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Frank McCarthy

Birth place or City of origin: New York
State of origin: NY
Last known City:
Last known State: AZ
Start/Birth date: 1924
Death/End date: 2002

Frank studied at Pratt Institute and the Art Students League in New York and then followed a course of commercial art. Many of his illustrations were large western paintings, something that continued to earn him a reputation as a top-selling artist. His work was also reproduced and distributed by The Greenwich Workshop.

In 1973, he had his first major exhibition of his paintings, a show of twenty-three canvases, at the Husburg Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and it sold out in twenty minutes. This success caused him to make a total commitment to fine art, and he moved from New York to Arizona.

Popular motifs of his have been high-speed action, especially stampeding buffalo, settlers who struggled to come across the West and the Indians who were here to greet them. In 1975, he was elected a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, and in 1998, he resigned from the organization. In 1997, he was inducted into the Illustrators Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Northwest Rendezvous Group and has exhibited at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Western Heritage Center and had a retrospective at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

As he researched his western subjects, he developed a genuine interest in the history of the West that went beyond the requirements of his work.


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Western painter and illustrator, Frank McCarthy was born in New York City and for twenty-one years was an illustrator for major magazines including Colliers, Argosy and True and for paperback book publishers. In 1973, he had his first major exhibition of his paintings, a show of twenty-three canvases, at the Husburg Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, that sold out in twenty minutes. This success caused him to make a total commitment to fine art, and he moved from New York to Arizona.

McCarthy already possessed a fully developed talent when he trained his artistic instincts on the subject of the West. He had studied at both the Art Students League and The Pratt Institute in the formal tradition of many of America’s leading painters. And in that same tradition, he followed a career of professional illustration. The West crept into McCarthy’s consciousness over twenty-five years of commercial work. During the 1950s, he produced cover art for western novels and it gradually became his specialty. As he researched his western subjects, he developed a genuine interest in the history of the West that went beyond the requirements of his work. McCarthy began to paint western subjects apart from his commercial assignments, gratified by the remarkable demand for his paintings in both New York and southwestern galleries.

 

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