Gordon Phillips was born in 1927 in Boone, North Carolina. He studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and became an illustrator and sculptor of conventional, realistically detailed Western subject matter. Long a commercial artist, Phillips was art director for an advertising agency, placing work in national magazines. He later devoted himself to becoming a fine artist.
He often made expeditions to the West, seeking visual experiences and artifacts. He has received commissions from the Franklin Mint, National Geographic Society and Smithsonian Institution, exhibiting at the Kennedy Gallery in New York City.
For over 40 years Gordon Phillips has been counted among the elite circle of outstanding American painters. Formerly, Phillips' work has been concentrated on vivid portrayals of scenes from the American West. Now his fine sense of composition, action and color is directed to major personalities of the great American Civil War. As an artist he has experienced the unique honor of having his work exhibited as a one-man show at the prestigious Kennedy Galleries in New York. It is rare indeed when the directors of the Kennedy, a gallery better known for dealing in the Great Masters, elect to exhibit Gordon Phillips. These art connoisseurs recognized in Phillips' work qualities which make his work, like those of Remington and Russell, quintessentially American. Gordon Phillips was born in Boone, North Carolina.
Being a part of one of the generations destined to fight World War II he served in that conflict as a destroyer crewman in the US Navy. After the war, Phillips attended the celebrated Corcoran School of Art in the Nation's Capital. There he developed a working color system very near the little-known Maratta Color System in which the colors are produced in harmony, much as notes in music. The power of his work reflects this masterful and deft use of color.
As his professional reputation as a painters' painter grew, he was honored with commissions from The National Geographic Society and Smithsonian Institution. His work has appeared in Life, Look, Newsweek, and Time. Appearing in ""Who's Who in American Art"" since 1975, he is the first living artist whose work was purchased for certain major private collections. Gordon Phillips' work can be found in major museums in North American and Europe. Listed with both Christie's and Sotheby's in New York, we can look forward with enthusiasm to his impact on the body of contemporary Civil War Art.