Pastel on canvas, 28 x 22 inches / Signed left
It is surprising that there is not more known of the background of Harris, biographical or otherwise, considering she was one of the most admired, if not the finest, illustration artists of the Art Deco era. What little that has been gleaned suggests that she was born in in Bradford, Massachusetts and graduated from the Lynn Classical High School, in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1913. Harris provided illustrations for many well-known calendar companies, including the Thomas D. Murphy Company, located in Red Oak, Iowa and considered the “birth place of the art calendar”. Rolf Armstrong, considered "the father of the American pin-up," told Murphy’s art director at the time that he envied the brilliant glow and softness of her pieces. During the 1930s Harris did pin-up work for the Gertach-Barklow Calendar Company (Joliet, Illinois). She was also known for her exquisitely rendered female nudes that she made for Joseph C. Hoover and Sons (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Romantic in manner, her subjects were posed with moonlight streams or ponds as backdrops, and rendered with her characteristic soft, yet brilliant glow. Also during the 1930s Harris provided non-pinup, sentimental illustrations for Joseph C. Hoover and Sons and Brown & Bigelow (St. Paul, Minnesota) --delightful portrayals of children, often in gardens featuring birds and pets. The Saturday Evening Post commissioned Harris to provide cover illustrations, as did other magazines of the day. She also provided illustrations for the Rust Craft and Norcross greeting card companies. Harris’s illustrations have been immortalized, not only on magazine covers, calendars and greeting cards, but on puzzles, hand-fans and candy boxes. Although her merchandise featuring her prints are very collectible, having one of her original works on canvas is priceless.