Harry Beckoff was born 1901 in Perth Amboy, New jersey.
He studied at the Artist Students League under George Bridgeman (who taught Norman Rockwell along with a host of of other well known painters and illustrators, such as Harvey Dunn, Dean Cornwell and others). Fellow students with Beckhoff at the ASL were Mead Schaeffer, Saul Tepper and Dan Content, artist all who became well known and respected during the Golden Age of magazine illustrations.
Harry Beckhoff was very much influenced by French artists, Charles Martin, Andre Marty and Pierre Brissaud whose work could often be seen in Vougue, Home and Garden and Harper’s Bzaar. In 1929 Beckhoff’s very first magazine illustration was published in Country Gentleman.
Bechoff was noted for doing his preliminary sketches the size of a thumb-nail. Literally, the size of a thumb-nail .He would later use a Pantograph and enlarge the sketch to five or six times the size. Using the graphite lines laid down by the pantograph as a guide he would then draw the lines in ink. His fellow illustrators marveled at how he managed to sketch such a small drawing and still be so well rendered with much of the details in it. One of his friends and fellow artist who never seized to be amazed by Beckhoff’s method was James Montgomery Flagg.
For over half a century Harry Beckhoff would illustrates hundreds of periodicals and dozens of advertisements but he is mostly remembered for illustrating those loveable, wonderful Broadway characters by the famous writer Damon Runyon in Collier’s.
Harry Beckhoff ddied in 1979.