Johnston, Graham (1869-1927)

From 1900 the finest Scottish practitioners available for commissions tended to be armorial designers. The best of them did work for or were herald painters at the Court of Lord Lyon in Edinburgh. Lyon Court has at any one time only one designated “herald painter”. The finest early artists were Graham Johnston and Law Sampson. Johnston was the first principal artist to work from 1898 to 1927 and produced in excess of 160 plates. He advertised diligently, both directly and by sending so much work for inclusion in the Ex-Libris Journal post-1900. He despised the heraldry of many of the engravers used by J & E Bumpus, even going so far as to write to the King in hopes of commissioning. Never-the less Johnston dominates in that golden age of Scottish armory, he has also inspired armorial designers ever since.

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