Francis Hawks Govan
1916 - 2000

Born in Marianna, Arkansas

BA in Humanities, Hendrix College
Art Institute of the South
Layton School of Art
MA in Art, Columbia University
San Miguel, Mexico
Postgraduate study in Art, University of Wisconsin

Instructor, Witte Vocational School, Wisconsin
Creative Writing Coordinator, Milwaukee University School
Assistant Professor of Art, Hendrix College
Occupational Therapist, Rockland, NY
Freelance Design, Drapery and Wallpaper, NYC
Education Director, Brooks Art Gallery, Memphis
Professor of Art and Curator of Exhibitions, University of Memphis, 1956-1982
According to his mother, young Frank exhibited strong artistic tendencies at a very early age. From early childhood, he observed and was fascinated by the forces of nature. Themes of nature are evident in all of his work - painting, drawing, and writing -- regardless of medium or method. He enjoyed Nature; he meditated its many forms and moods, and attempted to communicate his experiences through the language of art.

His work is most often termed "Abstract Expressionism." Each work began as a very realistic drawing, followed by a series of studies, each becoming more and more abstracted as non-essential lines, shapes, color tones, and textures were omitted. He never knew exactly what the final result would be, but delighted in the constant subtle, unexpected, sometimes profound and poetic, transfigurations produced.

As Professor of Art, his goal was to lead his students, art majors and Art Appreciation students alike, to experience a work of art with their souls as well as with their eyes. His own work must be "felt", considered, not merely glanced at, to be fully understood.
  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
  5. Managing Director
  6. Managing Director
  7. Managing Director
  8. Managing Director
  9. Managing Director

Frank H. Govan was a Professor of Art at the University of Memphis where he taught from 1956 until 1981.

Professor Govan graduated from Hendrix College with a Humanities Degree, did graduate study at University of Wisconsin and Layton School of Art received a Masters Degree from Columbia University in 1951 in Fine and Industrial Art, traveled and studied in Mexico and recieved two Carnegie Research Grants.

Professor Govan had a unique style of teaching and continues to receive praise from students, some of whom went on to acheive celebrity status, such as Stella Stephens.

Mr. Govan freelanced as a designer of wallpaper and fabric designs for Katzenback and Warren, and Isabel Scott of New York, as well as serving as the Educational Director at the Brooks Art Gallery
and Curator of Exhibitions, at the University of Memphis. His work has appeared
in four one-man shows in New York City and numerous one-man and group shows in the
South and Mid-Western United States, including two retrospectives at Brook Gallery on
1957 and 1966. His works have been included in an "Arts in the Embassies" show,
organized by Kefauver of Tennessee, slated for a tour in the Middle East. When
hostilities erupted in Iraq, it landed at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Among his many accomplshments were the honors of being listed in the "Who's Who
on American Art," Marquis' "Who's Who in the South and Southwest," and in the
"Dicionary of International Biography."

Francis Hawks Govan December 19, 1916 - July 6, 2000