David Beynon Pena (1958-2016) [RA 1990s-2008]
[Born December 21, 1958 – died September 10, 2016]


SAL record control number: 166086 ;

Record level: Person ;

Record type: Artist ;



Birth:December 21, 1958 ;
Death: September 10, 2016 ;

Known for:




Member: Resident artist member, ca.1990s-2008 ;
Exhibited with:



David Beynon Pena was born in New York, NY on December 21, 1958 and passed away on September 10, 2016 of pancreatic cancer.

David was a talented professional artist, painting portraits, events, landscapes, cityscapes and nudes in oil, watercolor, acrylic and charcoal, who traveled with a sketchbook, pen or watercolor brushes to sketch subjects from life.

He attended the High School of Art and Design, The Pratt Institute, the Art Students League of New York and the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts.

In 1975, observing Everett Raymond Kinstler do a portrait painting demonstration at the National Academy, David was inspired to follow in Kinstler’s footsteps as an artist. He was deeply honored to be considered a close friend and protégé to Mr. Kinstler.

During his 40-year career, David painted distinguished leaders in various professions, including U.S. Senator Howell Heflin, Missouri First Lady Georganne Nixon, Victor Kovner Esq., Sean Connery, Gregory Hines, Marty Reisman, Sir Edwin Manton of AIG, Ruth Reininghaus Smith, first woman President of the Salmagundi Club and Michael Miller, President of NYCLA.

David painted boldly and quickly, capturing locations, likenesses and mood, in a bold, brushy style. As he painted, David welcomed questions and conversations with people passing by.

David was featured or mentioned in articles in American Artist, Art Times, LINEA, Nigerian Nights, NY Times Art Review and Penthouse, among others. His work was included in The Preacher’s Wife, Finding Forester and, most recently, in the Martin Scorsese Netflix series with Fran Lebowitz, “Pretend It’s a City” during the end credits of Episode 7.

A brilliant teacher, David had the ability to explain complex ideas in accessible ways. He taught at the Art Students League, the National Academy of Design, the Montclair Museum and the School of Visual Arts in Summit, NJ. He often did demonstrations and juried art association shows.

David served in leadership for several artists’ organizations, including as President of Audubon Artists Incorporated, 1999-2001, and on the Board of the Artists Fellowship Inc., 1999-2016.

David and his wife, Alison, spent many summers in Maine on North Haven and Leadbetter Island, where he painted landscapes and seascapes alla prima. The attic would fill with paintings as he followed the light, indefatigably, and typically produced two or three paintings a day.

Above all, David was kind, willing to lend a hand or give insightful advice to try and solve a thorny problem. He was gregarious, flamboyant and a sharp dresser who prided himself on his hats.





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Original compiled and researched document by the Salmagundi.

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Creative Commons Corporation  shareAlike (sa) license.  Some of the information contained within this document may hold further publication restrictions depending on final use.  It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine.

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The author of this artwork died more than 70 years ago. According to U.S. Copyright Law, copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death. In other countries, legislation may differ.

Record birth date:
January 1, 1990

Last updated: August 21, 2023 at 14:36 pm