Media File
Frank Brangwyn
Date: English painter and graphic artist, 1867–1956
Biography: Frank Brangwyn, the son of a Welsh architect, was born in Bruges, Belgium. His father, a follower of Pugin, had worked for G. E. Street before moving to Bruges, where he carried out a number of mural paintings, frescoes, and mosaics, as well as designing several important buildings. The family returned to London in 1875. At this time he met Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo and through him, William Morris, who employed him (1882-1884) as a glazier. Brangwyn also began painting. He had his first one-man show, at the Royal Arcade Gallery in Bond Street, London. He also began to do illustrations for The Graphic and The Idler. In 1895 Siegfried Bing commissioned Brangwyn to decorate the façade of his new art gallery, Maison de l'Art Nouveau, in Paris. He was invited to become a guest member of the Vienna Secession and participated in their first exhibition in 1898. During this period Brangwyn illustrated several books including Collingwood (1891), The Captured Cruiser (1893), The Wreck of the Golden Fleece (1893), Tales of Our Coast (1896), The History of Don Quixote (1898) and A Spiced Yarn (1899). In 1901 Brangwyn was commissioned to produce murals for the Great Hall of the Worshipful Company of Skinners. This was followed by a mosaic for the apse of St Aidan's Church in Leeds, and a mural for the British Rooms at the Venice Biennale. During the First World War Brangwyn produced over 80 poster designs that encouraged men to join the armed forces and to warn about the dangers of Zeppelins to the home population and the need to buy war bonds.

In 1926 Lord Iveagh commissioned Brangwyn to produce a series of large murals to cover the north and south walls of the royal gallery in the House of Lords. The designs in radiant colors depicted the dominions and colonies which had fought for the British during the war. The designs were rejected by the Royal Fine Arts Commission (The murals can now be seen at Brangwyn Hall in Swansea).
By the 1930s Brangwyn's art went out of fashion and he retired to his home at The Jointure in Ditchling. Brangwyn was knighted in 1941.