Harris, George E.

Harris, George Edgerly (1898-1938)

George Edgerly Harris was born in Delaware in 1898. He was the son of Charles X. Harris, a renowned painter and one of the founding members of the Noank Art Colony. Harris originally wanted to be a baseball player, but his father persuaded him to study art. He studied at the Art Students League in New York and in 1927 attended the National Academy of Design and the Julian Academy in Paris. Harris became a well known portrait painter, finishing portraits of Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and President Hoover, among other notable figures of the early 20th century. During World War I he worked as a camouflage artist for the U.S. Navy. He came to live in Connecticut in 1934 and lived in Winchester Center for several years. Harris completed 40 easel works for the WPA Federal Arts Project starting in 1937. In October of 1937 he was struck by an automobile and suffered a broken leg. He was treated at Litchfield Hospital. His leg did not heal correctly, so doctors performed a second surgery in the winter of 1936-37. While at the hospital, Harris continued to paint for the WPA. On June 23, 1938, according to the WPA newsletter, Harris “left his easel where he had been painting and complained of not feeling well.” Within five minutes, he passed away. He married Ruth Coloney, a fellow student at the Art Student’s League, and they had two children.

Sources: WPA Artist’s Work Card; WPA Biography; Who Was Who in American Art (1985), p. 264; Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters (1986), p. 376; Obituary, Hartford Courant, June 25, 1938; WPA Federal Arts Project Newsletter, June 1938. E-mail of Joyce Anne Harris to Mark Jones, January 1, 2011.

George C. HarrisWorks of Art Listed in CT Archives’ database from George Harris:

Bigg a John’s Farmer Rendezvous: oil
Hattie & Ed: oil
The Red Mill: oil
Boy with Gun: oil
Woman Knitting: oil
Children Day- Winchester: oil
Uncle Louis & Will: oil
Caught Jacking: oil
Landscape: oil
Tulip #1: oil
Tulip #2: oil
Portrait Study: oil
Landscape: oil
Hattie & Ed #2: oil
Woodsman: oil
Landscape: oil
Winchester Township: oil
Goshen Fair: oil
Sunrise Landscape: watercolor
Fall Plowing: oil
Gourds or Squashes: oil
Farm Scene: oil
Portrait Study: oil
Cow Barn: watercolor
Loading Milk: watercolor
Snow Scene: watercolor
Winchester Church-Country Church: watercolor
Portrait Study of an Old Man: oil
Auction: oil
The Blacksmith: watercolor
Country Auction: watercolor
Ice Cutting: watercolor
Ice Storm: oil
Landscape: oil
Sailor: oil
Water on the Knee: oil
Convalescent: oil
Set Back: oil
Portrait: Anna Hadley Hakes: oil
Birdie in the Cage: oil
Country Church: watercolor
Harris, George E.