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Artwork by Peter Hurd

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About the Artist

Peter Hurd was born in 1904 and raised in Roswell, New Mexico. He received a senatorial appointment to West Point, where he struggled with the personal decision whether to pursue a career as a military officer or as a painter. Ultimately, he left the Military Academy to study art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as under the tutelage of renowned illustrator and painter, N.C. Wyeth. 

In 1929, Hurd married Wyeth's daughter, Henriette, a painter and the sister of Andrew Wyeth.After a decade in the East, Hurd longed to return to New Mexico. He took his wife and two small children and settled in San Patricio, New Mexico. He drew inspiration from the landscape of New Mexico and it was here that he developed his true artistic style. 

During World War II (1942-45), Peter Hurd worked as a war correspondent for Life magazine. Stationed with the Eighth Air Force in England, he found his training at West Point to be a valuable asset. Well known for his realistic paintings of Western scenes and for his illustrations, Hurd was best known for his use of egg tempera. He introduced the medium to his brother-in-law, Andrew Wyeth and eventually, to N.C. Wyeth and John W. McCoy. Hurd was also a muralist and did many lithographs. He turned to watercolors in 1960 and became a member of the American Watercolor Society. 

He was commissioned to create mural paintings for post offices and other public buildings in New Mexico and Texas. The artist also received a commission to paint the official portrait of President Lyndon Johnson. He received much media attention when the President rejected the portrait, which now hangs in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Hurd is represented in the major American museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Chicago Art Institute.