George Overbury “Pop” Hart


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Painter and printmaker. An irreverent, bohemian personality who spent much of his life recording extensive travels in informal sketches and watercolors, he often included humorous or satirical touches. Executed in his characteristically fluid, illustrative watercolor technique, The Bahamas (Whitney Museum, c. 1918) depicts black inhabitants along a shore. As usual, Hart's grasp of gesture, picturesque detail, and amusing incident lends charm and visual interest to a simply but effectively composed scene. After taking up printmaking in his fifties, he often used earlier drawings as the basis for drypoints, etchings, and lithographs. Born in Cairo, Illinois, Hart briefly attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked as an illustrator for a Chicago newspaper before 1900, when he began wandering through Europe, Central America, and the Pacific islands. Between 1907 and 1912 he worked as a sign painter in the New York City area, and for the following eight years he painted movie sets in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He spent much of the 1920s traveling again, in the West Indies, Europe, Mexico, and North Africa. He died near Fort Lee, in Coytesville, where he had lived in poor health during his final years.

Subjects: Art.

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