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 Harry D. Reeks  (1920 - 1982)

About: Harry D. Reeks
 

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Lived/Active: Louisiana/California/Mississippi      Known for: city views, landscape, combat, sculptor

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Ad Code: 4
Harry D Reeks
An example of work by Harry D. Reeks
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Harry Reeks was a landscape painter and military sketch artist who has painted city views of New Orleans and battle scenes in the Far East. By 1939, he was active in California, where he returned after the war for several years and did silkscreen prints of San Francisco scenes such as the Golden Gate Bridge, flower vendors, cable cars, etc. He also did a print of the Victory Statue in Union Square.

In 1941, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and saw action on Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Bougainville, and Siapan. He was the only official combat artist to land on Iwa Jima with the invasion force and spent thirty days on the island sketching the campaign.

He died in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in 1982.


Sources:
Ben Kozlovsky, Sr. submitted June 2003
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
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The following, submitted June 2003, is from Hank Springer of Meridian, Mississippi. He was a friend of the artist, when both Springer and the artist were young men.

Harry Reeks was not only a painter, as mentioned, but a very talented andproficient sculptor. He was also a lover of history, and through hisuntiring, intensive study into the many written descriptions of General Sam Dale, we can enjoy the countenance that goes with the biography of this great American hero.

Reeks erected a monument to the honor and memory of General Sam Dale, at great expense to himself, over and above the funds allotted for the project, at Daleville, Mississippi. He located Dale's remains and re-interred the same in thefoundation of themarble shrine.

This memorial not only reflects the talents of Harry Reeks as an accomplished sculptor, but his engineering genius as well. This statue that experts said would not stand on its own proved its structural integrity in full size, when first erected from clay and steel, before later being poured in liquid marble.

Harry cast many individual molds of the various areas of the original work at his home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi,to be reassembled at the Daleville site for the purpose of casting the entire monument in a monolith ofmarble.

More than two thirds of the delicate molds were broken during transport and were required to be painstakingly recreated by the artist. This task required many additional weeks of work.

This work of art stands today in the tiny settlement of Daleville, Mississippi, not only to commemorate the greatness of a distinguished hero ofour earlyhistory as a nation, as Harry wanted, but as a testament to theinexhaustible efforts and creative genius of Harry D. Reeks.


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