Frohawk, F.W.


F.W. Frohawk (1861-1946)
Published by Scott B. Wilson and A.H. Evans
From: Aves Hawaiienses: The Birds of the Sandwich Islands
London: R.H. Porter, 1890-99.
Hand-colored lithographs
19 1/2” x 17” framed

"An excellent avifauna was compiled by two Cambridge scholars, S.B. Wilson and A. H. Evans in 1890-88. The valuable Aves Hawaiiensis about the birds of the Sandwich Islands is a very thorough work based mainly on material collected during a couple of voyages to the islands. The sixty-four colored plates collected together at the end of the volume were drawn and lithographed by Frohawk. …the illustrations are very fine examples of Frohawk's careful work. So often, in lithographic work the general effect is one of diffuse colour and lack of definition. Frohawk manages to have crisper, clear-cut profiles of his birds…"
(C.E. Jackson, Bird Illustrators: Some Artists in Early Lithography, p. 105).

Frohawk was born in Norfolk, the youngest son of Francis William Frohawk. His career was spent creating paintings for private commissions, for periodicals and books, and his talents were diverse, he worked in oils, watercolors, lithography and wood engraving. Birds and insects were his two main interests in life and his drawings and paintings were largely devoted to these two subjects. Frohawk became a member of the British Ornithologists' Union in 1895 and a Fellow of the Entomological Society in 1891 (electing him a Special Life Fellow in 1926).

During his long career, over 1,000 of his drawings were reproduced in books about birds. In addition, he provided illustrations for the Field Magazine (1881 onward), the Encyclopedia Britannica (illustrations of birds and reptiles), the British Museum Catalogue of Fishes and Proceedings of the Zoological Society. 80 of the artist’s original watercolors of birds are in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London.