in Brentford, Middlesex, England, Samuel Hyde Harris became a California
impressionist landscape painter, especially known for his views of Chavez
Ravine, a canyon on the edge of Los Angeles and for desert and San Pedro harbor
views. Most of his paintings were done with a palette of "subtle pale greens,
lavenders, muted blues, and buffs, colors associated with the haziest of
Southern California days." (Moure 164).
Harris won over 100 awards during his career, which he began as an illustrator. He came to the United States in 1904 and settled in Los Angeles where he studied at the local Art Students League and Cannon Art Schools with Hanson Puthuff, F. Tolles Chamberlin and Stanton MacDonald-Wright.
For many years he taught art privately and at the Chouinard Art School. He worked as an illustrator including posters of the Southwest for the Santa Fe Railroad. In the 1920s and 30s, he and Hanson Puthuff went on many painting trips into Arizona and California. In 1950 until the end of his life in 1977, he lived in Alhambra, where he had purchased Jack Wilkinson Smith's studio. He reportedly had a magnetic, colorful personality and strongly disavowed modernist in art.