1897 – 1972
Born in London, England, Eric Gibberd was plagued with vision problems as a child. By the time he was 10, his eyesight was beginning to fail. His parents took him to many European specialists, finally following the advice of Sir Anderson Critchett, oculist for the King of England. Records do not indicate the actual diagnosis but whatever it was the Gibberd family left the sooty confines of London and moved to western Canada. Education for young Eric was conducted orally as he was not supposed to strain his eyes reading. For seven years he did not use books or do any activities requiring him to use his eyes for small detail.
His father died when he was 17 and Gibberd started work to support his mother and four younger sisters. For a person that grew up with a visual deficit, his adult life was an amazing story of careers requiring visual acuity. His first job was as an advertising assistant for the Hudson Bay Company in Edmonton, Canada. Within 12 years he had moved and was a leader in United States retail advertising.
He got married in his 40’s to a woman devoted to the arts and who recognized his visual talent. She urged him to study art. He learned painting initially from teachers in Los Angeles. He was financially able to travel and also sought out teachers in Austria and Spain. His most influential teacher was someone he never actually met – Paul Cezanne. Gibberd was very taken with Cezanne’s analytical approach leading him to spend time in Aix en Provence and to have the opportunity to actually use Cezanne’s studio. Cezanne’s influence can be seen in Gibberd’s paintings and also in this woodcut.
Although there is a record of his painting in Taos, New Mexico prior to 1940, he and his wife did not settle permanently in Taos until the mid 1950’s. Gibberd was also influenced by Emil Bisttram, a European Modernist immigrant who started the Taos Art School.
The Gibberds co-founded Gallery A, one of the first as well as the longest operating gallery in Taos.
oil on board
After the Blizzard
oil on board