Remembering Frances (Frankie) Thwaites again

FRANCES THWAITES (1908 – 1987)

We had the opportunity to show a small selection of pieces (including the last two works she completed) by the respected Scottish abstract painter Frances Thwaites last year, all of which sold very quickly – a great validation of Frankie’s work which has been neglected in the years since her death.

We are delighted to have received five more pieces, mostly early work, which had been on loan to various friends of Frankie and her family.  The earliest dates from the 1950s and all are in their original frames.  Please do come along to the Gallery and see them.

Born in India, where she spent her childhood, Frances Thwaites (known as Frankie) studied stained glass at the Edinburgh College of Art where she won several prizes and scholarships to London and Paris.

Original frame
The original framing of the painting

Between 1946 and 1948 she studied sculpture before turning to abstract painting, exploring the linear and spatial relationships in landscapes by superimposing darker heavy lines and curves on a subtly coloured background giving an impression of movement capturing the atmosphere of a place.

Although based in Edinburgh, she often spent time in London, Paris and Palma de Mallorca and in the 1960s visited Australia, Tahiti and the United States, staying in California for several months.

She exhibited regularly at The Scottish Gallery in the 1950s and 60s and took part in “The Modern Spirit in Scottish Painting” exhibition in 1986. She had solo shows at the 1957 Gallery and the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh, the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, the Compass Gallery in Glasgow, the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge as well as Galerie Lambert in Paris and Galeria Latina in Palma de Mallorca.

Remembering Frances Thwaites
Frankie (right) at an exhibition of her work

She participated in many important group exhibitions in London and Edinburgh alongside Anne Redpath and Elizabeth Blackadder and other well regarded Scottish visual artists.


Her work is represented in the collection of the Arts Council and in private collections in Britain, France and the United States.

Frankie’s daughter loaned many of the paintings her mother left to her to friends and family so that they were displayed and enjoyed.  A selection of these paintings have been returned to her and we are delighted to present them for sale now.


Well reviewed and successfully exhibited during her lifetime, Frankie has unjustifiably become one of the forgotten artists of the twentieth century. We hope that this small exhibition will remind abstract art lovers of the quality of her work.

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