(1920 – 2007)
Born in Nebraska in 1920, Frank Ashley was raised in St. Paul and later attended the University of Minnesota. Enlisting in the Army Air Corps, he was stationed in England as B-17 pilot; he was discharged after four years as a Captain, with multiple decorations, including The Purple Heart.
After his military career, he studied at the Minneapolis Art Institute and later at the American Academy in Chicago. Mr. Ashley completed his education at The Art Students’ League in New York City, where he worked with Reginald Marsh.
During his stay in New York, Frank Ashley frequented the Metrapole Club where he met many later “jazz greats”. This early experience and his subsequent friendships with Louis Armstrong and Dave Brubeck in San Francisco provided him with one of his major artistic themes: the world of the jazz artist.
No less important, however, is his artistic expertise in the arena of the competitive equestrian event. Having visited the majority of the renown tracks around the world, his equestrian paintings have become his most sought after work. A superb draftsman and flawless colorist, Frank Ashley has exhibited his works at many of the major race tracks in the United States.
Mr. Ashley’s equestrian paintings vibrate with the reigned-in energy of his eager horses. It can be said that energy is the hallmark of Frank Ashley’s work, and that energy can also be felt in his jazz musicians and dancers as well as in his piercing caricatures.
Frank Ashley has claimed many prestigious honors throughout his artistic career; among his most note-worthy accolades is the grand prize from the 1957 New York Art Show, Art USA. Zantman Art Galleries is pleased to present the work of this invigorating and talented artist since 1959.