Ray (Raymond) Sullivan was born in the Chicago area at the beginning of the twentieth century. His parents were Mary and James Mark Sullivan. At the age of two, Ray’s father deserted his family and moved to Los Angeles. Mother and son soon followed in the hope of finding Ray’s father. During his years in Los Angeles, Ray decided to pursue a career in the arts where he initially found employment as a newspaper illustrator.
Ray and his mother eventually relocated to San Francisco where Ray attended the Mark Hopkins School of Art. After that, Ray went to Paris to study at Academie Jullienne. As a young man, Ray would spend part of the year in Paris and then in San Francisco.
Under the threat of persecution, Ray’s family left Paris at the outbreak of the war and settled in San Francisco where Ray resumed his career as an artist and illustrator. He had many successful shows at well-respected galleries such as the Maxwell Gallery and Gump’s in San Francisco. He won the New York Art Directors’ award. His designs were published in various design magazines.
Ray created many of the posters for Ladies’ Night at the Bohemian Grove for the San Francisco’s famous Bohemian Club. He illustrated several hand-crafted books and brochures for the printer William Grabhorn. Ray loved to paint landscapes. His favorite subjects were the London Ranch in the Valley of the Moon and Del Monte. He also loved to paint sailing scenes since he was an avid yacht racer.
We want to thank Diana E., daughter of Raymond Sullivan, for contributing this article to our blog. All posters shown are part of PosterConnection’s vintage poster sale on October 25, 2014.