Samuel Hyde Harris was born in Middlesex, England in 1889. At the ripe age of fourteen, Harris was already a successful commercial artist and illustrator. At age 17, his family moved to California, where he painted signs, billboards, and show cards. He began advanced formal art training in 1906 at the local Art Students League and Cannon Art Schools with Hanson Puthuff, F. Tolles Chamberlin, and Stanton MacDonald-Wright. At the age of 25 in 1914, he opened a commercial art studio.
In 1920 he was hired by railway companies to create posters, and exhibited at the California Art Club for over fifty years. His work was shown in hundreds of exhibitions at other venues including the Painters and Sculptors of Southern California, the Pacific Advertising Club Association (1929), the San Gabriel Artists Guild, and the Laguna Beach Art Association, winning over one hundred awards in California. He taught art classes at clubs, groups, and at the Chouinard School of Art. In 1950 he bought Jack Wilkinson Smith’s studio in Champion Place, where he could view the San Gabriel Mountains from his window sill. He taught private art lessons at the Chouinard Art School and took many painting trips to Arizona. He is known particularly for Impressionist paintings of the Los Angeles Chavez Ravine, the San Pedro harbor, and desert views. He worked in cool colors of pale greens and blues, and lavender.
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