sarah Thomas who now lives in Iceland gave a talk at the opening reception, and showed her film ‘Hannah Frank - The Spark Divine’.  I gave a personal tour of the exhibition, which included self-portraits of the artist as well as her trademark black and white drawings and her later bronze sculptures.
Sarah Thomas speaking at the Shetland Museum and Archive

I went back to Shetland in April to collect the art works - no excuse needed to drop back to this beautiful place, with ever-changing light, lovely people and places, and LOTS OF WIND AND RAIN to keep you on your toes.

Glasgow Women's Library (GWL) launched its illuminated letter project on 8 March, International Women’s Day. The Library invited women to write an illuminated letter to a heroine of their choice. We were delighted when Fiona Doubleday, who lives on the Isle of Arran, contacted us to say that she has chosen Hannah Frank as her heroine.
She wrote on her blog about  her illuminated letter artwork: “It’s a mixed media piece that attempts to celebrate two aspects of Hannah Frank’s work – flow and stillness. As a former dancer and choreographer I see flow and stillness in all she created. Stillness in dance acts as a pause and, used properly, can be a highlight. Hannah's work reminds me that life is full of beautiful pauses. But it is flow that dominates her work. Using pastels as the primary media I have taken sections from her drawings and recreated them as small studies. I have added colour but kept the pallet limited in tribute to her simplicity. I then added small details such as Liberty fabric, which is dominated by flowing lines, and wax resistant watercolour organic shapes. The next step will be to create the letter before putting the finishing touches to the whole piece.”
Fiona Doubleday’s blog is here and is well worth following.
Part of Fiona Doubleday's
 illuminated letter 

The Glasgow Women’s Library will be exhibiting the letters in due course – we will keep you posted.

Fiona Doubleday isn't stopping at an illuminated letter: she is now writing a dance piece inspired by Hannah’s work!
She is looking for six women, preferably ones who have never danced before. The piece will be created over around three days in the autumn on the Isle of Arran - and there may be some accommodation available too.  Fiona is also seeking someone to write the score – a soundscape with melodic moments. And she also wants someone to film both the rehearsals and the performance and edit this to form part of the body of work around Hannah Frank. The locations for the dance piece will be Brodick Castle’s nature garden, set against the backdrop of Goatfell Mountain, and also a moonlit beach. Contact me if you're interested and I'll pass on your details to Fiona.

Most of you will know that my aunt was a great lover of literature: her books were like members of
the family. We now have a number of her own signed books which we are offering for sale to give you a chance to own something that Hannah Frank owned and loved as a young woman.  We'll give half the proceeds to Glasgow Women's Library.  The books are:
 Sir Walter Scott - The Abbot;
Charles Kingsley - Hypatia; Fables de la Fontaine (1922);
Robert Louis Stevenson - Treasure Island; now sold
Joseph Conrad - Lord Jim (1923).  These are all signed ‘Hannah Frank’.

Then there are two books signed ‘Hannah and Lionel Levy’ or ‘ex libris Levy’. They are:
Kenneth Grahame - The Golden Age;
John Ruskin - The Seven Lamps of Architecture;
And lastly there is one book signed ‘Hannah Frank May 1932’ with her own bookplate: :
Kenneth Grahame - The Wind in the Willows (37th edition)(that one is now sold)
Price: £10 each plus £3.00 p and p. (£5.00 p and p for The Golden Age).  Let me know if you'd like any of these - first come first served - and I'll let you know where to send a cheque or bank transfer.

Three Hannah Frank images (including Woman with Bird 1955, left) will be used in Glasgow Women's Library's Women Make History map and guide to the Garnethill area. The map will be distributed free to promote the heritage and history of Glasgow. The project is funded by Glasgow City Council.   The project has previously produced similar Glasgow heritage maps for the East End, the Necropolis, the West End and the Merchant City. (And there's still time to go on the next Women Make History walk, to the Necropolis, on Sunday 19th May at 1 p.m. - you can see the map here and find out how to book here .)

In 2008 a conference took place at the University of Glasgow, 'Art Religion Identity', organised by Julie Clague from the University's Department of Theology in honour of Hannah Frank's 100th birthday.  Some lectures took place at the University Chapel surrounded by Hannah Frank's 100th Birthday Art Exhibition, and in the evening of the first day of the conference coaches took delegates to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh for a reception in honour of Hannah Frank herself.  Now, a book edited by Shulamit Reinharz and Julie Clague, a collection of the conference papers, is about to come out (Reinharz, Shulamit T and Julie Clague, ed. Art, Religion and Identity. Indiana University Press, 2013.) and you can read Shulamit's chapter online here  - an examination of ten Jewish women artists, one for each of the decades of Hannah Frank's life.  


I've been writing newsletters about my aunt since 2003 and every time I sit down to write a newsletter I realise that there are three or four new things to report in the world of Hannah Frank, someone else contacts me, or another hundred schoolchildren in the USA draw Hannah Frank themed drawings....  Penny Richards, who regular readers will remember attended the poetry prize-giving in Glasgow back in 2010 and then designed a lesson plan about Hannah's art which is now being delivered to thousands of children across California, writes:
"Just back from the opening reception for the student art show at the Palos Verdes Art Center. There are many, many Hannah Frank-inspired pieces by young children on display! I took some photos for you. The show is up till May 26, if any fans are in the LA area and want to see more."

In celebration of this new digital age - and also the forthcoming Dalbeattie exhibition, we'll be selling signed and unsigned prints throughout May and June as 'buy one get one free' (with the cheapest free, of course).  Please have a look at the website and the gallery pages to see prices etc.  (nb the ones with the asterisks are signed!)  When ordering, just pay for one print through the site and put a note in the 'notes' or email me ( saying which second print you'd like.

best wishes,

Fiona  (Niece of the late Hannah Frank and Director, Hannah Frank Art)
fionafrank 'at' 

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Shetland Museum
And Archive
Hay's Dock, Lerwick, 
Shetland ZE1 0WP
Tel   01595 695057
2 February to 4 March 2013

Sunday 3 February,  2.30 p.m.
Opening reception – all welcome
Includes a personal tour of the exhibition with Fiona Frank, the artist’s niece,
and a showing of the short film
‘Hannah Frank, The Spark Divine’ introduced by filmmaker Sarah Thomas.
And kosher buffet hosted by SCoJeC
(Scottish Council of Jewish Communities)

Opening times
Mon - Sat 10 am – 4  pm.
Sun 12 noon - 5 pm

We're very excited that on Sunday 3rd February 2013 we're launching the latest (and nearly most northerly ever) exhibition of Hannah Frank's drawings and sculptures, at the Shetland Museum and Archives, Hay's Dock, Lerwick.
AND - that this launch will be accompanied by the showing of the wonderful film HANNAH FRANK, THE SPARK DIVINE made by award-winning film-maker Sarah Thomas.
Sarah will be giving a talk about the making of the film and we hope to get as many people as possible to come to the show and find out more about this amazing Glasgow artist, the late Hannah Frank (1908-2008).  You can read more about her on this website and see  more about the exhibition on the Shetland Museum and Archives website