Ben Jorj Harris

(1904-1957) “Ben Jorj Harris” is actually the nom de brosse of the combined talents of Benjamin R. Harris and his wife, Georgette, who joined forces to freelance after both had worked for various design firms. The birth/death years are his. He is erroneously listed as African-American in many online bios.

Ben Harris is born and raised in Albany, Georgia, a relative of Joel Chandler Harris, author of the popular Uncle Remus stories. Little survives of his timeline prior to arrival in New York, but all accounts make him something of a renaissance man. He is a licensed pilot, architect, artist, photographer, engraver and gifted raconteur.Image Ben Harris and wife Georgette Courtesy of Don MacNeil

Georgette graduated from Skidmore College and dives into newspaper work, both as a writer and cartoonist. She next appears as a teacher of airbrush art at the College of New Rochelle before being named Art Director of Warner Bros. music publishing division.

Together they produce sheet music cover art, covers for national magazines and ad layouts for clients like Pabst beer, Hiram Walker, Standard Brands, Dr. Pepper and A&P supermarkets.

But their highest profile work is that done for Newman Décor, a high-end national furniture distributor that boasts original artworks guaranteed to match their fabrics.

They publish a how-to instruction book, “Airbrush Illustration” in 1947.

Their style remains unwaveringly Art Deco, a design look that surfaces internationally in the mid-1920s and thrives into the 1950s.

bio submitted by Nat Humphreys

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s