Fuller O. Griffith III, printmaker

January 4, 2013
Fuller O. Griffith III
printmaker

Fuller O. Griffith III, 83, a printmaker who became a professor of fine arts at George Washington University, died of sepsis Dec. 7 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. His wife, Helena Griffith, confirmed the death.

Mr. Griffith served on the George Washington University faculty from 1965 to 1994 and taught woodcut, engraving, etching and the history of printmaking.

In addition to being exhibited at local galleries, his prints are included in the collections of museums and libraries, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum as well as private collections, his family said.

Fuller Orville Griffith III was born in Madison, Wis., and served in the Army as a medical laboratory technician in the Pacific from 1946 to 1948.

He was a 1952 art education graduate of the University of Wisconsin, then received a Fulbright scholarship to study printmaking at the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London. He earned a master’s degree in fine arts at GWU in 1969.

Before he joined the GWU faculty, he was an associate curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s graphic arts division and conducted research on rare prints and the history of printmaking. There, he created the catalog ue, “The Lithographs of Childe Hassam.”

After retiring from GWU, Mr. Griffith volunteered with art education programs in the Arlington public schools.

His first marriage, to Janet Cox, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Helena Dole Griffith of Arlington; two sons from his first marriage, Fuller O. Griffith IV of Alexandria and Eugene L. Griffith of Klamath Falls, Ore.; a son from his second marriage, Reed C. Griffith of Arlington; and two grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein

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