Griffing, Robert

Robert Griffing grew up in Linesville, Pennsylvania, where he roamed the fields and beaches around Pymatuning Lake collecting stone artifacts. At an early age, he gained an appreciation for the area’s history, its natural beauty and the region’s first inhabitants, the Eastern Woodland Indians, which especially fascinated him. After graduating from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and a highly successful thirty-year career in commercial art, Griffing returned to the subject of his early fascination, painting the Eastern Woodland Indian of the 18th century. He decided to devote his time and energy to his passion after receiving an enthusiastic response to his early paintings and prints. His work draws attention to a neglected area of our nation’s history, when one culture was being supplanted by another, and great changes were initiated that set the scene for the next hundred years of settlement. When it comes to historical accuracy, Griffing treats both sides of the conflict with the same care and precision. The clothing, uniforms, weapons and accoutrements illustrated are all correct and authentic to the period, as well as the backgrounds, such as the forests, the rivers and streams, and the dwellings and fortifications. The accuracy of the paintings comes from Griffing’s love of history, knowledge of the woods and his natural artistic talent. Another element enhancing his artwork is his participation in “living history,” where he is able to actually experience, as closely as possible, living conditions of the past. He believes that, while it is one thing to read about an historic trek or canoe trip, it is much better to experience it yourself, covering the same ground, wearing period clothing and using only authentic gear and weapons.