Name: Frank Mura 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Birth: 17 JUL 1861 in Ranspach, Haut-Rhin, France
Note: Given name on birth record: François Xavier.
Occupation: artist (painter) <1894>, artist <1914, 1924>|
Father: Alexandre Mura b: 18 MAR 1835 in Ranspach, Haut-Rhin, France
Mother: Rosine Merklen b: 2 OCT 1834 in Ranspach, Haut-Rhin, France
Charlotte Poehlmann b: abt 1858/1859
4 APR 1894
in Hampstead, London, England
- Note: Married at the Lyndhurst Road Congregationalist Church.
- Margaret Mura b: ABT 1902
- Type: Newspaper
Title: Rich Mura pictures recall board bill
Title: New York Times
Place: New York, NY
Date: Sunday 7 Feb 1915
Page: C3, col. 5
Text: "Chum of great painter's youth tells of slipping canvases past Munich landlady.
Met his angel in New York
Ichabod T. Williams, whose portrait was sold last week, real discoverer of genius.
When the Frank Mura picture was put up at the Plaza on Thursday evening in the course of the Ichabod T. Williams picture sale a New York portrait painter, and old-time illustrator, sitting next to a TIMES man, said he had a little story to tell about Williams and Mura. After the sale was over--the picture went for $800, and will be worth a lot more by and by--the painter told his tale in this way:
'The first time I ever heard of Mr. Williams was by way of Frank Mura, a New Yorker by birth, as I was. Mura is a prize winner now in every exhibition where he hangs a picture and his home has been in England for many years. But he was not a prize winner when both of us were youngsters in Munich as students.
As a beginner Frank showed artistic ability, but somehow he would not get down to work. He dawdled along, getting nowhere, until his mother died. He loved her dearly, and it seemed that her death brought him to his senses. Then he resolved to work, as she had wanted him to work while she lived. He came to Munich, where I had been for five years, and almost in a day sprang into notice. His father had been supplying him with funds, but reverses came, and one day Frank told me, as one of his nearest friends, that his father had sent him $100 as his last contribution and had written for him to come home.
I was to start for New York the following week and wanted him to join me, but he owed his landlady so much that when she was paid there would not be enough left for passage money. I could not help him for reasons well known to struggling artists, but I could give him unlimited advice, and that was that he slip away with me and pay the landlady when times improved and money was easier.
His roommate was consulted and thought so well of the plan that he helped Frank to get part of his belongings, chiefly the canvases he had completed, out of the boarding house, and we left quietly for a Holland port, where we could get a second-class ticket to New York for $35. Our artistic temperaments delayed us in Holland until the last minute, and when we reached New York I lent Frank half a dollar to get him uptown.
Very soon after that he went into a small studio on the top floor of an old building in Broadway, between Thirty-first and Thirty-second Streets, with an artist friend, Harry Williamson. Williamson had a rich friend, a lumber dealer named Williams--Ichabod T., whose pictures sold tonight and last night for more than $185,000--who knew good pictures and liked them well enough to have a collection in his home that Mura went wild over when he went with Williamson to see them and their owner.
Mr. Williams liked artists personally and bought most of his pictures at that time directly from their painters. He liked Williamson so well that one day he came to the top-floor studio to make a personal visit. Some of Mura's pictures were scattered about, and it was not long before the trained eye of the visitor began to see things. He didn't say anything at first, but kept on looking. Finally he asked who did the work, and Mura modestly admitted that he did.
"Well young man," said Mr. Williams, "all I have to say is that you are wasting your talent here. I'll buy these as a starter and stake you if you want to go to Europe and study and work. But you've got to work."
This unexpected luck so unsettled Frank that an hour or so later he came around to me and begged me to kick him hard enough to make sure whether he was awake or only dreaming.
But it was no dream, and presently Mura went back to the other side. It wasn't long until his good friend did not have to help him, for the pictures he painted brought ample returns. Later he married the daughter of a distinguished member of the Royal Academy of London, and for years that has been his home and work-place. Of his later relations with Mr. Williams I did not know, because I scarcely knew his friend Williamson and did not know Mr. Williams at all.
Oh, yes; he settled with his Munich landlady, and so handsomely that she wished some of her other art boarders would leave in the same way.'"
- Type: Book
Title: Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart
Page: 25. Bd, p. 280
Publication: Leipzig : Verlag von E. A. Seemann, 1931
- Type: Book
Author: Waters, Grant M.
Title: Dictionary of British artists working 1900-1950
Page: v. 2, p. 38
Publication: Eastbourne, Sussex : Eastbourne Fine Art Publications, [1976?]
- Type: Book
Author: Wood, Christopher; research by Christopher Newall
Title: The dictionary of Victorian painters
Publication: Woodbridge, Suffolk : Antique Collectors' Club, 1978
Page: p. 334, 373
- Type: Book
Title: Who was who in American art : compiled from the original thirty-four volumes of American art annual: who's who in art, biographies of American artists active from 1898-1947
Publication: Madison, CT : Sount View Press, 1985
Page: p. 438
- Type: Book
Author: Karel, David
Title: Dictionnaire des artistes de langue française en Amérique du Nord : peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs, graveurs, photographes et orfèvres
Publication: Québec : Musée du Québec, Les Presses de l'Université Laval, ©1992
Page: p. 589 (entry "Mura, Frank")
- Type: Book
Title: Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays. Nouvelle édition, entièrement refondue sous la direction de Jacques Busse
Publication: Paris : Éditions Gründ, 1999
Page: t. 10, p. 31