James Taylor Harwood 1860 - 1940

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J. T. Harwood was born in Lehi, Utah, on April 8, 1860, into an arts-oriented family. As a youth he spent time sketching, and later studied art with Utah artists George M. Ottinger and Danquart A. Weggeland. In 1888, at their urging, Harwood became one of the first of a group of Utah-born artists to travel to France and study art in Paris . Harwood met Guy Rose; the two went to Paris in 1888, shared a room, and enrolled at the Académie Julian in September.  In the following summer, Harwood was studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.  In 1894, he described the formidable entrance exam (in written French), in which questions were asked in architecture, perspective, anatomy, and ancient and modern history.  At the Ecole, his teachers were Jules-Joseph Lefebvre and Léon Bonnat.  The works of Jean-François Millet and Corot influenced the young Harwood.

Harwood returned to Salt Lake City in 1890, then set up a studio.  Soon he had a group of students, but he and his new, much younger bride Harriet traveled back to France in the summer of 1891.  Harwood executed works at Pont-Aven, for example, Child of Brittany, which still recalls Robert Wylie’s dark style.  Pont-Aven’s painters displayed a variety of styles after 1890; it was after all, the beginning of post-impressionism ever since Sérusier painted The Talisman (1888; Musée d’Orsay).  Needless to say, a conservative element remained in Brittany’s artists’ colonies.  In 1892, Harwood’s Preparations for Dinner (University Union Collection, Utah Museum of Fine Arts) was hung in the Paris Salon.  Bonnat declared in a letter that Harwood was “one of my strongest pupils and a very talented artist.” (quoted in South, 1986, p. 64).  Two works from that summer, Pont Aven (Museum of Church History and Art, Salt Lake City) and Luncheon at Pont Aven (Ramon and Patsy Johnson Collection) show Harwood’s bright and pleasant plein-air style.  Harwood returned again to Salt Lake City where he, Edwin Evans, and John Hafen taught at their Academy of Art.  “What the Paris group did perpetuate,” writes Linda Jones Gibbs (1987, p. 41), “was enthusiasm and professional commitment to the fine arts.”  Their students “each had to face the individual challenge of European influences into both a personal and regional style.”
Reference Sources : Springville Museum Of Art