The content on this page is aggregated and is not affiliated with the artist.
Peter Hurd, born and raised in Roswell, NM, educated at the New Mexico Military Institute, from 1917 to 1920. From there, he went to West Point Military Academy, and was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. However, after selling a painting, he felt encouraged to become an artist and resigned his commission in 1923. Then attended Haverford College in PA for a year, but left to be a private nonpaying pupil of N.C. Wyeth. Lived in Wyeth’s barn at Chadds Ford, PA for 3 years, and studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art.
During this time, worked as an illustrator, mostly of books. In 1929, began to work in tempera on gesso-prepared panels, the medium he most frequently used until the 1960s, when he began to work in watercolor. That same year, he married Wyeth’s daughter Henriette, a professional painter and sister of Andrew Wyeth. The couple went to New Mexico for an extended honeymoon and later established their home there in San Patricio. Henriette also became a prominent artist.
In the mid-1930s, Hurd was a mural painter, completing post office murals in Big Springs and Dallas, TX and in Alamogordo, NM. His paintings evoked clear images of his subject. Of one of his works, a critic stated, “An impeccable craftsmanship modeled the flanks of New Mexico hills and drew the cowboys raising dust in rodeos under a glittering June sky.” Hurd became nationally recognized after a feature article about him in Life magazine.
As he became known as a regionalist painter, particularly for his landscape, figure and genre paintings of New Mexico, Hurd focused on capturing light and atmosphere. Many of his works depict the panoramic views he saw from his beloved ranch land as well as the people with whom he was most familiar.
During WWII, Hurd a war correspondent for Life. Appointed to the President’s Commission of Fine Arts. However, his official portrait of President Johnson rejected by the president, and is now in the National Portrait Gallery.