|Biography from Morris Museum of Art:|
|The following biography has been provided by Karen Towers Klacsmann,
Adjunct Assistant Curator for Research, Morris Museum of Art, Augusta,
Christopher A. D. Murphy was born in Savannah, the oldest of seven
children born to Christopher Patrick Hussey Murphy and Lucile
Desbouillons Murphy. He was commonly known as Christopher Murphy, Jr.,
even though his middle names honored his maternal grandfather and
differed from those of his father. Both of his parents were artists,
and they provided him with his earliest instruction. Hardesty G.
Maratta, an artist and color theorist who visited Savannah in 1918, was
another early influence on the teenaged artist.
Although art was a constant presence in the Murphy household, among the
Murphy children only Christopher and Margaret pursued the visual arts
as a professional vocation. On his graduation from Benedictine High
School, Christopher left Savannah for New York City to study at the Art
Christopher lived in New York from 1921 through 1923 and intermittently
in 1925 and 1930. His teachers at the Art Students League included
painters George Bridgman, Frank Vincent DuMond, Henry Rittenberg, and
Adolphe Blondheim, as well as the etcher Joseph Pennell. He was
intensely interested in architecture and, in 1922, studied design with
the architect Lloyd Warren, who was the director of the Beaux-Arts
Institute of Design in New York City. In 1925, Murphy was awarded
a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship. And when at home,
he also studied privately with artists who visited Savannah, including
Hilda Belcher, Eliot Clark, and William Chadwick.
Murphy was a prominent member of the Savannah arts community from the
time of his return there until his death more than forty years later.
In 1929, the Association of Georgia Artists was organized in his home
with the purpose of encouraging art and initiating annual exhibitions
throughout Georgia. He taught privately and at the Telfair Academy of
Arts and Sciences and at Armstrong College (now Armstrong Atlantic
State University). During World War II, he served in the U.S. Coast
Guard. His work was widely exhibited at the annual exhibits of the
Southern States Art League and at the American Watercolor Society, at
the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Cleveland Print Society,
Philadelphia Print Club, Brooklyn Society of Etchers, Savannah Art
Club, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His work appeared in such
popular publications as Country Life, American Architect, House
Beautiful, and The Southern Architect, and in 1947 he collaborated with
Walter Hartridge on the book Savannah, providing drawings and etchings
of his native city. He married Ernestine Cole, and they had a son,
Christopher Cole Murphy.
Equally adept in watercolor, drawing, etching, and oil, he received numerous awards and accolades for his work.
He is represented in the permanent collection of the Morris Museum of Art by one hundred works in various media.
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