The world of Western Art has lost a great talent and leader. Internationally known artist, Frank C. McCarthy passed away from lung cancer, Sunday, November 17, 2002 at his home of 30 years in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.
Frank McCarthy was born in New York City in 1924. He studied at the Art Students League in New York City during the summers starting at the age of 14. He was a graduate of Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.
Frank McCarthy began his art career as a commercial illustrator. He painted illustrations for most of the paperback book publishers, magazines, movie companies, and advertisements. He created works that became posters for such movies as the James Bond series. Frank McCarthy’s talents were highly sought after by art directors enabling him to work as a free lance illustrator for many years. His art career spanned over 50 years, beginning with a request for a western cover for a magazine by an art director. He left the world of commercial art in 1968, and began his fine art career after moving to Sedona, Arizona.
Frank McCarthy’s dynamic paintings frequently featured the people of the west with a special emphasis on the Plains Indian, mountain men, and cavalry that made up the lore and lure of the old west. Appropriately entitled “The Dean of Western Action Painters”, Frank McCarthy’s art was unsurpassed for its motion, drama, and absolute attention to accuracy and detail. Highly collected, and frequently imitated, Frank McCarthy’s works were treasured throughout the world as classic examples of contemporary Western Art.
Retrospective showings of Frank McCarthy’s paintings have been held at the Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas; the R.W. Norton Museum in Shreveport, La.; the Thomas Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Ok.; and in 1992, at the Cowboy Artist of America Museum in Kerrville, Texas. Frank McCarthy was invited to join the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America organizaton in 1975 and was an active member in the CAA group for 23 years. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1997.
Five books of his paintings have been published-1 hardbound, 3 softbound, and 1 leather limited edition book. Over 100 limited edition art prints of his paintings have been published since 1974 by Greenwich Workshop, Shelton, Ct.
Survivors include: children by his late wife Mary Farendorf- daughter Mary Jean McCarthy Tyll of Dallas, Texas and son Kevin C. McCarthy of Durango, Colorado; six grandchildren; brother Henry and sister Gertude Shevlin both of Florida; and wife Cynthia Bennett of Sedona, Arizona. Cremation has taken place and private services were held. Memorial donations may be made to the Frank and Cynthia McCarthy Scholarship fund at Little Big Horn College, P.O. Box 370, Crow Agency, Mt. 59022.