Monday, November 28, 2011

Harvey Emrich (1884-1972)

Harvey Emrich was born in Indianapolis on October 9, 1884, and graduated from Manual Training High School in 1903. His post-secondary education came at the Herron School of Art (1903-1904), Butler University, and the Art Students League. Emrich also enjoyed the rare opportunity of studying art in France, but at the cost of going to war as a member of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I. As the war was drawing to a close, John Erskine, director of the YMCA for the AEF, instituted an art program for soldiers, in which Emrich took part and advanced his studies.

During the 1920s and '30s, Emrich was a member of the artists' colony at Woodstock, New York. Henry Maust, Hanson Booth, and John Striebel were among the other Hoosiers in residence there. Emrich created illustrations for a number of popular magazines, including Everybody's, Harper's, People's Home Journal, and Woman's Home Companion. He was also a fine artist and won a figure composition award (and a $200 prize) at the Hoosier Salon in 1928. He exhibited his work at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery, and with the Woodstock Artists Association. By the early 1940s, Emrich had returned to his hometown and was president of the Emrich Furniture Company on the west side of Indianapolis. He died in March 1972 at age eighty-seven.

"Noon" by Harvey Emrich, ca. 1928. I have seen another version of this painting in which the image is flipped. That one doesn't quite read right, so I have used this version instead.
An illustration by Emrich for All That Matters by Edgar A. Guest (1922), a book that included other illustrations by W.T. Benda, M.L. Bower, F.X. Leyendecker, Frederick Coffay Yohn, Robert E. Johnston, and Pruett Carter. Yohn was a fellow Hoosier, known for his battle scenes and historical paintings. Horses would appear to be an Emrich specialty.
A still-life painting by Harvey Emrich.
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

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