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Frank Short

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Frank Short

by Albert Wallace Peters
Coloured chalks on medium brown paper laid down on card, circa 1914
28 in. x 21 in. (712 mm x 533 mm) overall
NPG 3776

Inscriptionback to top

Signed and inscr. in white chalk lower left-hand corner: ‘A.W. Peters / to Sir Frank Short.’
On back of frame, label inscr. in ink: ‘Portrait of Sir Frank Short R.A. / chalk drawing / by A.W. Peters’;
and printed label: ‘C. Soar & Son / Carvers & Gilders / 1 Launceston Place / Victoria Grove / Kensington.’

This portraitback to top

‘For many years the drawing hung in my Father’s old home at Wollaston, Stourbridge’, wrote Short’s daughter Dorothea ‘to give his Mother & Father the pleasure of seeing this study of their son.’ [1] Later it belonged to George H. Evers of Stourbridge, then to H.E. Palfrey JP, FSA, also of Stourbridge, who presented it to the National Portrait Gallery in 1950. Dorothea Short also owned portraits of her father by Fred Roe and John Bulloch Souter (see ‘All known portraits, By other artists’). [2]

Albert Wallace Peters began his training at the Royal College of Art in October 1912. He left to join the army at the outbreak of the First World War, returned to the college in October 1918, but died some weeks later on 20 November. [3]

According to Malcolm Osborne (Short’s successor as professor at the RCA) the drawing was probably done around 1914; [4] Short had taught at the RCA from 1891 to 1924, latterly as professor of the college’s School of Engraving. In old age Dorothea Short provided valuable information on the barely documented A.W. Peters. [5]

The drawing is in black, white and red chalks on low-quality brown paper. It was presented in an inexpensive black frame, without a mount.

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) Letter from D. Short to D. Piper, 4 June 1951, NPG RP 3776.
2) According to Hardie 1959.
3) Information from Robin Darwin, NPG NoA (Short).
4) Letter from D. Short to D Piper, 10 June 1951, NPG RP 3776. For Osborne’s drypoint portrait of Short, see ‘All known portraits, By other artists, 1931’.
5) Peters was a scholarship student from West Bromwich and a student of Frank Short’s at the RCA in 1912. A collection of his drawings of animals at London Zoo was published in ‘Black’s sketchbook series’. A 2nd Lieut. in the Horse Guards in WWI, he was invalided out of the army and died of pneumonia at St Mark’s Army Hospital, Chelsea, 1918; letter from D. Short to D. Piper, 10 June 1951, NPG RP 3776.

Physical descriptionback to top

Head-and-shoulders, slightly to left, looking to left, grey eyes, whitish-grey moustache, smock open over waistcoat.

Provenanceback to top

Mr and Mrs Job Till Short (Frank Short’s parents); George H. Evers (his brother-in-law); H.E. Palfrey, who gave the drawing to the Gallery in 1950.

Reproductionsback to top

Repr. NPG, CIC, 2004.

View all known portraits for Sir Francis Job ('Frank') Short