Fran Williams Wagner Tile Panel "The Flirt"
A tall mid century tile panel of a woman, titled "The Flirt" by Fran Williams. Quarry tiles of varying sizes and thicknesses were hand painted and fired then mounted onto board. The back bears an old typed label. The front is signed "Fran" on the lower right and the wood has an old time pressure sensitive label marked " Fran Williams". The condition is excellent with one tiny fleck on the blue glaze on a tile on the lower right. Measures 36.5" x 8".
Years ago I purchased my first panel signed "Fran". I didn't know who Fran was, but I knew she did quality work. About a year or so ago I finally found out I was right. There was an exhibition of Mid-Century Miami at the Bass Museum of Art that included Fran Williams' work. It seemed Fran was quite important in the period of time that defined Miami as a mid century mecca for style and architecture.
Fran Williams was born in 1916 in San Francisco, California. Ms. Wagner studied in Oakland at the California School of Arts and Crafts, in San Francisco at Rudolph Schaefer School of Design, in Miami with Byron G. Newton of Miami Art School, at the University of Miami with Lee Dickens, and in Eugen Massin's Studio. Additionally, she studied sculpture with Al Vrana and wood block with Larry and Carol Summers. She held memberships with the Florida Craftsmen, Artist's Equity, Miami Art Center and the American Craftsmen's Council.
Among her awards are included presentations from Lowe Gallery, Blue Dome, Miami Art League, Ceramic Annual, Design Derby, Tampa State Fair, Florida Craftsmen and Florida Federation of Art. ?In Florida she had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Pinellas Park, Roque Galery II in Coral Gables, Martello Towers in Key West, the Art Center, Miami Beach, and Artists Unlimited in Key West, and in the Sisti Gallery, Buffalo, New York. ?Her work was included group shows at The Gallery, Ft. Lauderdale, the Norton Gallery in West Palm Beach, and the Syracuse National Ceramic Award Exhibition.
Fran Williams public commissions include: Joaquin Bacardi Home, Santiago de Cuba Clubhouse, Biscayne Kennel Club, 6 panels, Miami Florida. VIP Room, PAA Clipper Club, Miami International Airport. Ivory Tower, Saxony Hotel, Miami Beach. Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Perrine. Presolite Manufacturing Corporation, Arkansas. Bacardi Pavilion Bar, San Juan, Puerto Rico. First Federal Savings and Loan Association, Key West, Florida Ryder Penthouse Coconut Grove Bank Building, Miami, Florida First National Bank of Pampano Beach, Florida. PAA Administration Building, Miami, Florida. Courthouse Substations, Plantation Key and Marathon Key Justice Building, Key West, Florida. Transportation Consultants, Inc, Washington DC. Jose' Marti Office Building, Miami, Florida. Furnco Construction Company, Buffalo, New York. Ferre' Florida Corporation, 100 Biscayne Tower, Miami, Florida. Weathertite, Miami, Florida. National Airlines Mural, Rockefeller Center Ticket Office, New York, New York. Thanks to the Lynden Gallery for this information.