Harry Carmean, one of America’s premier figurative artists, has recently passed away at age 99 from natural causes on February 3, 2022. He had stated a few days before that he had accomplished everything he wanted to do in life, that he was ready to go, and he left this world completely at peace.
Harry enjoyed a long, productive life and touched many people’s lives along the way. In his twenties he pursued a singing career and was being scouted for the movies, but with the start of WW2, he joined the army and served in France and Germany for the duration of the war. Before returning home, he studied at L’Ecole de Beaux Arts in France which introduced him to the world of fine art. Back in the U.S., he began his studies at Art Center College of Design where he met Lorser Feitelson, who was the source of Harry’s unique knowledge of the old masters which gave his paintings and drawings their distinctive look. Harry went on to teach figurative art at Art Center College of Design for 43 years and has influenced thousands of students.
In the 1960’s, Harry continued to teach and paint and was featured regularly on the award-winning television show “Feitelson on Art”. He also started a family and had four children, Siobhan, Helen-Margaret, Kathlin and Brendahn, and later a grandson, Joseph. In 1975 two books were published on both his paintings and his drawings. In the 1980, his portrait of the band members of Black Sabbath was featured on their Heaven and Hell album.
In the 1979 Harry met artist Miriam Slater with whom he began collaborating on a series of commissions and murals through the 1990’s, while he continued to teach at Art Center and paint. In 1995 Harry was commissioned by the royal family to do a portrait of King Abdulaziz al Saud of Arabia. In the early 1980’s Harry designed and built (by hand) an art studio in Acton, CA, which took ten years to complete. Harry married Miriam in 1986 and they had two children, Erin and Sean. They later moved from the Los Angeles area to Santa Barbara in 1996, where he continued to follow his passion in life, drawing and painting.
Harry will be missed and loved by his family, his children, his friends, his many students, fellow artists and collectors worldwide. Thank you, Harry Carmean, for being the kind, humble, gracious person that we came to love, for touching our hearts and our lives, for being an inspiration for so many artists and for creating some of the most beautiful art the world has known.