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Marine Life, circa 1936, circa 1936
Faith Cornish Murray (1897-1984)

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Mixed media on heavy card stock
16 x 14 inches
Signature Details: Faith Murray
Status: Available

A native South Carolinian, Faith Cornish Murray spent the better part of her life painting in the Lowcountry. Born in Charleston, she attended Ashley Hall and graduated with an associate degree from Fairmount College in Monteagle, Tennessee. After college, Murray worked as a draftsman in Washington, D.C. during World War I and then attended Teachers’ College at Columbia University in New York City in 1920 for two years, studying with the noted modernist Arthur Wesley Dow. Murray subsequently returned to Charleston, living there and on Edisto Island during her remaining years; she died in Greenville, South Carolina in 1984. 

In her paintings, Murray often depicted the African Americans who populated Edisto Island, engaged in work and socializing, as in the watercolor Among the Trees, Edisto Island. In recording these scenes, Murray distilled her realistic vision with an interpretive and more modernist approach, progressive tendencies she learned from studying with Dow. Her works—executed in oil, tempera, watercolor, and pastel—are characterized by strong clear color, bold design, and a fluid handling of the paint medium. 

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