Three generations of artists, craftsmen and curators.
James F. Murray
A renowned PAinter who captured the New England landscape throughout the mid-20th century.
James Francis Murray was born in 1899 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. While attending night school James spent his days playing piano for silent films. James began his formal training at the Massachusetts College of Art. However, he refused to take classes unrelated to art and instead of finishing his degree he moved to New York City to apprentice as an engraver. Returning to Boston the following year he was employed at the Lincoln Engraving Company until he was recruited in 1936 by the Boston Post as a newspaper artist (illustrator, designer, typographer, retoucher, ad man). He finished his professional career at the Boston Herald in 1973.
But drawing and painting were his passion and it is for these he is renowned. Legend has it he began his fine art career when a doctor on a house call noticed his talent and commissioned young James's first painting. But rarely during his career did he paint for financial benefit—he did it because he loved it. James traveled New England to capture its natural beauty and historic sites. Being an avid photographer, he would often shoot the compositions in different lighting scenarios and paint from this reference in the safety of his studio—away from pestering insects and tourists. James soon found himself on the radar of New England locals and global influencers James Cagney and the Kennedy family. He was invited every year to the Kennedy compound for barbecues, but politely declined and continued on painting.
He was married to Gertrude* for 61 years, had three children and 9 grandchildren—all of whom he spent time with at their lakeside retreat in New Hampshire. It was a rare moment when James didn't have a pencil or brush in his hand. James F. Murray departed this world in 1990 but left his legacy through his son George.
His favorite things: Jelly donuts, history, playing piano, high balls, the lake and family.
George F. Murray
A master craftsman dedicated to his family's legacy through the medium of print.
George Francis Murray was born in 1932 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. George enlisted in the 351st Communications Reconnaissance Company of the Army Security Agency and was sent to Korea during the war. When he returned he began his career as a craftsman in the printing industry. With his friends he started a printing company called CroMur Press and finished his career at Grant Printing Co. as a printer and typesetter, retiring in 1994.
His true passion was the family business. George had a small Davidson offset printing press in his basement and in 1960 he began printing black and white lithographs of New England scenes that his father James drew exclusively for him (these are what is offered in our artwork section). He and his wife Carole* spent much of their time exhibiting at art shows across New England selling Jas F. Murray prints with their youngest son Sean in tow. Their favorite past-time was a night at home with a 35mm projector and countless slides of George's trips to Japan, pre-communist Cuba and his years in Korea—a tradition they continue to this day.
George and Carole—who just celebrated 57 years of marriage—are snowbirds, spending their time between Florida, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York with their five children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. In 1990 George retired and passed down the wisdom of years and the remaining artwork to his son Sean.
His favorite things: Coffee, history, boating, Schlitz, the ocean and family.
Sean A. Murray
A son and grandson obsessed with the past continues the family business in the digital age.
Sean Andrew Murray was born in 1979 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He began his formal training at the Ringling College of Art and Design as an illustration student, following in the footsteps of both his grandfathers. Moving to New York City in August of 2003, Sean became an art director at a fashion magazine also following a similar path to his grandfather James. In 2009 he decided to take a chance at freelance—cue the economic crash—and he became a jack-of-all-trades leading to a career in the film and TV industry as a property master and art director. Also like his grandfather before him, he worked in advertising as a design director for several years.
He has fond memories as a young boy, watching his grandfather James sketch while enjoying a nip of Christian Brothers blackberry brandy before bed. Sean and his father George spent their days building tree houses and model railroads and their nights watching MASH, Victory at Sea and Cheers while matting prints for the next art show.
Sean is currently a member of United Scenic Artists Local #829, working in the film and TV industry in New York City as a graphic designer. His wife of four years, Serena* is the catalyst for turning his passion for the family legacy into a business. He stewards with honor the rich family heritage of artists and craftsmen passed down to him.
His favorite things: Tea with milk, historical non-fiction, travel, Laphroaig, the mountains and family.
*Behind every great Murray son is an even greater Murray wife.