Lottery grant to ensure Glasgow artist’s legacy

Artist Hannah Frank. Photo: Chris Clark.
Artist Hannah Frank. Photo: Chris Clark.

A project to secure the legacy of the Glasgow Jewish artist Hannah Frank has received a significant boost.

Hannah Frank Art has been awarded a grant of £7,200 from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland – to bring her work to new audiences, and to catalogue her work to ensure that it is available for future exhibitions.

The work of the celebrated Glasgow artist, who was born in 1908 and died in 2008, is currently on show at Glasgow University Chapel in an exhibition to mark what would have been her 110th birthday.

Hannah Frank, who studied at Glasgow University and at the Glasgow School of Art, had a 75 year artistic career. She is known for her distinctive black and white drawings and her later sculptures, which were shown at the Royal Academy, Royal Scottish Academy and Royal Glasgow Institute.

Alice Strang, senior curator at Scottish National Galleries, said that Hannah Frank had a well earned reputation for her “certainty of line, technical brilliance, imagination, and creativity that goes beyond comparison with Aubrey Beardsley and the Art Nouveau movement… I think she deserves a place as a worthy successor to the older generation of Glasgow Girls, including Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh and Jessie M King.”

Fiona Frank, Hannah Frank’s niece and champion, said: “This grant is fantastic news. We’ve had five talented and knowledgeable Glasgow University History of Art undergraduates working with us on a voluntary basis for the past five months to set up this current exhibition; and it’s excellent that we can now pay them the Scottish Living Wage for the valuable work they’re doing.”

The team of five student volunteers has been made available to the project through the support of Glasgow University Internship Hub and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC).

Fiona continued: “The students are reaching out to school and community groups to bring Hannah Frank’s work to new audiences.

“We’ve been working with Visibility Glasgow and Scottish War Blinded to find out first hand the best way for us to bring Hannah Frank’s work to people with visual impairment.

“Scottish War Blinded are lending us a very powerful magnifying machine which enables people to see the incredible detail in the drawings – a revelation to us as well as to the people with visual impairment.

“We’re running a workshop specially for people with visual impairment as part of the exhibition, with artist Myra Ostacchini – who’s also running some open Creative Embroidery and Creative Art sessions during the exhibition.

“The grant will also be used to provide audio descriptions of Hannah Frank’s art works to add to the artist’s website, as a permanent legacy.”

Fiona added: “We’ve come a long way over the last 15 years. My aunt’s work has been exhibited across the length and breadth of Britain as well as in the United States.

“A retrospective exhibition took place at Glasgow University Chapel ten years ago to mark her 100th birthday – with Hannah Frank herself in attendance.”

The Hannah Frank 110 exhibition continues until February 6.

An ongoing programme of free activities accompanies the exhibition, including Monday afternoon tours, Wednesday afternoon creative workshops and Friday lunchtime talks.

See www.hannahfrank.org.uk for full details.