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RAY ELLIS painted for over seventy years on all seven continents. He is widely recognized for the originality of his paintings.

Ellis was born in Philadelphia and attended the famed Philadelphia Museum School of Art. His first one-man show was held in 1947 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After serving four years in the Coast Guard during WWII, he founded his own advertising agency in New Jersey and New York. He continued to paint in his spare time. During this period he was elected to the American Watercolor Society, and his works were widely exhibited and received numerous honors. 

In the early 1980s, Ray Ellis and Walter Cronkite collaborated on a series of fine art books which celebrated America's coastlines: South by Southeast, North by Northeast, and Westwind. Ellis' paintings have been the subject of fourteen additional books. The themes have varied widely; from the southern lowcountry to Martha's Vineyard, flowers and gardens, moonlight, golf, and fishing. 

For three consecutive years beginning in 1998, Ellis was commissioned by the President to paint scenes of the White House to be reproduced as the official Christmas card. 

In 2004, the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia honored the depth and breadth of Ellis' career with a major traveling exhibition titled Ray Ellis in Retrospect: A Painter's Journey. He was subsequently awarded the Salmagundi Club's Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. In 2013, Ellis collaborated with CK Wolfson on Painting a Life: Ray Ellis An Artist Seen Through His Work. The biography was published posthumously in 2014.

Ellis is represented in fine galleries across the country. His works have been exhibited in U.S. Embassies in Geneva, Vienna and London. Ray Ellis paintings are in the permanent collections of the White House, museums across the country and private collections worldwide.


COMPASS PRINTS, INC. was established in 1984 shortly after the publication of South by Southeast. From the famed South by Southeast four limited edition prints were released. These were the first offerings from Compass Prints, Inc. Since 1984 over 100 images have been published as either open edition or limited edition offset photo lithographs. In 2001 Compass Prints, Inc. introduced limited edition giclee prints to our inventory. The inkjet process yields very realistic reproductions.


COMPASS PUBLISHING, is the book publishing division of Compass Prints. Since 1994, seven titles have been published: Ray Ellis' Savannah and the Lowcountry, Lowcountry Paintings of Ray Ellis, Fishing the Vineyard, Ray Ellis Paints Flowers, By the Light of the Moon, An Amazing Story of the Vineyard's Derby and Painting a Life: An Artist Seen Through his Work.


THE RAY ELLIS GALLERY was founded in 1987. Located in historic downtown Savannah on Ellis Square, the gallery is the headquarters for Compass Prints, Inc. The gallery features original watercolors, oils, bronzes, 100+ prints and reproductions, a complete line of in-print books, as well as many quality second hand copies of out of print titles. 

Our gallery space was located on historic Ellis Square 1987- June 2024.
Beginning July 1 2024, the gallery will operate completely online.

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Our mailing address is P.O. Box 8456, Savannah GA 31412

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