Frank Macoy "Mac" Harshberger (1900 - 1975)
Artist and illustrator Frank Macoy Harshberger Jr. was born in Tacoma, Washington to a comfortable family that was active in the arts there. He studied under Ambrose Patterson at the University of Washington and in1921 moved to Paris and studied at the Académie Ranson under Maurice Denis. Upon his return in 1925, he settled in New York City, where he taught painting and design for 27 years at the Pratt Institute. Harshberger and his partner composer Holland Robinson, formed Robinson-Harshberger Productions, largely devoted to small edition illustrated books featuring Robinson’s compositions, Kay Harshberger’s poetry, and Harshberger’s illustrations.
His distinctive pen and ink drawings, suggestive of Aubrey Beardsley and Eric Gill, are held to be an early manifestation of the Art Deco style, and were used to illustrate books of poetry by Shakespeare, Browning, Shelley, Yeats, and others. Despite his manifest talent, Harshberger produced work in so many varied disciplines that fragmented his overall impact. It was not until the 1986 exhibition in San Francisco of his overall work, Mac Harshberger: Art Deco Américain, that his talent was widely recognized. His work is held in a number of museum collections. Harshberger died in Stamford, Connecticut.