Merrill Mahaffey

Born: Albuquerque, New Mexico

A veritable icon of new American west painting, Merrill Mahaffey has sustained more than five decades as a nationally recognized painter known for paintings of realism steeped in modernism.  Not an armchair traveller, he has explored the landscape as a mountain climber, backpacker, fisherman, and skier.  His works are exhibited at some of the nation’s most respected art institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the American Collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

His paintings are collected in numerous public and corporate collections nationwide and he continues to be an influence to young artists.  He was honored by the Arizona Historic Society as a Historymaker in 2019.

Mahaffey holds a Bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State University and a Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State University.


Shemer Art Center – Phoenix 2018

Lewallen Galleries – Santa Fe 2017-18

Booth Western Art Museum - Atlanta Georgia 2016

Buffalo Bill MUSEUM - Cody, Wyoming 2016

West Select - Phoenix Art Museum - 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015(Best of Show)

Tempe Center for the Arts - 2012

Phoenix International Airport - Centennial Event - 2012

Phoenix Art Museum - West Select - 2011. 2012

Grand Canyon National Park - 2011/12

Booth Western Art Museum - Cartersville, Georgia - 2011

Chandler Center for the Arts - Retrospective - 2010

Museum of Northern Arizona - Retrospective - 2008

Duley - Jones Gallery - Scottsdale

Gerald Peters Gallery - Santa Fe

Vanier Galleries - Scottsdale

Charlene Cody Gallery - Santa Fe

Palm Springs Desert Museum - Palm Springs, California

Suzanne Brown Galleries - Scottsdale

Mesa Southwest Museum - Mesa, Arizona

Foothills Art Center - Golden, Colorado

Eiteljorg Museum Invitational - Indianapolis

Rockwell Museum - Corning, New York

William Sawyer Gallery - San Francisco

New York Academy of Art - New York City

Denver Museum of Natural History

Scottsdale Center for the Arts

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

First Western States Biennial - National Gallery - Washington, D.C.

San Francisco Art Museum

Denver Art Museum

Vice-President's Residence - Southwest Museum Loan Collection - Washington, D.C.

Fishbach Gallery- New York City

Sherry French Gallery - New York City

University of Utah

Tucson Art Museum


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Grand Canyon National Park Collection

Phoenix Art Museum

Tucson Art Museum

Museum of American Art - Smithsonian

Phillip Morris Collection

IBM Corporation

Security Pacific Bank

Atlantic Richfield Corporation

Colorado State Legislature

Southwest Forest Industries

Arizona Supreme Court


Robert Redford

United Energy Resources

Valley National Bank

Hughes Aircraft

Phillips Petroleum Corporation

Guiness Beer

Phoenix International Airport

Phelps Dodge

University of Utah Museum

Arizona State University

United Airlines

U S West

Federal Courthouse - Denver

Denver Art Museum

Sandra Day O'Connor


Federal District Court - Denver

Chandler Fine Arts Center - Chandler, Arizona

Colorado State Legislature - Denver

Phoenix International Airport

Artist-in-Residence - Rocky Mountain National Park

Arizona Historical Society – History Maker 2019


Mesa State College

Sacramento State University - BA - 1959

California College of Arts and Crafts

Arizona State University - MFA - 1966