WILLIAM GRANT MURRAY (1877-1950) THE MASTER CRAFTSMAN WHO CONVERTED THE WHOLE TOWN SYLVIA TWIGG "Unless you are prepared to spend money on your Art School, don't appoint me". This was the astounding, provocative and seemingly reckless statement that William Grant Murray, aged 31 years, is reported to have made to the Swansea Council, during his interview for the post of Headmaster of the Swansea Art School in September 1908. He then audaciously informed them that their Art School was the most dismal that he had ever seen, the rooms were too small and the lighting was bad. As far as he could see, their Art School was as good as dead and he had no desire to be associated with the inevitable funeral! In spite of his temerity and frankness or perhaps because of them, the Council had the foresight and good sense to appoint this remarkable young man. He was chosen on the first ballot by 22 votes out of 29, at a salary of £ 300 per year. Sub- sequently the Mayor, Morgan Tutton, said that the Council was prepared to meet the expenditure Mr. Grant Murray had in view. Following his appointment, Grant Murray married Margaret Falconer Findlay and they subsequently had two sons. He became Headmaster at the Art School in January 1909. In the 42 years that followed, William Grant Murray profoundly affected the civic life of the town. He transformed attitudes towards, and appreciation of, artistic matters. In this article an attempt is made to show the incredible and remarkable range of the activities and endeavours of William Grant Murray. Through this, it is hoped that his characteristics, talents and ideals, his successes and failures will emerge. His work was of enormous and incalculable benefit, not only to his students but also to the people and the town of Swansea. Who was this gifted, fearless and dedicated man, who could have such a profound effect. The only portrait of him is a sketch by Alfred Janes, a past pupil, drawn in 1952 from memory and showing Grant Murray in middle age. A reproduction of this can be seen in Stephen J. Govier's article 'William Grant Murray [1877-1950] and the Swansea School', in Gower XLV. William Grant Murray was born in Portsoy, Banffshire, Scotland in 1877, the second son of William Alexander Minty Murray, a cabinet maker. The family of five