Tony Harrison Biography

Tony Harrison




Tony Harrison, painter, printmaker, and teacher, was born in Truro, England on August 18, 1931. He studied architecture at the Northern Polytechnic in London from 1949 to 1951, and then studied painting at the Chelsea School of Art and painting and printmaking at the Central School of Arts and Crafts where his tutors included Peter Cocker. He received a National Diploma in Design for painting and the Central School Diploma in printmaking.

Between 1956 and 1963, Harrison’s work is shown in London at St. George’s Gallery, the Piccadilly Gallery, and the Kaplan Gallery. He taught part-time at the Central School of Arts and Crafts for eight years.

In 1964 Harrison had a solo exhibition of drawings and prints at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and he taught briefly at San Francisco State College. By December of that year Harrison became a permanent resident of the United States. He lived and worked in New York for the next nineteen years. Between 1965 and 1971, he taught at the Pratt Graphics Center, New York University, and Robert Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop. Hired as a full time instructor in 1970, Harrison installed the first printmaking workshop at Columbia University where he taught etching and engraving for twenty-five years.

Harrison became a citizen of the United States in 1973 and, within the following two years, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Creative Artist Public Service (CAPS) fellowship from the New York State Council on the Arts. He showed his work at a number of New York galleries, including the Bertha Schaefer Gallery, the Anita Shapolsky Gallery, Associated American Artists, and the Sylvan Cole Gallery.

In 1983, Harrison moved to Jersey City, New Jersey and converted a small factory into his studio and living space. Four years later he received a Fellowship Award from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Harrison’s work is represented in the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Tony Harrison passed away at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey, on 20 August 2012.