Born in Marion, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, Gerard Delano, with a strong New England heritage, became a well-known illustrator and fine-art painter of western scenes, particularly Navajo Indians in landscape.
He was the son of a sea captain and named for Gerard Curtis, the man who owned the ship that his father commanded. He began his art studies in New Bedford and as a youth sold illustrations to Life Magazine. His first training was at the Swaine Free School of Design near Marion, and in 1910, he enrolled at the Art Students League in New York City, becoming the pupil of George Bridgman, Frank Vincent DuMond, and Edward Dufner. He also worked as a textile designer.
At the Grand Central School of Art, Gerard Delano studied with illustrators Dean Cornwell, Harvey Dunn and N.C. Wyeth. He became a successful commercial artist and illustrator, working in New York City until 1919 when he first came West and worked on a Colorado Ranch.
In 1920, Gerard Delano homesteaded at Cataract Creek in Summit County, Colorado, and built his own dirt-roof studio. In 1933, he settled there permanently, but found the life hard because of the isolation, lack of art sales from being out of contact with his eastern market, and extreme winters in the high altitude.
From there he took a trip into Navaho country, where the subject matter set the course of his career. He was fascinated by the colorful clothing of the Indians against the spectacular canyons of Arizona, and he painted scenes of Indians herding sheep and goats, emphasizing subtle coloration and mystical, contemplative mood.
Needing to be near libraries for authentic research, he commuted to New York for illustration assignments. He later established a studio in Denver, having earned enough money from illustrating a weekly magazine feature called “The Story of the West”. He spent his summers in Opdike, Illinois, his wife’s home town.
Delano’s work has been featured in Arizona Highways and American Artist magazines.
Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art
Doris Dawdy, Artists of the American West
7178 Main Street
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
Thursday- Artwalk 7-9 pm
75 North Cache
PO Box 4977
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
7 West Main Street,
Bozeman, Montana 59715