Oil on board, 22 x 17.5 inches/Signed lower left
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Born in Roswell, New Mexico, Peter Hurd had attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell from 1917 to 1920, and in 1921 he was appointed to West Point Military Academy at West Point, New York. In 1923 Hurd resigned The Academy, in good standing, to pursue a career in art. To that end he enrolled in Haverford College located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1923 and made it his goal to introduce himself to the noted illustrator N.C. Wyeth, an artist he much respected and who resided at nearby Chadds Ford. In 1924 Hurd left Haverford College to study with N.C. Wyeth. Living in the Wyeth’s barn, he was to remain with Wyeth for the next 10 years as student and assistant. Wyeth also encouraged Hurd to enroll at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. During his years with the Wyeth family, Hurd concentrated on illustrations for children’s book; however, circa 1929 Hurd began working in tempera which was to become his primary medium and that which he introduced to Wyeth and his son Andrew Wyeth. The entire Wyeth family was quite taken with the young “cowboy”, and in 1929 Hurd married Wyeth’s daughter, Henriette, an artist in her own right. They honeymooned in Roswell and in 1933 they purchased property near San Patricio, New Mexico, which would grow into the Sentinel Ranch. This was to be their home for the rest of their lives. In 1933 the New Mexico Military Institute commissioned Hurd to paint a mural triptych. During the Depression of the 1930’s, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration (WPA), under which a subdivision, the Federal Art Project (FAP), was established to provide economic relief to artists. Hurd participated in this program, painting murals for the post office buildings in Big Springs and Dallas, Texas in 1938 and in 1940 the post office in Alamogordo, New Mexico and the Terminal Annex Building in Dallas, Texas. During World War II he was a as a combat correspondent with the US Air Force. In the early 1950s Hurd, his wife and two of his apprentices, Manuel Acosta and John Meigs, painted a mural for the West Texas Museum (now Holden Hall Texas Tech University). In the later 1950s, he was appointed to the President's Commission of Fine Arts. Hurd concentrated on water color paintings in the 1960s. He exhibited at the American Watercolor Society, Painters in Watercolor; National Academy of Design (NYC); Art Institute of Chicago; Corcoran Gallery (Washington DC); Museum of Modern Art (NYC); and the Whitney Museum of American Art.