In 1911, Frank Caldwell was born in San Francisco into a long line of artists and writers. Being raised in an artistic background, he was inspired to enter the arts himself. He studied art at the San Francisco School of Design, Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles and at Warren Rollins, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Through the course of his career, he had taught art a Los Angeles City College, was a United States Marine artist, and designed murals for the Untied States Maritime Commission. While living in Los Angeles, he became involved with the entertainment industry. He designed murals for the Pasadena Playhouse and other theatres, created art for N.B.C.’s opera series, and for the Band of America and the Perry Como shows. He was also art director for New World Productions. A few of the films he designed and produces were: In the Beginning, a winner at Cannes Film Festival; and Frenzy, The New Orleans Story. Since 1970 he had devoted himself to painting, drawing and graphics.
A sense of complete design is the element in Caldwell’s work that he values the most. To accomplish this, he called upon his extensive background and training in design. Each of his pieces has been carefully worked and reworked, to achieve this sense of complete design.
He had worked in oil, watercolour, oil pastel, and tempera among other media. Because he valued the brilliant colours the oil pastels allowed him to work with, this had become his favorite medium. Those brilliant colours are evident particularly in his vibrant marine paintings. He gained a love and respect for the water during the time he spent with the Marines and Maritime Commission.
Caldwell’s works are in many private collections throughout the world including: American Honda, Prudential Bache, the City of Long Beach, Tishman Construction Co., Transamerica Insurance Corp., Union Texas Petroleum and Uozumi Gallery in Tokyo. He has had one man shows in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Florida galleries and museums.