Leon Franks (1914-1970) was born in Edmonton, Canada on April 28, 1914.
He studied art in Paris at Academie Julian and Grande Chaumiere. He studied in Los Angeles at the Chouinard Art Institute and the Los Angeles Art Center. He studied privately with Nicolai Fechin, Will Foster, and F. Tolles Chamberlain.
He did portraits and decorations for Vancouver theaters before settling in Los Angeles about 1936. There he further studied with Fechin, Chamberlin, Will Foster, at Chouinard's and the Art Center while doing titles and designing for the movie industry.
He taught art for Los Angeles City Parks & Recreation (1949), Los Angeles Businessmen's Art Club (1955-56), and Laguna Beach Art & Design School (1962-65). He was the private teacher of several artists, including Vernon Kerr.
His work includes portraits and still lifes. He was the author of several "How to Paint" books: How to Do Still Life in 1952; Clowns and Characters in 1960; and Leon Franks on Techniques, 1964, all published by Walter Foster.
He exhibited widely including the Palm Desert Art Center in Palm Springs, Calif., the California Palace of Legion of Honor, 1947 (honorable mention); Arizona State Fair, 1947 (second prize); Painters & Sculptors of Los Angeles, 1947, 1948 (first prize); California Art Club, 1954 (honorable mention), 1961 (first prize); California State Fair, 1958 (award); Friday Morning Club (Los Angeles), 1959 (first prize); Laguna Beach Art Association, 1960 (first prize), 1962 (second prize); Ebell Club (Los Angeles), 1964 (second prize).
Franks died in Laguna Beach, Calif. on November 11, 1970.
(Sources: Who Was Who in American Art by Peter Falk and www.edanhughes.com)
BELOW: Paintings by Leon Franks up for auction in past few years
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