Here’s a two-minute video with archival footage of Harvey Dunn (1884-1952) as he paints a western character.
About the video
In the late 1940s, illustrator and teacher Frank Reilly visited the studios of the premier illustrators of his day and filmed their working methods. He used state-of-the-art color film equipment, and in some cases, sound. He filmed Dean Cornwell, Arthur William Brown, F. R. Gruger, Bradshaw Crandall, William Oberhardt, and Harvey Dunn. He called the series “Artists at Work.” The films have been lost for many years, and a few of them have recently resurfaced.
The purpose of the Artists at Work series, according to Reilly himself, was “to create a permanent collection of films that will be available to schools, societies, and museums.”
In June, 1948, American Artist magazine interviewed Reilly about the project. According to American Artist, Reilly said the series “is intended to impress upon us the accomplishments of those among us now and to perpetuate their memory for the inspiration of those who are to follow. Eventually the collection will be entrusted to some museum or foundation or society where it can continue indefinitely to serve the purpose of its founder. This is a strictly non-profit educational venture, Reilly investing in it thousands of dollars of his own savings and will never receive a penny of the income from rental fees charged for showing the films...The enterprise has been set up legally to assure its operation on this wholly altruistic basis.”
I’ve added a brief narration and some sound effects to this silent film. I would like to thank the teachers, institutions, and individuals who have helped preserve and share Mr. Reilly’s wonderful gift to the world of art.
Links for further reading
Direct link to this video on YouTube
Harvey Dunn is featured in a major new book written by illustration historian Walt Reed of Illustration House Galleries. You can find out more about the book called Harvey Dunn, Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West available at the publisher, Flesk Publications, or the South Dakota Art Museum museum. And the book is available only in limited quantities at Amazon.
Post about Dunn on David Apatoff’s "Illustration Art" blog.
Post about Dunn on Charley Parker's "Lines and Colors"
Biography of Dunn on Jim V's BPIB
Walt Reed’s Illustration House
South Dakota Art Museum website on Dunn
Wikipedia on Harvey Dunn
Previously on GJ:
Reilly and Beyond