Frank Hagel was born and raised in the Flathead Valley of western Montana. His early years were spent at some typical Montana occupations including ranching, logging, and construction. After a four-year hitch in the U.S. Navy, he graduated from the Art Center College of Design in 1959. From 1959 through ‘71 he was top staff illustrator at three Detroit art studios and produced illustrations for all major Detroit ad agencies and the big three auto manufacturers. Frank’s illustrations appeared in many books and company publications as well as numerous national camping and outdoor magazines. Twice he received silver medals in the Detroit Society of Art Directors Annual Shows.
Frank returned to his native Montana in 1971 and immediately began designing and sculpting 36 different bronze and silver national parks centennial medallions for the U.S. Department of Interior. In the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s, Frank also worked as a hunting guide and horse wrangler in the northwest Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness area. These experiences and observations gave him a solid, authentic base for his western and wildlife paintings and sculptures.
Since 1972, Frank has painted the western scene including historical Indians, trappers and mountain men, early explorers, ranchers, cowboys, and wildlife. His paintings are included in private and corporate collections across the country and around the world.
Frank lives in a log cabin studio on the banks of northwestern Montana’s Flathead River and often succumbs to pursuing trout on his favorite mountain streams, poking a load or two at game birds, or coaxing a golf ball around a course near Glacier National Park.