Michael McCurdy

About the artist:

Michael McCurdy (1942-2016) was an award-winning artist, illustrator, author and publisher who worked from his red barn studio in the hills of Great Barrington for twenty-five years before retiring to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Born in New York City in 1942 and raised in New Rochelle, New York and Marblehead, Massachusetts, he attended the school of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (which provided him with a traveling scholarship in 1966), and Tufts University in Medford. During his career, McCurdy produced an impressive collection of wood engravings, etchings and drawings which have appeared in over 200 books for both adults and children and at art galleries and museums nationwide.

From 1968-1985, under the auspices of Penmaen Press Books, Michael published many small-press first editions for leading American and European writers and poets, including William Saroyan, Joyce Carol Oates, Howard Norman, William Stafford, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and the Nobel Prize-winning poet Vicente Aleixandre. He also authored numerous publications himself, including An Algonquian Year: The Year According to the Full Moon and
Walden Then & Now: An Alphabetical Tour of Henry Thoreau's Pond.

McCurdy’s distinctive drawings, etchings and woodcarvings range from depictions of rural life to interpretations of historical events to whimsical scenes of fantasy. Compositions often include human or animal figures juxtaposed against magnificent vistas of land, sea, sky and water, conveying a powerful yet meditative sense of awe and reverence for nature.

Well known for works in black and white, McCurdy also produced colored scratchboard drawings and paintings of acrylic and casein. He passed on his skill to others through various adult printmaking courses and taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Concord Academy in Concord.

Mr. McCurdy was the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, twice receiving the New York Times Best Illustrated Books Award. He was featured in Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who in America, Contemporary Authors, and Something About the Author.

Michael served on the Housing Authority and on the Arts Lottery Commission in Great Barrington.

His work can also be seen locally in the logos of the Great Barrington Land Conservancy and Berkshire Community Land Trust.


Michael McCurdy
Great Barrington
Scratchboard Drawing, 7" x 11", 1999

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