This sparkling original oil on canvas by Robert George Harris appeared the December 1948 issue of McCall’s magazine, illustrating the story “When the Right One Comes Along” by Clara Wallace Overton. The long-running women’s magazine was known for its romantic fiction, and the hospital workplace love affair was a particularly popular subgenre. Here, the lovely nurse realizes the dashing compassionate doctor is indeed the one she has been pining for. This luscious and moodily lit moment is fabulously rendered by Harris, an artist we have always admired. Canvas back shows publication stamp, and the backing cardboard has an adhered photograph of the image as published, along with a handwritten title card and bold signature in the artist’s hand. Additionally a full copy of the December, 1948 edition of McCall’s Magazine is included in the sale.
A biography on the artist courtesy of David Saunders :
Robert George Harris was born September 9, 1911 in Kansas City, Missouri. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, under the tutelage of Monte Crews. Emery Clarke, John Falter, and Richard Lyon were also art students there at the same time.
In 1933 he left for New York City, he opened an art studio in New Rochelle, where he shared a space with John Falter, Emery Clarke, and Richard Lyon. Charles LaSalle, John Scott, and Graves Gladney were also neighbors. He continued his studies with Harvey Dunn at the Grand Central School of Art and with George Bridgman at the Art Students League.
His first published assignments were with the pulps, creating story illustrations for Street & Smith’s Western Story. He went on to paint covers for Complete Stories, Double Action Western, Doc Savage, Pete Rice Western, Thrilling Adventures, Western Round-Up, Western Story, and Wild West Weekly.
In 1937 he was signed by American Artists Agency, which helped him to move up from the pulps to illustrating slick magazines. He worked for Cosmopolitan,Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Liberty, McCall’s, Redbook, and The Saturday Evening Post.
During WWII he volunteered to join the USO Artists For Freedom Project, which was organized by the NY Society of Illustrators to bring together over 200 artists to draw thousands of portrait sketches of wounded servicemen recuperating in military hospitals. Harris visited hospitals in New York, Connecticut, Virginia, and North Carolina.
After the war he continued to paint for the slick magazines, He also worked in advertising for Coca-Cola, Cannon Sheets and other brand-name accounts.
Robert Harris died at age of 96 on December 23, 2007