Frank Meade Norton


S/N: NORT-002–219652
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Full Title:





Frank Meade Norton


In good condition.


Original oil on board signed lower right.

Image Size: 

x 325mm

Frame Size: 

x 410mm
"HAWKESBURY" - Vintage Print from 1940

Guaranteed Vintage Item




Frank Mead Norton 

Norton was the first official war artist for the Royal Australian Navy, painter and illustrator went on to become the Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston.

Norton trained as an artist in Sydney in the early 1930s and began to
work for the Navy as a guest artist, as well as doing commercial work,
including travelling on cruise ships to produce posters and publicity
material. In 1941 he was appointed as the Navy’s first official
war artist and recorded military activity across the world, from the
Mediterranean to the Pacific.

After the war Norton taught art in Sydney before moving to Perth in 1958 to take up the directorship of the WA Art Gallery. His 18-year career at the helm of the gallery saw huge change for the institution.

“He came to Western Australia at a time when the gallery was still
part of the museum and he did all the significant planning for the main
building. He started collecting Aboriginal art; he was one of the first to collect Aboriginal art as art, not anthropology.

Norton also fought public battles to add modern art to the state
collection, including a decision to buy a Henry Moore sculpture which
caused a furore in the local press at the time.

All the while Norton kept up his own artistic career.”He
would work all day in his office and then he drew back a curtain and
there was his studio and he would work there,” Mr Cathcart said.”During his whole time as a gallery director he maintained his career as an artist and also as a commercial artist.”He was commissioned to design medals and images for the Perth Commonwealth Games in 1962. “It almost seems unbelievable.”

his career, Norton’s love of boats and the sea endured and repeatedly
drew him to Fremantle to paint the harbour and vessels that used it. He
left behind a large body of work depicting Fremantle of the 1960s and
early ’70s which are now held in public institutions around Australia.

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