Thursday, January 24, 2008

ROBERT G. HARRIS (1911-2007)

The illustrator Robert G. Harris died a few weeks ago at the age of 96. His career spanned many of the glory years of illustration.

Harris learned art at the feet of early masters such as Harvey Dunn and George Bridgman. He illustrated everything from crude pulps to refined magazines for women. (This WW II illustration of a war bride learning the fate of her soldier husband appeared in the latter).

As a successful illustrator in an era when illustrations helped to shape the national imagination, Harris could afford to build a large home and studio in fabled Westport, Connecticut with three cars in his garage and his own private sea-plane at the beach. As the illustration field grew, the top talent from around the country flocked to Westport to try their luck.  Soon, Harris found Westport was becoming too crowded. Harris' friend, the great illustrator Al Parker, explained that early illustrators such as Harris sought out Westport for its "cornfields and crickets."   When the open fields filled with houses, Parker followed Harris to Arizona.

Harris continued to work and paint in Scottsdale Arizona. With his death, another chapter in the long and colorful history of illustration comes to a close.

We extend our sincere regrets to his family.