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Theo Grimanes

Australian, 1887 - 1954

While little is known about this artist, the claim that Theo Grimanes was a pseudonym of maritime artist John Allcot is certainly incorrect. Theo Grimanes (1887-1954) was born on the Greek island of Andros. At the age of twelve he ran away to sea, spending some years working aboard sailing ships and British tramp vessels (ships not deployed on regular trade routes, but contracting for individual cargo shipments). He arrived in Australia with his friend John Allcot and continued his seagoing career on Australian coastal vessels. His name appears as Theodore Emanuel Grimanes in the National Archives of Australia naturalization index in 1916 and 1929. A painting of SS Tambar by Grimanes at the Australian National Maritime Museum was painted in 1914 whilst he was working onboard the vessel for the North Coast Steam Navigation Company. He attended art classes in Sydney and painted many ship portraits and rural scenes on commission. While a bosun with the Australasian United Steam Navigation Company in the 1930s Grimanes visited Allcot's studios in Sydney to watch him work and hear his anecdotes about life at sea. His death, listed in New South Wales registry indexes in 1953, is dated 1954 by his family.

Source: State Library of New South Wales, 'Sydney Harbour from North Head' by Theo Grimanes,