Gerald Harvey (1933-2017) Hill Country Cowhands 36 x 48in (Painted in 1984.)

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Lot 82
Gerald Harvey
(1933-2017)
Hill Country Cowhands 36 x 48in

Sold for US$ 156,250 inc. premium
Gerald Harvey (1933-2017)
Hill Country Cowhands
signed, dated and inscribed 'G. Harvey - © / 1984' (lower right) and signed, dated and inscribed with title again (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
36 x 48in
Painted in 1984.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The artist.
    Acquired by the late owner from the above, 1984.

    Literature
    S.H. McGarry, Honoring The Western Tradition: The L.D. "Brink" Brinkman Collection, Kerrville, Texas, 2003, p. 212, illustrated.

    Gerald Harvey Jones, popularly known as G. Harvey, came from a long line of Texas ranchers. His father a trail boss, he fell in love with cowboy life and its legends at an early age. Texas inspired his favorite subjects—historical scenes of West Texas as they might have appeared in years past. In his early life, the artist attended North Texas State University, in Dallas, and later secured a teaching position at the University of Texas in Austin. His career as a teacher would eventually end in 1963 when he turned his dedication to painting. Harvey resided in Fredericksburg, Texas, a stone's throw from L.D. Brinkman in Kerrville. It's no wonder the two were close friends, as both men were passionate about all things Texas. The romance of the West Texas hill country was ever present in Harvey's work.
     
    A favorite theme for Harvey were scenes of cowboys riding through towns, such as the present work Hill Country Cowhands, but his interpretation is uniquely shrouded with tinges of romance and solitude. Influenced by the famous French painter Edouard Cortes, Harvey similarly incorporates dim lighting, from street lights and shop windows, or a moody distant but subtle sunset. Hill Country Cowhands is a classic example of the artist's vision of an ancient, small Texas town visited by cowboys who stride through town on horseback. In the present work, the warm lamp light which glows from the windows, decorates a peaceful evening, quieted by snow blanketed street. Unlike many Western artists who strive for dynamic, action packed scenes such as bucking broncos and Indian attacks, Harvey's scenes tend to have a calm, resolved appearance. Perhaps a reflection of his own famously shy and soft-spoken demeanor.

    In describing his style of painting, Harvey once said "My paintings have never been literal representations. They are part first-hand experience, and part dreams generated by those early stories I heard [growing up]. They are a product of every place I have been, everything I have ever seen and heard."
     
    L.D. Brinkman revered G. Harvey's work, so much so that they inspired an annual holiday card series. Each card featured an artwork by Harvey and became a tradition continued by Brinkman throughout the early 1980s, producing a total of six cards. The card was designed in such a manner so the recipient was able to frame the image, as Brinkman stated, "to become a very decorative and treasured addition to your home or office." The cards even retained a personalized 'G. Harvey' signature. In an excerpt from one such card, Brinkman recites a holiday message, a sentiment visualized by Hill Country Cowhands:
     
    "A white Christmas in the Texas Hill Country is a rare occasion . . . a dream of children, the memory of an old cowboy. Christmas retains much of its traditional flavor from those of us who live in small Hill Country towns like Kerrville. Life here has always moved in time to the slow rhythms of the Guadalupe River. We are apart from the world of crowded shopping malls and plastic Christmas trees. Our Christmas is still close to a day of wood stoves, dinners of venison and wild turkey, of gifts brought to distant ranches on the back of a pack horse rather than in a sled pulled by reindeer. From this peaceful corner of Texas we recall and share with our friends the original Christmas message of Peace on Earth."1

    1 L.D. Brinkman, undated christmas card.
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