Frank Martin (sculptor)

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Frank Graeme Martin
Born 27 December 1914
Portsmouth, Hampshire
Died 19 January 2004
Clacton-on-Sea, Essex[1]
Nationality British
Known for sculpture
Spouse(s) Edna Downton

Frank Martin was a British sculptor. He was head of the sculpture department of Saint Martin's School of Art from 1952 to 1979. He brought young and forward-thinking sculptors into the department to teach, among them Anthony Caro, Robert Clatworthy, Elizabeth Frink and Eduardo Paolozzi. They and those round them came to be known as the New Generation of British sculptors. In the 1960s and 1970s the sculpture department at Saint Martin's was, in the words of Tim Scott: "the most famous in the art world".[2]


Frank Graeme Martin was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, on 27 December 1914. He studied at Portsmouth Art School, and moved to London where he worked as an artist's model. He also worked as an sculptor's assistant, first to Charles Wheeler, later president of the Royal Academy, and then, for about two years until the outbreak of war, for William McMillan, for whom he also sat.[3] During the Second World War Martin was a Royal Marine.[1]

After the war he studied part-time at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1946 or 1947 he began teaching clay modelling at Saint Martin's, and soon after was asked to set up a sculpture department.[3]

Martin died of cancer at his home in Clacton-on-Sea on 19 January 2004.[4]


In 2012 a Frank Martin Sculpture Fellowship was established at Central Saint Martins (into which Saint Martin's School of Art was merged in 1989) in his memory.[5]


  1. ^ a b Anthony Caro (11 February 2004). Frank Martin: Former Head of Sculpture at St Martin's (obituary). The Independent. Accessed June 2014.
  2. ^ Bruce McLean (2 March 2004). Frank Martin: Visionary teacher who inspired a generation of great British sculptors (obituary). The Guardian. Accessed June 2014.
  3. ^ a b Artists’ Lives: Frank Martin: Transcript of interview by Melanie Roberts, 11–13 August 1997. British Library. Reference C466/58/01–07. Accessed June 2014.
  4. ^ Anthony Caro (2008). Martin, Frank Graeme (1914–2004). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press; online edn, Jan 2009. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/93474. Accessed June 2014.
  5. ^ [s.n.] (10 October 2012). Central Saint Martins Auction To Support New Sculpture Fund. Artlyst. Accessed June 2014.