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John McGrath print collection

Identifier: JMPC


The John McGrath Print Collection consists of etchings, prints, ephemera, and other materials related to Baltimore artist John McGrath (1998-1942) McGrath was president of the Charcoal Club, the famous Baltimore arts club established in 1883.


  • 1924-2004


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical Note

The artist John McGrath was born in Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland, on November 4th, 1884. In 1896, when McGrath was 12 years old, his family moved to Baltimore. In the 1920s, McGrath was enrolled in Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, where he first discovered his interest in art while producing a mechanical drawing. McGrath was unable to graduate from the Polytechnic Institute, however, and was forced to drop out and begin working to support his family.

This did not deter McGrath from studying art, as he enrolled in night classes at the Maryland Institute of Art while continuing to work full time. McGrath honed his skills part time while supporting himself in the business world, eventually becoming the vice-president of an insecticide company. However, McGrath left behind his business career for good in 1928 and travelled to Paris to study art. The following year he spent time traveling to Brittany, a region in northwest France. He was captivated with the landscape and simplicity of peasant life there, and produced a number of etchings during his travels. When he returned to Baltimore in 1930 he joined the Charcoal Club, Baltimore’s famed arts club established in 1883. The following year he was elected and was elected president, a position he held for for over ten years until his death in 1942.


3 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is broken down into 7 series.

Series I: Maryland Views
Baltimore views, including the Washington Monument and the Shot Tower; Annapolis views; Loch Raven Reservoir; Quaker Meeting House, Easton; and others.
Series II: American Views
Views from New Orleans and parts of Virginia.
Series III: European Views
Views from Brittany, St. Tropez, Venice, and Florence.
Series IV: Maritime
Ships at sea and harbor views.
Series V: Trees
Various scenes of trees and landscapes.
Series VI: Miscellaneous
Various scenes of people and views.
Series VII: Non-Print Materials
Ephemera and newspaper clippings related to John McGrath and the Charcoal Club; photograph of John McGrath; “Polycracker” Baltimore Polytechnic Institute yearbook.

Physical Location

Collection is located above Large Print Collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Suzanne McGrath Dale, granddaughter of John McGrath, April 2004. Accession number 6931.

Scope and Contents

The John McGrath Print Collection consists of 3 boxes of materials pertaining to the life and artwork of John McGrath. Items include etchings, prints, ephemera, photographs, and other materials.

Guide to the
In Progress
Margaret McCready
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-03: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Emily Somach.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States