Monday, March 23, 2015

Frank Vietor (1919-2006)

Francis E. "Frank" Vietor was born on December 21, 1919, in Poland, a small town in Clay County, Indiana. He served as a photographer and illustrator in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, including time in North Africa and Italy. After the war, he worked as an illustrator with Paton Studios in Indianapolis and graduated from the Herron School of Art in 1948. A decade later, in 1958, he and Jim Bradford formed their own advertising studio, Bradford and Vietor, in Indianapolis.

After many years as an advertising artist, Frank Vietor began painting landscapes and pictures of trains. "I've always loved trains," he wrote in 1984, "and we have a model railroad layout in the garage which competes with the car for the space." Working in acrylic and gouache (opaque watercolor), Vietor specialized in scenes of small towns. "The small towns I paint are typical of midwest rural America," he explained. His small-town landscapes typically show a view from a distance, where town gives way to country.

Frank Vietor died in March 2006 at age eighty-six.

"Summertime," a small painting that looks like a piece of advertising art or commercial art, but alone might be considered a genre painting.

"Man with a Jug"

A very charming still-life called "Indiana State Fair." Again, this painting has the look of a commercial work of art, perhaps the cover of a booklet, but is capable of standing on its own.

"Railway Landscape," a small painting of a large and powerful subject and one of Frank Vietor's specialties.

"Winter in Brookville"--Frank Vietor wasn't the first Indiana artist to paint in Brookville, an old town in the eastern part of the state, nor will he be the last.

Images courtesy of Fine Estate Art. 
Text and captions copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley

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