Frank EggintonFrank Egginton (1908-1990), landscape painter. Son of Wycliffe Egginton, RI (1875-1951), Francis John Egginton was born in Wallasey, Cheshire, on 10th November 1908. We he as a baby, the family moved to Newton Abbot in Devon, his father having been appointed head master of the College of Art there. Educated at Newton College and then Netwon Abbot College of Art, he then spent some time in an architect’s office perfecting his drawing. In 1921 the family moved to Teignmouth, Devon.
In 1930 he visited Co. Donegal and painted some pictures for a businessman, a friend of his father’s. As the years went by, he stayed longer and longer in Ireland each year. He exhibited The Calabber River, Co. Donegal at the 1936 royal Scottish Academy. In 1938 he visited the USA and spent several months travelling and painting the landscape, also American Indians in their villages. During the Second World War he worked in a Belfast factory, and in 1946 he moved with his wife to Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. A keen ornithologist, in his younger days he had painted on bird-watching trips in Iceland and Switzerland.
Egginton, caravanning for most of his Irish travels – he also painted in Scotland – first exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1932 with a Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal, address, showing three Donegal landscapes and the interior of a Donegal cottage. Between 1933 and 1938 inclusive he contributed fifteen works, the majority having Donegal cottage. Between 1933 and 1938 inclusive he contributed fifteen works, the majority having Donegal connections. He showed two watercolours in 1947 from Lissan House, Cookstown: Peter the Fiddler, Co. Sligo and The Old Bridge, Coolaney, Co. Sligo.
In 1952 Victor Waddington Galleries, Dublin, held a joint exhibition for Howard Knee (q.v.) and Frank Egginton. Edward Sheehy in the Dublin Magazine referred to them as belonging to the ‘school of drawing-room painters’, but found Egginton more interesting as a watercolourist ‘in so far as many of his pictures achieve some depth and atmosphere. His wash is more free and lucent than that of Knee. A Cottage near Tralee, Co. Kerry and Connor Pass, Co. Kerry are among the bests of their kind’.
At the age of about fifty, Egginton began painting some oils during the winter months; watercolours, however, were always his first choice. A regular exhibitor with the Fine Art Society in London, he showed well over one hundred works. His other main exhibiting venue was the Royal Cambrian Academy exhibitions at Conwy. A few pictures were sent to the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, London, and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. In Belfast, his work was seen occasionally at Rodman's Art Gallery, Belfast. His two watercolours in the Queen's University collecton are Mahee, Co. Down and Soft Day Near Castlecove. Of the Mill, Dunfanaghy, he died on 7th April 1990. In that year a nephew, Robert Egginton from Scotland, held an exhibition at the Mage Gallery Belfast.