"Mabel Rollins Harris"

Mabel Rollins Harris image

Mabel Rollins Harris

  This pastel on illustration board was created by Mabel Rollins Harris. She did illustrations for Rust Craft and Norcross Greeting Cards, and we believe that this illustration may have been done for use on a Christmas card. The sight size is 14" x 18 1/2", and the size of the framed piece is 25" x 31". It is in good condition.


  Beginning in the late 1920's through the end of the 1930's, Mabel Rollins Harris created some of the most admired pastels in the calendar art business. She created several Art Deco pin-up nudes during this era. During the 1920's, she created three pin-ups for the Thomas D. Murphy Company. Rolf Armstrong, one of the top pin-up artists of the time, told the firm's art director that he envied the brilliant glow and softness of her finished pastels. During the 1930's, she created pin-ups for the Gerlach Barklow Calendar Company, as well. The most successful was another nude, a pretty woman seated on a rock in the moonlight, surrounded by deep blue water. It was used in the company's 1930 calendar line. Harris also did calendar work for the Brown and Bigelow Calendar Company and the Joseph C. Hoover and Sons Calendar Company, where her series depicting young women in fantasy gardens was a huge success. Her original paintings for such images were done in pastels on stretched canvas. Regardless of subject matter, many of her paintings averaged 18 x 22 inches.

  Although most of the information found concerning the work of Mabel Rollins Harris centers around her pin-up images, she is also well known for creating hundreds of images depicting babies and young children, which were used on calendars and magazines. Her work was extremely popular in the mainstream illustration and publishing community. Major magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post commissioned her to paint pastel images for their covers. For quite a few years, she also did work for the Rust Craft and Norcross greeting card companies, specializing in Christmas and religous subjects. Ms. Harris is known as the finest female illustrator of the Art Deco Era. Her images have been reproduced and published on millions of calendars, puzzles, fans, greeting cards, and on candy boxes.

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