Art Dog of the Month,  Art Pulse

Art Dog of the Month: Ralph’s Faithful Companion Scarlet

Scarlet receiving her obedience diploma. David claims she cheated, because she did what she always wanted to do!

Account Manager David Griffith’s father Ralph Griffith had a big impact on our industry and his dog Scarlet played a role, too—pioneering a new way to hold a paintbrush!

“We always had dogs growing up but Scarlet had personality plus,” his son David Griffith, who also works at MacPherson’s and has been with us over thirty years, recalls. “After a few years in retirement, my dad brought home Scarlet as a puppy and they soon became best buds, and inseparable. I took a picture of Scarlet one day after she brought one of Dads brushes out of his shop and she seemed to be posing with it as if asking, ‘Where’s my canvas?’ No masterpieces were created except for our smiles—and sometimes that is enough. Pets are great companions and they can make life a lot more enjoyable.”

As for Scarlet’s human Ralph, his contributions to the industry are still felt today. Ralph attended Auburn University where he received his degree in Graphic Arts in 1965. While at school he also ran the Art Department while he worked at J&M Bookstore, an experience that helped him learn the retail side of the art business.

J&M still has a wall full of old pictures in their back room; these depict their Alley Art Show, where faculty and students showed and sold some of their art work in the alley beside J&M. On the right, Ralph having a laugh with some attendees.

After college Ralph opened his own college bookstore called Ralph’s College Bookstore, which he ran for 10 years. His store carried art supplies as well. Around 1977 he went to work for ArtCraft in sales, where his territory was much of the Southeast.

On the left, the family celebrates at Ralph’s retirement dinner. On the right, he gets roasted by a former co-worker from J&M!

“Ralph also has a big personality,” explains David. “Those that know him know that he can tell some stories—also known as Ralphisms. He has a way with words that is truly unique. He retired in January 2003 after 26 years of working for ArtCraft and then MacPherson’s. Even today some of his former customers ask about him on almost every store visit I make. Ralph’s love for the arts ran deep and he was passionate about helping his customers with his knowledge of art and graphic supplies. He was honest, worked hard and cared about his industry and his customers, many of whom he considered family. He left such a good impression on people. He was and is a true gentleman; over the decades his customers came to love him and many became life-long friends.”

We love celebrating Art Dogs every month. Their stories inevitably are connected to a family, a store, a community of artists; many times the people who care for our Art Dogs are the personalities that bring our industry to life. Share your story with us at artdogblog (@)

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