Gifford Beal

American, 1879 - 1956
Gifford Beal
Born New York City, 1879
Died New York City, 1956

Gifford Reynolds Beal was born in New York City and spent most of his life and career there. As a teenager, he was drawn to art, taking classes and later studying with William Merritt Chase at the Shinnecock Summer School between 1891-1900. Beal graduated from Princeton University in 1900, and shortly thereafter began studying at the Art Students League with F.V. Drummond and H.W. Ranger. In 1908, Beal was invited to be an associate of the National Academy of Design, and by 1914 he was a full member. He was elected to membership in the Century Association in 1913, a few years before Duncan Phillips, who became a close friend. It was through their friendship that Phillips met his future wife, Marjorie Acker, Beal's niece who was also an artist. In 1914, Beal was elected president of the Art Students League, and held that position until 1929. His first solo exhibition was held at Kraushaar Galleries in New York in 1920.

Member: National Academician; National Institute of Arts and Letters; Art Students League, (pres., 1913-29; American Watercolor Society; New York Watercolor Club; National Society of Mural Painters; National Arts Club; Century Assn.; Architecture League of New York

Exhibited: Worcester Museum of Art, 1903 (3rd Prize)

Works Held: Brooklyn Museum

Further Reading: Biographical Encyclopedia of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers of the U.S., Vol. 1. Howard Creps et al. Dealers Choice Books: 2002.; Mantle Fielding's Dictionalry of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, 2nd Edition, Apollo, Poughkeepsie, NY: 1987.; Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America, Vol. 1. Peter Hastings Falk, Georgia Kuchen and Veronica Roessler, eds.,Sound View Press, Madison, Connecticut, 1999. 3 Vols.

Biography courtesy of David Cook Galleries,
Gifford Beal was a well educated, upper class painter born in 1879. He studied with William Merritt Chase in NYC, took courses at Shinnecock Summer School from 1891-1900 and graduated from Princeton in 1900. He received his first award in 1903 with continued acclaim and financial success throughout his career. Beal was a member of several national boards and committees in the arts as well as the President of the Art Students League from 1914-1929. Beal was could not be confined to one subject or genre because he preferred to develop his own personal taste with a broad combination of elements. He painted watercolors in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Bermuda and even West Africa. He also painted scenes along the New England coast as well as circuses, another favorite. The Century Club of San Francisco held a retrospective show in 1950, just six years before his death.

Biography courtesy of The Caldwell Gallery,
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