Hurd, Peter

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In the first tape, artist Peter Hurd plays his guitar and sings in Spanish. In the remainder, conducted by David Gracy, he reviews his life, famous relatives, and career as a Southwestern regional artist.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Peter Hurd

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: October 27, 1952; August 20-September 4, 1969

Location: San Patricio, New Mexico

Interviewer: David B. Gracy II

Length: 10 hours, 30 minutes (total)


Tape 1, Side 1: Introductions by Peter Hurd, Songs follow.

Tape 1, Side 2: Blank

Tape 2, Side 1: Birth (1904), Background of parents, Father, Move to Southwest, Ranch, Ancestry, Mother, Southern background, Lack of art interest, Father, Move to Southwest, Roswell business, Law degree, Mother, Adaptation to Southwest, Father, Farm, Health, Land Misuse, Highways, Brother, Schooling, Sisters of St. Peter’s School Roswell, Studies, Anecdote of Katie, Youth, Drowning incident, Farm, "Wars", Reading, Science, Radio, Telephone incident.

Tape 2, Side 2: Education, Father’s interest in Peter being a soldier, Dress, Father teaches him boxing, New Mexico Military Institute, Attitude toward, Major Thomason, General comments, Guitar and singing.

Tape 3, Side 1: NMMI (continued), Anecdote of still, Tequila peddling anecdote, School work and interests, Early religious training, Attitude toward church, Baptist Church, Schooling, NMMI (again), Graduation, Influence of West Point on his life, Attitude toward war, Discipline, Self-reliance, Criticism, Anecdote of ice tea corporal and Georgian, Major Kalloch, Problem with mathematics.

Tape 3, Side 2: Mathematics (continued), Leaves West Point, Art work, West Point period, Haverford College, Anecdote of first visit there, Recalls West Point, Circle of acquaintances, Contrasts West Point with NMMI, Anecdote of West Point waiter.

Tape 4, Side 1: West Point remembrances, Dishonesty stories, Jews, Cadet Harris story, Travel to Maine, Auto stage Roswell to Torrence, Connections, Western artist characterization, Comments on self as regional artist, San Patricio home, Land acquisition extent use and development, Job experiences, Father’s assistance to artist son and character.

Tape 4, Side 2: Experiences at Haverford College, Subjects and professors, Attitude toward college, Art, Copy illustrations, Regional painting, Reaction to being called "square" and "of the Establishment", Beck Photo Engraving Co., N. C. Wyeth phone call, Recalls Wyeth’s character, Becomes Wyeth’s pupil, Father’s reaction.

Tape 5, Side 1: NMMI (again), Table leg cutting incident, Mouse in soup anecdote, N. C. Wyeth, Characteristics and methods as a teacher, Talks, Studio, Emphasize literature, Recreation, Horses, Mrs. Wyeth, Tennis, Swimming, Wyeth’s teaching, Other students.

Tape 5, Side 2: Other students (continued), Early illustrations, Story of Roland, Marquette on River, Wyeth’s teaching methods, Books illustrated, How done, N. C. Wyeth’s work, Mediums used in work, Oil canvas contrasted with tempera, Tempera, Mediums Wyeth used, Reflections on art mediums and Wyeth family.

Tape 6, Side 1: Painting as an escape, Capturing light, Emphasis and message in painting, George Inness anecdotes, Wyeth’s criticism, Wyeth and students, Faure’s Modern Art as inspiration, Illustrations, Time involved, Research and observation, Sequence of paintings, Name "Peter", Sentinel Ranch, Background of name, Gipson article.

Tape 6, Side 2: Childhood artistic production, "Wild lake", Auto stage-blizzard anecdote, Roswell, Sheep-cattle conflicts, Saloon anecdote, Watermelon anecdote (Mrs. Hurd), Guns, Children’s war games.

Tape 7, Side 1: Episode of building glider, Indebtedness and thrift, Teaching and advising other artists, Major influences on career, Illustrators, N. C. Wyeth, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Carl Dolstrom (?) boarding house, Hurd family artist background, Pennsylvania Academy (again), "Tilley" (car) anecdote, Models and costumes.

Tape 7, Side 2: Linguistics, First studio in Roswell (1920s), Difficulty of adobe construction, Portrait of Mr. Mendoza (who was dead) anecdote, Marriage (June 1929), First home, Trip across desert to Roswell, Anecdote of Oklahoma women observing his work in the field.

Tape 8, Side 1: Anecdotes, Oklahoma women (continued), LFD Bull statuette, Spiritual satisfaction and development of career in art, Views of war and military, Ability to communicate with art, Views on art as an investment, Definition of art, Art reflecting the times, Life in San Patricio.

Tape 8, Side 2: Views on population and overcrowding, India, Africa, Spanish-American influence on life in San Patricio, Usefulness of Spanish language, Reflections on pensiveness of his character, Knowledge of plants, Philosophy of life, Change from illustration and of medium, Discusses Paul Horgan, Hurd’s representation of light, Henriette (wife), As critic, As painter, Watercolor, Description of medium.

Tape 9, Side 1: Watercolor (continued), Composition, "Discovers" watercolor (1943), Andrew Wyeth as teacher, Anecdote of "Destination" England or Australia, "Bolero" anecdote.

Tape 9, Side 2: Blank

Tape 10, Side 1: War correspondent, Soldier’s response to war correspondents, Attitude toward war, Murals, First mural Sim’s home (1936), Problems of painting a mural, Texas Tech Museum, Theme by W. C. Holden, Selecting artists, Selecting subjects, Production of mural, Models, Sittings, Painting, Other murals, Big Spring Texas Post Office, Dallas, Texas Federal Building, Evaluation of own work.

Tape 10, Side 2: Associates on Tech Museum mural, John Meigs, Manuel Acosta, Hawaii paintings, Portrait work for Time, Conservation work, Lithograph of San Patricio and comments of father, Soil conservation district work, Story of district referendum, Orangery, Mimicking, Changes in the Ruidoso Valley, Aspects of country which fascinate him, Characteristics of people and of light color design of landscape.

Tape 11, Side 1: New philosophy (less literal) in painting, National Fine Arts Commission, Appointment, Duties, Politics, Awards and problems of participation in competitions, Clientele, Copying paintings, Time article on his life and response to it (1939), Polo, Pennsylvania National Guard Cavalry, Ranch, Queen Mary story.

Tape 11, Side 2: Anecdotes, Dona Lilly, Jose’s Jail.

Range Dates: 1904-1969

Bulk Dates: 1904-1969

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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