Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Harvey Dunn Book

The Prairie is My Garden- By Harvey Dunn

One of my favorite things about Christmas is that if I don't get exactly what I want, I can still hope to get it a few days later on my birthday. That's what happened this week when I opened up the new over sized volume on the work of Harvey Dunn written by Illustration House founder Walt Reed. This long awaited tome does not disappoint.


Harvey Dunn - Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West is a fitting tribute to the artistic legacy of  Dunn, arguably the most influential of all the artists who studied under Howard Pyle. Dunn studied for two years under Pyle and went on to notoriety in his own work but also became a great teacher. He is known  mainly for his depictions of prairie life on the American frontier, though his career range of subject matter was broad and deep.


Harvey Dunn's artistic descendants include John Steuart Curry, Dean Cornwell, Harold Von Schmidt, Saul Tepper, Mead Schaeffer,Mario Cooper, Arnold Friberg, John Clymer, Ken Riley and the list goes on. This book represents the largest collection of Dunn's work ever assembled and color reproductions abound, with most of the surviving paintings being newly photographed for this volume. Reproductions of original magazine pages fill in the holes where the actual art has been lost..

The Calf Path- circa 1912 by Harvey Dunn

At 10" x 13" this book has space to show off the juicy brush strokes, incredible compositions and the enviable value and color control of Dunn's paintings. I found myself lingering over all the works I had seen previously as well as discovering for the first time, dozens of paintings I had never seen before. The book also contains a section profiling many of Dunn's most successful students as well as a facsimile of a booklet long out of print called "An Evening in the Classroom." This section is a treat in it's own right as it collects from classroom notes much of Dunn's considerable wisdom and advice on the art of picture making. I am currently reading the book from cover to cover and look forward to being inspired by the work of Harvey Dunn for a long time to come.

The Harvey Dunn book is available through Flesk Publications

2 comments:

Sherry Syverson said...

How can I get a print of "The Prairie is my Garden"? I had the picture and gave it away. Now I want another one for myself.

Greg Newbold said...

Sherry, It looks like there are multiple option to purchase this print from the South Dakota Art Museum: http://www.sdstate.edu/southdakotaartmuseum/shop/harvey-dunn/prints.cfm