Charles Phillip Cross
Cross was born in Maryland, the son of chicken farmers. As a child, he learned to seek the distinguishing features separating one chicken from another. At age nine, he began experimenting with caricatures and in high school he attempted his first portrait, of himself. Cross studied at the Maryland Institute, now the Maryland Institute College of Art, interrupting his education to serve as a first lieutenant of a field artillery unit in Europe in World War II.
Cross later returned to the Maryland Institute, where he taught for fifteen years and started his portraiture career. His subjects included the five founders of the UCLA Medical Center, several Nebraska state legislators, nine Methodist bishops, Rabbi Edgar F. Magnin, and California governor Earl Warren.
In 1982, Cross moved to Nebraska, where he focused on Western art and landscapes. He painted ranch hands at work, cowboys, American Indians, cattle, and landscapes, as well as four cowboy images for the Boulder Leanin’ Tree card company. In 1987, he moved to Loveland, Colorado, where he taught at the Loveland Academy of Fine Arts.