Gifford Beal was a well educated, upper class painter born in 1879. He studied with William Merritt Chase in NYC, took courses at Shinnecock Summer School from 1891-1900 and graduated from Princeton in 1900. He received his first award in 1903 with continued acclaim and financial success throughout his career. Beal was a member of several national boards and committees in the arts as well as the President of the Art Students League from 1914-1929. Beal was could not be confined to one subject or genre because he preferred to develop his own personal taste with a broad combination of elements. He painted watercolors in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Bermuda and even West Africa. He also painted scenes along the New England coast as well as circuses, another favorite. The Century Club of San Francisco held a retrospective show in 1950, just six years before his death.