Gifford Beal was born in New York City, the youngest son in a family of six surviving children. After graduating from Princeton University in 1900 he studied at the Art Students League of New York from 1901 to 1903 with George Brandt Bridgman and Frank Vincent DuMond.
He became involved with organizations which strove for the advancement of the arts beginning in 1908 when he was elected to Associate by the National Academy of Design. In 1914 he was elected to National Academician. He became a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1923 and of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1943. He was a National Academician of the American Watercolor Society from 1910 until 1955 and a member of the Century Association– a New York City club founded in 1847 for artists and writers.
He was elected President of the Art Students League of New York in 1916, again in 1918. He held the office continuously from 1920 until 1930, making him the longest serving President in the League's history.
Also in 1920, Beal held his first one-man exhibition at Kraushaar Galleries in New York City. He maintained a close working relationship with the gallery throughout his career.
He taught at The Art Students' League in 1931 and 1932.
Beal's oldest brother Reynolds Beal (1866-1951) also became an accomplished painter, as did his niece Marjorie Acker (1894-1985), who married Duncan Phillips, the founder of The Phillips Collection of Washington D.C.
The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. holds an archive of Beal’s career as an artist containing correspondence, writings, works of art and printed material, much of it provided by Kraushaar Galleries, New York City.
Waterfall, 1909, Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches
Baker Schorr Fine Art Ally Village 200 Spring Park Drive, Suite 105 Midland, Texas 79705