Harvey S. Harris, a talented artist and teacher, was a professor of art at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge for more than twenty years. At the Kansas City Art Institute in 1940, he received a foundation in representational art after studying under the famed American Scene painter, Thomas Hart Benton. In the early 1950s at Yale University, he earned his master’s degree in fine arts, particularly admiring the work of abstract expressionist painters Joseph Albers and William de Kooning. Harris’s own style clearly reflects these influences.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Harris received his early art training at the Hartford Art School. He freelanced for numerous advertising agencies before finally settling on teaching. Harris enjoyed national and regional acclaim from his work. In 1945, he won a competition to illustrate Thomas Wolfe’s limited edition of Look Homeward Angel, and in 1956 the Rockefeller Foundation commissioned him to design the set and costumes for the Louisville Philharmonic Symphony. He exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the J. B. Speed Museum in Louisville, and the Smithsonian Traveling Service.