William Francis VER BECK

1858—1933

Frank and Hanna Rion VER BECK had been working in St Ives since 1913; by 1914 he was contributing to the paper's 'Tobacco for the Troops' fund with The Tramp's Christmas Sparrows, a black-and-white drawing depicting a tramp cooking a plucked sparrow over a small camp fire.

He was an Associate of St Ives, and the creator of Ver Beck's Bears in Mother Goose Land (c1910), a book in which he re-wrote Mother Goose so that the rhymes feature bears, adding his own original bear rhymes as well, using soft pastel colours in watercolour. He also illustrated stories by L Frank Baum, creator of The Wizard of Oz, and many others.

Ruth SIMPSON who painted several portraits of her fellow artists and friends also painted Frank in oils, and the portrait hangs in the RCM, Truro.