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 Ralph Victor Murray  (1897 - 1991)

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Lived/Active: California/New Brunswick / Canada      Known for: Painting

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Ad Code: 4
Ralph Victor Murray
An example of work by Ralph Victor Murray
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography is being submitted by Susan Murray Lingenfelter, daughter of Ralph Victor Murray, August 2003.

Ralph Victor Murray was born June 27, 1897 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He was raised in Fredericton and Campbellton. He was living in Campbellton in 1910 and witnessed the whole town burn to the ground. He studied at Rothesay Academy and left school at the age of 15 to help support his mother and sisters when his father passed away. He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces at age 18 and served during World War 1 in England until he was stricken with Diptheria and transferred to Halifax. He was walking to work on Dec. 16, 1917 when the great explosion of Halifax took place.

After leaving the military, he traveled and worked in Canada and the United States until he ended up in San Francisco. While there he heard the California Highway Division was hiring, so he took the test and was hired as a surveyor. From 1923 to 1924 he surveyed Highway One (The Big Sur Highway) between Santa Maria and Carmel. He was retired from the State of California in 1940 and took up oil painting.

In 1941 he won 2nd place in the Santa Cruz County Fair. He was mostly self taught, however he did take some private lessons from Burton Boundey and Abel Warshawsky. His work was landscapes and seascapes in oils. He was a lifetime member of the Carmel Art Association in Carmel, California. He frequently exhibited his work there from 1940-1960. His work was also exhibited in Wells Fargo Bank, Cal Am Water Co., Monterey Savings and Loan, Pacific Gas and Electric and numerous other businesses around the Monterey Peninsula. His work was shown in the "Monterey Peninsula Herald" and was also photographed for the L. A. Times for the July 20, 1958 insert.

In the 1960's he gave private lessons to Helen Barker and Charles Lee. He also showed his work in the Helen Barker Gallery in Carmel, California. He was featured under People in the February, 1989 issue of Monterey Life. The California Art Review solicited information from him as well as California Artists.

His friends and peers were such greats as Abel Warshawsky, Frank Meyers, Myron Oliver, Armin Hansen, Arthur Hill Gilbert, Burton Boundey and Leslie Emery. He continued to paint and sell his work until shortly before his death on February 21, 1991. His work is in private collections.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ralph Victor Murray was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada on June 27, 1897.  Murray left school at 15 to help support his family.  At 18 he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and while serving in World War One in England he was stricken with diptheria.  After the war he came to San Francisco and became a surveyor of the Big Sur Highway for the California Highway Division.  Upon retirement in 1940, he settled on the Monterey Peninsula and took up painting.  Mostly self-taught, he studied briefly with Burton Boundey and A. G. Warshawsky.  He died there on Feb. 21, 1991. 

Member:  Carmel AA. 

Exh:  Santa Cruz Co. Fair, 1941 (2nd prize).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); Los Angeles Times, 7-20-1958; Death Record.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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