Ray Harm Collection: New Filson Acquisition

By Robin Wallace
Reference Specialist

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Ray Harm at The Filson on Nov. 30, 2004, for the release and signing of Spring Feeder. Harm’s artistic training took place at the Cooper Union School of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art. However, his extensive knowledge of botany and animal life was gleaned from an immersion in the natural habitat of his subjects. The instruction of his father, an herbalist and naturalist in West Virginia, his early jobs on the cattle ranches and in the rodeos of America’s West, and hundreds of hours of field observation in the United States and abroad have all given Ray Harm a perspective and breadth that few can rival.

Harm, along with Louisville businessman Wood Hannah, pioneered the limited edition print industry in the early 1960s with the founding of their Frame House Gallery Publishing Company, which led to Harm’s national recognition and global popularity. His career, spanning the past 30 years, includes such accolades as a commission of a bald eagle painting for President John F. Kennedy, an appointment as the Herman L. Donovan Artist-in-Residence at the University of Kentucky, an appointment by Gov. Bert T. Combs as official naturalist and lecturer for Kentucky’s parks system, and five honorary doctorates in the humanities and fine arts.

Spring Feeder Harm has generously donated a new collection to The Filson Historical Society comprised of signed prints, newspaper clippings, field notes, black and white photographs, exhibition catalogs, gallery announcements and 53 pieces of original correspondence. The library and the special collections departments of The Filson jointly keep the collection. Obtaining items such as the Ray Harm Collection add to the legacy and variety of our holdings by Ohio Valley Artists and gives our collection greater range and depth as we strive to bring our valuable holding into the 21st century.

Ray Harm graciously partnered with The Filson in November 2004 for the release and signing of his limited edition print Spring Feeder, the final print in his seasonal bird feeder series. Fifty percent of proceeds from sales are donated to The Filson. These 16” x 28” prints are still available for purchase for $100 each. Please call (502) 635-5083 or purchase online.

Volume 5, Number 1

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