The Claude W Gray Exhibit
Claude Gray n.d.
Claude William Gray was born at Lichfield, England, on 10 August 1870. Along with his brother Harold, he worked with the eminent British archaeologist Augustus Pitt Rivers. Gray emigrated to Winnipeg in 1902 and worked in the drafting department of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
He enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in September 1914, when he was 44 years old, and served with the 8th Canadian (90th Winnipeg Rifles) Battalion until demobilized in 1919. Gray was hospitalized in 1915 after inhaling chlorine gas fumes and suffered from a long-term “general physical weakness.”
Gray took his sketch-book to France and Flanders and afterwards painted evocative scenes of Canadian soldiers in the battlefields, hospital and on leave. Six (6) of these paintings are in the Royal Winnipeg Rifle Museum collection and other war paintings are held in the Winnipeg Art Gallery collection.
Gray also painted landscapes of the Lake of the Woods area and his work was exhibited in galleries across Canada. In the 1920s, he became nationally known as a sculptor for his depictions of Native Canadians. Writing under the name Vandyke Brown, Gray also contributed columns on the Winnipeg arts community for the Winnipeg Free Press.
Claude Gray died, aged 75 years, at Winnipeg on 5 August 1940 and is buried in Brookside Cemetery.
Claude William Gray, Memorable Manitobans, Manitoba Historical Society
Claude William Gray, Personnel Files of the First World War
“Claude W. Gray, artist, dead,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 August 1940,
Marilyn Baker, “Claude W. Gray”, Winnipeg School of Art (1984)