G. Harvey (Gerald Harvey Jones) (1933-2017)
Known for paintings closely linked in mood and subject matter to Edouard Cortes [1882-1962], G Harvey created romanticized street scenes of turn of the century towns in America. Rain slick streets reflect urban lights, and the weather is obviously cold. He grew up in the rugged hills north of San Antonio, Texas from where herds of longhorn cattle were once driven up dusty trails to the Kansas railheads. His grandfather was a trail boss at 18 and helped create an American legend for his grandson. So the American West is not only the artist's inspiration but his birthright.
Harvey's early interest in sketching and drawing slowly evolved into a passion for painting in oils. After graduating cum laude from North Texas State University, Harvey took a position with the University of Texas in Austin, but he soon realized that weekends and nights at the easel did not satisfy his love of painting. He abandoned the security of a full-time job in 1963 and threw his total energy into a fine art career.Harvey painted the spirit of America from its western hills and prairies to the commerce of its great cities.
His original paintings and bronze sculptures are in the collections of major corporations, prestigious museums, the United States government, American presidents, governors, foreign leader and captains of industry.The Smithsonian Institution chose Harvey to paint The Smithsonian Dream, commemorating its 150th Anniversary. The Christmas Pageant of Peace commissioned Harvey to create a painting celebrating this national event. He has been the recipient of innumerable awards and the subject of three books.
He lived in Fredericksburg, Texas, with his wife, Pat, in a 150-year old stone home built by German settlers until his death in 2017. His studio and residence are nestled within the Historic District of Fredericksburg. It is an obligation of fine artists to present us with more than pretty pictures. They must also make us feel. Among the western painters of today, there is non more capable of accomplishing this than G. Harvey.
In his paintings, the viewer not only sees the physical elements of his subject, but also senses the mood that surrounds them. It is a remarkable aspect of fine art, which few artists are able to master. Gerald Harvey Jones was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1933. His grandfather was a cowboy during the trail-driving era when legends grew up along the dusty trails north from Texas. Family stories of wild cattle and tough men were absorbed by a wide-eyed boy and became the genesis of G. Harvey's art.
A graduate in fine arts at North Texas State University, Harvey taught full-time and painted nights and weekends for several years. It was through painting that he found his greatest satisfaction, and his native central Texas hill country provided the inspiration for most of his earliest work. With the development of his talent and the growth of his following, Harvey began to expand his artistic horizons. He left teaching and concentrated on a career in fine art. He sought the essence that is Texas and found it not only along the banks of the Guadalupe, but in cow camps west of the Pecos, and in the shadows of tall buildings in big Texas cities. The streets of Dallas once echoed with the sound of horses hooves and the jingle of spurs.
Historic photographs reveal what it looked like, but only an artist like Harvey can enable a viewer to experience the mood and flavor or the time. Contemporary western art has too often centered on the literal representations from its roots in illustrations. Artists like G. Harvey take us a step further, to the subjective impressions that are unique to each great talent and which constitutes something special and basic to fine art expression. Harvey was a soft-spoken and unassuming man who cared deeply about what he painted without becoming maudlin or melodramatic. We sense there is more in each Harvey painting than just that which is confined to the canvas.
Resources include: The American West: Legendary Artists of the Frontier, Dr. Rick Stewart, Hawthorne Publishing Company, 1986