Frank Brangwyn

1867 – 1956

Frank Brangwyn Guillaume Francois Brangwyn – known as Frank – was born in Bruges. His father, William, was a talented designer and artist.

Brangwyn’s mentors were A H Mackmurdo, William Morris and Siegfried Bing. All instilled in him a strong work ethic and the importance of drawing from nature. Bing also encouraged him to broaden the range of work he designed to include murals, furniture, posters and stained glass.

Brangwyn bought The Jointure in Ditchling in 1917 after visiting Sussex to paint the Downs, though he retained a house in London and used the Jointure as a holiday home. After his wife died in 1924 Brangwyn seems to have preferred to live in Ditchling, where he also then established a studio.

He produced a huge range of work throughout his life, but is probably best known for the Rockefeller Murals in New York (1930 – 1934) which he created while living in Ditchling, using villagers as models. The subject matter he was given as inspiration was ‘man’s new relationship to society and his fellow men, his family relationships, his relationships as a worker, his relationships as part of a government and his ethical and religious relationships‘.