Friday, April 14, 2017

The Coca- Cola Art of Jim Harrison

Idgie Says:
This is a beautiful book that managed to throw me back in time to small Southern towns where Coca-Cola was king and almost every building had a sign of some sort for the product. 

The artistry is lovely and this is a book that I will definitely keep front and center on the coffee table. I  feel this would make a great gift for the nostalgia lovers in our lives.

The only regret I have with this book is that the artwork doesn't provide the actual location of the buildings, therefore leaving me to play the guessing game as to if I had seen a particular place in real life or not.


Coca-Cola is a true American original and one of the world’s most recognized and popular American products. In The Coca-Cola Art of Jim Harrison, the artist traces his lifelong love affair with the Coca-Cola trademark that began during his childhood in rural South Carolina.

Harrison enjoyed drinking the sweet and effervescent beverage, but he also was attracted to the Coca-Cola trademark that was blazoned on buildings and signs in his home town. After years of marveling at the work of local sign painter J. J. Cornforth, Harrison approached the seventy-year-old for a summer job. During several summers Cornforth taught Harrison the craft. When the young artist climbed atop the scaffold in the summer of 1952 to paint his first Coca-Cola sign, little did he know that he was launching a career as one of America’s foremost landscape artists.

In 1975 Harrison created a painting of a country store that featured a fading Coca-Cola sign he and Cornforth had painted twenty years earlier. The painting, titled "Disappearing America," was offered as one of the first limited-edition Coca-Cola collector prints for $40 by Frame House Gallery. All 1,500 copies sold out quickly, propelling him into the national spotlight through the publisher’s network of 600 dealers. Harrison soon became the undisputed leader in rural Americana art, with this and many of his other prints appreciating up to 3,000 percent of their original value.

Since entering into a licensee relationship with the Coca-Cola Company in 1995, Harrison has continued developing limited-edition prints, including his popular annual Coca-Cola calendar. Not surprisingly, Harrison has become an avid collector of old Coca-Cola signs. His studio is lined with a vast array of this collection, which serves as inspiration for new works of art.

  • Hardcover: 136 pages
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (February 14, 2017)


About the Author

Jim Harrison has earned his living as an artist for more than 50 years, and his paintings are featured in museums and corporate art collections across the country including the State Museum of South Carolina, the Morris Museum of Art, the Maytag Corporation, Philip Morris Company, the Leo Burnett Company, and the Augusta National Golf Club. Harrison has been honored with the South Carolina Order of the Palmetto, declared “one of the Palmetto State’s Chief Art Treasures” in a resolution by the South Carolina House of Representatives, and bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Carolina. Harrison is the author or illustrator of several books including Pathways to a Southern Coast and The Palmetto Tree and Its South Carolina Home, both published by the University of South Carolina Press.