Kurt Ard was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1925. His artistic talent was recognized at an early age and encouraged by family and teachers. He attended the Danish Academy of Art. His early attempts to gain recognition and fill commissions was made extremely difficult as business crumbled under the advancing WWII. Undaunted, Ard continued painting and his reputation and success grew steadily in the post-war years. His illustrations soon appeared in major publications throughout Europe. Over the course of his career, Ard sold more than 1,000 illustrations to the best magazines in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Belgium, England, France, and Germany.
Ard sold the reproduction rights to his illustrations and magazine covers but retained the rights to his original artwork. These paintings were sold throughout Europe to those who saw the reproductions in publications and magazines, thus his reputation continued to grow.
As a result of trips to New York in the 50's and 60's, Ard was contracted to produce covers for Saturday Evening Post and to create illustrations for Post and McCalls for five years. He received many commissions from the International Association of retired persons who presented him with a citation for his work in 1963. He also had nine paintings on display at the New York Worlds Fair.
Ard first visited Oregon in 1980. He was very impressed with the beauty of the country and made a number of paintings and sketches of the Oregon countryside. Future trips produced more of these splendid paintings. His landscapes are very detailed and realistic.. His work shows a subtle, delicate palette and brilliant light. Ard's remarkable acuity of perception and fluent meticulous draftsmanship are evident in his detailing of the scene, but his work speaks also with extraordinary emotional insight.
Ard currently lives on the coast of Spain and continues to paint his landscape masterpieces. He visits the Northwest regularly and takes hundreds of photos a year, of which he only paints about a dozen.