Artwork of the Week: December 13, 2020
Harvey Dunn (1884 – 1952), Logging Camp, c. 1951, oil on canvas, 30 x 81 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of anonymous donor, 1992.
Best known for his work as an artist-correspondent with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, Harvey Dunn enjoyed a successful career as an illustrator before and after the war. While he published work regularly in books and magazines, including Collier’s Weekly, Scribner’s, and The Saturday Evening Post, he considered his most significant contribution to have been the years he spent teaching younger artists. While many American landscapes symbolically refer to the land’s potential in bringing forth natural resources, Dunn’s Logging Camp illustrates the realization of that potential in the form of America’s timber industry. Twentieth century lumberman and paper mills employed loggers to clear company-owned land from fall to spring, ten hours a day, 6 days a week. Difficult and dangerous work, loggers arose before sunrise and walked from camp to their chances— an assigned section of forest—where they felled trees and sectioned the trunks into four-foot logs using an axe and bucksaw before hauling the cords of wood off to the mill site.