RACE, George

1877 - 1959

George Alfred Race was born at 9 Court, Osborne Street, Brightside Bierlow, Sheffield, Yorkshire on 18 January 1877, eldest child of Henry Walter Race (3 August 1856-February 1941), a blacksmith's striker, and his wife Emily née Merrill (6 June 1857-January 1942), who married at Christ Church, Pitsmore, Sheffield on 16 April 1876. In 1881, George was 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, Lincolnshire where their 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 (5 July 1879-1960) 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. Although never formerly trained, Race was among a group of maritime artists known as 'pierhead painters' who specialised in portraits of ships for the seamen who crewed them and he had also worked at Lowestoft, Suffolk with the Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Museum holding several 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 technically accurate. George also painted some larger canvases which were in the Fish Stall at the entrance to 'Wonderland' at Cleethorpes, but now dispersed. 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 Alfred Race died at 200 Barcroft Street, Cleethorpes on 13 April and buried in Mill Road Cemetery, Cleethorpes on 16 April 1959, aged 82. He is often given the incorrect birth & death dates 1872-1957 which are copied from 'The Pierhead Painters', by Roger Finch p126.

Works by This Artist