Gerry Peirce

1900 -1969

Gerry Peirce was an artist born in upstate New York. He lived during the first part of the 20th century when philosophies and styles of painting were changing rapidly and many American artists were influenced by the surrealism, expressionism, or modernism produced in Europe. However, Peirce’s work suggests his love for draftsmanship carried him through his entire career.

He was able to produce atmospheric effects with the etching processes he learned during a stay in Nova Scotia. His interest in weather became part of the subject of his artwork no matter where he lived or what medium he used.

Peirce graduated from the Cleveland School of Art and, afterward, studied at the Art Students’ League in NYC. He made several winter trips to Arizona and finally settled there although his sketching trips took him all over the West. His early career was as an illustrator and author, mostly of childrens’ books. He also authored Creative You. In 1948, he opened the Gerry Peirce School of Watercolor in Tucson, Arizona and began writing and illustrating books on watercolor painting and, specifically, painting the desert. He was active in writing and teaching until his death.

Gerry Peirce’s works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Library of Congress, Joslyn Museum, Denver Art Museum, Arizona Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, among others.

He was also awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Art by St Andrews University College in London, England. This award recognized him for the quality of his paintings and the inspirational value of his writing.

“Arizona” pictured at top
Image size 2 ¼” x 3”

mid 1940s
Image size 2 ¾” x 3 3/8”