Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What I Learned At The Frazetta Museum

There's a Frank Frazetta Museum.

My girlfriend (at the time) wanted to go camping at the Delaware Water Gap (confusingly not located in Delaware).

She was driving, I was navigating.

Then I saw it on the map:

Frank Frazetta Museum.

After questioning the locals we found it--a modest estate, and a room full of gorgeous originals.

Frank himself is not well, I don't know the medical details but he's not well.

So the person who lets you in, it's his wife.

And if you look at his wife, and look past the chain-smoking and the plastic surgery and the years and the leopard print you realize:

Holy shit, that's the Amazon.

And the Jungle Princess and the Clinging Slave Girl and Vampirella and every other curvaceous babe with wide-set eyes in a Frazetta painting--they were all just his wife. And she sits there at the desk and talks in a voice like Tom Waits, wearing gin-colored pants, wreathed in Merit-smoke.

For complex reasons, the Frazetta Museum may be irrevocably altered for the worse in the near future--if you can get out there soon, I recommend it.


  1. Would this be the same Frazetta Museum that his son recently broke in to with an excavator and tried to steal $20M of paintings?

  2. Oh man, grew up with the Fraz. I'd love to see that place.

    I remember hearing that the wife was a model for some of his work.

  3. There is so much weird back & forth on the Frazzetta Sr/Jr thing-- I wonder what the truth is.

  4. Very cool story. Not so cool about the art heist.

  5. I actually went to school with Vallejo's son Dorian and the stories we heard at the conventions were muddy and unpleasant.

    I prefer to think of Frazzetta great body of work and immense contribution to the genre and the art form.

  6. Just an "FYI"...

    This has been a terrible year for the Frazettas.

    The woman Zak met, Frank's wife of 53 years, Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Frazetta, died this July of cancer. Her passing has resulted in the current family dispute. She was the prime force behind Frank retaining the rights and reclaiming the original artwork back from the magazine and book publishers. (This was an unheard of thing for artists at that time, and changed the way illustrators did business in the future...) Because of this, the museum, as Zak said, is full of his original works.

    The basic gist of last week's bizarre happenings is due to the fact some of the children decided it would be in someone's best interest to sell off some these works. Frank has suffered declining health after a series of strokes this past decade, and now there are reports of him exhibiting "dementia-like" symptoms. Unfortunately, it is not likely to be a good outcome for any of them.

    If you're interested, there are a couple recent links over here at the CROM! blog.

    (Apologies, Zak, for all the linkage...)


  7. Well, the rumor i hear is Frazetta, in his ill health, may actually be in real danger of messing up his paintings. He apparently has this idea that he wants to go back and "fix" a lot of them.

    This is just what I heard, I dont now if it's true--but it would explain a lot.

  8. Yep, the museum's closed and Franks works are being moved to an "undisclosed, safe" location.

    Very sad situation.

  9. I've been to the museum a couple of times. Ellie Frazetta was a very charming host and loved to talk about the history of the paintings. When she found out that my sister's favorite Frazetta painting was "Wolf Pack", she brought the painting out from her home so my sister could get a close look at it. It's a shame the family has come into such troubles.

    Incidentally, if you look at the photos of young Frank and Eleanor Frazetta in Icon, Legacy and Testament, they could both have modeled for Frazetta's paintings.