The Old Print Shop

Harry M Pettit


Harry McEwen (H.M.) Pettit was an American architectural painter and illustrator. Born in Rock Island, Illinois, he worked as an artist for his hometown newspaper before moving to New York City at age 23, where he worked in interior decoration. Nicknamed “the bird’s-eye view artist” he frequently produced prospective views and conceptual renderings for proposed architectural designs, both as illustrations and as larger commissioned works, such as a 15-foot mural for the Duquesne Works steel mill in Pittsburgh (c. 1920) and a 27-foot mural, The Gary Works and City of Gary, Indiana, for which he won a medal at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Other clients included Standard Oil, Deere & Co., the Pennsylvania and Grand Central train stations in New York. By 1915, Pettit had moved to Chicago and was the official artist for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933-34, and the New York World’s Fair in 1939-40.