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send e-mailDarold Elliot Perkins (October 15, 1921 – March 12, 2002) was an American artist. Throughout his life, Perkins (aka "Perk") has made a name for himself in several fields of artistry.

Darold Elliot Perkins was born in Houston, Texas. Beginning with an art class in high school, Perk spent his time not only with sketching and painting, but with music and drama as well. He then enrolled as an art major at the University of Texas.

The university days were followed by a stint in the US Army - during which he was accused of illicit relations with other men. The result o was a dishonorable discharge.

He went to New York and began to get roles both on Broadway and in touring companies.

When back to New York, Perk enrolled at New York's Traphagen School of Fashion Design (now part of the Fashion Institute of Technology), but soon thereafter was called into a conference with the instructor to discuss the drawing assignments. "Go home," the teacher told him. "I can see already that I can't teach you anything that you don't already know." So began a career - between road shows - devoted to the design of fabric, wallpaper, rugs, place mats and other items of domestic ilk. During the several decades Perk has been in the design trade, he's worked with Gloria Vanderbilt, Martha Stewart and Howard Kaplan.

While he had dabbled with set design in New York, with only a few solid credits, he was hired as the Ogunquit Playhouse set designer. So began a third career.

Perk then decided to see if he could really paint. The result was five paintings of male nudes in various erotic arrangements. Three of the paintings sold through the Leslie-Lohman Gallery. Encouraged, Perk painted more. Perk has been called the Norman Rockwell of gay art by a number of contemporaries.

Darold Perkins, 80, died of complications from cancer in Allston, Mass. He remained active up until the time of his death, designing for a New York firm and preparing for another exhibition of his paintings in the Soho section of New York.

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