Pollokshields Heritage History

Hannah Frank (1908-2008)

Attended Albert Road Academy, 241 Albert DriveDr Robert Pollok

Hannah’s father Charles Frank was a Jewish migrant from Lithuania, and like many Jewish immigrants to Glasgow settled at first in the Gorbals where he started out in business as a master mechanic. After a few years he married Miriam Lipetz and they settled at 104 South Portland Street. By 1911 Charles Frank had changed his business from master mechanic to camera maker with a shop at 67 Saltmarket - a famous Glasgow institution.

Hannah Frank was born in Glasgow in 1908. Hannah’s early education was at Strathbungo Public School in Craigie Street and Albert Road Academy, Pollokshields, before going on to study art at Glasgow University from where she graduated in 1930. She paid her way through university by working in her father’s shop.

During her time at university she had a number of poems and a series of drawings published in the University magazine GUM, all of which appeared under the name AL AARAAF, which is a title of a long poem by Edgar Allan Poe.

Hannah’s sensuous illustrations echo the style of Margaret Macdonald and Jessie King. Her emerging talent was reported by the Jewish Echo in 1929: “The current issue of GUM contains some splendid art work by Miss Hannah Frank, a young Jewish student whose work in this sphere is attracting much favourable comment.” Painter Alma Wolfson, recent president of the Glasgow Society of Women Artists, confirms that Frank’s oeuvre bears “very definite Glasgow influences”

Hannah FrankAfter university she went to Jordanhill Teacher Training College and then taught for many years at Campbellfield School in Bridgeton. In the evening she attended classes at Glasgow School of Art where she widened her interests to include wood engraving for which she was awarded the James McBey (1883-1959) Prize and clay modelling under Paul Zunterstein (1921-1968). It was at Glasgow School of Art she met Benno Schotz (1891-1984) who encouraged her to concentrate on sculpture.

In 1939 she married Lionel Levy, a mathematics and science teacher. Hannah and her husband were active members of the Glasgow committee of the Friends of the Hebrew University and she contributed sculptures and drawings to their fundraising appeals. From 1930 to 1950 her drawings appeared regularly at the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts exhibitions.

From the 1950s onwards she worked solely in clay exhibiting at the Royal Glasgow Institute and the Royal Scottish Academy. Exhibitions of her work appeared at Stirling University, the Portico Gallery, Manchester and as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Hannah Frank continued to produce sculpture into her early 90s but sadly passed away aged 100 on 18th December 2008. She is buried in Cathcart Cemetery, Glasgow.