Thomas Adrian Fransioli (1906 - 1997)
Eliot House, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1952
Oil on canvas
15 x 14 inches
Initialed and dated lower left: T. F. / 1952
Titled verso on Margaret Brown Gallery label
[Margaret Brown Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 1952]
Mr. Charles W. Mulcahy, Jr., Brookline, Massachusetts
Mrs. Mary F. Mulcahy, his wife, by descent
Private Collection, Massachusetts, by descent, 2009
BROCK & CO., Concord, Massachusetts, 2009
Private Collection, Exeter, New Hampshire, 2009-present
Margaret Brown Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, Thomas Fransioli Paintings, April 21 – May 10, 1952, no. 14.
The William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum, Rockland, Maine, Paintings by Thomas Fransioli, August 5 – September 12, 1954, no. 34 as Eliot House
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, New York, An Architect's Dream: The Magic Realist World of Thomas Fransioli, November 5 – December 31, 2015
Thomas Fransioli was born in Seattle, Washington, and received a degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 1930. He worked with John Russell Pope on plans for the exhibition galleries at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which he pinpointed as the beginning of his interest in painting. World War II interrupted a promising career in architecture. Fransioli served in the Pacific Theatre from 1943 until 1946. He returned to civilian life and took up painting, basing himself in Boston, but working up and down the eastern seaboard.
During the 1950s, Fransioli was represented by the Margaret Brown Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston, and then later by Kennedy Galleries in New York. His work was the subject of a retrospective of at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine, in 1954. Today, Fransioli’s work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Currier Gallery, Manchester, New Hampshire; the Nelson-Atkins Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri; the Seattle Art Museum; and in a number of important private art collections.
Magic Realism best describes Fransioli’s artistic viewpoint. The term was first applied to contemporary American art in the 1943 Museum of Modern Art exhibition, "American Realists and Magic Realists". Fransioli—and other Magic Realists of his time—was also the heir to Precisionism, spawned from Cubism and Futurism after the Great War and popularized in the 1920s and early 1930s.