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Tolkien artist Jef Murray has died
Jef as a Blue Wizard

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Tolkien artist and Tolkien Society member Jef Murray. He was 55.

Many will be familiar with Jef’s Tolkien-inspired sketches and paintings which have been featured regularly online and in our publications Amon Hen and Mallorn. He attended many Middle-earth themed conferences and events across the world, and his work has often been displayed in dedicated exhibitions.

Beyond Tolkien, Jef is also well-known for his illustrations inspired by C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. But he also illustrated scenes and characters from other works of mythopoeic literature, including his own writings.

He has edited the Mystical Realms newsletter since May 2006. In 2009 he illustrated Black & White Ogre Country: The Lost Tales of Hilary Tolkien, a collection of stories by J.R.R. Tolkien’s younger brother. In 2012 Jef published Seer: A Wizard’s Journal, a collection of his own short stories, poems, essays, and artwork.

He will be greatly missed. Namárië!

Visit Jef’s website to get a flavour of his great talent and passion.

About the Author: Daniel Helen

Daniel is an Officer without Portfolio and Trustee of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2014, he is mainly responsible for the Society’s digital operations, including this website.

  • kwoxer


  • no words… a wizard has left us

  • Oh no! May God rest his soul and give comfort to his family.
    I became familiar with Jef’s work through the St. Austin Review magazine and found it fascinating. A great artist.

  • Colly66

    Sucha shame, my condolences to his family & friends, he gave a lot of time & pleasure to the Tolkien fan community.

  • Janet Alvarez

    Has anyone said what happened? It sounds very sudden.

  • Christopher Kreuzer

    Terrible news. Posts on other websites state he died from a heart attack. Far too young at 55. I remember Jef well from the correspondence I had with him leading up to the Tolkien 2005 event when he was kind enough to illustrate covers for the Progress Reports. He was always willing to provide Tolkien-themed illustrations, sometimes at very short notice. He also provided the cover artwork for the booklet on the Tolkien 2008 Seminar (published in 2012). Condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.