About a month ago I took my boys to the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, VA. We had a blast looking at all of the animals and feeling horseshoe crabs in the touch tank. Towards the front of the museum they have a rotating exhibit area. Since we had not been to the VLM in ages I had no idea what they were featuring so we took a look. It was there that I was introduced to the artist named Charley Harper. I didn't think my five and seven year old would be interested but the exhibit had a few "kids stations" where they could sit down and draw like Charley. Of course my boys sat right down.
Charley Harper (August 4, 1922 – June 10, 2007) was a Cincinnati-based American Modernist artist. He was best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations. Born in Frenchton, West Virginia in 1922, Harper's upbringing on his family farm influenced his work to his last days. He left his farm home to study art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and won the academy’s first Stephen H. Wilder Traveling Scholarship.
(Taken at the VLM exhibit):
I absolutely love this mans work!
During his career, Charley Harper illustrated numerous books, notably The Golden Book of Biology,
magazines such as Ford Times,
as well as many prints, posters, and other works. As his subjects are mainly natural, with birds prominently featured, Charley often created works for many nature-based organizations, among them the National Park Service; Cincinnati Zoo; Cincinnati Nature Center; Hamilton County (Ohio) Park District; and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania. He also designed interpretive displays for Everglades National Park.
And here are some pictures that I took during the exhibit:
And this one wasn't part of the traveling show but I found it on the internet and it's my absolute favorite one, probably because it's a cat:
Here are a few more photos of his work from the internet: