Maud Florance Gatewood: A Keen Observer


Maud Florance Gatewood was an American painter from Yanceyville, North Carolina. She is considered one of North Carolina's most acclaimed painters.

Maud Florance Gatewood (January 8, 1934 – November 8, 2004)

Life and career

Maud Gatewood grew up in Yanceyville and attended Bartlett Yancey High School. When she was sixteen, she enrolled at Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Finishing her undergraduate degree in 1954, Gatewood continued her art studies at Ohio State University, where she received a Master of Fine Arts in Painting.


In 1963, Gatewood won a Fulbright grant to study art in Austria under renowned painter Oskar Kokoschka. Returning to North Carolina, she began teaching at the art program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She later left her position at the school in 1973, desiring more time to paint.


During her lifetime, Gatewood enjoyed a considerable following, particularly in the Southeastern United States. Her work has been exhibited in private collections and museums throughout the U.S., including the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.

Gatewood also won numerous awards during her artistic career, including an art award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1972 and the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts in 1984.

According to Karin Borei, Hickory Museum of Art (HMA) Project Coordinator, Maud Gatewood was a powerful force in the North Carolina art community. 


As a painter, teacher, activist, and staunch individualist, she delighted viewers, inspired students, supported organizations, and served as a role model for how to participate in a world of images and ideas. 


Gatewood was equally adept at landscape and architectural subjects. Like many successful artists, she drew routinely in a variety of media, recording thoughts for new paintings or drawing for its own sake. She never focused on one style, preferring instead to experiment with materials and approaches. 


Maud Gatewood died November 8 in Chapel Hill, N.C., at the age of 70. 


To read more about Gatewood visit the following links:

Maud Gatewood, Jungle Camp, Acrylic on canvas, 73 x 61 in. (185.4 x 154.9 cm)
Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina

Maud Gatewood, Out Back, Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 56 in. (127.0 x 142.2 cm)
Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina