Craig McPherson was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1948. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Kansas in 1970, he spent the following years curating and lecturing for the National Endowment for the Arts, before taking up residence in New York in 1975 to develop a career as an artist.

In 1983, McPherson had his first one-man exhibition at the A.M. Sachs Gallery in New York. McPherson next devoted his energies to printmaking, producing mezzotints of New York City at night. These prints led to a corporate art commission for the American Express Company for a 90-foot mural cycle for the auditorium of their corporate headquarters at the World Financial Center (WFC). This series of oil paintings is composed of four panels titled, Twilight: The Waterways and Bridges of Manhattan. In January 1987, the Harbors of the World mural cycle was initiated by American Express for the lobby of their New York WFC headquarters. This vast undertaking involved ten paintings 365 feet long by 11 feet high. This project involved traveling the world for one year, and studio work for four years. The murals depict the harbor cities—New  York, Venice, Istanbul, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Hong Kong. They are on permanent view in the American Express lobby and are referenced in a new book, Art in Public Places: New York’s 50 Best, by David Masello.

McPherson has had a number of one-man gallery shows in New York and has been in group exhibitions all over the world. He’s also had a number of smaller corporate and museum commissions. In 1998 he had his first museum retrospective at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University, England. The show traveled to Glasgow, Scotland. The Frick Art and Historical Society, Pittsburgh, PA, mounted a one-person exhibition, Steel, Pittsburgh Drawings By Craig McPherson, in 2008.

McPherson’s work is included in numerous museum, corporate and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. These include the British Museum, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; The Cleveland Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Fogg Museum; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England; the Detroit Institute of Arts; The Smithsonian Institution; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Boston Public Library; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Hunterian, Glasgow; the Library of Congress; the New-York Historical Society; the Museum of the City of New York; and many smaller city and university collections.

McPherson is featured in the exhibition American Dream: From Pop to Present at the British Museum in London through June 18, 2017.

McPherson has won art awards, been reviewed in The New York Times, The Financial Times, ARTnews, The New York Post, The Observer and many other publications.