Wilson Hurley

Class of
Wilson Hurley

Wilson Hurley

“A painting shows a view of the world that’s been passed through another’s mind. Love is not cadmium orange. There’s no color you can mix, there’s no line you can draw, that will put feeling into a painting. But if you go to the canvas with love and joy in your heart, somehow it comes off on the canvas.”
Wilson Hurley, 1994


Oklahoma native and internationally renowned artist Wilson Hurley graduated from West Point and holds a law degree from George Washington University. He served as a pilot in World War II and as a forward air controller in Vietnam. After leaving his law practice he began his career as a landscape artist and regarded as a master of the western landscape and a founding member of the National Academy of Western Art. He received numerous awards and honors, including the Prix de West Award in 1984, and his “Windows to the West” was completed for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Fun fact

Wilson Hurley’s father, Patrick, served as Secretary of War under U.S. President Herbert Hoover. Wilson Hurley was a practicing attorney and banker for 13 years before he sat preparing a will for a dying friend and decided to become an artist full time in 1964, at the age of 40.

Oklahoma connections

Hurley born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.










Relevant Exhibits

Beyond the Portraits: Artists and Their Subjects

Beyond the Portraits: Artists and Their Subjects

This exhibition is an exploration of the diverse range of portrait artists featured within the Gaylord-Pickens Museum’s collection of portraits and busts. The eight artworks selected were created between 1924-2004 and showcase a wide range of artistic styles.