Frank West Allen (?), est.1906-1909

Plaster cast, painted to look like bronze

A small round medallion of a man was found in the same collection as the bronze of Esther Allen. This side-view portrait is cast in plaster, which appears to have been reinforced with metal from the rust spots that appear on the reverse. The relief has been painted in dark tones to simulate bronze. There is a significant amount of wear to the paint but the relief itself seems to be intact.

The portrait is thought to be Frank W. Allen, Frederick’s father. Since it is not perfectly round, it was most likely hand-formed. The edges are high and the relief is fairly deep, maybe ½.” The paint is slightly opaque so that the color is not consistent throughout, giving is the appearance of shading in the color.

It is a profile of a slim man with a large mustache that looks like that sported by Frank West Allen. Frank wore glasses because of the close work required by his trade and this man has none, however the likeness is almost sure. There is no date on the relief, either on the front or the back. The name ALLEN is scratched into the back with what appears to be K V initials to the left of it. This is a mystery. The only K would be Kempton the adopted son of Lillian (his older sister) and her husband Frank. He would not have been old enough to do this work and there is a question about whether or not he was even an artist. The eldest daughter, Barbara Allen, thinks he was into theatre and changed his name from Daughaday to Allyn.

Although the portrait is not listed in the Allen diary, circumstances lead to the belief that it is Frank W. Allen and modeled by Frederick Allen in his early student years.

Portrait relief
6 3/4″ diameter
No signature or date
Location: private collection

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *