Frank von der Lancken was committed to making art available to all Americans, and he promoted this belief as a teacher in progressive art schools. His mother had come to the United States with her family from Lyon, France, and his father was a German silk merchant. They sent Frank to the Pratt Institute in New York, an alternative art school with an experimental program that mixed studio courses and industrial arts. Von der Lancken eventually moved to Rochester, New York, where he modeled his teaching on Pratt’s “practical” art education. Despite his busy schedule, he carved out time for illustration, sculpture, mural painting, and stained glass, all projects that allowed him to demonstrate his skills and commitment to democratic art. In 1908 he returned to Europe and met his future wife, Giulia, in Florence. Von der Lancken eventually settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he, his wife, and children were nicknamed “the first family of Art in Tulsa” (Von der Lancken, 1925, quoted in Parker, Frank Von Der Lancken: Artist and Educator, 2000).
Luce Artist Biography