Two fantastic exhibitions are opening in Whitby this weekend.
Havens and Harbours: The Marine Art of Frank Henry Mason will be displayed in the Pannett Art Gallery and a complementary exhibition, The Commercial Art of Frank Henry Mason, will be displayed in Whitby Museum.
Frank Henry Algernon Mason was an exceptionally talented artist.
His life was spent in the atmosphere of shipping and he once said “the sea and ships are in my bones.”During the early 1890s Scarborough had a colony of artists including Thomas Bush Hardy and Ernest Dade who could be seen at work on the harbour painting local views. Inspired by these artists Mason taught himself to draw and paint.
By 1893, the young Frank Mason was painting and sketching local views of the coast, but his status was still an amateur. Mason stated he “never had the smallest artistic training…. his only teacher was his natural instinct”.
He eventually gave up engineering around 1895 to become a professional painter backed by regular commissions from Scarborough’s premier art dealer, Haydon Hare. During the late 1890s and the first decade of the 20th Century he painted many views of Scarborough, Whitby and other ports.
The principal art dealer in Whitby at this time was Mr EE Anderson’s West Cliff Fine Art Gallery at 24 Skinner Street. By 1902 Mason had been elected a member of the Staithes Art Club, known as the Staithes Art Group, where he was introduced to the bold plein-air technique of watercolour painting.
Mason also had a career as a commercial artist, including illustration, and Railway Art. Between about 1910 and 1961 he produced over 200 posters and 17 carriage print designs for the railway companies. The beautiful paintings of Frank Henry Mason can be seen at the Pannett Art Gallery, from Saturday June 16 to July 29 and the commercial art of Frank Henry Mason can be seen at Whitby Museum from Saturday June 16 to August 27. Both venues open Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm. Admission to the gallery is free.
There is a charge for admission to the museum, however, admission is free for children and for residents of the parish of Whitby.