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 Ray G. Ellis  (1921 - 2013)

About: Ray G. Ellis
 

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Lived/Active: South Carolina/Massachusetts      Known for: marine, figure and landscape painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Ray Ellis
Facts/Data
Birth
1921 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
 
Death
2013 (Martha's Vineyard)

Lived/Active
South Carolina/Massachusetts


2008


Often Known For
marine, figure and landscape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
PERIODICALS

Yachting, 1984. January. South by Southeast, excerpt from South by Southeast, Ellis, R. and Cronkite, W.

Southern Accents, 1986. The Southern Artists, editors.

Down East, 1986, August. That's the Way it Is, excerpt from North by Northeast, Ellis, R. and Cronkite, Walter.

Cape Cod Compass, 1987, Spring/Summer. North by Northeast, excerpt from North by Northeast, Ellis, R./Cronkite, W.

Savannah Magazine, 1991, Summer. Westwind a Visual Treat. Marcy Lisle.

Cape Cod Life, 1995, September. Ellis' Island. Catherine Fallin.

InformArt, 1995, Winter. No Subject is off limits for Ray Ellis. James Van Maanen.

Martha's Vineyard Magazine, 1995, May/June. Martha's Vineyard an Affectionate Memoir, excerpts, Ellis/R., Graves, R.

Beaufort Low Country, 1996, Summer, Ellis in His Element, Brewster Robertson

Martha's Vineyard, 1998, July. Friends in Art for Twenty-five Years. Editors

Marquis, 1999, Who's Who in American Art.

Focus, 2000, December, Foto Der Woche.

U. S. Art, 2000, November. A Hallowed House, Shane Frederick.

Cape Cod Life, 2000, August. Landmark Artists, Debi Stetson

TELEVISION INTERVIEWS

CNN, 1984. "South by Southeast" with Walter Cronkite, co-author.

CBS Morning Show, 1984. "South by Southeast" with Walter Cronkite, co-author.

CBS Morning Show, 1986. "North by Northeast" with Walter Cronkite, co-author.

Larry King Live! 1986. "North by Northeast" with Walter Cronkite, co-author.

CNN, 1990. "Westwind".

Georgia Public Television, 1996. "Sophisticated Ladies: Charleston and Savannah".

C-Span, 1999. "White House BiCentennial Calendar" with Neil Horstman, director of the White House Historical Association.

BIOGRAPHY UPDATE

Primarily a landscape painter.

A traveling retrospective exhibition is planned for the year 2004, organized by the Telfair Museum of Fine Art, Savannah, Ga.

Ellis was commissioned in 1998, 1999 and 2000 to paint a scene for the White House Christmas Card.  All three paintings are in the permanent collection of the White House.

Ellis participates in the State Departments Art in Embassies Program.  Paintings have been on loan to the embassies in London, Brussels and Vienna.


Biography from Red Piano Art Gallery of Hilton Head, Inc.:
Ray Ellis, a marine painter much associated with South Carolina and the East Coast, especially Massachusetts, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  From 1939 to 1941, he studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art and from 1940-41, was with the Art Department of the Philadelphia Evening Ledger.  In 1954, he founded Ellis Advertising in New Jersey and New York City, and in 1957 received the "Advertising Man of the Year" award in New Jersey.

He has had numerous exhibitions and commissions including the following: 1999 One-Man Exhibition, The Red Piano Art Gallery, Hilton Head Island, SC, "Ray Ellis/A Low Country Legend; "One-Man Exhibition, Gallery C, Raleigh, North Carolina of 25 watercolors and oils; Exhibition invitational of the Salmagundi Club, "Curator’s Museum Exhibition; 1997 One-Man Exhibition, The Red Piano Art Gallery, Hilton Head Island, SC, of Recent Low Country Paintings; One-Man Exhibition, Geary Gallery, Darien, CT. "The Road to Ballybunion," 30 watercolors; Exhibition at the Telfair Museum, Ray Ellis: The Telfair Paintings, which includes fourteen watercolors. 1947 One-Man Exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA.

Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society commissioned three watercolors of Vineyard lighthouses reproduced as limited edition prints to raise funds for the preservation of these historic lighthouses, and another commission, was for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Song of the Whale, oil.

A painting by Ellis was commissioned by the White House Historical Society to represent the state of Georgia on a calendar commemorating the 200th year of occupancy of the White House.

He has taught workshops at Bray’s Island Plantation, South Carolina and lectured at the Landing’s Art Association, Skidaway, Georgia.  He was elected to the Board of Governors of the National Art Museum of Sport, Indianapolis, Indianapolis.  For Rolex, Inc. sponsor of the Junior Golf Association, Ellis completed The Young Golfer, a limited edition bronze sculpture to act as the annual trophy for the Junior Golf Championship.

Ellis was a juror along with Walter Cronkite for the "International Juried Exhibition" at the Mystic Maritime Museum, Mystic, Connecticut. and he was elected to the advisory board of the National Art Museum of Sport, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Private Collectors include: President and Mrs. George Bush, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Lane, Eileen Ford, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Cronkite, Mrs. Wm. LaRoche, Sir John Conant, Mr. and Mrs. Ira Koger, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Krementz, Mr. Robert Urich, Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Boardman.


Biography from Edgartown Art Gallery:
RAY ELLIS has been painting for over fifty years. He has painted on all seven continents. In the spring of 2004, the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia honored the depth and breadth of Ellis' career with a major traveling exhibition titled "Ray Ellis: A Painter's Journey."

Ellis was born in Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art. His first one-man show was held in 1947 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After serving four years in the coast guard during WWII, he founded his own advertising agency in New Jersey and New York, but continued to paint in his spare time. During this period he was elected to the American Watercolor Society, and his works were widely exhibited and received numerous honors.

In 1969, Ellis was able to devote all his time to painting. In 1974 he moved south to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and then to Savannah, Georgia. Only recently has he resettled in the north where he maintains a home and studio on Martha's Vineyard.

In the early 80's, Ray Ellis and Walter Cronkite collaborated on a series of fine art books which celebrate America's coastlines: South by Southeast, North by Northeast, and Westwind. In 1992, Ellis authored The Spirit of Golf with golf journalist Ben Wright and in 1997,The Road to Ballybunnion with John DeGarmo.

Paintings of Savannah and Martha's Vineyard have been published in separate volumes: Ray Ellis' Savannah & the Lowcountry and Martha's Vineyard, An Affectionate Memoir. Coastal Images of America, published in 1998, include many paintings from the out-of-print Ellis/Cronkite books and new text by Dr. Robert Ballard. In 2000, Fishing the Vineyard was published. All the paintings commissioned by the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby are included along with stories by Vineyard fishermen. The most recent book, Lowcountry, features new paintings of the Georgia and South Carolina coast.

For three consecutive years beginning in 1998, Ellis was commissioned by the President to paint scenes of the White House to be produced as their Christmas card.

His works have been exhibited in the U.S. Embassies in Geneva, Vienna, and London. Ray Ellis' paintings are in the permanent collections of the White House, museums across the country, and private collections worldwide.

Biography from Ray Ellis Gallery, Compass Prints, Inc.:
Ray Ellis was born in Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art.  His first one-man show was held in 1947 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  Among the professional organizations he has been elected to are: The American Watercolor Society, Artist’s Fellowship, National Arts Club and Salmagundi Club and the Century Club.  He has won awards for his watercolors from the AWS, Hudson Valley Art Association., Audubon Artists, Salmagundi Club and more.  In 2004 he was awarded the Salmagundi Club’s Medal of Honor for a lifetime of achievement in the arts.

His paintings have been exhibited in the American Embassies in Brussels, London and Vienna.  He is included in many private and corporate collections including the White House. In the years 1998 to 2000 Ellis was selected to create a painting for the White House Christmas cards. His paintings hang in many museum around the country including the Heckscher Museum, the Farnsworth Museum, the Morris Museum, NJ, The Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA. to name a few.

Ellis’ paintings have been reproduced in fine art books beginning with: South by Southeast, North by Northeast and Westwind, by Ray Ellis/Walter Cronkite; several books of golf painting, books of Martha’s Vineyard and the Lowcountry, books of garden and floral paintings, a retrospective exhibition catalog, Ray Ellis in Retrospect: A Painters Journey and the most recent is a book of moonlight paintings titled By the Light of the Moon.

Ellis has lived all along the east coast.  His early years were spent in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. By the seventies he had migrated to Hilton Head Island, SC.  During this period he traveled all over the world, from China to Bali to Kenya. He later migrated to Savannah, GA while working on South by Southeast. He stayed twelve years and establish his gallery.  By the time he finished Westwind, he had moved to Martha’s Vineyard where he currently lives and paints. In the last fifteen years he has traveled to New Zealand, Antarctica and extensively throughout Europe. Having reached his 80’s, he looks back and realizes he’s traveled and painted on all seven continents.

Biography from The Cheryl Newby Gallery:
Born Philadelphia, PA., 1921

Ray Ellis attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art.  His first one-man show was held in 1947 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

After serving four years in the Coast Guard during WWII, Ellis founded his own advertising agency in New Jersey and New York, but continued to paint in his spare time.  During this period he was elected to the American Watercolor Society, and his works were widely exhibited and received numerous honors.

In 1969 Ellis was able to devote all his time to painting. In 1974 he moved south to Hilton Head Island, SC and then to Savannah, GA.  In 1989 Ellis re-settled in the north where he maintains a home and studio on Martha's Vineyard with his wife Teddi.

In the early 80's, Ellis and Walter Cronkite collaborated on a series of fine art books which celebrate America's coastlines: South by Southeast, North by Northeast, and Westwind. In 1992, Ellis authored The Spirit of Golf with golf journalist Ben Wright.

Paintings of Savannah and Martha's Vineyard have been published in separate volumes: Ray Ellis' Savannah & the Lowcountry, and Martha's Vineyard an Affectionate Memoir. Most recently published are Coastal Images of America and The Road to Ballybunion.

Ellis's paintings are included in major museums and private collections throughout the country.  His paintings hang in our American Embassies in Geneva, Vienna, London, and more recently, Brussels.  In 1999, he was commissioned by the White House to do a series of paintings of the Rose Garden.  In 2004, the Telfair Museum of Savannah, GA exhibited a major retrospective of his work.



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