Murray Griffin

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Vaughan Murray Griffin (1903–1992) was an Australian print maker and painter.

Life and work[edit]

Commonly known as Murray Griffin, he was born in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern to Vaughan and Ethel Griffin. He spent most of his life living in the Eaglemont and Heidelberg area in Melbourne although he also travelled around country Victoria to paint and draw. He produced an extensive body of landscape paintings as well as portraits, but he is best known for his printmaking, where he was heavily influenced by Japanese woodcuts. A number of these prints are on the National Gallery of Australia database.

Griffin trained at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School in Melbourne from 1919 to 1923. He later taught art at Scotch College (1936 to 1937) and drawing and teaching at RMIT (1937 to 1940).

He was appointed an official war artist in 1941. He was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore and sent to Changi Prison where he was incarcerated for over three years. He continued to draw, sketch and paint during this period; the Australian War Memorial holds an extensive collection of this work. Griffin returned to Australia in 1945.

From 1946 to 1953 he was a teacher of drawing at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School and then was Senior Lecturer in Art at RMIT from 1954 to 1968.

Griffin was influenced by Anthroposophy and the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. This passion resulted in a body of oil paintings and linocuts known as the Journey Series. This collection is currently held by La Trobe University.


Griffin's works are held by: National Gallery of Australia, Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Victoria, State Library of Victoria, La Trobe Library, Art gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of South Australia, Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Bendigo Art Gallery, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Geelong Art Gallery, Hamilton Art Gallery, Print Council of Victoria, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, Australian Embassy Washington.

Prizes and awards[edit]

  • 1923 - First prizes National Gallery School for Painting and Landscape painting
  • 1935 - Crouch prize for the oil painting Golden Barriers
  • 1939 - F. E. Richardson prize for the linocut Spoonbill
  • 1952 - Dunlop Prize (joint 2nd) for the oil painting Warrior
  • 1957 - Maude Vizard-Wholohan Prize Art gallery of South Australia for the linocut Bird of Paradise
  • 1976 - Henri Worland Memorial Art Prize Warrnambool Art gallery for the linocut Duck in Reeds
  • 1990 - Victorian Artists Society Honour Medal for "outstanding contributions to art"

External links[edit]