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Frank J. Reilly A.N.A.


Reilly was an American painter, illustrator, muralist, and teacher. He taught drawing and painting at the Grand Central School of Art, and illustration at Pratt Institute and Moore College of Art. However, he is best known for his twenty-eight years of instructing at the Art Students League of New York and establishing the Frank J. Reilly School of Art in the early sixties, where he taught until his death in 1967.

The son of a Broadway stage manager, Frank Joseph Reilly was born August 21, 1906, in New York City. He studied at the Art Students League of New York from 1927 through 1931. Frank was admitted as a student into George Bridgman's drawing class. It was required that prospective students take an entry test. "I had boned up for this important event by studying art pose number one, the front view, using Mr. Bridgeman's book as a source of information".[1] Reilly served as his class monitor from 1927. Reilly began lecturing at the League in 1933, and upon Bridgeman's death in 1943 took over the figure drawing class. His painting instructor at the League was Frank Vincent Dumond

He also taught at the Grand Central School of Art from 1934 to 1937, and at Moore College of Art and Design, and Pratt Institute from 1951 to 1953.
Reilly served as apprentice to famed illustrator Dean Cornwell, his friend and neighbor, and assisted him on several murals, including the Los Angeles Library Murals and one in the Raleigh Room of the Warwick Hotel in New York City. He 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.

His illustration clients included Continental Distilling Corporation, the Pennsylvania Railroad and Philadelphia Whiskey. In 1947 he completed a series of twelve historical painting for the Continental Distilling Corporation that were released as lithographs and print ads. Reilly created murals for the Bronx High School of Science and the Johnson City Courthouse in Tennessee. He taught mural painting at the National Academy of Design.