Private Stash: Harris Strong Tile Art

Tammy wasn’t the only one to strike gold on our weekend adventure. After a full slate of tag and garage sales we had a van full of loot and, as usual, this did not stop us from ending our morning with a tour of thrift stores. Thrift stores are always very hit or miss. You can go every day for weeks and find nothing. Or you can stop in one morning and find two great pieces of mid-century tile art—for $1.49.

At the time I bought these walnut-framed, mounted tiles, I assumed they were cheap 1960s wall art with a great look. This type of decor was common, inexpensive and produced by a million different companies. Once I got them home and inspected them more closely, however, I realized they might be something more special. A little research revealed that these are the work of tile artisan Harris Strong. Jackpot!

Maybe jackpot is a strong word, but it’s a definite bonus to say the least. Strong’s work is extremely collectible and ranges from small decor pieces like these to more elaborate and multi-sectioned tile sculptures. These two tiles are fairly common, but I love the relief effect glazing, bright colors and city scenes. I wasn’t able to find a lot of information on Strong himself but examples of his work are easily found online. Although he worked in several mediums, he remains best known for his tile paintings and ceramics. He’s definitely an artist I’ll be adding to my “get” list.

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