Elected ARSA: 17 March 1920 

Elected RSA: 13 February 1929 

Walter G. Grieve, whose death took place at his residence, 31 Nelson Street, on the 15th March, was born in the Kirkliston district of West Lothian in 1872. On both sides his forebears were of farming stock. He was educated at St. George’s local day school in Young Street, Edinburgh, under a Mr. Simpson, who was an enthusiast for drawing.


His art training was obtained at the Royal Institution on the Mound, and at the Royal Scottish Academy Life School, where he worked during the sessions 1896 to 1899. Beginning his career as a lithographer he soon found an extensive outlet for his talents in design and in book illustration. This interest in books continued throughout his life and for many years he was Art Adviser to Messrs. Thos. Nelson & Son, Publishers, Edinburgh.


Mr. Grieve was elected an Associate of the Academy in 1920 and an Academician in 1929. His election to the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water-Colours took place in 1934. As a painter Grieve was robust and dramatic in manner and rich in pigment and colour. A great many of his pictures were of groups of richly costumed figures in some arresting situation as in “ The Combat” and in our Diploma Work “The Cribbage Players.”


Even when dealing with still life, with costumes and other studio properties, he was able to invest his work with a humorous sense of drama that was original and interesting. Latterly he painted many subjects of flowers, and recently one of these was acquired for the National Gallery of New Zealand.


Highly esteemed for his judgment Mr. Grieve was in constant service on the various committees in connection with the Academy, and acted as one of its representatives on the Board of the College of Art from 1932 until a few weeks before his death, when, conscious of the growing weakness of his heart, he tendered his resignation. Mr. Grieve is survived by his widow.


RSA Obituary by George Pirie & David Foggie. Transcribed from the 1937 RSA Annual Report

Further Images

Walter Graham Grieve RSA RSW (1872-1937), The Cribbage Players


Oil on canvas, arouns 1919-20,120.8 x 181.8cm

RSA Diploma Collection (Deposited, 1933) 2000.078