JUSTIN McCARTHY (1891-1977)


Justin McCarthy’s life has the peculiar twists of a riches-to-rags-to-recognition story. Unfailing in his belief that he was a talented painter, his work was not understood or appreciated until forty years after he started creating art from unfortunate and inauspicious beginnings. Born on May 13, 1891, in Hazelton, Pennsylvania but raised in Weatherly, McCarthy was the eldest son of Welsh native John L. McCarthy, and Floretta Mussleman, daughter of a well-respected Weatherly family.

McCarthy painted what he saw in the world brought to him through various media. His art is populated with glamorous people, exotic places and animals, and even religious imagery. Even though he spent his whole life in Weatherly, the world came to him through print media and magazines, movies and television. He saw much during his lifetime – two world wars, the explosion of pop culture and media in America, and continuously changing political and fashion environments. He documented all of these themes and more in his distinct manner as he saw them.1

1 © 2013 The Anthony Petullo Collection of SELF-TAUGHT AND OUTSIDER ART