James (Jerry) Crowley - Portrait Artist, North Carolina



Jerry Crowley is a wonderful artist of North Carolina. He’s been painting for a long time, a lot longer than he looks – 45 years in fact. Most of what he does is commission work of portraits, beautiful portraits. I feel when I look at his work online that this is just a shadow of the real painting he has done and wish I could be standing in front of that.  His skill and the incredible detail takes me back hundreds of years to the old masters and then I realize he’s brought them right up to date. Creating history, because his work is going to last hundreds of years into the future. People then will be interested in those faces, those characters, the way they dress, their surroundings, just as we now know and admire the old masters from hundreds of years ago.


“Crowley has immersed himself in the study of the Old Masters, specifically Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Velasquez, Titian, Piero Della Francesco, and other greats of painting. For more than four decades, he has scrutinized and studied hundreds of texts, thousands of paintings and sculptures, and traveled extensively to personally examine great works throughout the world.
Evident, too, is the influence of early Florentine mannerists, i.e. Pontormo, Bronzino, and particularly Andrea del Sarto, can be found in Crowley’s work.
In 1984, Crowley accepted President Ronald Reagan’s invitation to serve on the inaugural Cultural Property Advisory Committee. The committee was given this charge: investigate and protect the world’s most endangered art and artifacts. This experience allowed Crowley to work alongside some of the most prominent archeologists and museum curators in the world. In 1988, when President George H.W. Bush was elected to office, he asked Crowley to serve an additional term.

Horses are also a passion of Crowley’s. Growing up on the backs of hunters and jumpers, he spent the summers of his youth working in barns, and his weekends on the show circuit. He helped break racehorses in Tryon, North Carolina, and when the leaves turned; Crowley was often found fox hunting in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. His personal expertise with horses is clearly evident in his equestrian paintings.”