Texas artist Gerald Harvey Jones painted Americana

Jones, who died in November, presented unapologetically nostalgic scenes.


Gerald Harvey Jones, known professionally as G. Harvey, died Nov. 13 at age 84. In his time, Jones was among the most famous artists in Austin. He painted popular Western scenes, but also urban streetscapes set at the turn of the past century. His work was unapologetically nostalgic, casting a golden glow on views of an Americana that already were fading before his birth in 1933 in San Antonio.

During his youth, Jones lived in Kenedy, Corpus Christi and Kerrville, where his family owned the Wagon Wheel Lodge and where he graduated from Tivy High School. He started his higher education at Abilene Christian College where he met his future wife, Patty Marie Bentley Jones.

A graduate of North Texas State University, he was teaching industrial arts at O. Henry Junior High in Austin during the late 1950s when his wife bought him an oil paint set. Once he settled on a style, Jones’ career took off, helped by the patronage of celebrities such as Texas Gov. John Connally and President Lyndon B. Johnson.

If you visited the offices of a Texas lawyer, banker or legislator during the 1960s and ’70s — or even much later — you were likely to spy a scene from prolific Jones on the wall. An Austin street setting, for instance, hangs in a prominent spot at the Headliners Club.

Some observers compared his work to the Impressionists, others to Texas artists José Arpa and Porfirio Salinas, as well as Robert Julian Onderdonk. Still others, later, made a connection to popular “Painter of Light” artist Thomas Kinkade. He also worked in bronzes and his art was shown and sold in Dallas, New York City, Santa Fe and elsewhere.

The first dealer to purchase Jones’ work was D.C Bradford of the Country Store Gallery on Lavaca Street in 1956. In 1965, what later became Shoal Creek Gallery was founded by Jones with two partners, but he sold it after one of those partners died. In 1985, Jones moved with his family from Austin to Fredericksburg, where they owned the large, historic Weyrich-Arhelger complex at 424 Main St. His son-in-law, Tim Taylor, owns Whistle Pik Galleries, which represents Jones there.

Starting in 1987, Jones donated yearly paintings to raise money for Focus on the Family, a Christian advocacy and education group.

He will be interred at the Texas State Cemetery and a public memorial is planned for early spring 2018. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or a charity of one’s choice.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Here’s what we’re watching at today’s Austin City Council meeting
Here’s what we’re watching at today’s Austin City Council meeting

Today is the Austin City Council’s last general meeting of 2017, with a lengthy agenda of items officials hope to tackle before the council takes a six-week winter break. After initially agreeing to the idea, council members may vote for good to waive $6.8 million in permit fees for the first phase of the state’s Texas Capitol Complex plan...
Blake Farenthold won’t seek re-election amid sexual harassment claims
Blake Farenthold won’t seek re-election amid sexual harassment claims

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold won’t seek re-election, less than a week after a House committee opened an investigation into sexual harassment claims from a former aide. Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, made the announcement Thursday morning on his campaign Facebook page. “I’d never served in public office before. I had no idea how to run...
Woman evicted days before her 94th birthday, jailed when she refuses to leave, police say
Woman evicted days before her 94th birthday, jailed when she refuses to leave, police say

A 93-year-old Eustis woman was in jail Wednesday night after being arrested for allegedly refusing to leave her home at National Church Residences’ Franklin House after being evicted, police said. Juanita Fitzgerald was jailed just days before her 94th birthday on Friday. According to a Eustis Police Department arrest report, Fitzgerald had been...
Restaurant employee used Snapchat to track teen customers, police say
Restaurant employee used Snapchat to track teen customers, police say

Police in Alpharetta, Georgia, have arrested a restaurant employee accused of using Snapchat to stalk two teenage girls. Jason Porras, 23, is charged with enticing a minor for indecent purposes. “Someone had been randomly reaching out to her on social media and over time had sent her inappropriate messages,” the father of one of the girls...
FORECAST: Cold front to bring highs in 50s, rain chances this weekend
FORECAST: Cold front to bring highs in 50s, rain chances this weekend

Thursday forecast for Austin: Temperatures across the Austin area will once again remain seasonable, with highs expected to reach into the mid-60s across the area.  However, a cold front expected to arrive Thursday morning will bring a new dose of cooler air that will slowly sink in, which will set the stage for a chilly overnight as temperatures...
More Stories