Frank Eugene was born, and originally worked in New York. He was recognised as an accomplished stage designer and painter before he emerged as a photographer, although he continued to combine strands of design in his photographic work. He moved to Germany in 1906, where he became a lecturer on Pictorial photography in Munich, and, in 1913, the Royal Academy of Graphic Arts in Leipzig created a professorship especially for him. His work is characterised by a distinctive style which emerged from his training as a painter. He would manipulate his photogravures with a variety of techniques, such as scratches and brushstrokes, to increase their relation to paintings and graphics.