Gifford Beal Information and Inventory

Gifford Beal

(1879 - 1956)

Gifford--Beal-Summer_f

My long and abiding interest in Cape Ann art forced me to pay attention to Gifford Beal, an artist whom I was frankly not particularly attracted to in the beginning. My natural inclination for academic art made it a longer, more arduous journey to embrace a looser, perhaps less accurate, style of depicting the scenes and surroundings of the day. My father actually acquired a typical Beal in 1968, but later correspondence with his son, artist William Beal, confirmed that the image was around Balmville in the Hudson Valley. The piece, though solid, never grew on me, and we parted company some years later. It took until 2000 for me to find a really distinctive marine that strongly appealed to me in its simplicity of composition but brilliance in color and vitality of brushwork. Blue Waters, dated 1921, appealed immediately to me and reminded me of Childe Hassam’s West Wind, Isle of Shoals, 1904, in the Yale University Museum. Some years later, 2005, I grabbed a second Gifford Beal piece, depicting the streets of Provincetown, circa 1920, as complex a composition as the previous one is simple. I have finally come to like Gifford Beal.

Gifford Beal Gallery