Gifford Reynolds Beal
Gifford Beal was constantly evolving as a artist and exploring different techniques and styles. He began painting in an impressionist style and counted William Merritt Chase as his most influential teacher. Beal studied with Chase at the Shinnecock School of Art and then in New York City at the Tenth Street Studio. Interestingly, and not because of a lack of funds, Beal forewent study abroad, which was very odd given the tradition of artists training in Europe and his family’s wealth. Because of this, it has been said that Beal developed a “completely American” style of painting.
Never one to remain with one subject, Beal painted everything from landscapes, to garden parties, to street scenes, to circuses, to seascapes. His skillful draftsmanship and novel approaches to composition enabled him to develop a strong body of work that was constantly evolving. In addition to Chase, Beal counted Childe Hassam as an important influence and mentor. In the 1940s, the artist became interested in the work of Maurice and Charles Prendergast as well as Raoul Dufy. Beal took all of these influences and incorporated them into his style, which was always a free expression of the artist himself. Gifford Beal’s exhibition history is extensive, ranging from the National Academy of Design to the Art Institute of Chicago to Panama Pacific Exposition, to name only a few. His work is part of many esteemed collections throughout the country.