Years ago I purchased my first antique tile panel signed “Fran”. I didn’t know who Fran was, but I knew she did quality work. When a tile is simply signed Fran it doesn’t give someone much information to research but I was confident it was a good find. Several years later I was able to acquire this vintage tile panel. It was also signed Fran, but it also had a paper label on the back with the title of “The Flirt” and the name of the artist Fran Williams. Finally I had a full name to research!
I learned that Fran Williams was a quite important artist. The Lynden Gallery had an exhibit of her work.I was fortunate to find her biography and list of commissions on their site. She was included in the museum show and book Promises of Paradise: Staging Mid-Century Miami at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach in 2009. It seemed Fran was quite integral in the period of time that defined Miami as a mid century mecca for style and architecture. But her reach was much further than just Southern Florida, She had public commissions in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Washington, DC, Buffalo NY, and Rockefeller Center in New York City.
This was a perfect example of the old adage to buy what you like. Don’t let a name, or lack thereof stop you from buying an antique tile. Look for the quality. Eventually the puzzle may be solved.
You can find out more about Fran Williams and purchase this tile at BungalowBILL