Julius Griffith was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1912. He studied at the Vancouver School of Art under Charles H. Scott, F.H. Varley and J.W.G. MacDonald.
In 1928 he moved to England with his family and studied in London at the Slade School and the Central School of Arts & Crafts. He also studied at the Royal College of Art under Sir William Ruthenstein, E.W. Tristram, Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, and Gilbert Spencer.
His studies were interrupted by the outbreak of WWII. During the war he worked with the “Air-raid Precautions” for a time and eventually joined the Red Cross. In 1941-42 he worked in a country-house hospital in Sussex. While there, he taught art and learned Russian. He joined the Royal Navy as an interpreter under the rank of Sub-Lieutenant. From 1942 till the end of the war Griffith was stationed in Murmansk and Archangel.
In November 1946 Griffith returned permanently to Canada. Upon his return to Canada Griffith established himself as a graphic artist and wood engraver. He continued his studies in Toronto at the Ontario College of Art with Frederick Hagen.
Griffith has exhibited work at the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, among others.
Griffith taught art in Toronto at the Western Technical School, Artists’ Workshop, Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, Ontario College of Art, and at Central Technical School.
Julius Griffith was multi-talented painting in watercolour and oils, he was a graphic artist, illustrator, teacher, and fine print maker.
His work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian War Museum, Imperial War Museum (London), Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto City Archives, Toronto Public Library, Art Gallery of Hamilton, McMaster University (Hamilton), Carleton University (Ottawa), Glenbow Museum (Calgary), Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (British Columbia), and numerous corporate and private collections.
In 1997, Julius Griffith passed away at his home in Toronto.