Mark Beard

A visit to Mark Beard’s studio is like discovering Michelangelo’s lair: oil paintings layer the walls, lifedrawings litter the table at the feet of heroic bronzes; ceramics, architectural maquettes are everywhere; virtuosity, in every medium. And then it gets even more interesting.
Mark’s talent is so overflowing that, years ago, he needed to channel himself into alter egos. Mark invented the persona of “Bruce Sargeant,” an imagined English artist, contemporary of E. M. Forster, Rupert Brooke, and John Sloan. Mark also created Bruce Sargeant’s teacher, Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon, a 19th-century French Academist. Michallon also taught Edith Thayer Cromwell, an American avant-gardeist; and Brechtolt Steeruwitz, the German Expressionist, a most complex personality. Peter Coulter, the newest persona, represents the "third generation" as he was taught briefly by Thayer Cromwell and Streerowitz. The style of each of these artists is individual, brilliant and true.
Mark Beard is unprecedented, but not singular. Accomplished in every medium, he is more than a complete artist—he is at least six.

Photo of Mark Beard

2024 Exhibit: All Figured Out

2022 Exhibit: Form & Figure

Milan Murals

Bruce Sargeant Small Paintings

Bruce Sargeant Medium Size Paintings

Bruce Sargeant Large Paintings

Manhattan A&F Murals

Polaroid Transfers


Edith Thayer Cromwell

Edith Thayer Cromwell, 1893 - 1962

Edith ("Eddy") Thayer Cromwell was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1893 and died in St. Ives, Cornwall, in 1962. The premature death of her mother left Cromwell the only child of a liberal father who encouraged her artistic pursuits, sending her to study at the Slade in London at the age of nineteen.

It was there that she encountered Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon. Cromwell responded to her teacher's strict discipline and the two remained friends until Michallon's death in the Cornish cottage she would inherit from him 1930.

At the onset of World War I, Edith returned to America and moved after a time in Boston to New York, where she met Charles Demuth and Mardsen Hartley. They took her to Alfred Steieglitz's gallery, 291 and introduced her to the American avant-garde.

After the first World War and the death of her father, Cromwell returned to the Slade in London and assisted Michallon in his evening classes, where she met young Bruce Sargeant in 1920. Cromwell developed an immediate rapport with the sensitive young man, encouraging him to study full-time and bringing him under the wing of the rigorous Michallon. She painted Sargeant's portrait in 1925 and remained his lifelong friend and confidante. In 1930 she moved to New York where she lived part-time, dividing her summers between St. Ives and landscape painting trips to France and New England.

Cromwell began mixing with a glamorous circle of jet-setting women and embarked upon a series of affairs. She later explored exotic themes ih her work. In the mid-'50s a series of heart attacks forced Edith into semi-retirement, where she painted until her death in 1962.

Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon

Hippolyte - Alexandre Michallon, 1849 -1930

The long and peripatetic artistic career of Hippolyte-Alexandre Michallon began in a conventional fashion. The only son of prosperous bourgeois parents in Tours, he first studied drawing with his mother, an accomplished amateur painter of insects. His father, an undertaker who appreciated his son's talent and supported his ambition to become a painter, sent him to Paris at age sixteen to enroll in the studio of Francois-Edouard Picot (1786-1868), an eminent history painter and professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, with whom he studied for three years, until Picot's death. Under his aging teacher's guidance and tutelage, Michallon entered the preliminary stages of the Prix de Rome contest at the Ecole three times, winning an Honorable Mention in 1869 for his composition entitled The Solider of the Marathon.

For the next twenty years Michallon regualarly exhibited paintings on historical and biblical themes at the Paris Salon, as well as commissioned portraits. By his own account, the most ambitious work of Michallon's career was a thirty-foot canvas depicting Noah's Ark, which he exhibited in the Salon in 1875. Michallon began painting atmospheric but zoologically correct images of exotic animals in the wild. These achieved a certain popularity among French and foreign collectors alike, providing Michallon with financial security for the first time in his career.

Michallon moved to England in 1893. His outstanding technical skills easily earned him a position on the faculty of the Slade School of Art in 1900. The craze for animal paintings proved short-lived. He continued to teach at Slade for the next two decades, but his classes gradually dwindled in size as the academic approach and methods he espoused went from outmoded to downright unpopular. Finally in 1922, finding himself reduced to a single pupil, the talented young American Bruce Sargeant, he retired from Slade, persuading Sargeant to leave with him and undergo private instruction at home.

Several years later he retired to a cottage at St. Ives, Cornwall, where he lived quietly until his death in 1930, forgotten by all but a few former students, among them Edith Thayer Cromwell, who nursed him during his final year, and Bruce Sargeant, who designed and executed the bronze memorial plaque in his honor in the tiny church of St. Ethylburga-by-the-Sea, where he is buried in the churchyard.

Wheelock Whitney
New York, NY
September 2004

Mark Beard Landscapes

I come from an artist family. My father, Russell Beard, never went anywhere without crayons, paper, pencils, a camera, and a pen. He worked in every medium, sometimes on the same piece. As a young man in the 1930's, he traveled the world. I have one of the first Leica cameras that he picked up, brand new, in Germany. He traveled and painted until his death in his mid-eighties.

A major influence in my father's life was his grandfather (my great-grandfather), the regional painter George Beard. Beard was born in Cheshire, England. He arrived in America at the age of twelve, having survived the tragic experience of burying his mother, a Mormon convert, at sea. He persevered in making his way west to Utah, always seeming to find luck and the “kindness of strangers” assisting him on his journey.

A multitalented man, he was a successful businessman and achieved success in a wide variety of areas. Beard helped to design the state seal and was the youngest senator in the first legislature after Utah became a state in 1898 (statehood was delayed until polygamy was outlawed).

He painted and photographed many outdoor scenes in the Rocky Mountain region and further west, and was successful selling his work. Although Beard was primarily self-taught, Thomas Moran, another Englishman traveling in Utah who was later identified with the Hudson River school, certainly influenced his painting. C.R. Savage, a pioneer photographer, was also inspirational. Beard remained active in civic, religious, and business affairs throughout his life, but he always found time for his passions – art and the outdoors. He explored, naming lakes and regions, as well as a mountain for his wife, Lovinia. Traveling all over the West, he photographed (using glass-plate negatives) a pristine wilderness, long before Ansel Adams and sometimes, I believe, more effectively. His photographic work apparently took second place to his painting during his lifetime, but photography was a major part of his artistic technique; thousands of these glass plates are in an archive at Brigham Young University.

Part of my childhood was spent at my great-grandfather's lovely summer retreat, built in the nineteenth century, consisting of log cabins, artificial ponds, and rustic bridges. His log studio, situated on the bank of the Weber River, was shuttered and mysterious. He was long dead by my childhood, but his influence, especially through his art, was everywhere. Art was the thing that we covered the broken window with. Art was the thing we had an awful lot of. Artist families, I suppose, are not so different from other families, although less glamorous and more practical than one might expect.

My father's father, George's son Edgar Thomas Beard, had married a woman from a business and banking family, and that allowed my father a degree of freedom. While in Great Britain in the 1930s, my father met my mother, who was attending college in Northern England at a time when most young ladies were not sent to college. After ten years of courtship and a war, they were married – and then bore my three brothers and me. My father was forty-three when I was born. We were estranged at the end of his life. One of the last times that I spoke with him on the telephone, I asked if he was still painting. He was on oxygen. He answered, no, he wasn't painting, but drawing...breath.

When people describe Francis Bacon's studio with its impacted art detritus, I laugh. An artist in everything, my father, by his eighties, could not navigate in his studio among the cascades of art books, pictures, and sketches. Palettes, paint, and sculpture material blocked every avenue, except for one small place where you would find Dad, sitting cross-legged Hindu fashion, a quirk he acquired in India as a young man.

Single Sided Drawings

Double Sided Drawings



Mark Beard - Artist Bio

Mark Beard, born in 1956 in Salt Lake city, now lives in New York, His works are in museum collections, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Atheneum; the Whitney, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Princeton, Harvard, and Yale Universities; Graphische Sammlung, Munich, and others worldwide, as well as more than 100 private collections.

Selected solo exhibitions:
2021 ‘Visions: Real & Imagined’, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2020 ‘Bruce Sargeant (1898 – 1938): Private Paintings’, ClampArt, NYC
‘Plugged In!’, Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival (Solo Booth Online with ClampArt)
2019 ‘Myths, Saints, and Mortals’, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2018 ‘Figures We Fancy’, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
‘Bruce Sargeant (1898 – 1938): The Lost Murals’, ClampArt, NYC
2017 ‘Summer Exhibit’, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY
2016 Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, France
“Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938): Parlor, Gymnasium & Field”, ClampArt, NYC
2014 Solo Exhibit, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson
2014 “Alter Egos,” ClampArt, New York City
2013 “Alter Ego: Bruce Sargeant | Mark Beard,” Mattatuck Museum (Munger Room),
Waterbury, Connecticut
“Mark Beard and His Entourage,” Mila Kunstgalerie, Berlin
2012 “Master and Apprentice,” ClampArt, New York City
2010 “Bruce Sargeant and His Circle,” ClampArt, New York City
Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York
2008 “Gracious Dictator,” ClampArt, New York City
Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York
2007 John Stevenson Gallery, New York City
Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York
2005 John Stevenson Gallery, New York City
Jonathan Edwards House Gallery, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
2004 John Stevenson Gallery, New York City
2003 John Stevenson Gallery, New York City
1999 Wessel + O’Connor Gallery, New York City
Galerie Wolf, Berlin
Wessel + O’Connor Gallery, New York City
1998 Rivaga Gallery, Washington, D.C.
1997 Wessel + O’Connor Gallery, New York City
1995 Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York City
1994 Here Art, New York City
1991 Galerie Niel Ewerbeck, Vienna
1990 Recent Works at Helio Gallery, New York City
Theatre Portraits, Home for Contemporary Theatre and Art, New York City
1988 Staatsgalerie Moderne Kunst, Munch
Galerie Biedermann, Munich
1987 Home for Contemporary Theatre and Art, New York City
1986 Galerie Biedermann, Munich
1985 The Harcus Gallery, Boston

Selected group exhibitions:
2014 “A Nod to the Past,” Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York
2012 “Naked Before the Camera,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
2007 Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York
2005 Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, New York
2003 John Stevenson Gallery, New York City
2000 Columbia University, New York City
Morris-Healy Gallery, New York City
Art and Culture Center, Hollywood, Florida
1997 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh
Feature Gallery, New York City
521“Emergency Art Fund Benefit Exhibition,” Pat Hearn Gallery, New York City
1995 Artopia, New York City
1993 Franklin Furnace, New York City
Lyrik Kabinet, Munich
Grolier Club, “Fifty Great Artist’s Books of the Twentieth Century,” New York City
Cleveland Art Institute, Cleveland, Ohio
1992 Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Graphische Sammlungen, Munich
1991 Prix de “HOME,” Home for Contemporary Theatre and Art, New York City
(Curated by Mark Beard)
1990 “ICI Exhibition,” Bess Cutler Gallery, New York City
“Eighty from the Eighties,” New York Public Library, New York City
“The 1980s: Prints from the Joshua P. Smith Collection,” The National Gallery, Washington, D.C.
“Contemporary Illustrated Books: Word and Image,” The Franklin Furnace, New York City
1989 The Toledo Museum of Fine Art, Toledo, Ohio
1988 The Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York
The Boston Athenaeum, Boston
The American Craft Museum, New York City
1986 The Harcus Gallery, Boston
1984 The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City
The Harcus Gallery, Boston
1981 Alexander Carlson Gallery, New York City
1980 Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, Utah

Installations and murals:
2007-2005 Mural painting, friezes, and bronze sculpture, Abercrombie & Fitch, New York City, Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo
2004 Bronze door, Safra Synagogue, New York City
Grill Room, Dorchester Hotel, London
1996 Children’s Opera House, Foyer, Opera House, Cologne
1995 Painted murals, Foyer, Opera House, Cologne
1993 Designed and painted new seventy-five-seat theater: West-End / State
Theater, Kölnershauspiel, Cologne
1991 Mural Commission: The public spaces of das Schauspielhaus, Vienna
1984 “Windows on White”, New York City
1983 “The Parallel Window”, New York City

Selected Collections:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Graphische Sammlung, Munich
Albertina, Vienna
The Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Austin, Texas
Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City
University of Missouri, Kansas City
The New York Public Library, New York City
The Chase Manhattan Bank, New York City Toledo Museum of Fine Art, Toledo, Ohio
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut
Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut
Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Mitchell Wolfson Collection, Miami
National Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City
Houston Zoo, Houston

Leddick, David; Gorgeous Gallery: The Best in Gay Erotic Art; Bruno Gmünder, Berlin (2012)
Beard, Mark; Bruce Sargeant and His Circle; Chronicle Books, San Francisco (2010)
Harp, Grady; Powerfully Beautiful: Classically Inspired Living Painters of the Male Figure; Firehouse
Studio, New York (2009)
Beard, Mark; Works by “Bruce Sargeant” and His Cicle; Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Beard, Mark; Manhattan Fifteen Year Reader, 51 reduction linoleum cuts, collaged and hand- colored (2003)
Sargeant, Bruce; Fifteen Corporeal Poems, etchings and chine-collé by Mark Beard’s alter-ego
Bruce Sargeant (1998/1938)
Brandy, Aiden and Mark Beard; Aiden, etching and Polaroid transfers by Mark Beard (1992)
Beard, Mark; Nineteen Famous People, Twenty-two Friends, and Six Nudes, Polaroid transfers by
Mark Beard; Freard Press, New York (1992)
Brecht, Bertolt; The Seven Deadly Sins, music by Kurt Weill, etchings and lithographs by Mark
Beard (1993)
Beard, Mark; Pleasure and Pain, linoleum cuts and hand-painted binding (1988)
Beard, Mark; Utah Reader, collaged linocut with hand coloring (1987)
Rumi (translated by Zhore Partovi); Moses and the Shepherd, etchings by Mark Beard (1986)
Beard, Mark; Neo Classik Comix, etchings with selectively-wiped monoprinting by the artist (1985)
Kondoleanm Harry; The Cote d’Azur Triangle, etchings and litographs by Mark Beard (1985)
Beard, Mark; Manhattan Third Year Reader, collaged linocuts with hand coloring (1984)
Sitwell, Edith; The Death of Venus, lithographs by Mark Beard; Vincent FitzGerald and Company,
New York (1983)

Theater Sets:
1997-1986 Designed over twenty theatrical sets in New York City, London, Cologne,
Vienna, and Frankfurt
1993 Nomination for Drama Desk Award for set design
1991 The Village Voice Obie Award for sustained excellence in set design