Gordon Hope Grant was a painter, etcher and lithographer, especially known for his marine subjects. Born in San Francisco, he was sent abroad via a lengthy ocean voyage to be educated in Scotland, an experience said to have inspired his lifelong interest in the sea. He later studied art in London, England. On his return to the U.S., he worked as an illustrator for the San Francisco newspapers the Chronicle and the Examiner, and for other periodicals. He covered the Boer War and the Mexican Revolution as a battlefield artist for Harper’s Weekly. By the late 1920s, he was exhibiting his work and winning awards at prestigious venues such as the Salmagundi Club, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Paris Salon of 1937 and the National Academy of Design. His works are in numerous collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Grant was an activist on behalf of preservation of the USS Constitution and his 1926 oil painting of the ship is in the collection of the White House. He also authored several illustrated books on maritime themes including Ships Under Sail (1941) and The Secret Voyage (1943).
Associated American Artists was an art gallery and print publisher based in New York from 1934 to 1981, founded by Reeves Lewenthal with the goal of creating a system of distributing and selling affordable fine art, especially in underserved areas outside major metropolitan centers. Lewenthal was able to recruit some of the nation’s top artists to create modestly priced, limited edition prints, attracted by the populist concept of reaching a wider audience for their work. Over the next several decades, dozens of prominent artists participated, including Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, Reginald Marsh, Adolf Dehn, Miguel Covarrubias, Gordon Grant, and Peggy Bacon. The prints were sold via direct mail catalogs and the program succeeded in encouraging many Americans of modest means to take up art collecting. Oils, watercolors and other media were also included in their offerings. Today, many of the works sold by Associated American Artists, including the prints, are highly sought after by collectors and of considerable monetary value. A nationwide traveling exhibition of engravings, lithographs and other prints produced by Associated American Artists was organized by the Springfield Museum of Art in Ohio. It began touring in 2009 and is scheduled to continue into at least February 2014. The organization’s records are housed in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.
Full publication information: Associated American Artists, 711 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
Condition: Each generally fine overall; professionally cleaned and deacidified.
“Associated American Artists: Art by Subscription.” Smith Kramer Fine Art Services. http://www.smithkramer.com/web3/images/stories/clientfiles/Associated_American_Artists/Factsheet.pdf (19 March 2013).
“Associated American Artists records, ca. 1934-1981.” Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/associated-american-artists-records-5426 (19 March 2013).
“Collections Search Center: Gordon Grant.” Smithsonian Institution. http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=gordon+grant&image.x=0&image.y=0 (18 March 2013).
Gilbert, Dorothy B., ed. Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts and R.R. Bowker, 1959. p. 218.
“Gordon Hope Grant.” International Fine Print Dealers Association. http://www.ifpda.org/content/node/926 (18 March 2013).
“Search Collections.” De Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 2013. http://deyoung.famsf.org/search-collections (18 March 2013).
“U.S.S. Constitution.” The White House Historical Association. http://www.whitehouseresearch.org/assetbank-whha/action/viewAsset?id=16&index=0&total=1&categoryId=273 (18 March 2013).