BIOGRAPHY - Griffith B. Coale (1890 - 1950)
Griffith B. Coale was born in Baltimore, Maryland on May 21, 1890 and in his early 20s traveled to Paris to study with Richard Miller and William Laparra. He continued his studies in Munich with M. Heymann and also visited Spain and Italy.
His earliest recorded exhibitions were while he was living in Paris. In 1913 he displayed Harmony in Green at the Paris Salon and in 1914 he exhibited Silette (1914) and Nude (1914) at the Salon. By 1915 he was back in Baltimore, living at 1626 John Street, and painted The Baltimore Flower Market – 1915; considered one of the artist’s most important works on canvas. This bright, colorful, and fully matured work, displays Coale’s complete understanding of the impressionist techniques and the teachings of Richard Miller.
Coale traveled quite extensively throughout the Northeast; spending a good deal of time in both New York and Connecticut. During this period he began to receive commissions to paint both portraits and murals and became a member of the National Society of Mural Painters, New York. Among the numerous mural commissions he received were those for: Brooklyn Borough Gas Co.; Columbia Railroad and Lee Higginson & Co.
During World War II, Coale was a founder of the Navy’s Combat Artists Corps and served as a Lieutenant Commander. In addition, he was a member of the Charcoal Club, Baltimore; Ship Model Society, New York; and the Rhode Island Ship Model Society. Between 1915 and 1921, Coale exhibited a number of works at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; a complete listing follows:
1916: The End of the Story
April Sunshine: Paris
1917: Portrait: Harmony in Flesh and Gray
Jean Verd: French Pianist
1918: The Spaniard