RACE, George

1877 - 1959

George Race was born at 9 Court, Osborne Street, Brightside Bierlow, Sheffield, Yorkshire on 18 January 1877, eldest child of Henry Walter Race, a blacksmith's striker, and his wife Emily née Merrill, who married at Sheffield in 1876. In 1881, a 4 year old living at Sheffield with his parents, 24 year old Henry, born Sheffield and 23 year old Emma, born Rotherham, Yorkshire, with a 72 year old boarder, widow Mary Hague. By 1883 they had moved to Grimsby where daughter Louisa was born and in 1891, George was a 14 year old living at Neptune Street, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire with his parents 34 year old George, now a general labourer, and 33 year old Emily, with siblings Walter 9, Louisa 7 and Frank 1. George married at Cleethorpes on 12 December 1898, Martha Davy and in 1911 a 34 year old painter artist living at Gatehouse, Suggitts Lane, New Cleethorpes with his 32 year old wife Martha and their children, George Henry 11, Walter 10, Alfred 6, Frank 4 and Nellie 1, all born at Cleethorpes. In 1939, a retired painter & decorator living at Dorina Nook, Ashwood Drive, Grimsby, Lincolnshire with his wife Martha (born 5 July 1879). Although never formerly trained, Race was among a group of maritime artists known as 'pierhead painters' who specialized in portraits of ships for the seamen who crewed them and had also worked at Lowestoft, Suffolk with the Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Museum holding a number of his Lowestoft trawler paintings. George Race specialised in creating small-scale oil paintings of trawlers, which he would sell, often for only a few shillings, to the senior crewmen of the vessels. Typically, the paintings were of a broadside view with the sails set, and although free from formal painting techniques they are exact and generally technically accurate. Pierhead painters worked quickly so that their prospective clients had not left port before the paintings were finished and sold, but George's speciality was his method of framing, a personal trademark of the artist, with each frame painted white and hand-painted with the name and number of the ship, and two associated flags, decorated with rope. George was buried in Mill Road Cemetery, Cleethorpes on 16 April 1959, aged 82. He is ofter given the incorrect birth & death dates 1872-1957 copied from 'The Pierhead Painters', by Roger Finch p126.




Works by This Painter