SHORT, Sir Frank

1857 - 1945

Sir Frank Short

As Francis Job Short, he was born at Stourbridge, Worcestershire on 19 June 1857, second child of Job Till Short (c.1832-1921), a bricklayer, and his wife Emma née Millward, who married at Stourbridge in 1854. In 1861, a 3 year old, living at High Park, Wollaston, Stourbridge with his parents, 29 year old Job and 29 year old Emma with three siblings, Frances Job 6, Annie 2 and newly born Edith, all born at Stourbridge. Frank was educated to be a civil engineer and was engaged on various works in the Midlands until 1881, when he came to London as assistant to Baldwin Latham (1836-1917), in connexion with the Parliamentary Inquiry into the pollution of the river Thames and in 1883 elected an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. In his early years he had studied at the Stourbridge School of Art and in 1883 joined the South Kensington School of Art, also working in the life class under Professor Frederick Brown (1851-1941), at the Westminster School of Art, and for a short time at the Schools of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-colours. He married at Stourbridge in 1889, Esther Rosamond Barker (1866-1925) and had an only child. In 1891 he was living at Aynhoe Road, Hammersmith with his 24 year old wife Esther and 1 year old daughter Dorothy M, born Hammersmith. His real life-work now became that of an original and translator engraver, a keen student of the works of J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851) and the etchings and mezzotints from Turner's 'Liber Studiorum'. Short received encouragement from John Ruskin (1819-1909) and the co-operation of students of Turner such as William George Rawlinson (1840-1928) and the Revd Stopford Augustus Brooke (1832-1916). After completing the series from the existing plates of Turner's 'Liber Studiorum', Short turned to the subjects which Turner had left incomplete and his work bears the lettering 'F. Short, Sculp., after J. M. W. Turner, R.A.'. Short also reproduced mezzotints of several pictures of George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) and the portrait of Lord Tennyson. His own fine quality as a watercolour painter made him a sympathetic engraver of the landscapes of David Cox [q.v.] and Peter de Wint [q.v.]. Short was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy on 8 January 1906 and a Member on 25 January 1911, the same year that he was knighted, and served as the R.A.'s Treasurer 1919-1932. Short was President of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Head of the Engraving School of the Royal College of Art, where he taught 1891-1924. He exhibited at the Ipswich Fine Art Club in 1923, a dry point 'Pevent's Castle' and an etching 'The Rising Sun' and in 1932, from 56 Brook Green, London W.6 two works, a mezzotint 'A Mountain Torrent' after J. W. Müller and an aquatint 'The Evening Star, in her last Berth' and two mezzotints in 1933 'Cloud Burst over the Sands of the Dee' and 'A Grey Day on the Dee Sands'. He was of 56 Brook Green, London when he died at The Jointure Cottage, Ditchling, Lewes, Sussex on 22 April 1945.

Works by This Artist