Inside This Book
This book is dedicated with fond memories to Frank J. Reilly, an American painter, illustrator, muralist and teacher. Born on August 21, 1906, in New York City, he died of brain cancer on January 15, 1967. Reilly studied at the Art Students League of New York from 1927 through 1931, where his teachers were George B. Bridgeman and Frank Vincent DuMond.
Reilly held the positions of Art Commissioner of New York City, President of the Council of American Artists Societies, Vice President of the National Society of Mural Painters and Vice President of the Art Students League. He also was a member of the National Academy of Design, Allied Artist, Society of Illustrators, American Artist Professional League and the Salmagundi Art Club.
Reilly was best known for his 29 years teaching drawing and painting at the Art Students League. By 1960 he was teaching more than 300 students in morning, afternoon and evening classes. He also taught at the Grand Central School of Art, Pratt Institute and Moore College of Art & Design, as well as mural painting at the National Academy of Design. Reilly’s lectures were so popular that the Wednesday night series at the League was standing room only.
Reilly taught because he loved to and his extensive knowledge of art and its craft is why he taught so well. The famous artist, illustrator and muralist Dean Cornwell once said, “Frank Reilly could teach anyone to draw and paint provided, of course, you wanted to paint.”
Reilly opened The Frank J. Reilly School of Art in Manhattan in 1961, with the loyal support of his students. He was married with no children and considered his students family. He was my mentor and a father-figure to me and I have as much respect for him now as I did when I was his student in the 1950s and ’60s.
Ralph Garafola, Author/Artist/Educator