John Murray Bio

John Murray received a bachelors degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1983. He choose this school for his training because he most identified with its philosophy toward traditional art. Murray continued to study in the US and Florence, Italy

Murray apprenticed for 7 years at the Bureau Of Engraving and Printing to become a banknote designer, one of six in the country. His most noted accomplishments were the portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the new Five dollar note and designing the back of the new Ten dollar note.

In 2005, John Murray left his government job to pursue his first love, painting, drawing and sculpture. “ It was a difficult decision to leave the security of my government job, but I know it was the right thing to do. Art for me is the most intuitive thing I do. I look to express myself through color and composition. Even though my subjects, the figure, still life and landscape, are very traditional, I try not to just copy nature, rather I like to focus on the abstract qualities of my paintings. I like to add as much variety to my work as I can. Sometimes I will agonize over details in my paintings and other times I will infuse bold brush work to give the work more energy.”

John Murray maintains a studio in the DC area, where he is currently an adjunct teacher of painting and drawing at the Corcoran School of Art.


Three Realists Show, Nichols Gallery, Charlottesville, Virginia
Avant Garde Gallery, Washington DC

Fall Group Show, Nichols Gallery, Charlottesville, Virginia
Academic Tradition III, Asian Cultural Center, New York City
Still Life Show, Newman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Small Paintings, Gardner Colby Gallery, Naples, Florida
Regional Realists, Century Gallery, Alexandria
VA Group Show, Newman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Landscape Exhibit, Century Gallery, Alexandria, VA
Gallery Selections, Anniversary Show, Century Gallery, Alexandria, VA

John Murray, Recent Paintings, Vernacular Press, New York City
Faculty Exhibit, Corcoran School of Art, Washington DC
Academic Tradition, Exhibit by faculty and students of the Bridgeview School of Fine Arts, Chelsea Art Museum, New York
Solo Show, Bridgeview School of Fine Arts
New York Spring Invitational, Neptune Gallery, New York

Solo Show, Newman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Bridgeview School Faculty and Student Show, Chelsea Art Museum, New York
Trompe L’Oeil Show, Century Gallery, Alexandria,VA
May Group Show, Frasier Gallery, Bethesda, MD.

American Classicism, Two-man show, Century Gallery, Alexandria, VA
International Artexpo 2002, New York|
Pennsylvania Academy, Alumni Regional Juried Show, First Place Award
Coleman Gallery, Charleston, South Carolina
Newman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Washington Realists, curated by Lenny Compello, the Athenaeum, Alexandria, VA
Faculty Show, Art Students League, Alexandria, VA

Two-Man Show, Century Gallery, Alexandria, VA

Solo Show, Studio Gallery, Alexandria, VA
Group Show, Quent Cordair Fine Art, Burlingame, CA