William Francis VER BECK

Mr William Francis VER BECK
aka Frank, surname also recorded as VerBeck

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.


Press and magazine illustrator

works and access

Works include: Ver Beck's Bears In Mother Goose Land (published c1910); illustrations for L Frank Baum include The Magical Monarch of Mo and New Wonderland; a selection of Uncle Remus tales; St Ives, where numerous cats abide, and The little cat that journeyed to St Ives

St Ives Times (18/12/1914) The Tramp's Christmas Sparrows (b/w drawing; monies raised from the sale of the original would go to the paper's 'Tobacco for the Troops' fund)


Market Hall, Penzance Great Exhibition and Sale of Work: models of teddy bears and grotesque figures 28 April-5 March 1917; St Ives September 1919


St Ives Times 7 Nov 1914, 18 Dec 1914 (illustrated edition b/w&col), 27 Apr 1917, 4 May 1917, 12 Sep 1919

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p250)

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership p211; 

Tovey (2010) Sea Change

Whybrow (1994) St Ives;