Gerald Cassidy (artist)

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Gerald Cassidy
Gerald Cassidy 1920.jpg
Cassidy in 1920
Born Ira Dymond Gerald Cassidy
(1869-11-10)November 10, 1869
Covington, Kentucky
Died February 12, 1934(1934-02-12) (aged 64)
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Resting place Fairview Cemetery (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
Nationality American
Education Frank Duveneck
Alma mater Art Student's League of New York; National Academy of Design
Known for Painting, lithography
Spouse(s) Ina Sizer Cassidy
Patron(s) Edgar Lee Hewett

Gerald Cassidy (1869 - 1934) was an early 20th-century artist, muralist and designer who lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Painting of The Very Rev. Richard H. Nelson by Gerald R. Cassidy at the Cathedral of All Saints (Albany, New York).

He was born in Covington, Kentucky on November 10, 1869 as Ira Dymond Gerald Cassidy.[1] He studied art at the Institute of Mechanical Arts under Frank Duveneck, and the Art Students League in New York.[2] In 1912 he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he met Edgar L. Hewett, founding director of the Museum of New Mexico. Hewett commissioned him to paint his first mural at the Panama-California International Exposition.[3] Cassidy also created the mural Dawn of the West and Parfet Park in Golden, Colorado, where he was an honorary member of the Golden Kiwanis Club.

At the same moment that Cassidy was first finding success he contracted a life-threatening case of pneumonia and was moved to a sanitarium in Albuquerque in 1890.[4] It was here that he first saw the people and places of the American Southwest, the subject matter that he would dedicate his entire life's work to after this point. His first work using Indian and Western subjects was heavily art deco, and a deco edge would remain in his work even as it developed into a more solidly realist style.

Cassidy moved from Albuquerque to Denver to work as a commercial artist, but it didn't last; Cassidy returned to Santa Fe in 1912, becoming a founding member of the Santa Fe Artists' Colony. He painted the Navajo in works that were primarily transferred to postcards or posters. At the 1915 Panama-California International Exposition in San Diego Cassidy was awarded the gold medal for his murals, the largest award he would win in his lifetime.

During the mid-twenties Cassidy traveled in Europe, and his pieces were well thought of by the European public. Pablo Picasso chose one of Cassidy's pieces from a show for inclusion in the Luxembourg Palace in Paris.[5]

He died on February 12, 1934 as a result of turpentine and carbon monoxide poisoning from a newly installed natural gas heater in his studio[6] while working on a mural art project for the dome of the federal building at Santa Fe.

Public Collections[edit]

  • New Mexico Museum of Art
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston[7]
  • UC Berkeley Bancroft Library[8]
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum[9]
'Cui Bono' by Gerald Cassidy, c. 1911, New Mexico Museum of Art
  • El Paso Museum of Art
'Portrait of Juan Bautista de Anza' by Ira Diamond Gerald Cassidy, El Paso Museum of Art


  1. ^ Robertson, Edna (1977). Gerald Cassidy 1869-1934. Museum of New Mexico. p. 3. 
  2. ^ "New Mexico Art Tells New Mexico History". Cui Bono?. New Mexico Museum of Art. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Udall, Sharyn R. (1987). Santa Fe Art Colony, 1900-1942. p. 82. ISBN 0935037152. 
  4. ^ Eldredge, Charles C. (1986). Art in New Mexico, 1900-1945 : Paths to Taos and Santa Fe. Washington D.C.: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. p. 182. ISBN 0896595986. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Robertson, Edna; Nestor, Sarah (2005). Artists of the Canyons and Caminos: Santa Fe: Early Twentieth Century. Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. p. 36. ISBN 1-4236-0114-9. 
  7. ^ "Search the Collection". Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Self-portrait of Gerald Cassidy". Calisphere. UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "Search Collections". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  • Jefferson County Republican newspaper edition of March 1, 1934.