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    G. (Gerald Harvey Jones) Harvey (American, 1933-2017)
    When the Cowboys Come to Town -- Houston 1900, 1983
    Oil on canvas
    40 x 60 inches (101.6 x 152.4 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: G. Harvey / 1983
    Titled and inscribed on the reverse: #0650 / When Cowboys Come / to Town / -- Houston 1900
    Signed and titled on the backing board affixed to the reverse: When the Cowboys Come / to Town / Houston 1900 / G Harvey

    Private collection, Houston, Texas.

    In some parts of the rural West, cowhands still do the same chores and meet the same challenges that they performed a hundred years ago-- even as cities modernize and advance around them. From the turn of one century to the turn of the next, basic life has changed little. Herding cattle, worrying about drought and water, mending fences, dealing with extreme heat and cold, still needs to be done by the cowhand, who himself has not changed. For him, being a "cowboy" is more than a dream. It is a reality he faces every day and night with inner strength as his greatest asset. Among the western painters of today, there is none more capable of encapsulating this narrative than G. Harvey. In paintings such as When Cowboys Come to Town--Houston, 1900, he encourages the viewer not only to see the physical elements of his subject, but also sense an overarching mood.

    Gerald Harvey Jones, better known as G. Harvey, grew up in the Texas Hill Country listening to his father and grandfather tell stories about ranch life and frontier days in Texas, all the while driving cattle across the Red River. His grandfather was a cowboy during the trail-driving era when legends grew up along the dusty trails north from Texas. Family stories of wild cattle and tough men were absorbed and became the genesis of G. Harvey's art. A graduate in fine arts at North Texas State University, Harvey taught full-time and painted nights and weekends for several years. It was through painting that he found his greatest satisfaction, and his native central Texas Hill Country provided the inspiration for most of his earliest work.

    With the development of his talent and the growth of his following, Harvey began to expand his artistic horizons. He left teaching and concentrated on a career in fine art. He sought the essence that is Texas and found it not only along the banks of the Guadalupe, but in cow camps west of the Pecos, and in the shadows of tall buildings in big Texas cities.

    The streets of Houston once echoed with the sound of horses' hooves and the jingle of spurs. Historic photographs reveal what the city looked like, but only an artist like Harvey enables a viewer to experience the mood and flavor of the time. Contemporary western art, from its roots in illustration art, has too often centered on literal representations. Artists like G. Harvey take a step further, offering subjective impressions unique to their experiences. Harvey was a soft-spoken and unassuming man who cared deeply about what he painted, without becoming maudlin or melodramatic. One senses there is more in each Harvey painting than what is confined to the canvas.

    Painted on a grand scale and measuring five feet across, When the Cowboys Come to Town-Houston, 1900 tells the romantic story of the Texas cowboy surviving and thriving within the ever-changing terrain. Venturing forward on horses as the city lights, figures in modern dress, buggies and cable cars swirl around them, the cowboys at the center of the work appear virile and heroic. They seem unfazed and undeterred by the new city rising around them.

    When the Cowboys Come to Town-Houston, 1900 is an iconic, powerful representation of the traditional American West. So much so, in fact, that reproductions of the present work are in high demand, and are some of the most popular cowboy posters found on the web today.

    Condition Report*: Unlined canvas; there appears to be no major visible condition issues to note.
    Framed Dimensions 53 X 73 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2019
    1st Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,669

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