Frank Wootton

Studied at Eastbourne College of Art under Eric Ravilious, Wootton (sometimes mis-spelt Wooton) was a painter of a range of subjects, including landscapes and equestrian subjects, as well as the aviation images that he is best known for. Personally commissioned to do work for the MOI by Edwin Embleton, the Canadian Museum of Flight described Frank Wootton as ‘The Dean of Aviation Art’: ‘A class, traditional painter, his aircraft “fly”; his clouds “move”, and his “mood” is always evident.’. Air Chief Marshal Sir Neil Wheeler commented that Wootton’s painting utilised realistic backgrounds, and ‘leave one with the impression that the aircraft could actually fly’. With a highly realistic style, Wootton took ‘great trouble’ to search for ‘technical and historical accuracy’. He was assigned as an official artist to the Royal Canadian Air Force, and also painted designs for the RAF. He experienced first hand the aircraft, pilots, ground crews, skyscapes and landscapes of the Second World War. A pioneer in ‘aviation art’, his work can be found in museums in Canada, Australia, the UK and the United States. In 1983 he exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, and has an impressive list of awards. In 2002 he was described as a long-standing supporter of RAF Benevolent Fund who had recently completed a painting for the entrance to Lord Dowding House, their sheltered housing project. He was the first aviation artist to have a book published on the subject, and in 2002 he appeared to have no obvious plans to retire. Married to Virginia, living in England, he was still a charter member and past president of the prestigious Guild of Aviation Artists.

See Wootton, F. Frank Wootton: 50 Years of Aviation Art, 1997

Information collated from: Wootton, F., Frank Wootton: 50 Years of Aviation Art, 1997; Questionnaire submitted by Royall, K. to Embleton, E., Royall, K., ‘Posters of the Second World War: The Fourth Arm of British Defence’, Unpublished M.A., University of Westminster, 1991, p.123; Canadian Museum of Flight, ‘Art Gallery – Frank Wooton Page’, http://www.canadianflight.org/gallery/fwo_home.htm, last updated 2002, accessed October 4 2003

Second World War Posters
Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.

Leave a Reply