SHORT, Sir Frank

1857 - 1945

Sir Frank Short

As Francis Job Short, he was born at High Park, Wollaston, Stourbridge, Worcestershire on 19 June 1857, second child of Job Till Short (c1832-21 February 1921), a bricklayer/builder, and his wife Emma Millward (1832-1922), daughter of William Millward of Stourbridge, who married at the Union Chapel, Stourbridge on 2 May 1854. In 1861, a 3 year old, living at High Park, Wollaston, with his parents, 29 year old Job and 29 year old Emma with three siblings sisters, Frances Job 6, Annie 2 and newly born Edith, all born at Stourbridge. Frank, as he was known, studied at the Stourbridge School of Art but in 1881, was a 23 year old civil engineer, living at Bridle Road, Wollaston, Stourbridge with his parents and siblings, being engaged on various engineering works in the Midlands. Later in 1881 he came to London as assistant to Baldwin Latham (1836-1917), in connection with the Parliamentary Inquiry into the pollution of the river Thames. In 1883 elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers and in the same year 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 (1866-28 December 1925) and had an only child Dorothea Mary (1890-1972). In 1891 Frank was living at Aynhoe Road, Hammersmith with his 24 year old wife Esther and their 1 year old daughter. His real life-work now became that of an original and translator engraver and received encouragement from John Ruskin (1819-1909) and the co-operation of J. M. W. Turner's students 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.'. 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 Royal Academy'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