[ Franklin White, Australian artist. ] 24 items from his papers, including drafts and copies of his letters to the feminist Thelma Cazalet-Keir and the artist Harold Copping, and an ALS to him from Louis McCubbin, National Gallery of South Australia.

Franklin White (1892-1975), Australian artist, teacher at the Slade Art School, London; Harold Copping (1863-1932), artist;; Louis McCubbin (1890-1952), Director, National Gallery of South Australia ]
Publication details: 
Several of White's letters on letterheads of The Reedbeds, Shoreham, Nr. Sevenoaks, Kent. Between 1921 and 1968.
SKU: 22281

Two years after arriving in England from Australia in 1913, Franklin White entered the Slade School. His studies were interrupted by the First World War, during which he worked as a draughtsman at the Admiralty. In 1919 he re-entered the Slade, and was soon invited by Tonks to join the teaching staff. On his retirement in 1957, he devoted his full energies to the Samuel Palmer School of Art, which he had run from his home in Shoreham since 1924, when he first held summer classes in landscape painting for his Slade students. In the 1950s the school expanded to take in residential students, and despite ill-health, White continued his teaching through his later years. White's work is to be found in the permanent collections of a number of major galleries in Britain and Australia, including the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ashmolean, and the National Gallery of Australia. The present collection of material from White's papers mainly consists of drafts and copies of letters, although at least one, addressed to Thelma Cazalet-Keir (Item Ten below) would appear to be the original letter, and White admitted (in Item One below) to a habit of writing letters and not sending them. The draft letters contain material of biographical interest, with FW discussing his home and studio, business affairs, teaching methods. A number of items concern the setting up of his residential school at Shoreham (see Items Two and Three, to 'Fleming', and Eight and Nine). (In the 1920s Shoreham – previously the home of William Blake's disciple Samuel Palmer – had become something of an artistic enclave, along the lines of St Ives.) The collection is in good condition, with light signs of age and wear. The following description is divided into fourteen parts, the first nine of which describe material in FW's autograph. ONE: Autograph draft or copy of letter to 'Mr. Holland'. 15 February 1921. On Reedbeds letterhead. 2pp., 4to. FW and his wife are 'comfortably settled' in their new home 'the new “Reedbeds”', which dates from the fifteenth century: 'In sorting out and arranging letters, accounts & papers I found no less than five written to you and never posted. Mr. Syrett would say he quite expected as much from me, however my business methods are improving now that I have my place to arrange as suits me. I am getting on well with my work at the Slade School, London University, I like the work and it brings me in touch with the top people in the art world. I am selling work and get an occasional commission for a portrait and this summer I am taking a pupil at £4 a week and with my £225 a year from the Slade, you see I am now able to do a little for myself. The Slade is a good thing for me as it brings me in contact with people and only takes up three days of the week, the rest of the week I can devote to producing work for exhibitions & selling.' After a reference to 'Miss Fricker' he discusses his 'visits to the class': 'I should like it clearly understood that I cannot have outside people coming in while the class is in progress whether it is anyone connected with art the Education Board or Sevenoaks Counsellors or anyone else. We must treat the class with absolute seriousness or I cannot afford to give the time to it.' TWO: Part of autograph draft of letter to 'Fleming' (originally 'Mr Syret'). 2 May 1921; on Reedbeds letterhead. 2pp., 4to. In what appears to be a response to a proposal from Fleming that FW find London artists to teach a class at Sevenoaks, he writes: 'I am afraid you would not be able to get anyone of any standing to give up the time it would require to come all the way from town. I ventured it at the Slade, the fee etc but although a desire for a better feeling in art should be encouraged they could not see how anyone could afford to give up the time. […] The class of students would be very distasteful to me (then of course I partly imagine & partly judge from the visit to Sevenoaks)'. Nevertheless, he gives conditions which would have to met for him to consider the engagement. THREE: Autograph draft or copy of letter to 'Dear Fleming'. 11 June 1921. On Reedbeds letterhead. 2pp., 4to. 'The days of Gold Medallists at the Slade were days long before the present Slade tradition and it goes for nothing at all, in fact, you might say that ithas nothing to do with the Slade and is more akin to the hard work done at South Kensington and other places.' FOUR: First part (1p., 4to) of autograph draft or copy of letter to 'Mr. Syrett'. From the Reedbeds. Concerning the question of deductions 'from the sum received from the Richardsons', he writes: 'I do not believe for one moment [that] the vague artistic temperament cannot be businesslike in the very least. […] I have now overcome the big <?> difficulty a painter has to overcome to certain degrees to [be] able to work more rapidly. I find that I am developing a bigger interest in more pecuniary affairs.' FIVE and SIX: Autograph drafts of two letters to 'Mr Copping', i.e. the artist and FW's Shoreham neighbour Harold Copping (1863-1932). The first a short note. 10 February 1921; Redbeds. 1p., 4to. The second an autograph draft of the beginning of a letter. 17 February 1921; on Reedbeds letterhead. 1p., 4to. He invites the Coppings to supper, 'so we can settle the question you wish settled, […] I consider [it] a rather small affair, which all village matters must of necessity be in relation to life'. SEVEN: Autograph draft of letter to the owner of a cottage – possibly 'the new “Reedbeds”' mentioned in Item One – which he appears to be looking to buy or let. 2pp., 12mo. 'I have not had a definite answer [from 'Mr. Dowdy', see Item Nine] about the room to work in and put my things into. If this is satisfactory I shall be able to put all my goods into the room. I am sure you will find we shall take care of everything in your cottage.' EIGHT: 12mo Reedbeds letterhead, carrying parts of autograph drafts of two letters. Recto, dated 13 February 1922, concerning the letting of a cottage on FW's recommendation; verso, undated, to a prospective student, stating that 'as a number of students & others have responded to my offer I am now able to run the class at a smaller fee. A number of students came on the 11.40 Tulse Hill 11.44 Bat & Ball and others on 1.20 T.H. & 1.24 B.B. and I am able to charge 5/ per lesson for this.' NINE: Remains of 12mo notebook, containing five pages of autograph notes. Undated, but with printed calendars for 1918 and 1919 present. Two of the pages carry accounts with 'E E Dowdy' (for whom see Item Seven), and a third explains that Dowdy has agreed 'to let the room Mr. White is now using as a studio for an indefinite period at the rent of five shillings a week, the said room being situated next to the Church Room Shoreham Kent'. Another page carries a draft of a letter to the parent of an 'extremely promising' pupil, stating that the 'number of people who wish to have lesson from me each Wednesday has so greatly increased & [...] the space here is limited for the number of pupils'. TEN: Typed Letter Signed to 'Thelma', i.e. the feminist and Conservative Member of Parliament Thelma Cazalet-Keir (1899-1989). 1 May 1968. 1p., 4to. An interesting letter, in which FW expresses 'shock' at the 'Raspit news' (her country residence being Raspit Hill in Kent): 'Raspit Hill is a name that became very dear to us […] And here I would like to tell you a secret. At the end of 1963 the school nearly came to grief and Gertrude and I were left with very little to carry on the school in 1964. But in our deepest moments of despair you came along and your cheque for £400 saved the school. So you and Raspit will always glow in our memory. […] Mrs. Barker delivered your letter, picture and blue vase this evening (May 1st.). I was a student with Robin Guthrie at the Slade so that I am doubley [sic] pleased to possess one of Guthrie's pictures. He was a splendid draughtsman at the Slade […] It will be hung where it will always remind me, not of Guthrie, but of you.' ELEVEN: Manuscript copy, not in FW's hand, of 'claims for damage to two pictures sent to Shoreham Station from Canterbury'. 1p., 8vo. 8 September 1928; Reedbeds. The second claim is for '1 picture spoilt for selling & exhibition purposes glass smashed mount soiled frame damaged valued at £10. 10 0 say £8. 8 0 | This pictute has been very favourably reviewed in many papers & was of increasing value to me'. TWELVE: TLS to FW from Louis McCubbin (1890-1952), Director, National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. 11 February 1949. 1p., 8vo. Regarding a member of the Gallery's board, J. C. Goodchild, who 'has just left here on a visit to England and I have given him your name and address and asked him if he will be good enough to inspect your pictures'.THIRTEEN: Five printed invitations, made out to FW. Two from the Provost of University College London, the first to 'Dr. Pevsner's' lecture, the second to 'Dr. Weinberger's' lecture; one for the UCL Union Society Foundation Week, 1934; one for the UCL Charter Day Celebrations, 1934; one to 'An Assembly of the College Faculties' at UCL, 1934. FOURTEEN: Seven receipts, addressed to FW, for subscriptions to The Times, 1934 and 1935.