60-second audiobook excerpt from “The Harris Project – An Attempt to Burn John Harris.” The book chronicles the artist’s years of research culminating in a remarkable painting that depicts a significant moment in Pennsylvania and American history. The author/artist is Bryan Thomas Molloy from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The narrator is Andy Taylor from Boston, Massachusetts…
HARRIS PROJECT: An Attempt to Burn John Harris
Process, Research and Explanation
The book is entitled: “HARRIS PROJECT: An Attempt to Burn John Harris – Process, Research and Explanation.” This, however, is not about a BOOK. This is about a masterful, meticulously researched painting that depicts a significant moment in Pennsylvania and American history: An attempt by booze-fueled Iroquois natives to burn Welsh trader John Harris.
The story behind the incident runs far deeper than a single descriptive sentence.
This moment in time is a stark reflection – both positive and negative – of the American experience at the time. That American experience, influenced deeply by both European and native cultures, is what the reader will uncover through the artist/author’s extensive research chronicled in the pages of “HARRIS PROJECT: An Attempt to Burn John Harris – Process, Research and Explanation.”
It is a fascinating historical read. And with selfish hopes – a colorful listen. To learn more about the painting and research, follow this link – and support the work of this gifted, significant American artist, Bryan Thomas Molloy.
Artist/Author Bryan Thomas Molloy’s description of the work (2012):
This will be the first major, in depth, and quite serious undertaking of my career; having, after numerous traumatic and scarring life events, for the past 5 years achieved some measure of stability in the community of Harrisburg. The most recent event being the passing of my father (2009), who on his deathbed suggested that I “paint Indians…something with Indians.”
I had been thinking the same thing after a tour of the most beautiful Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, I had the murals of the history of PA in my mind. To mark an important occasion, as a memorial both to my father and the founders of this country, I picked up what was before me. As I work in the first Governor’s residence in PA, now owned by the 80 year-old non-profit Art Association of Harrisburg, this history and opportunity became obvious; it is physically near the point at which John Harris’ story allegedly took place, on the Susquehanna River.
The importance of this subject, as well as my own constant effort and involvement with the community of Harrisburg to promote my career and work, will surely advance my career and exposure. I conducted extensive research into many aspects of the structure of the 18th century world in a successful attempt to understand and identify stylistic minutiae of dress and behavior of European and Native peoples in the Colonial Period. I have been in contact with many organizations such as the Smithsonian and various universities, as well as the York Museum Trust in England, who have been very helpful in donating their time and expertise at no cost. The Yorkshire Museum also requested a copy of this research to retain in their archives.
“After I studied Bryan’s Harris painting, a spirit came to me, and it was Harris. He said ‘Al, you do a great job with Pennsylvania Magazine, but when are you going to do a cover story on me?'”
— Al Holliday, publisher Pennsylvania Magazine
“Bryan Molloy’s John Harris Project is an extensively-researched, beautifully-conceived work of artistic, historical, and literary significance.”
— Carrie Wissler-Thomas: Director, Art Association of Harrisburg