In Memoriam: Oliver Grimley


Please join us for a celebration of the life of Oliver Grimley (1920-2013).

Sunday, March 3 from 2-4pm
The Auditorium of the Historic Landmark Building, 118 N. Broad St, Philadelphia PA

Light refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the service.

Oliver Grimley, artist and teacher, retired in 2010 after a teaching career that stretched for almost six decades. Professor Grimley taught at PAFA from 1951 to 2010.   A legendary teacher, he was the presiding inspiration for the Cast Drawing program to many generations of PAFA students.  As was evident from the many alumni who came to see a 2011 retrospective exhibition of his vibrant drawings and works on paper held in the School Gallery, he has been a decisive influence on the careers of many artists. Oliver Grimley was given the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service at Graduation in 2011. 

Oliver Grimley was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania on June 30th, 1920.  He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1939 to 1942.  After serving in the war, he returned to the Academy on the G.I. Bill from 1946 to 1950, receiving a B.F.A. and an M.F.A from the University of Pennsylvania.  At the Academy, he received two traveling scholarships; the William Emlen Cresson and the Henry Schiedt award, which allowed summer travel in the United States, Canada, England, France, Spain and Italy. 

Oliver Grimley says that “my ideas come from experience; religion and the Bible; literature and a sense of humor stemming from my belief that the light ideas have much seriousness to them and the heavy ideas are often taken too seriously.  My compositions are criticisms of myself as part of mankind.”

Oliver was a wonderful artist and colleague, and we are saddened by his passing.