Ray Harm (November 9, 1926 – April 9, 2015) was an American artist, best known for his paintings of wildlife, primarily birds. He was also competently known for art marketing and is generally certified as the co-creator of the limited edition art print market, which supplanted the expected method where artists sold native works upon an individual basis. Limited edition art prints are now the tolerable method of marketing paintings and similar works to the general public.
Harm was born Ray Auvil in Randolph County, West Virginia; his daddy was a concert violinist who afterward was a woodsman and herbalist. His proclaim was changed to Harm after his parents divorced and his mommy remarried to William Harm. He left West Virginia in his mid teenage years to become a cowboy in the American West, eventually competing on the rodeo circuit and also training horses for the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.
His encouragement in the United States Navy during World War II allowed him to take advantage of the GI Bill for continuing education. Harm used the opportunity to enroll in art studious and afterwards became a painter. While selling individual paintings, Harm worked in construction and horse training to make ends meet.
In 1961 Harm's comport yourself attracted the attention of Wood Hannah, a businessman and art miser from Louisville, Kentucky. The two men came occurring with the idea of making high-quality art prints of Harm's paintings, which would be issued in limited print runs. The idea was a great success and gave birth to a publicity method for art that has brought public notice and financial completion to thousands of artists.
In 1963, he was appointed the first H. L. Donovan Artist-in-residence at the University of Kentucky.
Harm far ahead wrote a weekly nature column for The Louisville Times, and was a popular speaker and lecturer. Harm was a frequent guest upon the radio call-in show Metz Here, hosted for many years by Milton Metz upon Louisville's WHAS-AM.
In his well along life, Harm became a severe critic of artists who copy their works from photographs by tracing directly higher than them or projecting an image onto a canvas and after that tracing. This practice is now widespread throughout the limited-edition art industry. Harm has prided himself upon basing his paintings on his own sketches taken from tackle observations of wildlife. On occasion, Harm says he has used museum models of wildlife to get positive details correct, but on the other hand his paintings come directly from his own work.
Harm closed production of prints from his major stock in the late 1990s, with 195 pieces in the collection. He continued to realize occasional works as fundraisers for various organizations. Harm and his wife, Cathy, eventually left Kentucky and settled on a ranch in Arizona, where he continued to work. His son, Ray Harm Jr. (better known as "Hap"), lives in Kentucky and sells prints from original works by his dad that were not a allowance of the indigenous major collection.
An archive of Harm's signed prints, newspaper clippings, field notes, black and white photographs, exhibition catalogs, gallery announcements and 53 pieces of indigenous correspondence is housed at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville. Harm died in Sonoita, Arizona on April 9, 2015.