BiographyCharles Nelson Beck was born January 31, 1923 in Fergus Falls, MN. He earned his BA degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where he studied with Cyrus Running. He earned his MFA degree at the University of Iowa in 1950. In 1957, Beck studied at San Miguel Allende in Mexico. He also took art courses at the University of Minnesota. During the 1960s, Beck began teaching at Fergus Falls Community College. Beck was heavily involved in developing the Otter Tail County Historical Museum in Fergus Falls where he created several dioramas. In 1978, Beck traveled to Madagascar with his family, painting a number of watercolors while there. In 1979, he received an honorary doctorate from Concordia College. Beck was married to Joyce Hagge in 1948. They are the parents of three children.
An extensive catalog of a 1986 exhibition at the Plains Art Museum in Moorhead, MN - C. Beck: Charles Beck Retrospective, 1942-1986 - chronicles Beck’s professional career. Beck’s paintings have been exhibited since 1948 when one of his paintings was selected for the "American Painting Today" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Since then, Beck has been involved in numerous solo and group exhibitions, mainly in the upper Midwest. Beck was also commissioned to paint murals in several buildings. In 2000, Beck was represented in the exhibition "Paintings by Minnesotans of Norwegian Background, 1870-1970," sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society in 2000 in Minneapolis.
As of 2007 Beck focused more on Printmaking. He gains inspiration from nature and natural settings. As of 2007 Beck is best know for his wood block prints of the farm lands and forests of Northwest Minnesota. He has exhibited at the Walker Art Center, Metropolitian Museum of Art, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Beck is represented by the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead and Ripple River Gallery in Aitkin. As a child Beck drew indians and when he grew older he sketched cartoons on letters while he served in the navy.
Source of BiographyBeck, Charles N. Charles Beck Retrospective, 1942-1986. Moorhead, MN: Plains Art Museum, 1986; Nelson, Marion J. Paintings by Minnesotans of Norwegian Background, 1870-1970. [Northfield, MN]: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 2000. Luther Alumnus, 29:4 (May 1959)