Organizations* : CAA
Gerard Curtis Delano was born in Marion, Massachusetts, the descendant of a 1621 Pilgrim. He began studying art in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1910, he moved to New York, worked as a textile designer and attended classes at the Art Students League. He later went to the Grand Central School of Art where he worked under such noted artists as N.C. Wyeth, Dean Cornwell and Harvey Dunn. After completing his education, Delano maintained a studio in New York and worked as an illustrator.
Delano first visited the West in 1919, working as a hand on a Colorado ranch. At the age of thirty he homesteaded at Cataract Creek in Colorado, building his own dirt-roof studio. He devoted much of his time to painting, but commuted to New York for commercial art assignments. In 1933, during the Great Depression, he sold everything and moved West permanently. Four years later, Delano sold Western Story Magazine a series of illustrated articles on the development of the West.
In 1943 he visited New Mexico and Arizona, stopping at the Navajo Reservation. This trip became a decisive factor in Delano’s becoming a western artist: “Arizona’s picturesque settings provide to my mind the greatest possible opportunity for pictorial beauty. The people are themselves naturally artistic. I feel a great sympathy for them. They have survived a life of hardship, yet have done so with heads held proudly high.”
They became his favorite subjects, the gentle and dignified Navajo people in their colorful costumes against the spectacular towering walls of the canyons of Arizona. Delano painted scenes of the Navajo tending their flocks of sheep and goats with a deep understanding of their way of life. In fact, he fell so in love with the Navajo and their culture that he painted them almost exclusively for the remainder of his days.
His art is exceptional for its strong sense of design, color, and the simplicity of the composition.
Reference: AskArt.com, Walking with Beauty, by Richard G. Bowman