Overview

Elected ARSA: 16 March 1927

avid Alexander Francis was born in Edinburgh in August 1886, his father French, his mother a Scots- woman. He was educated at Dalry Public School, and on leaving, served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Scott Morton & Co. as carver and modeller, from 1901 to 1906, later working with Mr. James Hayes at the Thistle Chapel and elsewhere.

 

In his apprentice days, he attended the Heriot-Watt and Applied Art School evening classes, while from 1908 to 1914 he was a student at the Edinburgh College of Art, where he dis- tinguished himself, gaining Scholarships and the Diploma for Sculpture in 1913. During the Great War he served in France and Flanders, first with the Royal Scots, 34th Division, afterwards with the Royal Engineers, being demobilised in 1919.

 

In 1921 Mr. Francis was appointed to the Staff of the Edinburgh College of Art, where he was a much loved and successful teacher, and in 1927 attained Associate rank in the Royal Scottish Academy, having been Associate Member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors since 1920. A great part of David Francis’ life was devoted to teaching, and he accomplished few if any works on a large scale, but in marble, bronze, and wood, his record of exhibits in the Academy from 1915 till his death, showed delicate mastery of material and refined taste.

 

Much greater things might have been expected from his hands, but little more than a year after his marriage, Mr. Francis’ health broke down, and, following several operations, he died on Sunday 9th November 1930, at the early age of forty-four, a capable Sculptor, always courteous and cheerful, greatly esteemed by all who knew him.

 

Transcibed in the 1931 RSA Annual Report