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Fine Art/Harry D. Reeks

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Hi,
I bought what I think is probably a silkscreen at a little thrift store.  It is framed and matted.  The print itself (not including the matting/frame) is approx. 9"x13".  I thought it was a painting, but then I noticed that it is signed on the painting part, and also below in pencil.  The painting just says Reeks, but the pencil signature below says Harry D. Reeks.  To the left of the pencil signature, also in pencil, it says Fisherman's Wharf.  It really "grabbed" me, and I'm interested in hearing any information you might have about it, especially if I need to do anything in particular to care for it, and about what the value is.  Thanks!   Sincerely, Kelly Armstrong

Answer
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Harry Reeks was a landscape painter and military sketch artist who has painted city views of New Orleans and battle scenes in the Far East. By 1939, he was active in California, where he returned after the war for several years and did silkscreen prints of San Francisco scenes such as the Golden Gate Bridge, flower vendors, cable cars, etc. He also did a print of the Victory Statue in Union Square.

In 1941, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and saw action on Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Bougainville, and Siapan. He was the only official combat artist to land on Iwa Jima with the invasion force and spent thirty days on the island sketching the campaign.

He died in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in 1982.


Sources:
Ben Kozlovsky, Sr. submitted June 2003
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
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The following, submitted June 2003, is from Hank Springer of Meridian, Mississippi. He was a friend of the artist, when both Springer and the artist were young men.

Harry Reeks was not only a painter, as mentioned, but a very talented andproficient sculptor. He was also a lover of history, and through hisuntiring, intensive study into the many written descriptions of General Sam Dale, we can enjoy the countenance that goes with the biography of this great American hero.

Reeks erected a monument to the honor and memory of General Sam Dale, at great expense to himself, over and above the funds allotted for the project, at Daleville, Mississippi. He located Dale's remains and re-interred the same in thefoundation of themarble shrine.

This memorial not only reflects the talents of Harry Reeks as an accomplished sculptor, but his engineering genius as well. This statue that experts said would not stand on its own proved its structural integrity in full size, when first erected from clay and steel, before later being poured in liquid marble.

Harry cast many individual molds of the various areas of the original work at his home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi,to be reassembled at the Daleville site for the purpose of casting the entire monument in a monolith ofmarble.

More than two thirds of the delicate molds were broken during transport and were required to be painstakingly recreated by the artist. This task required many additional weeks of work.

This work of art stands today in the tiny settlement of Daleville, Mississippi, not only to commemorate the greatness of a distinguished hero ofour earlyhistory as a nation, as Harry wanted, but as a testament to theinexhaustible efforts and creative genius of Harry D. Reeks.
Value is probably $500-$700  

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Joseph B. Laskowski

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I have been researching,buying, collecting, dealing, and appraising 19th and 20th Century American Art (1850-1950) for the past 15 years. Ask me anything about this topic. I am a member of the Pennsylvania Antiques Appraisers Association.

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Experienced in American Art from the period 1850-1950. This Includes Impressionism, Regionalism, Early American Modernism, Hudson River School, WPA. I have 15 years researching, collecting, dealing, and appraising in this field. Ran a Fine Art gallery for 3 years in Phoenixville, Pa. that focused on American and European art from the 1800's to contemporary works. Rare books focused on fine art monographs and catalogue raisonne.

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Pennsylvania Antique Appraisers Association
American Society of Appraisers (Candidate)

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Brimfield Rush, a book written by Bob Wyss of the University of Connecticut. It details the escapades, trials and travails of myself, my ex, and other individuals who have been to Brimfield , Mass. to tame the largest flea market in North America. Maybe even the world.

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BA from Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina
Appraisal Studies at George Washington University

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