Jerry Harris

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Jerry Harris in 2008
Jerry Harris, Dogon mother and child

Jerry Harris (November 23, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – February 11, 2016 in Chico, California) is an abstract sculptor, collagist and writer. Harris was primarily a constructivist sculptor, working in media such as wood, stone, bronze, fiberglass, clay, metal, mixed media (found objects), and collage.


After graduating from high school in Pittsburgh, he spent a year in Portland, Oregon with his uncle, professional wrestler and referee Shag Thomas.[1] Harris attended community college in Portland and then transferred to Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and San Francisco State University.

He then studied sculpture under James Lee Hansen, a leading Pacific Northwest sculptor who taught at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon until his retirement. Subsequently, Harris was accepted in the international sculptor's program at the St Martins School of Art, now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design London, England, where his teachers included Sir Anthony Caro, Phillip King and Frank Martin. Harris also did special studies in bronze casting at the Central School of Art and Design, London, under Henry Abercrombie.

Harris lived in Stockholm and Lund, Sweden, for many years until the death of his wife, the Swede Britt-Marie Olofsson-Harris, in 1996. He befriended many African-American visual artists while living in Sweden, such as Herbert Gentry and Harvey Cropper. In 1998 Harris returned to the United States and his home town of Pittsburgh. He was elected into The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the nation's second oldest artists' association, where he felt welcomed by the African-American sculptor Thaddeus Mosley. Harris later moved to Eugene, Oregon, and lived in Chico, California.[1]

Since 1988 Harris was a member of the Swedish Sculptors Association. His sculptures can be found in many private national and international collections, and in the permanent Swedish National Art Collection in Stockholm (Statenskonstrad). He has exhibited throughout Sweden, elsewhere in Europe, and in the United States in various galleries and museums.[2]


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