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Harvey H. Meadows, Jr. (abt. 1908-1962)

Sleeping Man

c. 1930

Ink or wash on paper; 8 3/4 x 17 inches (sight). Signed lower right: "Harvey H. Meadows"

Exhibitions:

Enduring America: Selections from the Collection of Art and Peggy Hittner, Northern Arizona University Art Museum, April 7 - May 29, 2015.

Reproduced:

Enduring America (catalogue)

References:

(see footnote to text)

Provenance:

Grogan & Company, Dedham, MA (September 21, 2003, lot 73, with three other drawings), from the estate of a New York City attorney.

Notes:

Reframed and matted; small tear perpendicular to right margin, minor discoloration.

      This sensitive depiction of a proud but downtrodden victim of the Great Depression was executed by an obscure Midwestern artist identified as Harvey Hatchett Meadows, Jr.  With an economy of line, a keen eye and a deft touch, Meadows has captured the essence of the human tragedy that characterized the decade of the Thirties. The artist first appears in the 1910 census records as a three-year-old living in Georgia with his Indiana-born parents, Harvey and Loretta Meadows. By 1924, he was a senior at Central High School in Evansville, Indiana, where his yearbook photo is accompanied by the following couplet indicative of his artistic accomplishments and aspirations:

In forming an artist, art has thus decreed

To make some good but others to exceed.

       As other references place Meadows in New York in 1930 and 1938, it is likely that the artist moved there to obtain training or otherwise further his artistic career. He died in 1962, a resident of Farmingdale, New York.*

    Several other drawings by Meadows have surfaced, three of which (Figs. 1-3 below, formerly in this collection) are vignettes of rural American life and one of which (a military subject) bears a penciled notation referencing Fort Eustis, Virginia. Hopefully, additional research will provide further details regarding the life and work of this talented but unrecorded artist. 

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* Per US Veterans Cemetery records. Biographical information above derives from genealogical material assembled by Gary S. Collins and posted at the following web address:

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=garyscottcollins&id=I545616773.

Previously in the Collection:

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Figs. 1, 2 & 3 - Harvey H. Meadows, Jr., Scenes of American Rural Life: The Picket Fence, The Front Porch, Felling Trees, c. 1930, charcoal on Arches Paper, each approximately 9 x 12 inches (unsigned except The Picket Fence which bears monogram "HM" in lower right).  Present whereabouts unknown.