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Peter Hurd


Born: Roswell, New Mexico 1904 Modern Western painter, muralist, illustrator, writer Hurd was raised in New Mexico and was educated at New Mexico Military Institute 1917-20. Appointed to the US Military Academy, he resigned in 1923. He attended Haverford College, 1923-24, but left to be a private non-paying pupil of N.C. Wyeth. He lived in Wyeth’s barn at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania for three years, also studying at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art. Hurd worked as an illustrator, particularly for books. In 1929, he married Wyeth’s daughter, Henriette, a professional painter and sister of Andrew Wyeth. By 1931, Hurd was living on a ranch in New Mexico. In 1935, he began painting in tempera. “An impeccable craftsmanship modeled the flanks of New Mexico hills and drew the cowboys raising dust in rodeos under a glittering June sky.” National recognition followed a Life article. During WWII, he was a war correspondent for Life. By 1958, he was appointed to the President’s Commission of Fine Arts. His official portrait of President Johnson for the White House collection was rejected by the president and is now in the National Portrait Gallery. In the 1960s, Hurd turned to watercolors. Source: Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West.