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Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Purchase!

We went to Woodstock today, and I was lucky enough to find this etching hanging in the back of a thrift store. It was labeled simply as "Local Artist Lithograph from 20's - 30's." I asked the shopkeeper if she knew anything about the piece, and she replied "No. It's old, that's all I know." I bought it anyway, and looked up the artist when we got home. Here is the print I found:

Justin Murray, American, 1912–1987
Powell Street 5:30 p.m., ca. 1940–1945
17.7 x 12.4 cm (image)
California State Library long loan

Not on exhibit

Artist Biography:
Born in Minneapolis. Moved to California 1928. Studied art at Chouinard in Los Angeles. Federal Art Project in 1930's, theatrical scenes and murals. Moved to San Francisco 1938. Cartoons in SF Chronicle and Coast Magazine. Bought etching press in 1940 and made many etchings of local subjects. Moved to Mendocino in 1973 and died there. Also drummer with dance bands in San Francisco area.

There is also a book of Murray's etchings called Cable Car Daze in San Francisco (James Ladd Delkin, 1947). I will try to find this at the public library.

So the artist wasn't local to Woodstock, and the print wasn't from the 20s or 30s, but I love it just the same.

My uncle is Justin Murray. He was quite a character and I always loved visiting him in his home in Northern California. A true individual that marched and played to his own drummer. He had coyotes and wolf dogs and wrote extensively for the Defenders of Wildlife News.

I am in the process of collecting as much of his artwork as I can. Please call me at 720-289-7493 if you would like to sell this print.

Thank you,

Dave Murray
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