Harry H. Horn, American (1901 - 1982)

Harry Horn

So many talented artists were forced to hold down "regular" jobs in order to support their families, affording them only bits and pieces of any found spare time to work on mastering their craft. Often, in such cases, there is little known about the artistic background of these artists. We can then only measure their level of merit from the artwork they left behind. In the case of Harry Horn, the level of merit is high.

We know that he was born in Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1901. He spent time in and around the New Hope art community and lived the last forty-two years of his life in nearby Newtown, Pennsylvania. Although he was enrolled in the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, he was thought to be largely self-taught. It was said by Horn that he was helped a great deal by fellow New Hope artists, Dr. R.C. Magill and George Sotter; also that he had been given helpful pointers by Daniel Garber and Edward Redfield. The influence of Sotter is obvious in Horn's winter night scenes, and the rich impasto of Redfield and colorful palette of Garber are reflected in Horn's The Road to Town.

Although he worked as the "Information Man" at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal market, Harry Horn painted as his avocation. A self-taught artist, he was highly accomplished and successful. Working in the modernist era, Horn instead pursued an impressionistic style of painting. Encouraged by Daniel Garber and Edward Redfield, whom he had met while painting, he specialized in landscapes, barns, and the historic structures of Bucks County, which he painted in oils. He later focused on subjects in Newtown where he lived, before the commercial development of the area during the 1950's. His paintings recorded the older Newtown buildings before they were destroyed or renovated. Ironically, Horn's own stone house was incorporated into a shopping center. He also enjoyed painting the natural features of Newtown, such as the creek behind his house.

While Horn was an avid painter, exhibiting regularly at the Phillips Mill in the 1930s and 1940s, he worked until his retirement as an information agent at the Reading Terminal in Philadelphia.


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