The painter, Frank Bradshaw (1884 – 1969) was born and lived for much of his life in Bradford at 17 Waverley Place, Manningham.
He had always enjoyed painting and, aged 16, began to attend evening art classes at Bradford Art College, where his talent was recognised. He gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Art (RCA) and attended there between 1909-1913.
He was awarded a full Diploma from the RCA and then taught art at schools in Croydon, Huddersfield, and at Wheelwright Grammar School, Dewsbury, before becoming a part-time tutor at Dewsbury Technical School and School of Art between 1920-8, and again between 1940-47. He also taught art at evening classes at Brighouse Technical School between 1930-1940.
In his own time, he painted watercolour landscapes, urban scenes and portraits, and also sketched in pencil and made etchings. His work was regularly exhibited locally at summer exhibitions at Cartwright Hall and further afield at exhibitions in Liverpool, Leeds and Harrogate. A Lake District watercolour, ‘Braithwaite’ was also shown at a Royal Academy summer exhibition in 1940. Four of his paintings are in the permanent collection of Bradford Museums and Galleries (see examples shown here).
Frank was a long-time member of the Bradford Art Club, where he was an honorary life member, a committee member, and one of its most regular contributors at local exhibitions.
The art critic of the Dalesman (no.9, p.176) noted, following an exhibition in Bradford, 1942:
Outstanding … is Frank Bradshaw’s watercolour, ‘Hills above Starbotton’, in which skilful technique and sensitive feeling combine to present us with a joyous pattern of limestone walls and a smell of spring grass, which is like an elixir in these dark [wartime] days.