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Gerard Curtis Delano (1894–1985)

Navajo Night, oil on board, 16 x 20 inches

December 15, 2020

With a strong New England heritage, Gerard C. Delano 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 the magazine Life. 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. 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.

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Gerard Curtis Delano (1894–1985) Navajo Night, oil on board, 16 x 20 inches

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Gerard Curtis Delano (1894–1985) Navajo Night, oil on board, 16 x 20 inches

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Arizona Sunset, oil on board, 25 x 30 inches, OC142-2

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Arizona Sunset, oil on board, 25 x 30 inches, OC142-2

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