Gladys Wilkins Murphy Biography

Gladys Wilkins Murphy




Gladys Wilkins Murphy, craftsman, designer, painter, and printmaker, was born in Providence, Rhode Island on April 15, 1907. She was a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where she studied under color woodcut pioneer, Eliza Gardiner. Murphy taught at the Rhode Island School of Design between 1928 and 1946 and during those years she concentrated on both color and black and white woodblock prints.

Murphy was influenced by several leading stylistic genres of the time, with some works encompassing the bold stylization of the Art Deco movement and others featuring the painterly, atmospheric effects of Japanese printmaking. In 1932, the Print Makers Society of California selected her woodcut “Shadow” for the Fifty Color Prints of the Year exhibition. Murphy was also included in exhibitions at the American Water Color Society, New York Water Color Club, National Academy of Design, Boston Art Club, Philadelphia Print Club and the Library of Congress. She is represented by two color woodcuts in the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Murphy retired from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1946 and moved to Rockport, Massachusetts with her husband, Herbert A. Murphy, where she opened a studio-gallery on King Street.

She was a member of the Providence Art Club, Providence Watercolor Club, Rockport Art Association, Fall River Art Guild, American Color Print Society, Southern Printmakers, Northwest Printmakers, South County Art Association, and the American Artists Professional League. Gladys Murphy died on September 1, 1985, in Rockport, Massachusetts.