Hans Frank Biography

Hans Frank




Hans Frank, painter and printmaker, was born in Vienna, Austria on May 13, 1884, the first born of twins with his brother, artist Leo Frank. He studied at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) under Professor Anton von Kenner between 1902 and 1906. After a year of compulsory military service, he began his studies in 1907 at the Academy of Fine Arts with Professor Franz Rumpler.  At the close of his studies in 1911, his work was included in an exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts and he received a one-year imperial state scholarship, which allowed him extensive travel and study throughout Europe.

Frank married Lena Laschitz in 1913 but the following year he was called to military service due to the outbreak of World War I. He was commissioned as an officer in Galicia and the Dolomites where he served as captain of the mountain artillery, and from 1917 until the end of the war he was stationed in Brixlegg in the state of Tyrol. Sometime in late 1924 or early 1925 he moved his family, which now included two sons and a daughter, to Vienna.

Hans Frank exhibited with and was a member of the Künstlerhaus in Vienna, the Society of Graver-Printers in Colour, and the Printmakers Society of California. His work was included in the exhibitions of the Secession Vienna in 1906, 1907, 1913, and 1941. Other exhibitions that included his work were the International Fine Arts Exhibition, Rome, 1911; the International Exhibition of Modern Graphic Arts, Florence 1927; National Gallery of Canada 1930; and from 1938 to 1944 the Great German Art Exhibition, House of German Art, Munich.

According to the German Art Gallery, Hans Frank was awarded the Golden State Medal in 1908, the Silver Medal of the City Graz, the Royal Sakson Medal for Art and Science, the Staatlicher Ehrenpreis, the Prize of the City Vienna in 1931, the Goldene Ehrenmedaille des Wiener Künstlerhauses in 1934, the Waldmüllerpreis für Malerei, and the Kriehuber-Preis der Stadt Wien in 1944. Hans Frank’s work is included in the Österreichischen Galerie, the Städtischen Sammlungen im Rathaus, the Albertina, and the Städtische Falerie Nüenberg.

Hans Frank died in Salzburg on 19 December 1948.

The following is a an except from Studio-Talk 1913 (pages 322 to 325): Hans Frank has for the last few years exhibited at the Secession, but not till last autumn, when his varied productions were assembled for the first time, could the wide range of his art be properly appreciated. The collection contained some large landscape paintings remarkable for their breadth and depth of treatment, and numerous etchings, aquatints and woodcuts, the subjects being chiefly animals and landscapes. Birds are his favourites, and his treatment of them, founded as it is on close observation, at once impressed critics and public alike. The two aquatints here reproduced will show how surely the artist is in his methods.  As a wood-engraver he has accomplished some fine work, carried out by methods of his own. He cuts his own blocks, choosing the wood himself, and his tools are made to his own requirements. From his childhood a lover of animals, he early began to study their ways, and became a constant visitor to the Schonbrunn Zoological Gardens. Later he kept birds in his studio, where he could be in closer contact with them and learn their habits.