American  B. 1958


B. 1958 in Needham, Massachusetts; currently lives in Cataumet, MA


Joseph McGurl is largely considered one of the most prominent figures in contemporary landscape painting. From an early age, he was immersed in art, greatly due to the tutelage of his father James McGurl, a muralist, and Ralph Rosenthal, a teacher at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1980, McGurl earned a dual BFA in Painting and Education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and spent summers studying art in England and Italy. Soon thereafter, he acquired more rigorous training, specifically in the fundamentals of drawing, through Robert John Cormier, a leader of the Boston School and a scholar of French academic practice.


McGurl’s life-long love of the natural world led to a preoccupation with landscape and seascape painting. Inspired by the painters of the Hudson River School as well as the Boston School, the artist focuses on accumulating experiential data (i.e. direct observation, field studies, sketches and notes), researching historical evidence, climatology and related sciences, and exploring the full spectrum of light in order to convey accuracy onto his studio paintings. Photography does not play a role in recreating scenes for McGurl’s final works; however, this intentional exclusion gives way to infinite pictorial manifestations by mining his rich cache of studies, memories, and imagination. Moreover, it demonstrates his individual interpretation of the world around him, creating a much more compelling vision than a systematic photo-realist painting ever could.


Joseph McGurl has gallery representation in New York, San Francisco and Cape Cod, and he has participated in numerous museum exhibitions in the Northeastern United States. He is also a member of  PAPA, ASMA and a Copley Master. His work is continually featured in important art texts and periodicals, and he is a much sought-after lecturer on representational landscape painting.




Principle Exhibitions:


Cape Cod Museum of Art, Plein Air Painters of America Dennis, MA, 2015

The Cahoon Museum of American Art, Retrospective Cotuit, MA, 2015

Eiteljorg Museum – Quest for the West Indianapolis, IN, 2015

Saint Botolph Club of Boston, Retrospective Boston, MA, 2015
American Masters at Salmagundi Club, New York, NY 2009 - 2016

Lyman Allyn Museum The Subject is Light: The Henry and Sharon Martin Collection of Contemporary Realist Paintings- March 18 - August 21, 2011

Cape Cod Museum of Art- The Subject is Light: The Henry and Sharon Martin Collection of Contemporary Realist Paintings  August 21 - November 7, 2010

Stockton, CA.  The Haggin Museum- Plein Air Painters of America, American Legacy: Our National Parks

New Bedford, MA. New Bedford Art Museum- American Society of Marine Artists

Spartanburg, SC.  Spartanburg Art Museum-  American Society of Marine Artists


Oceanville, NJ.  Noyes Museum of Art

St. Michaels, MD. Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum - American Society of Marine Artists

Wilmington, DE. Chase Center on the Riverfront- American Society of Marine Artists: 30th- Anniversary Exhibit


Cotuit, MA. The Cahoon Museum of American Art-   A Sense of Place: Location Studies by Joseph McGurl

Hillsdale, MI. Daughery Gallery, Hillsdale College- America Seen


South Hadley, MA.  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum - Changing Prospects: The View from Mount Holyoke

Elmira, NY. Arnot Art Museum - Re-presenting Representation V

Corning, NY. Rockwell Museum of Western Art- Re-presenting Representation West


Stockton, CA.  Haggin Museum, Contemporary Artists Paint Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra

Stockton, CA.  Haggin Museum, California Art Club Invitational Show


Boston, MA. St. Botolph Club- Joseph McGurl Retrospective; Paintings from the Past Decade


Dennis, MA Cape Museum of Fine Art- Evolutionary Realism; Landscapes by Joseph McGurl


Newport, RI. Newport Art Museum, Lost Landscapes


Fitchburg, MA. Fitchburg Art Museum- Copley Masters 1991 and New England Realist Artists


Touring Exhibitions:

2004 to 2007 -Sea to Shining Sea: A Reflection of America


Gallery Exhibitions:

Collins Galleries, Group Exhibitions: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Hammer Galleries, New York, NY, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2002

John Pence Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2014, 2005, 2002, 2000

Tree's Place Gallery, Orleans, MA  2014, 2013, 2011, 2010 2009, 2008,2007,2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1992, 1990, 1989

Helena Fox Fine Art, Charleston, SC 2009

Hollis Taggart Galleries, New York, NY and Washington, DC, 1997, 1996, 1995

Robert Wilson Galleries, Nantucket, MA, 1996

Alfred J. Walker Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1991

Copley Society of Boston, Boston, MA, 1988

Vose Galleries, Boston, MA -- Realism Now -- 2004



2013 Art Renewal Center: Best in Landscape and Purchase Price Award for "Creation in Time and Space", Plein Air Magazine Award for "Twilight on the Palisades"



Contemporary Cape Cod Artists: Images of Land and Sea, by Debbie Forman, Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 2013

The Art of Monhegan Island, Little and Skolnick

Art of the State, Massachusetts, Harris and Lyon

The Artist and the American Landscape, Driscoll and Skolnick

Bound for Blue Water, Jinishian

Creative Oil Paintings, Doherty

Visions in Granite, LaFleur and Nelson

From Sea to Shining Sea: A Reflection of America, Haggin Museum



Fine Art Connoisseur Sept/Oct 2008, "Nature, Science, and a Bit of Magic"

American Art Collector -- 2006, 2010

American Artist -- 2009, 2002, 1999, 1998

American Artist: Landscape Highlights Collector's Edition -- 2005

American Artist Workshop -- Spring 2007

A-Plus Art Antiques Design -- 1996

Art Ideas, American Renaissance for Twenty First Century -- 1998

Boston Globe -- 1991

Cape Cod and Islands Home -- 2001

Cape Cod Life -- 2000, 1997

Cape Cod Magazine -- 2001

Cape Cod View -- January 2006

Fine Art Connoisseur -- October 2008, Spring 2006

The Review -- 1989

Sea History -- Autumn 2000