Born in San Francisco, Gordon Grant is known for his etchings and paintings of marine subjects. He also painted portraits, streets, harbors, beaches and marines, and was an illustrator, whose work included pulp fiction* for Popular Detective magazine in the 1930s. Skilled with watercolor, Grant was honored many times by the American Watercolor Society*. Memberships included the Society of Illustrators*, Salmagundi Club*, Allied Artists of America*, New York Society of Painters, and American Federation of Artists*.
At age 13, he was sent to Scotland for schooling, and the four-month sail around Cape Horn remained a permanent influence on his career. He studied art in Heatherly and at the Lambeth School of Art* in London, and then in 1895, he became a staff artist for the San Francisco Examiner. The next year, he took the same type of job for the New York World and covered the Boer War for Harper's Weekly. He also worked for Puck magazine for eight years and did illustration for children's and adult books.
For Harper's Weekly, he served as a combat artist for both the Boer War and the Mexican Revolution.
His reputation as a marine painter became much stronger after 1906 when prints of his painting of the U.S. Constitution went on the market with popular reception, and the monies were used to preserve the old ship. Grant and others were successful lobbying Congress to designate the vessel a national monument, and Grant's painting of the U.S. Constitution is in the White House collection, where it has hung in the Oval Office.