Frank Kelly Freas


Frank Kelly Freas

Frank Kelly Freas (27 August 1922 – 2 January 2005), called the "Dean of Science Fiction Artists," was a prolific and popular science fiction and fantasy artist with a career spanning more than 50 years.

Biography

Born in Hornell, New York, United States, Freas (pronounced like the English word "freeze") was educated at Lafayette High School in Buffalo, where he received training from long-time art teacher Elizabeth Weiffenbach. Following college and the Army, he went back to school at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and began work in advertising. He married Pauline (Polly) Bussard in 1952; they had two children, Jacqui and Jerry. Polly died of cancer in January 1987. In 1988 he married (and is survived by) Dr. Laura Brodian.

For "Weird Tales" (November 1950), Freas did his first fantasy magazine cover, illustrating H. Russell Wakefield's "The Third Shadow" with his painting "The Piper." With his illustrating career underway, he continued to devise unique and imaginative concepts for other fantasy and science fiction magazines of that period. In a field where airbrushing is common practice, paintings by Freas are notable for his use of bold brush strokes, and a study of his work reveals his experimentation with a wide variety of tools and techniques. Over the next five decades, he created covers for numerous books and magazines, notably "Astounding Science Fiction" both before and after its title change to "Analog"; "Mad" magazine (for whom he painted many early covers featuring the iconic character, Alfred E. Neuman) from 1955 to 1962; cover art for DAW, Signet, Ballantine Books, Avon, all 58 Laser Books (which are now collectors' items), and over 90 covers for Ace books alone. He was editor and artist for the first ten "Starblaze" books. He was a participant in one of the all-time great literary hoaxes, "I, Libertine" (Ballantine Books, 1956), along with Jean Shepherd, Ian Ballantine and Theodore Sturgeon, incorporating several hidden jokes and references into his cover painting for that book. That same year he drew cartoon illustrations for Bernard Shir-Cliff's "The Wild Reader", also for Ballantine.

Freas was commissioned to paint the Skylab I insignia design and posters promoting the space program (used by NASA and now hanging in the Smithsonian Institution); pinup girls on bombers while in the United States Army Air Forces; comic book covers; the covers of the GURPS worldbooks "Lensman" and "Planet Krishna"; and many others, such as more than 500 saints' portraits for the Franciscans executed simultaneously with his portraits of Alfred E. Neuman ("What? Me Worry?") for "Mad". He was very active in gaming and medical illustration. His cover of Queen's album "News of the World" (1977) was a pastiche of his much-admired sad robot cover illustrating Tom Godwin's "The Gulf Between" for "Astounding Science Fiction" (October 1953). [ [http://www.webscription.net/10.1125/Baen/1011250014/1011250014.htm Godwin, Tom. "The Gulf Between", "Astounding Science Fiction", October 1953 (full text).] ]

Freas published several collections of his artwork and frequently gave presentations. His work appeared in numerous exhibitions. Among many other awards, Freas was the first person to receive ten Hugo awards. He was nominated 20 times. No other artist in science fiction has consistently matched his record. His smooth and luminous images, amiable aliens and sexy women have become part of today's science fiction visual language.

He died in West Hills and is buried in Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth. Both communities are suburbs of Los Angeles, California, in the San Fernando Valley.

Awards

Freas's achievements include:Doctor of Arts, Art Institute of Pittsburgh, December 2003.
* 11 Hugos (1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, Retrospective Hugo for 1951, awarded in 2001)
* Frank R. Paul Award, 1977
* Inkpot Award, 1979
* Skylark Award, 1981
* Rova Award, 1981
* Lensman Award, 1982
* Phoenix Award, 1982
* Los Angeles Science Fiction Society Service Award, 1983
* Neographics Award, 1985
* Daedalos Life Achievement Award, 1987
* Art Teacher Emeritus Award, 1988
* Best Professional, Media, International Fantasy Expo, 1989
*Chesley Awards 1989 (with Laura Freas); 1993 (Artistic Achievement); 2000 (Artistic Achievement)
* Numerous Science Fiction Art Show Awards
* National Association of Trade and Technical Schools National Hall of Fame, 1991
* AnLab (Analog magazine) Readers' Polls, Best Cover, 1991, 2000

References

External links

* [http://www.kellyfreas.com Frank Kelly Freas' website]
*
* [http://www.bpib.com/illustrat/freas.htm Frank Kelly Freas tribute site]
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,11617,1389449,00.html "Guardian" obituary of Frank Kelly Freas]
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18151/18151-h/18151-h.htm Time Crime] , by H. Beam Piper, illustrated by Freas, from Project Gutenberg
* [http://www.doncapone.org/modelkits/God-Of-The-Robots.php Frank Kelly Freas' God Of The Robots Model Kit - (very rare) From the Robot on Queen News Of the World Album Cover 1977 ]


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  • Frank Kelly Freas — Frank Kelly Freas, eigentlich Francis Sylvester Kelly (* 27. August 1922 in Hornell, New York; † 2. Januar 2005 in Los Angeles) war ein US amerikanischer Maler und Illustrator. Er war einer der produktivsten und populärsten Science Ficti …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Freas, Frank Kelly — ▪ 2006       American illustrator (b. Aug. 27, 1922, Hornell, N.Y. d. Jan. 2, 2005, Los Angeles, Calif.), earned the designation of “the most popular illustrator in the history of science fiction” with his stylized depictions of fantastic… …   Universalium

  • Freas — Frank Kelly Freas Frank Kelly Freas (* 27. August 1922 in Hornell, New York; † 2. Januar 2005 in Los Angeles) war ein US amerikanischer Maler und Illustrator. Er war einer der produktivsten und populärsten Science Fiction …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Prix Hugo — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hugo. Le prix Hugo (Hugo Award), dont le titre original est Science Fiction Achievement Award, est décerné chaque année aux meilleurs récits de science fiction ou de fantasy de langue anglaise publiés l année… …   Wikipédia en Français


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