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 Harold Winfield Scott  (1898 - 1977)

About: Harold Winfield Scott
 

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Lived/Active: New York/Connecticut      Known for: pulp western history illustration

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BIOGRAPHY for Harold Scott
Facts/Data
Birth
1898 (Danbury, Connecticut)
 
Death
1977 (Croton Falls, New York)

Lived/Active
New York/Connecticut

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pulp western history illustration

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
At the time of Harold Winfield Scott's death, it was estimated that he had painted more than 2,200 magazine covers, more than 600 illustrations for various magazines, and 10,000 black and white sketches.

Scott was born in Danbury, Connecticut on January 14th, 1899. As a young boy, Scott spent time in Montana and other areas in the West with his father who was in the horse business. After his father's untimely death, the Scotts moved back east to Brooklyn where his mother owned an automobile service facility. At this garage Scott learned and mastered the trade of mechanic. There at the age of 14, he meet pianist, Leopold Wolfson, who led him to working with his hands in another way.

Wolfson convinced Scott's mother to buy her son a piano, and within two years, Scott was giving recitals at places like the Academy of Music and Aeolin Hall.

Scott then served in World War I as a mechanic/test pilot. A veteran of the Lafayette Escadrille, he also served in the American and Canadian armies and was one of the few Americans entitled to wear the wreathed silver AEF lapel button signifying he had served on five battle fronts.

A crash during the war, injured Scott's arm, hiding in a hanger, his arm was saved by a French doctor.  But the shattered arm put an end to his promising career as a pianist, so Scott returned to his studies at Pratt Institute. At first people at Pratt doubted his success at art, but he later became a faculty member for nine years.

After graduating from Pratt in 1923, he went on to study art composition at Yale. To support his daytime studies, at night he chauffeured for future President Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge introduced the young Scott to artist, John Singer Sargent, who encouraged Scott to keep with his studies and pursue a career in the arts.

His illustration work can be found on the covers of many genre magazines such as Western Story, Western Magazine, Wild West Weekly, Western Trails and Marvel Stories. The art director would send him a synopsis of the story to work his cover up from. "I could choose points in the story I liked, and did them up. Art directors liked the spirit I got into all my paintings. I have a lot of spirit myself, and that's why I always worked so hard" Scott explained.

In addition to his very prolific career with Street & Smith, he also produced work for Liberty, Colliers and Red Book. Amidst his many covers, his most startling were for the new hero title in 1939, The Avenger. He did the covers for the first fourteen of the eventually published twenty-four issues, the first twelve are arguably the best of the series run .

Scott slowly drifted away from westerns as his main focus turned to the pulps. In 1974, still painting and going strong, Scott was working on a series of satirical paintings he called, "The New Society."

Scott passed away in November of 1977 at the age of 78 at his home of almost fifty years on Hardscrabble Road in Croton Falls, New York.

Source:
Dave Kalb, Authors & Artists, H.W. Scott, //members.aol.com/macmurdie2/biographies/scott.html

References:

Larry Robinson, "On a dusty road, he sees a stagecoach comin' through" Patent Trader's Week Ahead Magazine, 1974

Mary Carroll Nelson, "Western Pulp Illustrators: A Touch of Romance" New Mexico Magazine, Feb. 1980

"Obituaries: H. Winfield Scott" Patent Trader, Sat. Nov. 19, 1977

"Scott shows his wild west" Patent Trader, Apr 6, 1974

Vincent Di Fate Infinite Worlds: The Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art, 1997

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.

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