Completed British 20th C, except portraits, Scotland: Artists and Subjects 13 Could this work be by Charles Murray (1894–1954)?

Topic: Artist

Could this work be by Charles Murray (1894–1954), another of whose paintings is in this collection? See:

The collection note:

'Although this painting is unsigned it is stylistically very similar to the other work in our collection by Murray.

I have looked at the work and I do not feel confident to re-attribute the work to Charles Murray. There may be a Murray expert who able to confirm the attribution.'

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Jade Audrey King,

This work is now listed as by Charles Murray (1894–1954) (attributed to).

This amend will appear on Art UK in due course.

Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.


Jade Audrey King,

Additionally, Art UK have been able to trace the copyright holder of the work of Charles Murray (1894–1954). Any information would be appreciated.

Martin Hopkinson,

I am probably the nearest person at the moment to a Charles Murray expert.I wrote the entry on him in the series de Gruyter 'Kunstlerlexikion' volumes. There has not been much research on him since his death. Leeds Museums and Art Galleries should have a file on him - and possibly an obituary which might say if he had any children.
The Glasgow artist and dealer, Clive Sutton, might know as his father-in-law the Aberdeen based Ian Fleming was
a friend of Murray and owned a number of works by him. Aberdeen Museum and Art Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art also might have more information.

Osmund Bullock,

The Yorkshire Post of 18th March 1954 ran an extensive obituary of Charles Murray (the day after his death in hospital at Dollis Hill, London) - attached.

Re descendants (assuming Jade meant to write "ArtUK have *not* been able to trace the copyright holder..."!), his wife, nee Margaret Kathleen Stead, outlived him, and administration was granted to her in June of the same year. She was born in 1908 (Reg Q4, bapt. 11 Nov), and they married at Leeds in 1939 (Q2). As recorded in the obituary, they had a single child, a son born at Bradford in 1940 (Q3) - Andrew S. Murray.

Telephone records indicate that Margaret stayed on at the same address in Ruislip until the end of 1960s, probably moving a few miles up the road to an address in Northwood by 1970, where she stayed until at least 1982. The trail then goes cold - online old phone directories are less complete by then, and stop altogether after 1984. But she seems very likely to be the Margaret Kathleen Murray of Kew, Surrey (b. 2/9/1908) who died at Richmond-upon-Thames on 1st Oct 1990. Probate records by this time unhappily no longer give the executor's name; but she left a reasonably substantial sum (£150K+), so if her son was still alive and in contact he will doubtless feature in the Jan 1991 probate record & will. But access to that will cost someone £10, and it won't be me!

'Andrew S Murray' is unfortunately is a pretty common name even with the middle initial (let alone without), and there seems no other way of pinning him down. The fact that probate of Margaret's will was granted at Brighton might be significant: but nobody really stands out in the electoral rolls in Hampshire/Sussex/Kent, which I've checked.

Osmund Bullock,

Hang on, I think I've found him!

Andrew S Murray (age currently 65+) was in 2001/2 living at West Park Rd, Kew, 10 mins' walk or less from Priory Rd where Margaret K Murray was living at her death in 1990. Doubtless the same man, Andrew Stafford Murray (65+), is listed from 2004-13 in the electoral roll just a few hundred yards away. The middle name cracks it - Andrew Stafford Murray (born August 1940), art dealer, was from 1991 until 2007 a director of the hugely important and influential Mayor Gallery, the first to open its doors in Cork St in the 1920s. There is plenty about Andrew Murray online, he has been a major name in the C20th art world for many years - I imagine the Mayor Gallery will be happy to put ArtUK in touch with him (though I also have a probable postal address). Contact Amy Baker on .

EDIT: The matter is pretty much settled by the discovery of this engraving of Charles Murray's in National Galleries Scotland: 452 . The image is "© Andrew Murray"

Martin Hopkinson,

Osmund is absolutely right - I knew this, but forgot, and could not remember of which Scottish artist Murray of this generation Andrew was a son
Andrew will be very helpful, I am sure - and indeed much more knowledgeable on his father's work than I am.
Indeed he can probably provide dates for those works of his father on , where the information is lacking!

Osmund Bullock,

Martin, getting away from the slog of genealogy and back to art, you must surely be right in attributing this one to Charles Murray too - no real question about it in my mind. But as you say, Andrew is clearly the man to ask, by both parentage and professional expertise, and I imagine Kirklees would be happy to accept his word on the subject.

Jade Audrey King,

Thank you all for your comments. I have emailed Mayor Gallery and will post any response.

Jade Audrey King,

Mayor Gallery have forwarded my message to Andrew Murray, so hopefully he will be in touch.

Justin Grant-Duff,

There was an A F Murray who exhibited in London in 1881, but that might be too early to be of any use. But the Charles Murray to whom you refer was painter, etcher and wood engraver from Glasgow. He had been born in Aberdeen in 1849 and then migrated to the school of art in Glasgow, where he also taught as a lecturer. He exhibited there from 1919 to 1938. He was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and exhibited there on at least six occasions. He as also a regular at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts and the Liverpool Art Gallery.

I share the opinion of Osmund and Martin that this work is indeed by Charles Murray. Clearly the opinion of the artist's son will be crucial before a final view may be formed. What I also found interesting is the unusual formation of the hills (or mountains) in the background of the two paintings held by Kirklees. The painting clearly by Murray is titled 'Scottish Landscape'. I had wondered originally if the nature of the landscape pointed instead to Iceland, where Murray worked too, but the trees in the foreground are not those which can grow in the rather harsh Icelandic landscape so I am sure a Scottish location would be correct for both images. The landscape in the two paintings is surely of the same location which again supports an attribution to Murray. It would be interesting if someone can identify the location with more certainty.

It appears that this is not generating further comment. Thanks to Martin for raising the issue and to ace sleuth Osmund for bringing information on this neglected painter to light. I propose that the item now be closed.

Jade Audrey King,

The collection has been contacted about this recommendation.