Editor’s Letter | Remembering G. Harvey

The Texas artist made a major impact

By Kristin Hoerth

Old Santa Fe Plaza by G. Harvey.

Old Santa Fe Plaza by G. Harvey.

This story was featured in the April 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

When the Scottsdale Art Auction takes place this month, eight pieces by Gerald Harvey Jones—better known to the art world as G. Harvey—go on the block (see page 22). It’s the first major offering of Harvey’s works since his passing on November 13 at the age of 84.

Harvey, a lifelong Texan, was widely known for his ability to capture the nostalgic flavor of turn-of-the-century America, especially in the West. Born in 1933 in San Antonio and raised in the Hill Country town of Kerrville, he grew up listening to tales of his grandfather’s days as a trail boss. After attending Abilene Christian University and North Texas State University, he started his career teaching junior-high industrial arts in Austin. But in the late 1950s, his wife bought him a set of oil paints as a birthday present, and he began pursuing fine art, quickly finding success. From the start, and throughout his career, he spent a great deal of time on Texas ranches, observing the work of the cowboys and incorporating that knowledge into his paintings.

As he developed his signature style, Harvey went on to receive national attention. President Lyndon B. Johnson and former Texas Governor John Connally were among his collectors and fans. One of the highlights of his career was a solo show at the Smithsonian Institution in 1991-92 called The All-American Horse—an extremely rare accomplishment for a living artist. Later, Harvey received lifetime achievement awards from both the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, TX, and the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA.

The artist appeared in the pages of Southwest Art countless times, beginning with a feature article in the July-August 1976 issue. The magazine was just five years old at the time, but Harvey was already solidly established. After additional stories throughout the 1980s, he was one of 64 artists included in the magazine’s landmark traveling exhibition, Covering the West: The Best of Southwest Art, in 1995-96. In 2008, he was one of 20 artists who appeared in our special Legends of Fine Art issue, and in 2010, he was named one of 10 Prominent People making noteworthy contributions to the art world. At the time, he told us that his artistic mission was to depict the spirit of America: “If I can convey a nation of people that worked hard and had faith and love for mankind, I have accomplished my goal.”

This story was featured in the April 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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