1911 (Kansas City, Missouri)
2007 (Scottsdale, Arizona)
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illustrations-pulps, portrait, abstract
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Robert G. Harris is best known for his romantic portrayals of stories illustrations published in magazines including Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Saturday Evening Post and McCalls. |
Robert George Harris was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and received his early art training at the Kansas City Art Institute, under illustrator Monte Crews. Then, wanting to go into the magazine illustration field as his life work, he went to New York in 1930, where he studied Anatomy under George Bridgman at the Art Students League; and Illustration under Harvey Dunn at the Grand Central Art School. Under them he received all the necessary tools for becoming a successful illustrator.
From there he began illustrating western pulp magazine covers. His colorful and action-packed western illustrations prepared him for the next step into illustrating for Women's Magazines. He was sought out by an agent, and went into illustrating stories for all the name publications. His first illustrations were for Liberty Magazine, then Redbook, Post, and soon after, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Good House Keeping and McCalls. He became known for his beautiful women and romantic scenes. He captured the essence of the story in a single painting. Children and family illustrations were also his talent. This constant showcase of his work in the magazines, brought him many national advertising accounts: Coke Cola, Beer, Cigarettes, Toothpaste, etc.
His story illustrations have appeared in foreign magazines in English, French, Dutch, Danish, Scandinavian and Canadian publications. His name appears in Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who in Arizona, Illustrators in America, American Artists of Renown, 200 years of American Illustration, plus other Art and Reference books. He is also a life member of the Society of Illustrators, N.Y.C.
He was one of the founders of the very successful Westport Artists Group in Westport, Connecticut, where he lived and worked for thirteen years. In 1953, he moved his family to Scottsdale, Arizona and in 1970, moved to the beautiful desert area of Carefree, Arizona where he resides today
In 1961, he retired from illustration to devote full time to portraiture. His background of illustration and the discipline he practiced during those years were of tremendous value in this art form. He painted in oils, and had that rare faculty of being able to reach beneath the surface and bring out qualities that were more than just a 'likeness' of his clients. His clients were prominent business men and women, religious and political figures. His portraits hang in many private collections across the country.
Written and submitted February 2004 by Marcia Harris Sewell, daughter of the artist.
Robert G. Harris passed on peacefully at age 96 on December 23, 2007.
A man of passion, talent and humor,
Has passed in and out of this life,
With a smile and a twinkle in his eye.
Lived life his way and never looked back.
A legend in his own time,
Adored by his wife and family
And loved by his friends --
Can one ask for anything more?
He will live in our hearts forever.
Sent by his daughter Marcia to Linda Gramatky Smith, daughter of artist Hardie Gramatky.
Note from Jeanne Sheperd, August 2002.
Years ago in the late 40's when my family lived in Westport, my sister, Carol, posed for Mr. Harris - I believe she was 7 or 8 years old at that time and she had blonde hair and a beautiful cherub-like face (she's still beautiful) and was drawn lying in a bed with a yellow blanket and the covers just up to her face upon which was Mrs. Harris' hand; I believe her name was Margaret.
My family kept one magazine containing this illustration and after many years when it was found by myself I gave it to Carol. We tried to purchase the original but it was unavailable.
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