Born in Kinston, N.C., Henry Charles Pearson was always involved in the arts, though not always painting. He received a B.A. at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1935 and an M.F.A from Yale University School of Drama, where he studied set design, in 1938. It was not until 1953, when he returned from a long stay in Japan, that he attended the Art Students League in New York City, where he studied under Will Barnet.
He admired Mr. Barnet’s geometric work and created his own structured, rectangular pieces. In 1959, frustrated by a painting he was working on, Mr. Pearson began to doodle and wondered what would happen if he rounded the edges. The memory of his work as a cartographer came back, and his signature linear drawings were born.
Mr. Pearson’s work is in the collections of many museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Art and the North Carolina Museum of Art.