Isaacs Art Center

Peter Hayward (1905-1993)

Peter Hayward (1905-1993) was born in Keene, New Hampshire. A self-taught artist, he spent 15 years as a portrait sculptor before beginning to paint in 1950. Hayward did portrait-sculpturing of children’s heads for 15 years, and learned to work with intense speed, since child subjects are never still. Hayward began his sculpturing following an adult accident when he was given a piece of modeling clay for occupational therapy in the hospital. That began a whole new career for Peter and he did portrait-sculpturing of children’s heads for 15 years for George Jensen of New York. 

It was not until 1950 that he first picked up a paint brush - a palette knife to him - and is said never to have put it down again. His distinctive use of the palette knife and his flair for capturing the magic of a particular place in time have brought him worldwide recognition. 

Peter Hayward studied at Middlebury College, graduating in 1923. He was a member of the Salmagundi Club, the Honolulu Art Association, Windward Artists’ Guild, the Lahaina Art Association, and the AAPL. He exhibited in New York in the 1950s, winning the Grand Prize All Media at the Washington Square Outdoor Art Show. His artistic career was divided between Hawai’i, the East coast, and the many places of the world he visited. He had 14 one-man shows in New York, five in Honolulu, and several in Palm Beach, San Francisco, Miami and Boston. 

Peter and his wife, Hope, moved to Hawai’i in the 1960s. The artist painted exclusively for United Airlines scenes of Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The honors, awards, and recognition he has received in many different places over a period of years are quite impressive. He is a wonderfully creative artist who gives freely of himself through many avenues of expression. He has been described as being like a poet creating magic from ordinary prose.