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Frank Owen Salisbury Papers

Date range: 1905-1960

Medium: Archive

Papers of Francis Owen Salisbury (1874-1962), artist and socialite. He was born at Harpenden, Hertfordshire, one of eleven children of Henry Salisbury and Susan Hawes. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to his brother James Salisbury, in his stained-glass works at St Albans.

Frank's interest in painting was fostered by attendance at a London drawing academy, and at the age of eighteen he won a five-year scholarship at the Royal Academy Schools, where he won several medals and later became a regular exhibitor.

Salisbury was regarded as one of the premier portrait artists of his generation. He enjoyed close links with business, society and politics and was commissioned to paint portraits of prominent figures across Britain, Europe and North America including five United States Presidents, several British Prime Ministers and three British monarchs. He was much in demand for official paintings of state occasions and was regarded unofficially as the British artistic laureate.

All of these interests are represented in the collection, which includes Frank O. Salisbury's personal and business correspondence with friends and distinguished sitters at home and abroad including Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

Additional papers relating to individual paintings and memorials are also included, together with autobiographical writings and material concerning his publications and exhibitions.

A substantial amount of visual material is included within the collection, in the form of preliminary sketches, photographs and other reproductions.

Further information:

  • Part of the Methodist Archives and Research Centre (MARC). For more information see our subject page for Methodist Collections.
  • Collection-level description available online via ELGAR.
  • Catalogue available via Special Collections reading rooms.


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