After returning from years of war coverage, Peter van Agtmael tries to piece together the memory, identity, race, class, and family, in a landscape which has become as surreal as the war he left behind.
George Vernon Meredith Frampton RA (1894 – 1984) was a British painter and etcher, successful as a portraitist in the 1920s. His artistic career was short and his output limited because his eyesight began to fail in the 1950s, but his work is on display at the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Gallery and Imperial War Museum.
During the First World War, Frampton served in the British Army on the Western Front with a field survey unit, sketching enemy trenches, and also worked on the interpretation of aerial photographs. After the war Frampton resumed his artistic career and established himself as among the most highly regarded of British painters during the period. Between 1920 and 1945 he exhibited at the Royal Academy nearly every year, showing a total of thirty-two paintings there. In 1925 he was elected a member of the Art Workers Guild. In 1934 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy and in 1942 became a full member of the Academy. Frampton painted portraits of the Duke of York, who was to become King George VI, academics and scientists, and a series of full length portraits of women from fashionable society. He would often spend an entire year working on a single painting.
For many years Frampton’s art was rarely shown in public and he was largely forgotten. However, he lived to see his retrospective at the Tate in 1982. It was also his first one-man show and greatly restored his standing.