Peter Hurd

(1904 - 1984)

 

Peter Hurd was an American painter whose work is strongly associated with the people and landscapes of San Patricio, New Mexico, where he lived from the 1930s. He is equally acclaimed for his portraits and his western landscapes. Early in his life, Hurd studied in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, under the noted illustrator N.C. Wyeth, along with two of his grown children. Hurd later married the painter's eldest daughter, Henriette Wyeth, who also is known as an accomplished painter. During World War II, Hurd worked for Life magazine as a war correspondent attached to the US Air Force. He created hundreds of "War Sketches".

 

Some of Hurd’s most well-known portraits were of his neighbors, family, and friends at Sentinel Ranch. He loved to paint people who were deeply connected to the land, and always showed them outdoors, against the hills and sky. He wrote, “the ones I like best to paint are those whose lives are spent under the sky: Men whose clothing, skin and eyes are all conditioned by the wind.” His Portrait of Jose shows the foreman of Sentinel Ranch amid the ridges of the land he cared for. In what is perhaps Hurd’s hallmark work, Eve of St. John, Herrera’s daughter is bathed in the light of a candle she carries.

 

Many of Hurd's works, along with those of his wife Henriette Wyeth, father-in-law N.C. Wyeth, and son Michael Hurd, can be seen at the Hurd-La Rinconada Gallery in San Patricio, New Mexico.

 

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