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Gordon Hope Grant

American

1875-1962

Gordon Hope Grant was born in San Francisco, California, June 7th 1875.  As a youth, he was sent to Scotland for schooling to “maintain ancestral ties.”  The four and a half month voyage from San Francisco around the southern tip of South America “the Horn” in a full-rigged Glasgow sailing vessel left a tremendous impression on the young Grant, beginning a lasting fascination with the sea and sailing ships.

 

After studying art in the London schools of Heatherley’s and Lambeth’s Grant returned to San Francisco to work on both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Examiner.  This was the period of the artist/reporter with on-the-spot drawings being made on battlefields and warfronts. The artist covered both the Boer War and the Mexican Revolution, his images of these events were published in Harper's Weekly.

 

Grant was most famous for his maritime drawings and paintings. He did some book illustrations for Back to the Woods, 1903.  His fame as a painter of ships was greatly enhanced in 1906 when prints of his painting of the U.S. Constitution were sold by the thousands to help raise money for the preservation of that historic vessel. It was destined to end up a target for naval trainees when Grant, along with Eric Pape and many others, successfully lobbied Congress for restoration and designation as a National monument. His painting of the ship now hangs in the Oval Office at the White House. He later reprised his interest in the Constitution with the illustrations for Eagle of the Sea - The Story of Old Ironsides in 1949.  From then on, Grant was able to devote himself primarily to images of ships and the sea. Titles include: “Sail Ho!,” “The Story of the Ship,” “Greasy Luck,” “Ships Under Sail,” “The Book of Old Ships,” “Forty Famous Ships,” “The Sea Witch,” and many others along these lines. He also painted portraits, streets, harbors, beaches and marines.

 

An adept watercolorist, Grant received many awards from the American Watercolor Society (he was also a member) and his drawings and paintings have been purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the Peabody Essex Museum.

 

 

Gordon Hope Grant

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