Gifford Beal was born in New York City in 1879. His father was landscape painter. At the age of thirteen, Gifford Beal began studying art at William Merritt Chase’s Shinnecock School of Art. As he grew older, his father encouraged him to go to college. Beal graduated from Princeton and then continued his art education at the Art Students’ League, studying with impressionist landscape painter Henry Ward Ranger and Boston academic painter Frank Vincent DuMond. Eventually Beal became President of the Art Students League. He remained in this position for fourteen years. All his training paid off and received recognition in the New York Art World very early on in his career.
He was known for Hudson Valley landscapes, streets, coasts, flowers and marine scenes. Gifford Beal’s style was heavily influenced by Chase and Child Hassam. In the 1940’s, Beal made a significant change to his style becoming more free with his brush. It is said the change was influenced by artist Raoul Dufy. To Gifford Beal, it was important that his work be “fundamentally sound and aesthetically pleasing.” His work can be found in many museums and public collections across the United States.v Gifford Beal died in 1956. He was seventy five years old.