The Old Print Shop

Gordon H. Grant


Painter, illustrator, author and etcher, Gordon Grant was born in San Francisco on June 7, 1875. When he was twelve, his parents, who were from Ireland and Scotland, sent him to school in Scotland. He embarked on a four-month journey on a Glasgow square-rigger, sailing the Atlantic Ocean. During his voyage he developed a lifelong fascination of the sea and sailing ships. 

Grant spent six years in school in the seaport town of Fifeshire, Scotland, where in his free time he drew from the ships. At eighteen he was determined to become an artist and spent the next three years studying at Hearthely and Lambeth Art Schools in London. Upon his return to San Francisco, he joined the art staff of the San Francisco 'Examiner' and a year later joined the staff of the New York 'Sunday World.' His reputation as an illustrator increased, and Harper's Weekly hired him in 1899 to cover the Boer War in South Africa, and the revolution in Mexico. Grant was also on the staff of Puck for nine years. 

From the start of his career, his artwork included scenes of the sea, ships and sailors. In 1901 an exhibition was held of his watercolors at the Salmagundi Club in New York. He was also a member of the American Watercolor Society, Society of Illustrators, Allied Artists of America, New York Society of Painters, New York Watercolor Club, and American Federation of Artists. Beginning in the early 1920's he exhibited his marine paintings and watercolors at Grand Central Galleries in New York. He also started making etchings and won first prize at the Chicago Society of Etchers in the early 1930's. From the late 1930's to the beginning of the 1950's his lithographic prints established his reputation as a printmaker. He continued to have annual watercolor exhibitions and produced prints for Associated American Artists. Grant died in 1962.