John Drake Pusey (1905-1966)

John Drake Pusey (1905-1966)

John Drake Pusey was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1905. He graduated from Northwestern University and subsequently attended the Chicago Art Institute and the Yale University School of Fine Arts. He went on to study abroad in France at the Louvre, the Luxembourg Art Museum, and the Prado in Spain.

Returning to the United States, Pusey found employment in a number of areas. In the 1930s, he was commissioned by pharmaceutical and bio-medical research pioneer Eli Lilly to paint murals to decorate his home. In 1938, the San Francisco World's Fair hired Pusey to paint murals and oversee the artistic side of the event. He also worked as an art director for Universal Studios. With the approach of the Second World War, Pusey enlisted in the United States Army and served in both that war and the Korean War, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel of the United States Army Corps of Engineers on the strength of his skills in developing camouflage techniques and designs.

Pusey was employed at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1957 as artist-in-residence to replace Joseph Spehhard, who was on his way to Paris on a Guggenheim fellowship. Pusey was given the title of associate professor. On November 5-23, 1960, Dickinson College held a retrospective exhibition of Pusey's work in the Bosler Hall Art Gallery. At that time he had also begun work on a massive mural at the U.S. Army War College commemorating the sacrifice of the men and women of the Second World War.

John Pusey died in his sleep on September 2, 1966 and was buried in the National Cemetery in Gettysburg. He was survived by his wife Margaret Jarvis, whom he had married in 1926 while she was studying at the Sorbonne, daughter Anne Morgan Willmarth, and son John Jarvis. His brother, Dr. Nathan Pusey, was president of Harvard at the time.

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Dickinson College Archives
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