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Fragments of a new original Hannah Frank poem from 1929 solve a mystery!
On August 23 Hannah Frank would have been 109 years old. It is therefore most exciting that we have new information for you.  This information came to light thanks to Marisol Erdman who contacted us from the University of Glasgow’s Archives and Special Collections.  She has unexpectedly solved an artistic mystery going back decades.

Marisol has been researching the work of Hannah Frank and her time at the university between 1926 and 1930. She told us: “I discovered that Hannah’s lecture notes contain some drawings and sketches she had made during her time here. I’ve been trying to connect some of the sketches in her class workbooks with some of her artworks to gain insight into her artistic process and the development of her distinctive style.”
 
New Hannah Frank sketches emerge
For example, Marisol found a sketch in Hannah Frank's English lecture notes of 1926-27, a study for 'Red Flowers' which is shown, right, as published in the Glasgow University Magazine Vol 41 no 1
She also stumbled on an unusual discovery surrounding the pen and ink drawing 'Hopeless Love', from 1929, and immediately contacted us to reveal her findings. 
Marisol discovered via our blog that the original drawing had been sold  in 2010 but that the origin of the quotation contained in the illustration was unknown. The words, in careful manuscript, are 'a lady murmuring low words of hopeless love'. Hannah often used poetry, such as that by Keats and Omar Khayaam, as inspiration and included quotations in the finished drawings themselves. We put out a call for information on this unknown quotation in 2010.

This drawing, signed ‘Al Aaraaf’, Hannah’s pen name, was untraced for many years. It features a woman, facing the viewer, wearing a long dress. There are typical eerie Hannah Frank trees and a closely-drawn dark nightfall in the background. ‘Hopeless Love’ went on show at Glasgow’s Hidden Lane Gallery in 2010 before going up for sale by silent auction the same year, along with three other drawings and a set of two woodcuts. This set of works had been lying in an attic in Norwich for 30 years!

Through examining Hannah’s English lecture notes Marisol has found evidence that the quotation in the drawing almost certainly comes from a poem written by the artist herself. 

Marisol said: “Opposite a sketch, which I think clearly resembles the finished drawing, there is a draft of a poem with lots of amendments. The amendments made to the verse suggest that this is an original Hannah Frank poem and if you look closely you can see the words 'a lady murmuring low words or/syllables of hopeless love'.”

Hannah Frank had a love of poetry as much as for art. While studying at the University of Glasgow, where she graduated in Arts in 1930, she had a number of poems as well as a series of drawings published in the University magazine,

Marisol’s fascinating and detailed blog post about Hannah Frank's student lecture notes and sketches is now available on the University Library’s blog 
 

A detective-archivist!

Marisol Erdman, pictured left, graduated with a degree in Classics from the University of Glasgow in 2016. Currently she is conducting post-graduate research looking at ancient medical ideas surrounding mental health and wellbeing. But for the past year, she has worked as a fulltime Graduate Trainee with the University of Glasgow’s Archives and Special Collections. The traineeship offers graduates the opportunity to gain experience, with a view to further study and a career in the sector. In the future, she hopes to continue working with archival collections and she is particularly interested in promoting the use of collections as a creative resource. 
 
Commemorative exhibition planned for 2018
Next year will be the 110th anniversary of Hannah’s birth and we are hoping for confirmation of a commemorative exhibition.   Watch this space!

 
In the meantime, signed and unsigned prints are still available from the Hannah Frank website.  As well as prints, we still have some of the notelets available, for £5.99 for six different designs.   The beautiful black book ‘Hannah Frank, A Glasgow Artist, Drawings and Sculpture’ is also available, reduced to £10.50. All from the webshop on www.hannahfrank.org.uk   
Recasts of sculptures, specially cast for you in a patina to suit your taste, are available at between £1500 and £3000.  
 
Ordering is easy and don’t forget all funds go back into the project to bring Hannah’s name and work to a wider audience, covering the costs of the website, keeping the works safe in Glasgow, setting up new exhibitions etc.  


For each print sold during the rest of 2017 I will be donating £10 to the crowdfunding campaign to set up the Khadija Saye memorial fund.   Khadija Saye was the young photographer who lost her life during the Grenfell Tower fire; the fund has been set up by her former mentor, Nicola Green (David Lammy's partner), to support young artists like Khadija to realise their potential. 
Best wishes on this auspicious date
Fiona Frank (niece of the late Hannah Frank, and curator of ‘Hannah Frank Art’).

Email me on fiona@hannahfrank.org.uk or tel 07778 737681
(thanks to Judith Coyle, wordsmith http://www.judithcoyle.co.uk/
Copyright © 2017 Hannah Frank Art Sales, All rights reserved.


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