Born in 1879, Gifford Beal studied under William M. Chase in New York City and at the Shinnecock Summer School from 1891 to 1900. He also studied at Princeton University in 1900 and at the Art Students League with F.V. DuMond and H.W. Ranger.
In 1903, Beal received his first major award. From 1913 he spent his summers in Newburgh, NY and during the 1920s he spent time in Maine, Provincetown and Rockport. In 1916 he painted watercolors in Puerto Rico and in 1919 he worked in the Bahamas, Bermuda and West Africa. Like his brother Reynolds, Gifford’s works often include images of the New England coast and the circus.
Beal is a member of the National Academy, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Art Students League, the American Watercolor Society, the New York Watercolor Club, the National Society of Mural Painters, the National Arts Club, the Century Association and the Architectural League. He was also President of the Arts Students League from 1913 to 1929. He was included in “Fifty Prints of the Year” in 1931.