CLAUDE MUNCASTER 1903-1974
Painter in oil, pastel, watercolour and draughtsman in pen and ink of landscapes and marine pictures; etcher and illustrator. Born at West Chiltington, Sussex, as Grahame Hall, son of the Royal Academician Oliver Hall, who launched his son on a career as a landscape painter at 15. Although early works were signed Grahame Hall, he changed his name to Claude Muncaster to overcome any suggestion that he gained from his father’s name. They had the same ideal, “to carry on the best traditions of English painting.” Muncaster painted conventional landscapes and some large, meticulous panoramas of the Thames and Bradford, commissioned by firms. He travelled widely, was a good speaker in public and broadcaster. As a young man he sailed as a deckhand on a windjammer around the Horn, which gave him an expert knowledge of ships. Rolling Round the Horn was one of several books by him; he also illustrated John Masefield’s Bird of Dawning. During World War II Muncaster served as a camouflage expert with the Royal Navy. He had his first purchase accepted by the RA in 1920, exhibited widely throughout his life and accepted royal commissions. Many of his 5,000 pictures hang in galleries around the world, including the Tate Gallery. Lived at Sutton, near Pulborough, Sussex.