Western painter and illustrator known for depictions of plains Indians in action, Frank McCarthy spent much of his career in New York City and the last years in Arizona. He was born in New York City and for twenty-one years was as an illustrator for major magazines including "Colliers," "Argosy" and "True" and for paperback book publishers.
He studied at Pratt Institute and the Art Students League in New York and then followed a course of commercial art. Many of his illustrations were large western paintings, something that continued to earn him a reputation as a top-selling artist. His work was also reproduced and distributed by The Greenwich Workshop. In 1973, he had his first major exhibition of his paintings, a show of twenty-three canvases, at the Husburg Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and it sold out in twenty minutes. This success caused him to make a total commitment to fine art, and he moved from New York to Arizona.
A popular motif of his has been high-speed action, especially stampeding buffalo. In 1975, he was elected a member of the Cowboy Artists of America, and in 1998, he resigned from the organization. In 1997, he was indicted into the "Illustrators Hall of Fame." He was also a member of the Northwest Rendezvous Group and has exhibited at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Western Heritage Center and had a retrospective at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Frank McCarthy died in 2002.
Walt Reed, "The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000"
Exhibition Catalogs, Cowboy Artists of America