If you’ve sat in the fully-rendered old Amish buggy seat at the AAN gallery, then you have experienced a Gerry Scheide work of art up close and personal. She was always popular for her scenes of mermaids, air balloons, dogs, and whales painted in oil on wood, often on barrel staves.
In her mid-50s, Gerry went from a single painting class to a prolific artist in an Americana vein, becoming famous on island for her simple, whimsical imagery and humorous viewpoint. Gerry often stated that she didn’t want to learn more about art technique, since that might ruin her innocent, primitive style.
During her youth in Connecticut, Gerry was the first female paper carrier for The Hartford Courant newspaper. On July 6, 1944, Gerry and her mother were both survivors of one of the worst fire disasters in U.S. history. The Hartford circus tent fire killed 167 people and injured 10% of the 7,000 attendees. After moving to New York on her own, Gerry modeled for the Powers Company and the G. Fox department store.
As the wife of Richard Scheide, Gerry was a long-time member of the Junior League, and she participated in the garden club on Nantucket. She was also an active member of the Museum of Fine Arts Ladies Committee.
Gerry lived in town off of Crown Court on Academy Hill, overlooking Lily Street and the Lily Pond Park, and she kept her studio there.