MA ’59 Art Education
Inducted in 2023
Harry Breen was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1930. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received his Master of Arts in Art Education at the University of Illinois. Following graduation, Harry joined the faculty at the University of Illinois School of Art and Design in 1959. He was a humanitarian, much loved by his students to whom he was kind and generous with his time and expertise. Harry retired from the university as a professor emeritus in 1985 and moved on to doing what he loved most—painting, full time. His art has been exhibited in invitationals and competitions nationally and internationally. For over 65 years, Harry drew inspiration from the rural landscapes of Illinois, particularly the rich farmlands of the central prairie. The wide vistas and patterned fields, dominated by dynamic skies, were worthy and expressive subjects for him and his works are prized in natural, regional, and local collections among public, corporate, and private investors. Harry also did extensive work in ceramics with a particular focus on animals and completed several liturgical art projects. Over the years, he had 40 solo exhibitions, and his work received multiple awards. His art is included in over 1,000 private collections and 56 public and corporate collections including the Butler Museum of American Art, the Illinois State Museum, the University of Illinois President’s house, and McDonald’s Corporation.