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Joseph Gray (1890-1963)

Joseph Gray (1890-1963)

Joseph Gray, is now best remembered as an evocative war artist. During the First World War, he produced detailed drawings based on direct experiences in the Black Watch on the Western Front, and was subsequently sought after – by regiments and museums – as a painter of military subjects. Then, in the Second World War, he employed his expertise to develop large-scale forms of camouflage, while also creating drypoints of blitz-torn London, an indication of his broader interest in, and talent for, landscape and architectural subjects.

Joseph Gray was born in South Shields, County Durham, on 6 June 1890, the eldest of three children of the master mariner, Captain Joseph Gray, and his wife, Mary Alice (née Johnson). He and his family spent his early years at 3 Romilly Street, Westoe, South Shields, moving a short distance to 1 Lolanthe Terrace by 1901. Though he first trained as a marine engineer, he went on to study at South Shields School of Art, under its Headmaster, John Heys.

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